adulterium. Latin for "adultery"; see Brill's pdf p. 2.

aedile. An official in the Roman Republican government. Aediles had charge of buildings, streets, festivals, etc. Earlier on, curule aediles were higher ranking, plebeian, lower.

amor. Latin: "love," "affection," "desire." Compare philia, eros, cupido, libido.

akolasia. Greek: "lack of discipline," "intemperance," "immoderation." Those intolerant of democratic rule tended to associate this quality with democracy and the demos. Cf. sophrosune.

akrasia. Greek: "lack of self-control," "immoderation," "excess," hence similar to akolasia and the opposite of sophrosune. The immoderate indulgence in pleasure (akrateia hedones) was highly problematic for the classical Greeks.

andreia. "Manliness," "courage," opposite of malakia, "softness," "effeminacy." From aner, "man."

androcentric. Male-centered, concerned primarily with men, from a predominantly male perspective, one that marginalizes women.

andron. In a Greek house, a room used by the men (andres) for partying (sumposia) and the like. That is not to say that it could not be used for other purposes, but its main purpose can be viewed as that.

andronitis. In an ancient Greek house, the "men's quarters," from aner (andr-), "man." Contrast gunaikonitis.

aner (andr-) . Greek for "man" or " 'real' man," i.e., as opposed to male child, woman, effeminate male. It is also the usual word for a husband. Compare Latin vir.

Aphrodite. Greek goddess of love and sex. AKA Cypris (Kypris), "the Cyprian" (from her association with the island of Cyprus). See further under two of her titles: Pandemos and Ourania. Also, on Greek Drama web site. Compare Roman Venus.

apodyterium. See "bath."

arete. Excellence, virtue. Protagoras seems to have claimed to teach pupils political arete, the qualities needed to participate constructively in governing.

assembly. See ekklesia.

asymmetry, "asymmetry hypothesis." sexual-social isomorphism. "Asymmetry" is lack of correspondence between two elements that go together. Thus if the two sides of the human face, right and left, don't match, that's asymmetry.

As for "asymmetry hypothesis," that is my reformulation (and attempt at clarification) of what Foucault presents as the ideological underpinnings to the ethics of male sexuality and gender in classical Athens. (See pp. 33 ff., 215 ff. of vol. 2 of History of Sexuality.)

That can best be explained in terms of approximate ideological equivalance between pairs of terms, each term "asymmetrically" paired to its partner, so that the second term somehow expresses deficiency or inferiority in relation to the first. According to this hypothesis, dichotomized pairings like the following did not so much impose certain patterns as much as commend them by appealing to a shame-honor mindset, one centered ultimately around notions of male normalcy and deviance:

senior (in status)
moderate (sophron)

And so on. Foucault would call that a discursive formation; he actually refers to the above scheme as "the principle of isomorphism between sexual relations and social relations" (HS2 p. 215).

Foucault notes that the status of underage freeborn citizen male beloved (eromenos) was not, strictly speaking, parallel to ("isomorphic" with) that of slaves or women. Yet even in Foucault's reading, it does appear to be at least partly "isomorphic," as the immature boy is at a stage between unambiguous subordination and a superior status.

Problems arise, though, when we consider that this scheme fails to account for

  • Socially approved roles for women. Here, the scheme reveals Foucault's basically androcentric bias
  • Issues of class: whether the poor were held to the same standards as the wealthy; how social or political prominence factored into the equation; where these protocols mattered and where they did not, and why. (Winkler in Constraints of Desire addresses that)
  • The erastes ~ eromenos (lover ~ beloved) dichotomy in socially acceptable pederasty, which, if we try to fit it into the larger scheme, becomes deeply problematic for the junior partner, the eromenos

One can, therefore, understand the complexities of socially approved pederasty as strategies to reconcile fundamental contradiction within this larger normative scheme. On the other hand, Aristophanes' and Euripides' women's plays suggest both the strengths and weaknesses of Foucault's scheme in relation to classical Athenian women. His scheme links the privileging of masculinity to patriarchy at Athens, but obscures women's roles and how those were evaluated.

See also functional constructionsim.

Atargatis. See Syrian Goddess.

Athens. Greek city state, located in mainland Greece, chief city in Attica, famous for democracy. In the later fifth century BCE, fought Sparta in the Peloponnesian war.

Attis. The eunuch consort of the goddess Cybele, which see.

Bacchus. Roman name for Dionysus-Bakkhos: Greek god of wine, wilds, fertility.

bacchanalia. Latin for celebrations honoring Bacchus.

bath. The Roman balneae or "baths" were an important part of urban existence for rich and poor alike. Romans visited the baths frequently and stayed for a long time. Baths were more like spas: exercising, entertainments, reading, relaxation, swimming in addition to getting cleaned up. Under the early empire, there was "coed" bathing in addition to that separating the sexes.

The bathing experience typically involved visiting the:

  • apodyterium, the "disrobing" or "locker" room (see the Pompeii frescoes, Roman art lecture)
  • frigidarium, the "cold" bath
  • tepidarium, the "warm" bath
  • calidarium, the "hot" bat

bia. Greek: violence, force, compulsion; threats thereof. Rape. = Latin vis.

Bona Dea. Latin: "good Goddess," her rites were to be attended ONLY by women of respectable status. Clodius, brother of Catullus' girlfriend Clodia (called "Lesbia" in his poems), in 61 BCE notoriously crashed the goddess's rites — he and his friends got in by dressing as women. The host of the solemnity was Caesar's wife Pompeia, with whom Clodius was reputed to be having an affair. Cicero prosecuted Clodius for that stunt. Though Clodius was acquitted, Caesar divorced his wife because, so he said, "my family must be above suspicion."

Charites. The Greek goddesses of kharis, i.e., of grace, beauty, pleasure. = Roman Gratiae.

cinaedus, plural cinaedi. Latin for a male who falls short of masculine sexual virtue (pudicitia). The word is usually understood to refer to a sexually passive male; C. Williams understands it as a term for a male who garners disgrace through sexual incontinence, including heteroerotic self-indulgence and conspicuously immodest behavior. From Greek, kinaidos.Compare pathicus, mollis, kinaidos.

citizen. In Greek, polites. At Athens, citizens were the legitimate children of legitimate Athenian citizen-fathers. After Pericles' citizenship reform in 450/1, both parents had to be citizens.

coniunx. Latin for "spouse," i.e., husband or wife.

contubernium. Under Roman law, unofficial "marriage" between slaves or between a slave and non-slave. A "spouse" involved in such an arrangement was called a contubernalis, literally, a "tent-mate." The mother's offspring would then be the property of the mother's owner.

concubinatus. Under Roman law, "cohabitation" (compare English "concubine"), which is to say, a "stable sexual relationship" (Brill's) between free persons, but falling short of marriage. The children issuing from such a union would not be legitimate. Concubinage could become matrimony (a) if conubium existed (if Roman law recognized the right of the parties involved to marry) and (b) if intent to marry could be shown.

constructionist. The position that a given socio-behavioral category (say, "gay") represents not a reality in its own right, but a mode of understanding shaped by socio-cultural factors — a "constructed reality." A society's notion of outsiders, persons regarded as different or deviant, often plays out as just such a contructed reality. See also "functional constructionsim."

consul. One of 2 chief Roman officials under the Republic and, yes, under the Empire. (Though under the Empire, the emperors, naturally, were in charge.)

conubium. The right to marry under Roman law, with special reference to rights enjoyed by certain non-Romans to marry Romans, or by Romans of differing social classes to marry each other. Only in cases of marriage between at least one Roman citizen (civis) and a person possessed of the right to marry that individual would Roman law recognize the children as legitimately under the power of their father (or of their paterfamilias, the senior male family member) and as entitled to inherit.

