Sexuality and the body: using ancient sources to support modern ideas
Agathon - Probably the most significant Greek tragedian after Aeschylus, Sophocles, and He is the passive partner in a life-long relationship with Pausanias. Pausanias was an ancient Athenian of the deme Kerameis, and was the lover of the poet Agathon. Although Pausanias is given a significant speaking part in Plato's Symposium, very little is known about him. Ancient anecdotes tend to address only his relationship with Agathon and You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. Relationships and customs therefore are complex. of the ways in which his speech will be incorporated into Agathon and Diotima's speech.
His principle of love is Love is a God so it must be Good. Also Love is not only a god among the rest of the gods of Olympus, but Love is the chief figure of the gods. And so Love set in order the empire of the gods -- the love of beauty, as is evident, for with deformity Love has no concern. In the days of old, as I began by saying, dreadful deeds were done among the gods, for they were ruled by Necessity; but now since the birth of Love, and from the Love of the beautiful, has sprung every good in heaven and earth.
And there comes into my mind a line of poetry in which he is said to be the god who "Gives peace on earth and calms the stormy deep, Who stills the winds and bids the sufferer sleep. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty and the desire for immortality. When a man loves the beautiful, what does he desire? What is given by the possession of beauty? If he who loves loves the good, what is it then that he loves?
Symposium As the dialoge between Socrates and Diomita was reiterated more of the essence of love came out, for Diomita also her views of what she felt was true love, the essence of love when she stated: He who from these ascending under the influence of true love, begins to perceive that beauty, is not far from the end. And the true order of going, [ c ] or being led by another, to the things of love, is to begin from the beauties of earth and mount upwards for the sake of that other beauty, using these as steps only, and from one going on to two, and from two to all fair forms, and from fair forms to fair practices, and from fair practices to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute beauty, and at last knows [ d ] what the essence of beauty is.
Rather, the true essence of love was an ascension towards the inner being of the individual and that when love is honorable. Diomita established that love was not immortal, but it was not mortal.
The procreation of two lovers can extend their being from one generation to another. There is a certain age at which human nature is desirous of procreation -- procreation which must be in beauty and not in deformity; and this procreation is the union of man and woman, and is a divine thing; for conception and generation are an immortal principle in the mortal creature…"Because to the mortal creature, generation is a sort of eternity and immortality," she replied; [ a ] "and if, as has been already admitted, love is of the everlasting possession of the good, all men will necessarily desire immortality together with good: Wherefore love is of immortality.
In your answer, describe how Alcibiades regards Socrates. The love with Alcibiades and Socrates can be described as a love hate relationship. Alcibiades lust after Socrates, in which he wants to sleep with him because of his infatuation for his power to capture his mind. He praises Socrates as a man that can charm the soul of men, womenand child as he stated during his speech.
He indeed with instruments used to charm the souls of men by the powers of his breath…have a power which no others have; they alone possess the soul and reveal the wants of those who have need of gods and mysteries, because they are divine.
But you produce the same effect with your words only, and do not require the flute; that is the difference between you and him.
When we hear any other speaker, [ d ] even a very good one, he produces absolutely no effect upon us, or not much, whereas the mere fragments of you and your words, even at second-hand, and however imperfectly repeated, amaze and possess the souls of every man, woman, and child who comes within hearing of them.
Symposium Although Alcibiades praises Socrates he also blast Socrates for what he has done to him as a person who is possessed and haunted by him as he also expressed during his speech: For he makes me confess that I ought not to live as I do, neglecting the wants of my own soul, and busying myself with the concerns of the Athenians; therefore I hold my ears and tear myself away from him. For I know that I cannot answer him or say that I ought not to do as he bids, but when I leave his presence the love of popularity gets the better of me.
And therefore I run away and fly from him, [ c ] and when I see him I am ashamed of what I have confessed to him. When Alcbides proclaim that he had asked love from Socrates by asking him to sleep with him this so that he may attain virtue.
Now I feel that I should be a fool to refuse you this or any other favour, and therefore I come to lay at your feet all that I have [ d ] and all that my friends have, in the hope that you will assist me in the way of virtue, which I desire above all things, and in which I believe that you can help me better than any one else. As Pausanians expressed in his speech: Those who are inspired by this love turn to the male, and delight in him who is the more valiant and intelligent nature; any one may recognize the pure enthusiasts in the very character of their attachments.
