The ancient Greeks were unfamiliar with modern concepts of alcoholism, but they were well aware of self-destructive drinking and the effects of habitual drunkenness. In the Odyssey, *Homer makes a ...
The ancient Greeks were unfamiliar with modern concepts of alcoholism, but they were well aware of self-destructive drinking and the effects of habitual drunkenness. In the Odyssey, *Homer makes a speaker note that wine is a bane to those who drink it excessively, and identify overindulgence as the cause of the *Centaur Eurytion's vile behaviour (21. 293–8). In *Hades, Homer's Elpenor admits that heavy drinking was a key factor in his fatal plunge from *Circe's roof (Od. 11. 61). *Pythagoras (1) is credited with the dictum that drinking to achieve drunkenness is a training-ground for madness, and he advises drunkards to take an unflinching look at their inebriate behaviour if they wish to alter it (Stob. Flor. 3. 18. 23, 33). In the Republic, *Plato (1) writes about men who welcome any excuse to drink whatever wine is available (475a). *Aristotle's treatise On Drunkenness has been lost, but his extant works confirm an abiding interest in wine's pernicious effects.Less
The study of inscriptions engraved on stone or metal in Greek letters. Coin-legends (see coinage, greek) are for the numismatist, whereas painted mummy-labels and ink-written texts on *ostraca, ...
The study of inscriptions engraved on stone or metal in Greek letters. Coin-legends (see coinage, greek) are for the numismatist, whereas painted mummy-labels and ink-written texts on *ostraca, especially popular in Egypt, are the realm of the papyrologist; inscriptions painted or incised on vases and pottery (see pottery (greek), inscriptions on) are the combined prey of vase-experts and epigraphists.1 (Superscript figures refer to the bibliographical notes at the end of the article.) Interest in inscriptions is not a modern phenomenon; already in antiquity people studied specific inscriptions. In the early 3rd cent. bce*Craterus (2) published a collection of decrees (Ψηφισμάτων συναγωγή); a hundred years later *Polemon (3) of Ilium received the nickname στηλοκόπας (‘tablet-glutton’) for his fanatical attention to inscriptions. With the Renaissance, interest in antiquities went hand in hand with admiration for the ancient literary inheritance. With Cyriacus of Ancona there began a long series of travelling scholars, who in their notebooks produced beautiful descriptions and drawings of ancient sites and the inscriptions on them. Initially, inscriptions tended to be disregarded or even despised by the champions of the revered literary sources; but when the latter came under the attack of Cartesian rationalism and Pyrrhonian scepticism, epigraphical shares increased in value on the historical stock exchange:2 inscriptions were authentic and direct and could not be disqualified as forgeries or highly biased accounts.Less
In ancient Greece and Rome, masturbation was viewed with good-humored disdain. Although it was not apparently subject to the same kinds of scathing attacks that Greek comedy makes on male same-sex ...
In ancient Greece and Rome, masturbation was viewed with good-humored disdain. Although it was not apparently subject to the same kinds of scathing attacks that Greek comedy makes on male same-sex activity, it was certainly connected with a lack of sophistication. In line with sexual subjects in general, references are found primarily in Greek comedy and sympotic art of the Archaic and Classical periods, where it is typically associated with barbarians, slaves, and satyrs, all of whom fall into the category of the “Other,” or the anti-ideal. All were deemed lacking in sophrosyne (“moderation”) and enkratia (“self-control”) and were associated with uncivilized behavior. The Greeks had a varied terminology for masturbation. The most commonly found verb is dephesthai (“to soften”), but several other words and euphemisms were used (e.g. cheirourgon, “self-stimulation”).1The comedies of Aristophanes (1) provide the majority of references to masturbation and largely associate it with slaves. The lengthiest reference is a joke that occurs near the beginning of Knights, when Slave B tells Slave A to masturbate in order to give himself courage.Less