Restrictions on marriage between ranks came to be relaxed (patricians allowed to marry plebeians in 445 BCE), though Augustus sought to shore up the upper classes, and the citizenry more generally, by forbidding persons of senatorial rank to marry freed-persons, or citizens to marry individuals marked as infames, "disreputable": prostitutes, actors, adulteresses.

cupido/Cupid. Latin: lust, desire. Capitalized, Cupid (Latin Cupido) refers to the Roman god of love/lust. He also goes by the name Amor and is the Roman equivalent of Eros, wings, arrows, and all. Compare amor, libido, eros.

curiositas. More than just "curiosity," Latin curiositas could refer to an unhealthy interest in experiencing or knowing that which lies outside one's proper sphere. So, for instance, Plutarch, understanding adultery as an extreme form of curiositas (Greek polupragmosune), writes: ""Adultery itself indeed seems to be only the fruit of curiosity about another man's pleasures, and an inquiring and prying into things kept close and hidden from the world; while curiosity is a tampering with and seduction of and revealing the nakedness of secrets" (Moralia 519b–c). Compare invidia, scopophilia.

Cybele. Greek/Roman Cybele (Kubele) = Lydian Kubebe, the great mother goddess (in Latin, Magna Mater Deorum) of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). She was associated with a male deity, the self-castrated Attis. Her priests were the likewise self-castrating Galli. Brought to Rome in 205/4 BCE (to save the city from being conquered), the cult of Cybele was occasionally banned over the next few centuries. Under the emperor Claudius (41-54 CE), Roman citizens could become priests; before that, not. See also Syrian Goddess.

deductio. In Roman culture, the wedding procession, whereby the groom led the bride to his house.

Demeter. Greek earth mother, goddess of grain and agriculture generally, with her daughter Persephone/Kore, venerated during the Thesmophoria, a women-only festival.

democracy. demokratia in Greek = "power in the hands of the demos" (the people). The "radical democracy" at Athens involved the direct involvement of the voting citizenry in many aspects of government.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the mature democracy in classical Athens (461-322 BCE) was direct, not representative. All adult male citizens had the right to participate directly in legislation and most probably did, one way or another. There was no property qualification; rich and poor alike could participate in assembly deliberation and vote on bills. Or to quote Christopher Blackwell on the Dēmos web site, "In a very real sense, the People [the dēmos] governed themselves, debating and voting individually on issues great and small."

Along with that went an ideology celebrating the common people as a sort of citizen aristocracy superior to slaves, foreigners, and so on. And although the poor weren't excluded — although the citizenry was a mixed bag in terms of social and economic status — citizenship could still feel like membership in an exclusive club. Indeed, non citizens (slaves and free foreigners) within the Athenian polity tended to far outnumber citizens. And only adult citizen men had the right to participate. . . .

More at:

demos. Greek for the people of a city state (polis) like Athens — i.e., the entire citizen body. Alternatively, the adult voting males among the citizenry — i.e., the people's assembly, or ekklesia. The word can also refer to a "deme," or administrative unit within the Athenian polis. Cf. "deme."

Dionysia. Any celebration honoring Dionysus, Greek god of wine, celebration, mystic transformation. Women figured prominently in the worship of this god.

discourse, discursive formation. "Discourse" means words, speech, etc., especially as used in formal, intellectual, or literary communication. But Foucault uses the term in a specialized sense very close to that of ideology. Thus "discourse" becomes shared ways of thinking, speaking, and writing that provide channels through which power finds objects on which to act. The discourse of psychiatry (Foucault would call that a "discursive formation") thus becomes a way for psychiatry to flex its muscle, to exert control over us through its systems of diagnosis and treatment. Discursive formations channel power through their normativity, i.e., by defining normal and deviant patterns of behaving, desiring, being.

divortium. Latin, "divorce," literally, a "turning in a different direction" or "parting of ways." I.e., the dissolution of the marriage through the ceasing of maritalis affectio on the part of husband or wife or both. Under the Roman later Republic and Empire, wives could unilaterally divorce, as could husbands at all periods. (Divorce might be dictated by the paterfamilias of either spouse.) Upon divorce, whoever had endowed the wife (provided her with a dowery) might sue the husband for return of it. Divorce initiated by the husband could be referred to as repudium, "repudiation." Ideally, Roman marriages were to be about marital affection, but Roman men might divorce a seemingly sterile wife. There was no formal procedure, but a verbal formula (tuas res tibi habeto, "take your things for yourself") could be employed. Legitimate marriage to someone else confirmed, but did not accomplish, divorce.

dokimasia rhetoron. Greek: "scrutiny of public speakers." In classical-democratic Athens, a legal process (a jury trial) whereby a citizen's fitness to address the assembly could be challenged. Our principal source for this procedure and the underlying ideologies is Aeschines' Against Timarchus.

One could, in other words, suffer a penalty if (a) one spoke at meetings of the assembly (the main political body), and (b) had ever done one or more of the following:

  1. Failed to do one's duty in military service.
  2. Squandered one's inheritance.
  3. Mistreated one's parents.
  4. Been a prostitute.
That kind of conduct could also disqualify one from holding political or religious office in a different procedure (not the one in Against Timarchus). See further Aeschines study guide.

Returing to the dokimasia, if found "guilty," i.e., if found to have addressed the assembly despite the above-listed disqualifications, the defendant would have suffered loss of citizen rights (atimia, "disfranchisement"), as in fact happened to Timarchus. Thus the Against Timarchus is a rich source for the connections between political and sexual (#4, above) ideology.

As regards the sexual side, what the dokimasia addressed was not being or having been a prostitute; it was to be a prostitute/former prostitute exercising full male-citizen rights.

As for prostitition itself, while it was OK in classical Athens for non-citizens or slaves to be so employed, it was not OK for a citizen male:

  1. To enter public life after having hired himself out for sex.
  2. To hire out one's citizen son or legal ward for sex, or pay such a boy for sex.
  3. To pimp for a free (i.e., non-slave) boy or woman.
  4. To commit "outrage" (hubris, which can include rape) against any man, boy, or woman, free or slave.
See further entries dealing with Greek prostitution: pornos/porne, hetaira.

dolos. Greek: trick(ery), deceit, cunning. Can be a modality of peitho. In Sappho poem 1 (Hubbard 1.5, Lefkowitz 1), Aphrodite is doloplokos, "wile-weaving."

domus. See familia.

dos. Latin for "dowery," property that accompanied a Roman bride into marriage, and to be administered by her husband to help support her for the duration of the marriage. It was not required for marriage, but was viewed as desirable to enhance a woman's eligibility. At the conclusion of a marriage, whoever had endowed the bride might demand the dowery back, though the ex-husband might also demand a portion of it to defray costs.

double standard. A situation where class- or status-privilege frees privileged persons from strictures applying to less privileged persons. Thus in the ancient world, men were, by and large, allowed to pursue extra-marital sex with a variety of licit partners: prostitutes, slaves, etc. Respectable citizen women by and large enjoyed no such privilege.

ekdosis. Greek: the literal "giving away of the bride," whereby the bride says farewell to her old household to take up residence in the new.

ekklesia. The people's assembly at Athens, also known as the demos. (Contrast boule). Resolutions of the assembly were called psephismata, (English "decrees"). Cf. agora.

encomium. Plural, "encomia." A literary-rhetorical genre devoted to praise, mostly of notable people. Plato's Symposium consists of a series of speeches honoring the god Eros.

enguesis. ("en-GOO-ay-sis.") Greek, "betrothal," i.e., in classical Greece, the process whereby the bridegroom-to-be agrees to marry a daughter of his father-in-law-to-be. The bride will bring a dowery with her — not money for the bridgroom (though he will manage it), but for the bride and her children. If a husband divorces his wife, the dowery reverts to her father.

enkrateia. Gree term. According to Foucault (HS2 p. 64), "an active form of self-mastery," a good description. If enkrateia differs from sophrosune, it is terms of the activity of controlling oneself versus the mindset (sophrosune = "prudence" ) favorable to self-control. Its opposite is akrasia, "dissipation."

enupnion. In Artemidorus' Greek, either (1) the generic term for a dream vision, or (2) a dream vision representing a "present state of affairs," and thus a dream to be ignored by interpreters. Contrast oneiros.

epikleros. Greek word for "woman with property" or "heiress." In classical Athenian law, a woman could inherit property — could become an epikleros — in the absence of legitimate and eligible male heirs. To quote the law, "T. If an Athenian property owner were to find himself with no available male heirs, he could demand that a daughter divorce her current husband and marry her uncle or coursin. So, too, women could inherit in the absence of any eligible male heirs.

