Courtesans & Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens (Paperback) - Common

Courtesans & Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens (Paperback) - Common

Language: English

Pages: 372


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

As any reader of the "Symposium" knows, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates conversed over lavish banquets, kept watch on who was eating too much fish, and imbibed liberally without ever getting drunk. In other words, James Davidson writes, he reflected the culture of ancient Greece in which he lived, a culture of passions and pleasures, of food, drink, and sex before--and in concert with--poli...

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101.3 and Eduard Gerhard, Auserlesene Griechische Vasenbilder, I, plate LXV. 11. Ath. 13.586ab; Ar. Ach. 885 cf. 894, Peace 1013–14; cf. also Eubulus 34 and 36 K-A, Archippus 27 K-A and Antiphanes 27 K-A with the editors’ comments ad loc. The goddess of Madurai in Tamil Nadu who seduces Shiva and becomes his bride is known there as-Meenakshi, the Fish-eyed goddess. 12. Ar. Knights 927ff.; Ach. 1156–61; Antiphanes 77 K-A; SVF III, 167 #667. 13. Eubulus 118 K-A; Plato Rep. 404b–405a. 14. See

K-A. Clearchus 55 (Wehrli) ap. Ath. 1.6c. 6. Antiphanes 77 K-A. 7. Alexis 57 K-A, Eubulus 8 K-A, with editors’ notes ad loc. 8. Machon IX, X (Gow). Philoxenus was enslaved in his youth by the Athenians when they captured Cythera during the Peloponnesian War. He seems to have ended his days at the court of Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse – see Gow ad loc. 9. Knights 353–5 and 928ff. 10. Anaxand. 34 K-A. 11. Chrysippus ap. Ath. 1–5df; Clearchus 54 (Wehrli) ap. Ath. 1.6c, a story perhaps

and varied array of cups in all manner of shapes and sizes. There are indications that it was customary to progress from small cups at the start of the symposium to larger ones at the end. The Scythian Anacharsis, who represents for the Greeks something akin to the naive wisdom of the eighteenth-century’s ‘noble savage’, thought this very odd. Why drink from small cups when you’re empty and from big cups when you’re full? At the drinking-party described by Xenophon in his Symposium one of the

avoid dealing with prostitution altogether and helps to account for the astonishing lack of research in a subject which sits at the intersection of two of the biggest growth areas in modern classics, the study of women and the study of sexuality. Instead of two stark groups of women and one great undifferentiated mass of sex-workers I want in the next couple of chapters to emphasize the diversity and complexity of the sex market in Athens and to re-establish the importance of the hetaera. There

messes organized according to these principles, what opportunity was there for someone to destroy himself or his estate through greediness or vinous over-indulgence?’ (oinophlugia). Dionysius tyrant of Syracuse preferred less disciplined dining-companions, according to Theopompus, and deliberately surrounded himself with ‘those who had thrown away their properties on drunken revels and dicing and suchlike incontinence; for he wanted all to be in a wretched state of ruin’. He might, in that case,

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