By Dominic Montserrat

First released in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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These contests, he tells us, took place ‘with great enthusiasm’ (meta spoudês), the winners being given arms as prizes, which, according to Dionysius of Leuctra, were later dedicated to Athena. The winner was given ceremonial ribbons to wear and led the procession to Athena’s temple. The military nature of the prizes gives us a clue to the slightly different ethos of the male beauty contest. Here beauty seems connected with heroism or martial prowess. Not surprisingly, therefore, we find that male beauty contests formed a part of Spartan culture.

37 Thus the use of Oedipus as a model is based on a number of premises. The first is the human body as a socio-cultural artefact, a landscape or inscribed surface of events totally imprinted by history. It serves as a metaphor for politics and power, cultural values, sexuality and gender, ownership and privacy, nature and denaturalisation, and self-identification and ‘the other’. Disability 20 DISABLING BODIES did not represent the acceptable self, but the opposite. Furthermore the agency of metamorphosis was attributed to the gods.

Metellus was punished for violating the taboo forbidding males entering the temple (Dudley 1967:109). Compare Dio Cassius’ account (Liv. 24) of a similar occurrence in 14 BCE, when a fire in the Basilica Pauli spread to the Temple of Vesta. On this occasion the sacred objects were rescued by the Vestal Virgins. Only the eldest priestess did not help because she was blind. g. H. Ant. Rom. 1; Liv. 8; and many more in Julius Obsequens; for a brief discussion, see Garland 1995:65–72. 31 See Meskell 1994b.

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