To quote Isaeus 7.20, "Thus the law gives the sister and the sister's son an equal share of their father's and their brother's estate; but when a first cousin, or any other kinsman in a remoter degree, dies, it no longer grants such equality, but gives the male relatives the right of succession as next-of-kin in preference to the female. For it declares that 'the males and the issue of the males, who are descended from the same stock, shall be preferred, even though their relationship to the deceased is more remote.' "

Citizen women could conduct transactions, but they, like children (also legal minors), could buy or sell only up to about the value of one bushel of grain (one medimnos). The point? The decidedly patriarchical property arrangements regarding classical Athenian women.

epithumia. Greek word meaning simply "desire." Or, to take it apart by its roots, epi-, "toward" or "at"; thumos, "spirit" or "gut feeling." Hence a feeling moving one toward an object to be acquired or enjoyed — desire. Prodicus (fr. 7 D‑K) said that eros is epithumia doubled, and mania (madness), eros doubled. Compare eros, himeros.

erastes. Greek for a man who feels eros for someone — or something — else. Cf. pederasty.

eromenos. Greek for the (male) beloved. A female beloved was an eromene. Cf. pederasty.

eros. Greek. "Love," "desire," "lust," sexual or otherwise (greed, hunger, ambition, etc.), often overpowering. Capitalized, "Eros" refers to the god of love/lust. In the classical period, eros is virtually identical to himeros. Cf. Latin amor, libido, cupido.

essentialist. The position that a given socio-behavioral category (say, "gay") represents a reality in its own right rather than a way that a given culture has come to structure its understanding of things. Contrast "constructionist."

eunoia. Greek: "good will," in pederastic courtship, what the lover hopes to demonstrate through honorable gifts and favors to his beloved.

euruproktos. Greek: "wide-assed," i.e., from having been penetrated anally on a regular basis. Used of boys/men reviled for sexual passivity; also used as (vaguely) non-sexual insult. Compare American English "asshole." See also kinaidos, katapugon.

familia, domus. Latin terms. Neither does familia mean "family," exactly, nor domus "house." They both mean "household," and are, therefore at least partly synonymous. One could, though, say that domus refers to the household as setting or home to the familia, while familia itself refers not to the nuclear family, but all generations along a line of vertical descent, from ascendants (great-grandparents, grandparents, parents) to descendants (children, grandchildren, etc., both by birth and by adoption), plus all women connected to the family through marriage cum manu (actually an exceptional case; see below), not to mention the entire support staff of slaves, both domestic and agricultural. A really wealthy familia, with at least one expensive townhouse (also called domus) plus one or more country estates (villae) producing farm income, could have employed an entire army of slaves. Note that the word familia (from famul, "slave") could also refer just to the slave staff.

fascinum. Latin: "act of bewitchment," "witchcraft"; "male or female sex organs," "phallus." The fascinum expressed the power of sex organs, male or female, but most especially male, to attract a kind of spellbound attention and therefore to induce a kind of envy (invidia), but also to break the potency of that envy, to allow envy to consume the envious subject and thus to break its malevolent magic. See also "scopophile."

femina. Latin for "woman" in the sense of "biologically female person." Femina seems to be derived from a root refering to the mother nursing her child (*fe- "suck" + -mina cognate with the Greek passive participial suffix). Compare filius/filia "son/daughter," also related to fellare "suck." Hence femina could refer to the female of the species among animals as well as people. Contrast mulier.

fetish, festishize. To festishize is to treat someone/something as a fetish. As used by psychoanalysis, the word "fetish" refers to a non-sexual part of the body made the object of sexual desire. That becomes a way for (mostly males) to feel less threatened by the object of one's desire. Why? I guess because it makes it seem that desire in this case isn't fully sexual; it's a kind of repression of the sexual side to sexual desire — if sex itself makes one nervous. (According to Freud, it's a way a man can deal with fear of castration.)

So, the festish becomes a way to re-imagine desire and what is desirable about a love object; it invests something particular about that love object with an almost magical potency. ("That foot of yours, it just takes my breath away!") For Marx, consumers invest commodities with just such a magical potency. ("That new IPhone they've come out with — I've just got to have one! It's so cool!")

At the same time, it denies the material and/or ethical reality of the object of desire, a reality scary, intimidating, or otherwise problematic from the desirer's perspective. Thus in Anxiety Veiled, Nancy Rabinowitz sees the fetishizing of Alcestis (in Euripides' Alcestis) as a way for Admetus to deal with what is uncanny (foreign, strange) about his wife and her sexuality. She is the best of wives because, by dying, she absents the reality of herself and her sexuality from Admetus' life. But when she comes back from the dead (thanks to Heracles), her presence will prove all the more uncanny . . . .

franchise. Citizenship rights — the rights and privileges of an adult male citizen (voting, owning property, etc.) Disfranchisement (atimia) is the removal of those rights from a person or persons.

functional contructionism. "Functional constructionism" (my term) states:

  • That categorizations having to do with things like sex and gender typically have a SOCIAL function
  • That this function addresses the need felt by close-knit social units to construct evaluative categories expressing the shared self-image of the social unit in question
  • That these categories are typically organized around normative, asymmetrical binaries (valorized v. devalorized), e.g.:
    • Us v. Them
    • licit v. illicit
    • loyal v. disloyal
  • That, with respect to conduct viewed as definitive of group identity, groups tend to analyze that conduct along such lines

This constructionism is "functional" because it describes how gender, sexuality, etc. are "used" by societies (how they function) for the purpose of group self-definition. It is "constructionism" because it suggests that, whatever the objective or scientific reality, evaluative categories like these are effectively produced by the social units that use them. Thus any truth regime or discursive formation, scientific or otherwise, can be viewed from a sociological perspective, one asking, in essence, "How does it function socially?"

"Functional contructionism" poses, then, a basic question: Can the ideologies framing group-definition remain stable in confrontation with the "Other"? Does the effort to make us into an "Us" separate from "Them," the process of group definition through differentiation, ever show signs of stress and strain — how hard it can be to rule out any connection with "them"? Is it ever subject to a self-subverting circularity: "better" defined in terms of "Us"; "Us" as, by definition, "better"?

See also asymmetry hypothesis.

Gallus (plural Galli). The Latin word (in Greek, Gallos) for a eunuch priest of Cybele or of the Syrian Goddess. Lucian, in his essay On the Syrian Goddess, reports that the Galli of the Syrian Goddess imitate Attis, who, "once Cybele had castrated him, ceased to live the life of a man and exchanged that for feminine form and women's clothing and, visiting every land, commenced to perform the frenzied rituals and told of what he had gone through and set to hymning the goddess" (15). Compare that to what you read of the Syrian Goddess's priests in Apuleius' Golden Ass (8.24-9.10 = pp. 141-152 Kenney trans.).

gamos. Greek for "marriage." See also ekdosis, enguesis.

gender. "Gender" can stand as a synonym for (biological) sex, as on applications and forms. But as an analytic category, it will likely serve our purposes better if we assign it a more specialized meaning. Without trying to dictate "truth" to students, let me suggest a provisional definition of gender as:

"A mode of classification capturing the social and/or cultural expectations and associations relative to, but abstracted from, human biological sex in the narrow, scientific sense."

