By Jeffrey Henderson
The pervasive and unrestrained use of obscenity has lengthy been stated as a massive characteristic of fifth-century Attic Comedy; no different Western artwork shape is predicated so seriously at the sexual and scatological dimensions of language. This acclaimed booklet, now in a brand new variation, bargains either a entire dialogue of the dynamics of Greek obscenity and an in depth remark at the terminology itself.
After contrasting the ordinary features of the Greek concept of obscenity to modern day principles, Henderson discusses obscenity's function within the improvement of Attic Comedy, its historic origins, types, and dramatic functionality. His research of obscene terminology sheds new gentle on Greek tradition, and his dialogue of Greek homosexuality deals a clean corrective to the idealized Platonic view. He additionally appears to be like intimately on the half obscenity performs in each one of Aristophanes' 11 surviving performs. The latter a part of the publication identifies all of the obscene terminology present in the extant examples of Attic Comedy, either whole performs and fragments. even supposing those terminological entries are prepared in numbered paragraphs equivalent to a word list, they could even be learn as autonomous essays at the a variety of features of comedian obscenity. phrases are defined as they ensue in every one person context and on the subject of typologically comparable terminology. With newly corrected and up-to-date philological fabric, this moment variation of Maculate Muse will function a useful reference paintings for the examine of Greek drama.
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Comparable is Odysseus' response to bathing with the younger women (221 f. ), [For i'm ashamed to be bare between fair-haired younger women. ] evaluate the goddesses' unwillingness to appear on Ares and Aphrodite (8. 324) and Penelope's to be with the suitors by myself (18. 184). a person who's keen to do this stuff is, in fact, : his activities are conceited, shameless, and hence grotesque and offensive, . eight an analogous reason lies in the back of using to point the genitals,9 as in //. 2. 262, 22. seventy five. The extra universal turns out to have intended whatever on the subject of "worthy of appreciate. "10 extra particularly sexual passages are worthy pointing out. In Pindar's 9th Pythian, Apollo has stumble upon the huntress-maiden, Cyrene, within the glens of Pelion and has conceived a powerful ardour to deflower her instant (36 f. ). however the centaur Cheiron admonishes him that gods and males alike should have the modesty and discretion ( forty-one) to not consummate a wedding within the gentle of day, that's, with out the ceremonies right to a marriage. those, as Pindar tells us (12), are correctly conducted via the satisfied couple in Libya, the place Aphrodite "cast an enthralling veil of modesty ( )) over their candy union" (we could evaluate this with Hera's admonition to Zeus at Il. 14. 330 ff. approximately sound asleep out on Ida). comparable is Herodotus' tale of Candaules' spouse (1. eight ff. ). Candaules, king of Lydia, was once so taken by means of his wife's good looks that he compelled his trusty shield, Gyges, to sneak a glance for himself and therefore ascertain his opinion. Gyges before everything attempted to refuse via stating girl sheds her modesty ( ) while she sheds her garments, yet was once ultimately compelled to conform. regrettably, the spouse observed Gyges and made up our minds that one or the opposite of her admirers needs to die; Herodotus issues out that, one of the Lydians, being noticeable bare brings nice shame ( , 10), even for a guy. either one of those passages emphasize a primarily sexual which means of and its cognates eight. Von Erffa (n. 7, above), pp. 19 ff. nine. Ibid. , pp. 39 f. 10. This utilization seems restrained to Greek; as for the Latin similar, von Erffa, p. forty, rightly issues out that "im Lateinischen begegnet die Bezeichnung 'pudenda' oder 'reverenda' erst spat und wohl im Anschluss ans Griechische" [In Latin the designation pudenda or reverenda seems to be for the 1st time basically past due, and certainly in imitation of Greek usage]. Obscene Language and the advance of Attic Comedy five which harmonizes with all different spheres of the word's value: specifically, the proposal of modesty, restraint, and a sense of decency and secrecy surrounding what's inner most (but now not "dirty," as we moderns may possibly say). within the Pindar passage specifically, one notices a massive double-edged notion: denotes either the intimacy of sexual intercourse and a moral impulse to restrain its publicity. those Homeric examples might stand as legitimate for the total classical interval. the elemental notion of disgrace and modesty, yet with out dirtiness, remained unchanged regardless of the sophistications made by way of poets and theorists. In Greek, the sexual and excremental nation-states have been labeled as a subdivision of all these components which has to be handled with appreciate and modesty.