Symposium Alcibiades request would prove that his need for virtue would be an improvement of his character. I believe that was very evident when Alcibiades proposed to sleep with Socrates.
On this level, at least, his speech echoes to that of Pausanias, which is intended as a defense and illustration of paiderastia as an educative instrument that enables the achievement of excellence in all its forms, particularly in the area of poetry. Through his example and his speech, Agathon provides proof of the vacuousness of this education, limited as it is to the learning of rhetoric. With great courtesy, since Agathon is his host, Socrates begins by subjecting him to an elenchos.
To attenuate this refutation, however, Socrates explains that he used to maintain a position similar to that of Agathon on Eros, before he himself was refuted Symposium d—e by Diotima. Eros Love is always desire, not for nothing, but for something c—e. What one desires, however, one does not possess a—e.
Agathon was therefore wrong to declare that Eros is a great god, endowed with every quality d—e. This does not mean that Eros is ugly and bad, but that he is an intermediary being e—d. His father is Poros Resource and his mother Penia Poverty a—c. The nature phusis of Eros is explained by his origins. He occupies the midpoint of all things c—eand particularly between knowledge and ignorance: This definition of philosophos and consequently of philosophia will inspire the whole of the remaining argumentation.
In fact, Eros leads men to seek the possession of the beautiful and the good for their own sake, and forever c—a. In this way, Eros can be associated with an activity that deserves the most serious attention, and with an effort manifested in an occupation or a task a—d: This procreation may be according to the body or according to the soul: This viewpoint is found once again in a passage e—e which opens with the opposition between procreation according to the body and procreation according to the soul: Yet the highest part of thought is situated in justice and moderation a7—b1.
Men who seek to be fruitful in this area become educators. They then seek out a young man whose body, and above all whose soul, shine with beauty, and they speak to him of virtue, that is, of the duties and occupations of a worthy man b2—c2. The procedure is as follows: In other words, both the educator and the person being educated develop the fine discourses and perpetuate the fine actions that are their children.
Before it falls into a human body, the soul, in the company of other souls, ascends with the troop of gods and demons to contemplate the intelligible, situated somewhere beyond the sphere in which the body of the world consists. Here, it contemplates Beauty in particular Phaedrus c—d. Thus, paiderastia, henceforth described by terms borrowed from the Mysteries, is completely reinterpreted.
Although she is a woman, Diotima is aware of the social convention known as paiderastia. Yet she wants to transform it: We cannot rule out the existence of sexual relations between the lover and his beloved, but these relations must be transcended, and desire must be transferred to such incorporeal objects as the soul or the Forms.
It is the older partner who is pregnant, while the younger one, through the beauty of his body and especially of his soul, plays the role of trigger with regard to him. In order to educate the younger partner, the older one brings into the world and into broad daylight the fine discourses and actions he already carried within him. The divinity that presides over this birth that involves the two men is Beauty, who must be assimilated to a divinity who plays the role, in the world of generation, that is the appendage of the Moirai and of Eilithuia.
The image of pregnancy implies that of birth, and points in the direction of maieutics [ 81 ] which favors birth; that is, in this context, the re-appropriation of the knowledge that was already present in the soul, but only in a virtual way.
Here, a difficulty could be raised. In what follows, however a—dthe relation may be generalized. An analysis of the speeches of Pausanias and Agathon, on the one hand, and of that of Diotima on the other, makes the following three oppositions stand out. We witness here a complete reversal of perspective at all three levels, as is generally the case in Plato. Footnotes [ back ] 1.
Pausanias and Agathon: a ‘same sex relationship’? | sharedconversations
English translations are those in Cooperusually slightly modified. Especially for modern readers, who are familiar with psychoanalysis. On this subject, see Halperin It is not illegitimate to utilize a modern vocabulary and concepts to speak of sexuality in antiquity; however, when we do so, it is appropriate to take particular care not to force contemporary categories and ideologies onto attitudes and modes of behavior from the past.
Since problems obviously arise for the case of sexual relations between women, and even, as we shall see, for the case of intercrural penetrations. On which Aristophanes insists, perhaps because adultery was one of the favorite themes of the comic poets.