Thus a person, biologically-anatomically at least, will properly be understood in terms of (biological) sex: female or male. But a scarf, a way of talking, and so on might be gendered masculine or feminine — modes of being associated with human subjects, depending on the social/cultural context. (As if to say, "Around here, it is considered 'masculine' to wear this, 'feminine' to wear that.")

That is not to say that a scarf or a way of talking carries an essential femininity or masculinity. It is, rather, to suggest that human beings can carry with them gender associations as they would an article of clothing. Which is to say, gender is sex at the level of symbol and meaning.

Not quite as far reaching a (re)formulation of sex/gender as Butler's, but perhaps related to her notion of (see next). . .

gender performative. Judith Butler's notion that gender is constructed, not natural, essential, or biological. Thus when a girl is born, it is obvious that she is biologically female. But when someone cries out, "Look! It's a girl!" this girl in effect is summoned (Althusser would say interpellated) to a feminine subjectivity, an entire identity that will follow this girl as she grows and enters into the social matrix. The "performative" part is speech-act theory: when the doctor says, "It's a girl," this baby is thereby made into — not simply described as — a girl in terms of gender-subjectivity.

gravitas. Latin for "seriousness," a Roman virtue.

gunaikonitis. In an ancient Greek house, the "women's quarters," from gune (gunaik-), "woman." Contrast andronitis.

gune (gunaik-). Greek for "woman" or "wife."

Hellas. Greek for "Greece."

Hellen. Greek for "Greek," plur. Hellenes. (This has nothing to do with the proper name "Helen.") Also the adjective Hellenic.

Heracles, Hercules. Greek Herakles ("Hera's Glory") = Roman (Latin) "Hercules."

With his signature lionskin, club, and bow and arrows, Heracles/Hercules to the Greeks and Romans embodied masculine strength — or brute force. Mythical slayer of monsters, he purified the world for human habitation. But his strength could also translate as blind, destructive rage. So for killing his family he was condemned to the 12 labors, in the course of which he conquered not just monsters but death itself.

Early on, the Romans adopted Hercules as a god, one who rid the site of Rome of a terrible monster (Cacus).

See also Omphale.

Herm. In Greek culture (especially Athenian), a "Hermes" image, i.e., boundary marker consisting of stone post with phallus and head of Hermes. These typically stood outside entryways, seemingly with the function of scaring off would-be intruders and protecting those within. Symbolically, they could be said to embody the phallic character of patriarchy at Athens: "This is my house." (only male citizens were ordinarily allowed to own — as opposed to rent — houses or real estate at Athens.) Some understand the herm in a dual democratic-patriarchal sense: "We (adult-male-citizen) Athenians rule!"

Hermes. Greek god of communication, commerce, trickery, boundaries, etc. See further.

hetaira. Greek; same word as hetairos, "companion," only referring to a woman. Thus a female "companion" — a "courtesan" or high-priced prostitute. Hetairai (plural) will have likely been free but non-citizen. Contrast porne, or low-class prostitute; Roman-Latin meretrix, scortum. Also Greek pallake, "concubine."

himeros. See Eros.

Honor-shame syndrome, which in class I've also been calling the "Pan-Mediterranean hypothesis": the idea that a social ethic organized in distinctive ways around notions of honor, shame, and reputation is widely shared by a number of cultures in and around the Mediterranean region, and at various points in history, including modern times. By an honor/shame ethic, I mean one where considerations of one's own standing in the public eye, and that of groups with which one is closely associated ("ingroups," e.g., the family), exert pressure upon individuals to behave in ways conducive to the honor or prestige of the individual or ingroup, often at the expense of outgroups or members thereof. Expressed in terms of gender and sexuality, that translates as, "The man protects the family’s (sexual) honor; the woman conserves her (sexual) purity" (McGinn 10). But it also can involve the upholding by men of their masculine-sexual integrity, which, when compromised, can compromise one's standing in the ingroup (see especially Winkler in Constraints).

I would suggest that this "syndrome" has something to do with the largely masculinist, use-of-pleasures-related ethic explored by Foucault, and proposed by him in HS2. Hence for Foucault the congruence of sexual self-compromise with failure to police the sexuality of one's women as a social and/or political liability in archaic and classical Greece.

Now, codes of honor are nothing unusual; such an ethic will find plenty of parallels outside the Mediterranean sphere. Conversely, we cannot afford to ignore its varied articulations, even within Mediterranean contexts. That is, we have no warrant to use this model reductively.

Still, in its various Mediterranean incarnations, it seems fairly consistently to involve a core set of elements that, when considered together, present a distinctively Mediterranean profile, elements like:

  • androcentrism (patriarchy, the double standard, etc.)
  • zero-sum competition (social and/or political rivalry for honor where "my loss is your gain")
  • deep-seated suspicion of "Others" as, potentially, a threat to "Us" (one's household, family, village, etc.), and thus not to be trusted fully, etc. etc.

As the evidence for this "syndrome" comes primarily from village societies directly observed by modern anthropologists, there is the issue of whether it can really tell us anything about ancient societies. Among modern authors we have been reading and/or discussing, J. Winkler, D. Cohen, and T. McGinn think it can; S. Treggiari, writing on Roman marriage, has her doubts.

hoplite. Heavy-armed Greek soldier fighting in close formation on land (the "hoplite phalanx"). Sparta was renowned for its hoplites, Athens less so. A hoplite was required to pay for his own weaponry (the "hoplite panoply": shield, helmet, spears, etc.). At Athens, the wealthier and middle classes — i.e., mostly large landowners and middling farmers — fought in the ranks of the hoplites. The hoplites could therefore be regarded as a political-economic interest group, heavily invested in the well-being and territorial integrity of the polis. Since hoplite warfare promoted coordinated maneuvers over individualism, hoplite warfare could become a metaphor for civic solidarity.

Really wealthy citizens with income to own a horse might qualify to join the cavalry (hippeis, "knights"), though they fought with the hoplites, too. The poor, excluded from the ranks of the hoplites, were paid to row the ships and to fight on land among the light-armed auxiliaries, the "peltasts" (see thetes).

hubris. Greek: "insult," "arrogance," outrageous treatment or humiliating treatment." In high school English class we learn that hubris is "pride." In classical Athens, hubris was any action that infringed on the dignity of another — it could include giving someone a beating in public.

Hubris could describe various sexual infractions. Rape was hubris because it violated the dignity of the victim. To prostitute a citizen man or woman — or oneself — was hubris for similar reasons. Aeschines in Against Timarchus alleges that Timarchus, by prostituting himself, committed hubris against himself. Compare here the Roman concept of stuprum.

ideology. As a term, "ideology" is often used simply to denigrate — as subjective, as self-centered, as manipulative — systems of thought with which one disagrees. In Althusser's Marxist-Lacanian view, ideology is one's "imaginary relationship to [one's] real conditions of existence." Ideology is a kind of music summoning us to (prefabricated) identities, a musca helping to perpetuate social-economic-political systems. Ideology legitimizes and orders that which seems vulnerable to contradiction and chaos. Thus the work that ideology is meant to do betrays the misgivings ideology masks.

Ilium. = Troy.

imaginary. The mental register within which the self is visualized in relation to things and people that make up one's world — where, for instance, men visualize their maleness in relation to ideals of maleness and counter-examples of anti-masculinity; so, too, where individuals visualize themselves "in relation to their real conditions of existence" (Althusser). Close your eyes: how do you visualize yourself, especially in relation whatever is, somehow, not you, not like you? The imaginary is where self-image shapes itself in relation to the perceived environment.

