Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome

By Amy Richlin | Go to book overview

Conclusion

The Deipnosophistae clearly exemplifies pornographic representation as defined by current feminist theory. This is so even though the work is not only incomplete but also is by no means wholly pornographic. We must now ask what light Athenaeus's work sheds on the history of women in classical antiquity, and how we might evaluate his contributions to our knowledge of Greek comedy.

Athenaeus can be of positive assistance to the historian of female prostitution. What he does and does not say about the lives of historical prostitutes should invite further feminist study. It is now time to coordinate his work, which constitutes an important literary source for prostitution in classical antiquity, with other written accounts and with the emerging archaeological record. 19 That, then, is the first use to which Athenaeus's testimony can be put by feminist scholarship.

The fact that Athenaeus's work preserves so many quotations from Greek comedy and derivative literature within a largely pornographic context has significant implications for our perception of Greek comedy. Aristophanes' comedy often represents prostitutes and other women as sexual food (see Zweig, Chapter 4 above); Aristophanes' contemporaries seem to depict prostitutes in like fashion. But while prostitutes are so depicted by Aristophanes, they are not major characters in any of his known plays. Nor does the evidence suggest that other fifth-century comedies that feature female prostitutes--for example, the Putinê and the Koriannô--represented these characters as "edible women." To what extent was Athenian comedy pornographic? Did the pornographic sensibility recede, advance, or change between Old Comedy and Middle/New Comedy, a period in which the genre of comedy underwent a decline in openly "obscene" language and situations at about the same time that it witnessed the rise of the stock character of hetaira?

Finally, studies such as this one might help us begin to investigate on a larger scale than previously the history of pornography and pornographers in the West. Is the West as indebted to Greco-Roman civilization for its concepts of pornography and the pornographer as it is for other equally important concepts? 20


NOTES

Thanks to the Graduate College of Iowa State University for the salary and research grants that made it possible to begin this essay, and to Mary Lee Nitschke, R. Dixon Smith, and Tina Sparrow for inspiration. Special thanks to Amy Richlin and Marilyn Skinner for many helpful suggestions.

1.
Baldwin's fine essays ( 1976, 1977) clearly reveal the chronological and prosopographical problems that beset the serious student of Athenaeus. Given that Athenaeus's other known work was a treatise on a play of the Old Comedy and that he frequently quotes from the comic writers, Baldwin's suggestion is in my view quite likely correct. I have used the Loeb text of the Deipnosophistae; unless otherwise stated, all translations are my own. Translations of works other than Athenaeus's are made from the Oxford texts.
2.
Gulick's editorial remarks will be cited according to the Loeb volume and page number in which they appear. The general attitude to the work has been that its value lies in

-266-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Time Line of Events, Sources, and Persons Discussed xxiv
  • 1: Pornography and Persuasion on Attic Pottery 3
  • Notes 34
  • 2: Tragedy and the Politics of Containment 36
  • Notes 51
  • 3: Eros in Love: Pederasty and Pornography in Greece 53
  • Notes 72
  • 4: The Mute Nude Female Characters in Aristophanes' Plays 73
  • Notes 88
  • Appendix Texts Relating to the Writers of Sexual Handbooks 108
  • Notes 109
  • 6: The Body Female and the Body Politic: Livy's Lucretia and Verginia 112
  • Notes 129
  • 7: The Domestication of Desire: Ovid's Parva Tabella and the Theater of Love 131
  • Notes 155
  • Notes 158
  • Notes 178
  • Notes 179
  • 9: Death as Decoration: Scenes from the Arena on Roman Domestic Mosaics 180
  • Notes 208
  • 10: Callirhoe 212
  • 11: Sweet and Pleasant Passion: Female and Male Fantasy in Ancient Romance Novels 231
  • Notes 249
  • 12: The Edible Woman: Athenaeus's Concept of the Pornographic 250
  • Conclusion 266
  • Notes 269
  • Notes 269
  • Notes 283
  • Bibliography 285
  • Contributors 313
  • Index 315
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 324

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.