On the punishments inflicted on adulterers, see Hoffmann On the significance of these punishments, see Dover On this subject, see the remarkable Boehringerwhose jury included David Halperin. On this subject, see Dover There is a description of the background of paiderastia in Sergent On this convention, see Halperin Some representations see Dover might allow us to think of younger men, but from the viewpoint of its definition, it is difficult to imagine that paiderastia could mean anything before the age of twelve.
In Plato, we also find neaniskos Charmides d as an equivalent. Clinias is qualified either as neaniskos Euthydemus a, a or as meirakion Euthydemus a—b. At Lysis b—c, pais and neaniskos have the same referent.
Because of his age. On this subject, see Golden See Protagoras a; Plutarch Dialogue on Love b—c.
Sexuality and the body: using ancient sources to support modern ideas
Compare the sordid side of the sexual activity of the sausage merchant Aristophanes Knights who has passed this age. This seems to have been the case for Agathon in particular, despite his fame, as we shall see. On all this, see Dover On the sexual meaning of these terms, see Dover See Symposium a, b, d, d, b, b, c, d, c, c, d. See Aristophanes Clouds —; Symposium d—a. It is surprising to note that the hierarchical model, based on age difference, governed the qualifications of all relations between males in ancient Greece.
This model seems to have lasted from the Minoan period until the end of the Western Roman Empire. The Iliad does not say explicitly that Achilles and Patroclus maintained amorous relations, but it remains sufficiently vague on the subject for all authors of the classical period to be able to affirm that this was the case.
This is why an attempt has been made to connect paiderastia with a ritual of initiation supposed to be mentioned by Strabo On this subject, see Bethe On this aspect of the matter, that is, the uselessness and even the danger of love, see the paradoxical speeches of Phaedrus and Socrates in the Phaedrus, first at e—b, then a—d.
See the scholium to Symposium i. According to Morrison We must therefore remain prudent with regard to the date of the events and the age of the dramatis personae. How is this to be interpreted: The speakers are Socrates dAristophanes band Eryximachus e. Aristotle Eudemian Ethics 3. The Attic orator Antiphon belonged to the group, which, intook part in the conspiracy of the Four Hundred.
He was arrested, judged, condemned to death, and executed. The plot of the play is as follows. As they do every year in the month of Pyanepsion Octoberthe women are celebrating the Thesmophoria, in honor of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in mysteries that are forbidden to men.
Examining Greek Pederastic Relationships
They must take advantage of the fact that they are among themselves to decide the fate of Euripides, on whom they want to take vengeance, because he has spoken ill of them in his tragedies. Euripides knows this, and considers that he is lost unless someone takes his defense in the Assembly.
He thinks of the tragic poet Agathon, who dresses like a woman and who, because of his effeminate appearance and habits, can pass for a woman. He therefore goes to Agathon, but the latter refuses to do him this favor. Euripides is desperate; fortunately, a relative by marriage offers to take charge of this maneuver. Euripides disguises the relative, to whom Agathon agrees to lend a female disguise.
Aristophanes Frogs 83—85; Plato Symposium c. Aelian Varia Historia 2. In the Frogs 83—85Dionysus explains to Heracles that he must go to Hades to look for a good tragic author. The latter questions him on the fate of the illustrious poets of the last years: And Agathon, where is he? He left me and went away; he was a good poet, missed by his friends. Where did he go, the miserable fellow? To the festival of the Blessed.
A scholiast mentions the following two interpretations: This opposition continues, with support going now to one, now to the other of these hypotheses.20110615 Spirit Relationships - Earth Bound Spirits P2
A possible solution would be to accept the ambiguity, in the view that Aristophanes means that even if he is physically alive, Agathon has died to poetry, for he no longer produces at Athens, but is leading a life of debauch with Archelaus.
A reply by Apollodorus to Glaucon in the Symposium d tends in this direction: It may be of interest to note that in order to praise erotic relations between men, Pausanias here mentions the courage of the Sacred Band of Thebes, which Phaedrus had already mentioned at e—a.
Debra Nails asks me the following question in litteris: If Pausanias was an exception, can you explain why that was not remarked?
The only other older man, though still much younger than Socrates, was Critias, but Plato has him arriving separately.
And in Symposium d—e: How different from this is a man who loves the right sort of character, and who remains its lover for life, attached as he is to something that is permanent.