Further, if one accepts the imagination as a site for ideology to shape the subject, then one can even speak in terms of a shared imaginary — the classical Athenian male imaginary, say.

infamia. Latin for the quality or condition of being infamis. I.e., one who is infamis ("disgraced") will also be marked with infamia ("disgrace"). See further infamis.

infamis. Latin: "infamous," i.e., disgraced. Certain professions at Rome garnered infamia, including those of gladiator, prostitute, actor, pimp/procuress. Under the Augustan marriage legislation, adulteresses could also find themselves marked with infamia, as could the complaisant husband of an adulteress.

ingroup. A term borrowed from social psychology, it refers to those groups (family, religion, ethnicity, race) that a given individual belongs to or is perceived as belonging to. Contrast "outgroup."

intercrural. A term that means "between the legs," i.e., male-male intercourse where penetration happens from the front and between the legs of the passive partner. The term is used to decribe Greek vase painting scenes where we see intercourse happening like that. The theory is that the penetrator thus shields the passive partner from the indignity of anal penetration — a strategy, in other words, of honorable pederasty.

intestabilis. Latin for forbidden to draw up a will.

invidia. Latin: an intent "looking at" — "envy" or the "evil eye." Curiosity (curiositas), which the Romans regarded as something bad, kindled desire, desire kindled invidia, the malevolent stare of the envious. But that stare, dangerous though it was for the object of envy, could also deplete and enfeeble the envier. See also fascinum, "scopophile."

Io. See Isis.

Isis. Isis and Io: Greek Io, transformed into a cow, was chased by Hera-Juno's gadfly to Egypt where Zeus-Jupiter impregnated her with the mere touch of a hand. The Greeks and Romans often identified Io with Isis, a fertility-mother goddess often represented with cow horns or as a cow. The worship of Isis in association with Sarapis (Serapis) became extremely popular throughout the Mediterranean during Roman times. Thus Isis had major temples in Rome and near Corinth, as in Apuleius. In association with Osiris (a god of resurrection) and Sarapis (a form of Osiris), Isis was an object of mystery cult. Isis was also considered a protector of ships (as in both Petronius and Apuleius).

isomorphism. See asymmetry.

kalos inscription. In ancient Greek culture, an inscription like the following: Hipparkhos kalos, Greek for "Hipparchus is beautiful." I.e., Hipparchus is sexually attractive. Kalos inscriptions could be found as graffiti on walls and doors, painted on vases, etc. If I write (on a pot, wall, cliff face, etc. etc.) "X is beautiful," I am in effect saying "I love/feel eros for X."

Kalos inscriptions, often found on vase paintings, represent a kind of public statement most closely associated with pederasty. They are often found on vases. On one vase, dating from about 465 BCE, a pair of kalos inscriptions are strikingly associated with a pair of apparent newlyweds. See the Art 1 PowerPoint.

kalok'agathia. In ancient Greek culture, the quality of being a kalos k'agathos, which see.

kalos k'agathos. Greek, a label of commendation, it can be translated "fine and noble," a "man of quality," "top-drawer," a "gentleman." (The plural is kaloi k'agathoi. The quality possessed by such men is kalok'agathia.)

Earlier on and throughout, this phrase designated the male members of the Athenian upper classes. But, starting in the later 400s, it could also refer to any male Athenian citizen, but still by way of emphasizing his (supposedly) aristocratic qualities. In other words, the sovereign demos as a whole as a quasi-elite class.

The values of kalok'agathia (good breeding, gentlemanly behavior) were supposed to inform the practice of the higher sort of pederasty.

katapugon. Greek: "taking it down the buttocks," anally penetrated.

kharis. Greek. Attractiveness, allure, charm (erotic and otherwise), grace, gratitude, favor, popularity (including political), pleasure. In pederasty, means especially the sexual favors offered by beloved to lover, his "gratitude" for the lover's "kindness."

kinaidia, kinaidos. Greek. kinaidia: male sexual passivity. kinaidos: one who engages in kinaidia.

koinonia. "Partnership," a "sharing," "community."

koinonos. "Partner," "sharer."

kurios. Greek for someone possessing power, authority, mastery. In Athenian family law, a legal guardian, a man with authority over minors in his care. That will include cititzen-women. Thus the father is kurios of his unmarried daughters; the husband of his wife. Citizen-women in classical Athens were thus treated as what we'd think of as perpetual minors.

Kypris. = Aphrodite. See further.

leno, lenocinium. Leno is Latin for male pimp (female "madam," "procuress" = lena). Lenocinium is the practice of pimping (or of "madaming").

lex. Plural leges, Latin: "law" enacted by vote of the Roman people (not by the senate). Contrast senatus consultum.

lex iulia de adulteriis coercendis. ("Julian [i.e., Augustan] law concerning the punishment of adultery," 18 BCE.) Legislation of which Augustus was the author, it provided that an adulterous wife and her lover be punished by relegation to an island (separate islands for each); the convicted wife could not remarry and was assigned to the status of prostitute. It was the injured husband's responsibility to prosecute; husbands failing to do so were liable to prosecution for pimping their wives (lenocinium).

lex iulia et papia. Thus do ancient Roman jurists in their writings refer to what were originally two laws: the lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus ("Julian [i.e., Augustan] legislation concerning marriage and rank," 18 BCE), and the lex Papia Poppaea (law proposed by the suffect consuls of 9 CE, though on the urging of Augustus), in other words, Augustus' marriage legislation dealing with who could marry whom (lex Iulia etc.) and the privileges and liabilities accruing to citizens who either will or won't have produced a certain minimum number of legitimate children. Most citizens could marry freed slaves under this legislation, but persons of senatorial rank (i.e., the political elite) were forbidden to. This legislation further outlawed marriage between free persons and persons marked by infamia: prostitutes, actors, gladiators, etc. It also regulated marriage between close blood relatives. This legislation further entitled the parents of three or more legitimate Roman children to additional privileges (ius trium liberorum): for the mother, freedom from guardianship (tutela); for the father, preferential treatment in the awarding of political offices like the consulship. (Privileges also accrued to freed slaves with four or more children.)

lex scantinia. A law reportedly enacted in 149 BCE (i.e., mid-late Republic), it was, according to C. Williams, originally intended to address stuprum "as a whole" (RH 120), i.e., against protected persons generally: legal minors (male or female) of citizen status, citizen women (unwed daughters, wives), and so on. This law perhaps also prosecuted citizens, male or female, alleged to have allowed themselves to be sexually compromised. That, it seems, will have included homoerotic penetration. (Compare Laronia's speech in Juvenal's Sixth Satire.) Still, evidence like that provided by Catullus (poems 24 and 48) suggests that Romans at some level could have at least tolerated (??) pederastic liaisons (but with full sexual consummation?) with freeborn citizen youths.

libido. Latin: lust, desire. Compare amor, cupido, eros.

lupa, lupanar . See meretrix.

malakia. Greek: "softness," "effeminacy," opposite of andreia.

manus. Latin: literally "hand." Manus means the sovereign-like power of a husband over his wife, such that she was regarded as kin subordinate to him, and her property as his. Marriage accompanied by manus (cum manu, "with hand") came to be quite rare, an important fact. It could occur in only three ways:

  1. usus, where the wife spent every night without the trinoctium (three-night interruption) in her husband's house for an entire year.
  2. coemptio, where the paterfamilias of the bride ritually "sold" her to her prospective husband (the sale itself a legal fiction). It may have been specifically in connection with coemptio that the bride, when being carried over the threshold of the groom's house, would utter the formula, Ubi tu Gaius, ego Gaia, perhaps "Just as you're my Guy I'm your Gal," or some such.
  3. confarreatio, a form of marriage probably reserved for aristocrats (perhaps only patricians, a very special and archaic variety of Roman aristocrat) involving witnesses, religious ceremony, and the pontifex maximus (high priest in the Roman state religion) and flamen dialis (priest of Capitoline Jupiter). High-ranking priests could be married only by this method.

