Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark Golden and Peter Toohey

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780748613199

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613199.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 June 2021

Classical Greek Attitudes to Sexual Behaviour

Classical Greek Attitudes to Sexual Behaviour

(p.114) 5 Classical Greek Attitudes to Sexual Behaviour
Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome

K. J. Doveri

Edinburgh University Press

The Greeks regarded sexual enjoyment as the area of life in which the goddess Aphrodite was interested, as Ares was interested in war and other deities in other activities. Sexual intercourse was aphrodisia, ‘the things of Aphrodite’. Sexual desire could be denoted by general words for ‘desire’, but the obsessive desire for a particular person was eros or love. Our own culture has its myths about the remote past, and one myth which dies hard is that the ‘invention’ of sexual guilt, shame and fear by the Christians destroyed a golden age of free, fearless, pagan sexuality. That most pagans were in many ways less inhibited than most Christians is undeniable. This chapter explores attitudes to sexual behaviour in classical Greece, focusing on inhibition, women's segregation and adultery, commercial sex, resistance to sexual desire, homosexuality, class and status, and Greek philosophy and sexual intercourse.

Keywords:   classical Greece, Aphrodite, sexual behaviour, inhibition, segregation, adultery, commercial sex, sexual desire, homosexuality, philosophy

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.