By Simon Goldhill

This can be a learn of ways intercourse and sexuality have been written approximately within the first centuries of this period, a primary interval within the heritage of sexuality. Writing with a similar wit and verve because the historical writers he engages with, Simon Goldhill exhibits how the traditional money owed of sexuality during this interval are distorted via ignoring the horny, ironic and infrequently strange texts of the traditional novel, erotic poetry and funny dialogues.

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Additional resources for Foucault's Virginity: Ancient Erotic Fiction and the History of Sexuality (The Stanford Memorial Lectures)

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24). Heliodorus' dream interpreter is drawing on a common analogy in his interpretation of defloration as a wounding and a slaughter that does not kill. Lycainion's language, then, is perhaps a slightly exaggerated version of a standard set of terms to image the act of penetration. My second example is an epigram that shows in its brief compass both the complex manipulations of the language of bodily violence that surround ancient sexuality, and the specific interest in the death of a virgin and the marriage-night itself.

The novel recognizes and holds up to the reader's recognition the violence done to women in and by male sexuality, argues Winkler; and by such a disturbing recognition of the hidden injuries of sex, the complacency of erotic norms may be challenged. This challenge is articulated through the narrative that leads Daphnis and Chloe from their state of innocence towards that most teleological of closures, the social institution of wedlock. Winkler reads this narrative as the constraining of the 'unconventional lovers' - unconventional because of their 'natural' state - by the 'protocols of desire', that is, by the 'fundamental conventions' of erotic discourse and behaviour.

So how is the difference to be defined and maintained? The middle and proper position is distinguished by 'tact', epidexiotes. "" The definitional process has now become fully tautological. The gentleman will show tact; and tact is . . that which befits the gentleman. Aristotle tries again by adducing the example of old and new comedy. Old comedy was distinguished by its aischrologia, 'obscenity', new comedy by its buponoia, 'suggestiveness' - 'no small difference in propriety'. ' The great systemizer hesitates before the necessarily subjective in judging comic effect ('One thing is hateful or pleasant to one person, another to another').

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