Ordinarily, however, marriage was sine manu, "without hand," i.e., the wife remained a member of her father's family and under their power. By the time of the late Republic, marriage cum manu was mostly obsolete.

maritus. Latin for "husband."

materfamilas. In Roman culture, this was wife of a paterfamilias, though the word seems more often to have designated any woman (free-born or freed) party to a legitimate Roman marriage, with reference to her being a respectable wife of good character. Though the materfamilias possessed no power per se, by virtue of her position, she possessed matria auctoritas.

matria auctoritas. Latin: "maternal authority," the influence and authority (but not power, potestas) exercised by a materfamilias over her family, by virtue of the respect accorded her. A category virtually created by the Augustan marriage legislation.

matrimonium. Latin: "marriage" (from mater, "mother"; compare English "matrimony") in the sense of its involving a Roman woman tasked with bearing legitimate Roman children. The Romans understood marriage as, fundamentally, the giving of a wife to a husband "for the purpose of getting children, liberorum quaerundorum causa" (Treggiari 8). As Treggiari states, "It was necessary for the state that citizens should marry and produce new citizens" (8-9).

For a marriage to be recognized as legitimate under Roman law (as iustum matrimonium), all that was required was the that each of the partners possess the right to marry the other (conubium, see below) and evidence of intent or will to live in matrimony, what the Roman sources call mens matrimonii, which in practice was close to maritalis affectio (marital affection). No formal contract needed to be drawn up, no religious or legal ceremony had to be performed (except in the unusual case of coemptio or confarreatio). Says Ulpian, "It is not sexual intercourse which makes a marriage, but maritalis affectio" (translated Treggiari 54). Marriage legally happened when consent was exchanged between bride and groom.

matrona. Latin: a respectable married Roman woman. The long upper garment characteristic of the well-to-do matrona was the stola.

meretrix. Latin: "wage-earning woman," i.e., prostitute. Compare/contrast scortum, a more vulgar term ("whore"), and one which could be used of a man or woman.

Another Latin term for prostitute was lupa, "she-wolf"; note also lupanar, "brothel."

The empress Messalina, reputed to have played at being a prostitute, supposedly took the name Lycisca, Latinized Greek for "Wolfette." In Daphnis and Chloe, the married woman who initiates Daphnis into the mysteries of love is called Lycaenion, which means more or less the same thing.

The characteristic garment of the prostitute was the toga.

metic. Greek metoikos. A "resident foreigner," like someone with a green card. At Athens, as typically elsewhere, metics were free and had some rights, but were recognized to be of lower status than citizens (though some metics could be quite wealthy), and could not own land. Metics had to register with the deme where they resided, and often were craftsmen, tradesmen, and merchants. Metics were also required to fight in the army.

Mithras. Originally an Indo-Persian god, Mithras was the object of widely practiced mystery cult in Roman times.

moikheia. Ancient Greek for "adultery."

mollis. Latin: "soft"; to describe a man, "effeminate." Compare pathicus, cinaedus.

mos maiorum. Latin: the "way of the ancestors," i.e., traditional Roman morality, traditions stabilizing socially defining values. For the Romans, the mos maiorum constructed an "Us" out of notions of an inherited morality. It can, therefore, be approached as an instance of a functionally constructed reality (see "functional constructionism").

mulier. Latin for "woman," mulier differs in meaning from femina in that it often refers to women's social-sexual roles in marriage, the family, etc. Hence it could be said to connote gender associations more than biological sex.

mystery cult. In some ways like a fraterninity or the Masons, mystery cult involved initiation rituals, secret knowledge, and, typically, belief in a blessed eternal life for initiates. In Roman times, the mysteries of Isis and Mithras were widely practised.

normative. Of or having to do with norms, "yardticks" of the normal. That which is normative defines normal, or approved, patterns of behaving and being — say, the "rulebook" for "normal" gender- or sex-related patterns in conventional American society. See also discourse.

nupta. Latin for a married (as opposed to unmarried) woman.

nutpiae. Derived from a word that originally meant "veiling" (nubere), nuptiae referred to the wedding itself, which involved (among other things) the deductio.

oikia. Ancient Greek for "house," i.e., a structure used as a person's or family's home.

oikonomia. "Household management," from oikos, "house," and nomos "law," "custom."

oikos. Ancient Greek for "house " or "home" in a broad range of senses, including that of "family" or "family property."

oligarchy. oligarkhia in Greek = "power in the hands of the few," i.e., of a birth-elite (aristocracy) or wealth-elite (plutocracy).

Omphale. Mythical queen of Lydia in Asia Minor (i.e., Turkey), she got to own Heracles/Hercules as a slave for a given term (in most sources, a year) — that to punish him for a murder he'd committed. Sold to Omphale, Heracles was put to work at women's jobs; he was even forced to exchange clothes with her. The two are also said to have had sexual relations.

The feminization of Heracles by an Asiatic queen recalls the myth of Cybele and Attis.

oneiros. In Artemidorus' Greek, a dream portending future events. Thus when the sleeper wakes up, the oneiros, a specialized form of enupnion (dream vision), excites "the soul by inducing active undertakings" (Artemidorus pp. 14-15).

os impurum. Latin: "impure mouth," i.e., a mouth that has been used for sex. Such a mouth will have been regarded as polluted and thus rendered unsuitable for functions like speaking in public.

ourania, Uranian. In Greek, "Heavenly"; among other things, a title of Aphrodite. The Heavenly Aphrodite Pausanias in Plato's Symposium presents as goddess of spritual love between man and boy. With her he associates a "Heavenly" Eros. Contrast Aphrodite Pandemos.

outgroup. A term borrowed from social psychology, it refers to that group or groups to which an individual does not belong, or is perceived as not belonging. Contrast "ingroup."

paidika. Refering to male beloved (eromenos) it means "darling," maybe "boyfriend."

pais. Greek for "child," female or male. Among other things, pais can refer to the junior-status beloved (eromenos, paidika), not necessarily a child, in a pederastic relationship.

pallake. Greek for "concubine," ordinarily, an unfree woman "kept" by a man for the purpose of intercourse and, apparently (Athenian law on homicide) the production of free (though at Athens, post 451, not citizen) children. A slave prostitute, if purchased by a man for his exclusive use, can be understood to be a pallake. Contrast hetaira, porne.

Pandemos, Pandemian. A title of Aphrodite. In Plato's Symposium (which see, with study guide), Pausanias presents Aphrodite Pandemos as the "Common" or "Vulgar" Aphrodite, i.e., as goddess of carnal lust. With her he associates a "Common" Eros. Contrast Aphrodite Ourania.

Pan-Mediterranean hypothesis. See "honor-shame syndrome."

pater familias. The "patriarch" or "head of household," i.e., the eldest living free citizen male ascendant in a Roman family — one's father, grandfather, etc., i.e., the oldest among them who was still alive, if any of them were still alive. By virtue of his position, the paterfamilias possessed patria potestas.

pathicus. Latin (from Greek): "sexually passive." Compare cinaedus, mollis.

patria potestas. In Roman culture and law, the (in theory) absolute power, including the power of life and death (ius vitae necisque), wielded by a paterfamilias over his familia and all that they had. A Roman man or woman, married or not, and however prominent or powerful in his or her own right, remained under patria potestas so long as she or he had a male ascendant over him/her. (A woman married cum manu will have been under the jurisdiction of her husband's paterfamilias.) When that ceased to be the case, the individual became autonomous, or sui iuris, though a woman would then come under the tutela, the guardianship, of a male kinsman. When the patriarch died, or when he had released a son through the procedure of emancipatio, the son so released would then find himself automatically the head (paterfamilias) of his own household.

In practice, patresfamilias (plural) seem to have exercised their power only with great discretion. So, for instance, corporal punishment, though OK for slaves, was not OK to inflict on one's free-born children (i.e., it was slavish). If the family faced an important decision, usually a family council would be convened. In other words, the paterfamilas would be expected not to lord over his family despotically.

pederasty. From pais "younger person" + eros "desire," "love." The relationship between an older male erastes and a younger male eromenos. The relationship was symmetrical in that both parties were expected to feel affection (philia) for the other, but asymmetrical in that the older lover was dominant, the younger, subordinate. Eros (sexual desire) was to be felt only by the erastes. Cf. eros.

pedicare, pedcator. Latin. pedicare: "to penetrate anally." pedicator: a man who does so.

peithein. Greek: "to persuade" — i.e., the verb form of peitho.

peitho. "Persuasion/persuasiveness" in various senses (verbal persuasion, eloquence, erotic seduction/seductiveness, bribery, etc. etc.), or the state of "conviction" (believing something) that is produced in a person. Also "obedience." Capitalized, "Peitho" refers to the goddess (or personification) "Persuasion." Cf. peithein.

Peloponnesian War. Sparta and its allies trying to end Athens' empire. 431-404 BCE. Sparta eventually won, but Athens eventually bounced back.

philia. Greek. Affection, love, friendship etc. Cf. Latin amicitia.

philia — affection, not exploitation, between erastes and eromenos — was considered to be a key component of respectable pederasty.

philos. Greek. Dear one, friend, etc. See philia. Cf. Latin amicus/amica.

phusis. Greek: "nature" (root of "physics"), either the nature of an individual entity or of all entities as a whole (the "nature" of the universe, or just "nature"). With the sophists, phusis arguably came to mean something resembling the-way-things-are-irrespective-of-human-subject. Some modern scholars interpret this as a sophistic precursor to the notion of viewing reality from an essentialist perspective. Cf. nomos.

kata phusin means "in accordance with nature," "natural," para phusin means "contrary to nature," "unnatural."

polis. Greek. A Greek city state (a city plus surrounding countryside). Athens was a polis consisting of the city of Athens itself, and the region of Attica. The polis was the principal political unit in archaic and classical Greece. Cf. Latin urbs.

politeia. Citizenship, statehood, constitution. Cf. citizen, Latin cives.

polites. See citizen.

pornography. A number of feminists define pornography as imagery (whether graphic, verbal, or otherwise) that sexually objectifies women, thereby conditioning misogynistic patterns among male consumers of pornography.

Robert Sutton, in "Pornography and Persuasion on Attic Pottery" (Richlin, ed., Pornography and Representation, pp. 3-35), also approaches pornography as social conditioning. Developing what he calls the "Peitho model" (after the Greek goddess of persuasion), he argues that much classical Athenian vase painting projects socially approved patterns for the Athenian consumer — a sexually appealing way for men to be men and women to be women in democratic Athens. Thus images on vases produced in Athens under the radical democracy (mid to later 400s BCE) increasingly projected an image of sexuality and gender employed "productively," i.e., for the betterment of the community: marriage and legitimate procreation. Does that mean Athenians had forgotten about pederasty and prostitution, supposedly "unproductive" forms of sex? I don't think so . . . .

Interesting here is that pornography begins to sound a lot like advertising, which itself strongly suggests the construction of identities and subjectivities à la Althusser, what he calls interpellation ("summoning"). Pornography-advertising thus becomes anything that attractively channels to us ideologies summoning us to assume this or that social identity (see further gender performative and ideology).

(The term "pornography" derives from Greek pornographia: writing about pornai, "prostitutes.")

pornos/porne. Greek. Male or female "whore." In contrast to hetaira, a porne (female low-class prostitute) emphasized publicity (i.e., showing oneself prominently in public — frowned upon for women), commodity (the word porne comes from the Greek "to buy"), and anonymity (one didn't form an emotional attachment to a porne or pornos). Any pornos or porne will likely not have been a ctizen. Cf. Latin scortum.

porneia is the practice of (low-class) prostitution. Contrast hetaira, pallake.

pothos. Greek "longing," "the pang of absence," "desire."

praetor. One of several officials administering the laws of Rome.

Priapus. Pronounced "Prī-Ā-pus," accent on second syllable. Originally from Asia Minor, Priapus was a god popular at Rome. His main emblem was his large phallus. Images of him were used as scarecrows, i.e., to scare away intruders — sort of like a herm placed in a field. He was also a god of fertility, sexual potency, and prosperity.

primary source. A text or artifact offering the student or scholar a primary object of study. So, for instance, if you are writing about the Declaration of Independence, the document itself is a primary source, a book about the declaration is a secondary source. For this class, ancient texts and artiffacts will count primary sources, modern discussions thereof, as secondary sources.

problematic. As a noun, "problematic" means more than "problem." A problematic is the collection of contradictions masked by a given discursive or ideological formation. The "problematic" of the code of chivalry is the subjection and objectification of women — how the chivalric code masks all that behind the image of the woman on the pedastal, etc. Critical, "symptomatic" reading involves looking into the problematic a given text presents in terms of the ideologies manifested therein.

problematize. To explore the probmatic presented by a given cultural or intellectual artifact (texts, etc.), ideology, discursive formation, etc. Thus Foucault problematizes sexuality. He refuses to take it at face value; rather, he wants to explore its ideological underpinnings, the story behind the story.

The term can also refer to the ways in which texts, cultural formations, etc. make "problems" for themselves, i.e., manifest structural flaws within ideologies shaping them. ("Honorable or respectable pederasty is problematized by its inherent asymmetry.")

pudicitia. Latin: chastity, sexual virtue or continence, sexual purity. Contrast stuprum.

puer. Latin for "boy," in Petronius' Satyricon, it refers to Giton in the capacity of the beloved (compare Greek pais, paidika, eromenos) of both Encolpius and Ascyltus.

puella. Latin: "girl." In Latin love poetry, puella refers to what we'd call a "girl friend" or "mistress," whether or not adulterous, whether or not an officially off-limits cititizen woman, whether or not a prostitute. To Catullus, his Lesbia is a puella; Ovid instructs male readers in the art of getting a puella (Art of Love). Sulpicia refers to herself as the puella of her beloved "Cerinthus."

Pythian. = Apollo as god of the Delphic Oracle.

Pytho. = Delphi.

relativism. The idea that external reality is not uniform for everyone, but can vary depending on the individual perceiver and her/his point of view, etc.

rhetor. Speaker, orator, assembly politician.

rhetoric. (rhetorike tekhne, "the art appropriate to the rhetor.) The art of speaking and writing; the art of producing persuasive or effective discourse (logos). Cf. sophistic.

satyr/silen. A satyr or silen (for our purposes, the same thing) is a quasi-divine, mythological creature, mostly human in form, but often with the ears, eyes, nose, or hoofs of a horse or goat. (The centaur, with its lower half a horse, upper half human, is something different.) Cowardly by nature, grotesque in appearnace, fond of drink, and often sexually aroused, satyrs/silens exemplify intemperance — what Foucault might term the misuse of pleasure.

It is, therefore, deeply ironic that Socrates, the perfect embodiment of temperance (sophrosune), was thought to present the spitting image of a satyr (snub nose, bulgy eyes, squat build, round belly). In Plato's Symposium, Alcibiades, something of a satyr himself, compares Socrates to a satyr statuette that opens up to reveal divinity within. The Satyricon, by which Roman Petronius' novel is known, comes from the Greek saturikon, "(book) of satyr-like exploits."

Note that the term satyr is totally unrealted to the literary genre, "satire."

scopophile, scopophilic, scopophilia. "Scopophile": a "voyeur" or "spectator," one who likes to watch. "Scopophilic": "voyeuristic." "Scopophilia": "voyeurism," addiction to watching. This term has bearing on Roman culture, which virtually by its own admission was scopophilic. So in Ovid's Art of Love, the poet says of women attending the theater, "As spectators they come, come to be inspected." They attend both to "scope out" the guys and to be "scoped out." Rome itself and other cities in the empire mounted all manner of spectacles — plays; pantomimes; dance; gladiatorial combats; public, often highly theatrical executions; staged battles, including naval combats; staged hunts; chariot races — attended by rich and poor alike.

All of this has, obviously, to do with the gaze, which can both empower and enfeeble viewer and viewed. In addition to Ovid, other works, other phenomena tie into scopophilia and the Roman gaze:

  • the Satyricon, where Quartilla and Encolpius watch the deflowering of Pannychis, where Trimalchio's party is one, vast spectacle, at once fascinating and nauseating
  • the Golden Ass, where Thyasus sets up peep shows involving Lucius the donkey and human sexual partners
  • invidia, the envious, malevolent gaze, the evil eye as, for instance, in Catullus 5
  • fascinum, anything beautiful or grotesque that draws and captivates the gaze, that which "fascinates" or casts a spell (e.g., Ascyltus' prodigious anatomy visible to all in the bath in Satyricon)

scortum. Latin for "whore," "prostitute." Could be used of a man or woman. Compare/contrast meretrix.

secondary source. Not a primary object of study, but a book/article/etc. about a primary object of study. More under "primary source."

senate, senator. The senators (i.e., city "elders") formed a council of ex-officials at Rome. Their decrees could carry the force of law. Under the emperors, their power was much reduced.

SPQR = senatus populusque Romanus, "the Senate and People of Rome," i.e., the Roman state.

senatus consultum. Latin: "decree" or "directive" issued by the Roman Senate. Can have the force of law, though technically, not a law. Technically, the Senate was an advisory council, not a legislative body. Constrast lex.

severitas. Latin for uncompromising moral austerity, a quality to be cultivated by the Roman elite male.

sexuality. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "The quality of being sexual or having sex." In Foucault, sexuality acquires a more specific meaning: subjectivity or identity insofar as it has to do with sexual desire. Thus "heterosexual" or "homosexual" becomes more than a pattern of sexual behavior. It is a way of defining what you are, how you fit in, on the basis of your desires.

Foucault holds that sexuality so defined first emerged when the medical and psychiatric professions started charting out areas of normalcy and deviance, and thus started identifying sexual subjects as either normal or deviant. Sexuality becomes, then, a discursive formation (which see) through which power is channeled.

sexual-social isomorphism. See asymmetry.

silen, (silenus). See satyr/silen.

sophrosune. "Moderation," "self-control," "prudence," a slogan used by the later fifth-century oligarchs. Opposite of akolasia, "excess," which the oligarchs liked to think of as a democratic trait.

Sophrosune, in the sense of self-control or "chastity," could also describe a man's refraining from behavior (pleasure addiction, a willingness to be used like a woman sexually) that would compromise his masculinity and public standing.

See also enkrateia.

Sparta. In the classical period, the chief city in the Peloponnese (i.e., in southern Greece), and a city often at odds with Athens. A militarized, closed society, its constitution combined monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. The Spartans were known for the practice of pederasty.

sponsa. Latin: "fiancée," i.e., a girl (usually below the age of 12) betrothed, but not yet fully married, to her intended husband.

sponsalia. Latin: "betrothal," an agreement (usually informal) between two parties that X should marry Y. This will precede the nuptiae.

sponsus. Latin: the intended husband of a sponsa.

stola. The long upper garment characteristic of the Roman matrona.

stuprum. Latin: disgrace, dishonor, but especially, sexual crime. Compare the Greek concept of hubris. Contrast pudicitia. Williams (RH) thinks that stuprum referred to sexual offenses very broadly, and thus included adultery in its purview. Others tend to treat adultery apart from stuprum. See also adulterium, lex scantinia.

subject. The person or individual in relation to

  • what he/she does, how she/he acts, thinks, speaks, etc.
  • what is done to him/her, how she/he is acted upon, is thought about, spoken of, etc.
In the "narrative" that is my life, I am the subject: the one doing all the doing; the locus of feelings, thoughts, experiences. But I am also the center of attention, and therefore an object of attention. I am subject to externals shaping my identity — how others perceive me and how I perceive myself. So subjectivity messes up the self-other distinction. Note, too, how, when I describe a phenomenon subjectively, I impose what is in my head on the (supposedly) external reality. See further "ideology," "imaginary."

symptomatic reading. The effort to read a text critically, with particular attention to the dissonances and contradictions masked by the attempt to harmonize ideological reality to lived reality. See also "problematic," "ideology."

Syrian Goddess. aka Derceto and Atargatis, a composite at least two Near Eastern goddess, Astarte, Anat, and whose worship could closely resemble that of Cybele, the Great Asian Mother of the Gods. Her cult center was in Hieropolis-Bambyce in Syria, where her priests, the Galli (Latin, = Greek Galloi), like those of Cybele, were self-castrated. In Apuleius' Metamorphoses, Lucius seems to find very little to like about those priests. But what is it he doesn't like?

Thesmophoria. All over the ancient Greek world, women celebrated a very important holiday: the Thesmophoria, a celebration honoring Demeter, the earth-mother and goddess of the grain. It was, in other words, a fertility rite through which women fostered the power of the earth to put forth crops. The Thesmophoria involved women and only women. Therefore it could become a site for male fantasy. See the Ladies' Day study guide for more.

toga. Roman (not Greek) garment worn over one's clothes (over the left shoulder and brought around back under the right arm) and in public by:

  • free-born Roman citizen men (the toga virilis)
  • disgraced women (infames), including prositutes, not permitted to wear the stola
The toga praetexta, or toga fringed with purple, was worn by high ranking officials as well as by boys who had not yet reached the age of 17.

tribune. Roman official involved in legislation and political deliberation.

tutor, tutela. Tutor is Latin for "guardian." Compare Greek kurios. Tutela is "guardianship."

uncanny. That which arouses a sense of unease or dread, especially something familiar or otherwise unthreatening that does so. Say you have a very nice, somewhat shy student who always seems to be there when you go out with friends to restaurants, movies, and such. You say to your friends, "That's uncanny....."

According to Freud, "the uncanny," or in German, das Unheimlich, has to do with a man's ambivalence toward woman's sexuality. It is unheimlich, "non-homey," because men feel separated from the womb that was once their home. But it is also a home towards which sexual desire drives heterosexual men.

According to Nancy Rabinowitz (Anxiety Veiled), Alcestis (Euripides' Alcestis), when she returns from the grave, for Admetus embodies all that is uncanny about his wife as a sexual, and thus powerful, being. Rabinowitz's clincher seems to be when Heracles says to his friend, "You look as though you were beheading a Medusa." Medusa was a female figure so monstrous, so scary (fangs, snakes for hair), that if you looked at her you turned to stone. To kill Medusa, Perseus had to use a mirror. Heracles suggests a comparison between Admetus and Perseus, and between Alcestis and Medusa.

See also "fetish."

univira. Derived from Latin for "one" and "husband," univira refers to a woman married to but one husband over the course of her life. A term showing up with some regularity in epitaphs, it clearly expresses a Roman ideal: the "one-husband" wife. Only an univira might sacrifice to Pudicitia (goddess of chastity) or, at a wedding, serve as pronuba (matron of honor) attending the bride. It is rare to find husbands commended for having married only once, though it was generally treated as a good thing. Note, however, that it was more important to the Romans that a citizen man or women produce children than that he or she never remarry.

uxor. Latin for "wife," the usual term.

Venus. Roman goddess of sex, love, fertility, etc. At least one cult of hers carried political resonance: that of Venus Genetrix, "Venus, ancestor of the Roman People" (and of the Julian line). Venus Erycina, a "foreign" (Sicilian) Venus, was worshipped outside the Colline gate (and thus officially outside the city's sacred enclosure) by, among others, prostitutes. Her Greek equivalent is usually taken to be Aphrodite.

vir. Latin for "man" or " 'real' man," i.e., as opposed to male child, woman, effeminate male. It is also the usual word for a husband. It carries, in other words, most of the same associations as Greek aner (andr-).

virtus. Latin: "manliness / courage / virtue."


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