Though the issue of Greek homosexuality has been the subject of extensive research and debate in recent years, Kenneth Dover's 1978 GREEK HOMOSEXUALITY remains the most recent single-volume treatment of the subject as a whole. Drawing on fifteen years of ensuing research, James Davidson rejects Dover's excessively theoretical approach, using a wide variety of sources unknown to him - court cases, romantic novels, satirical plays and poems - to present a view of the subject that, in contrast to Dover and to Foucault, stresses the humanity of the ancient Greeks, and how they lived their loves and pleasures, rather than their moral codes and the theorising of philosophers.
Homosexuality in Ancient Greece remains a central area of debate in the classics, in ancient history and lesbian and gay studies. Greek civilisation centrally underpins our own, providing a basis of so much of the west's culture and philosophy, yet the Greeks were more tolerant of homosexuality than virtually any other culture, certainly than the western civilisations that followed. The extent to which Greek attitudes to sexuality and in particular their privileging of 'Greek Love' were comparable and different to our own underlies the continuing debate over the formation of sexuality (is it natural or cultural?) as well as, both then and in our own time, the much wider question of the roles of nature and nurture in the formation of human behaviour and personality.
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This is an excellent book on an important subject. (Oswyn Murray LITERARY REVIEW)
a picture of sexuality among the ancient Greeks which is both familiar in some respects and radically new... with witty diversions... quite an achievement (Joan Smith THE INDEPENDENT)
an impressive study stuffed with juicy tidbits and meaty detail ( BOYZ)
a long haul over strange terrain, spiky with fragments and pulsating with beautiful ghosts¿ massive work of research, reflection and surprise ( DAILY TELEGRAPH)
a highly erudite work of social and cultural history, astonishingly wide-ranging¿ an extraordinary achievement, ranging far and wide¿ unpredictable and lateral-thinking¿ superb¿ (Oliver Taplin THE GUARDIAN)
Massively informed and informative ... vital and outstanding study. ( THE SPECTATOR)
James Davidson's revisionist account emerges with winning charm from the bloodshed... a landmark in gay studies (Tom Cameron TIME OUT)
will be read by many people, and I predict a riot... real brilliance, and it is written throughout with flair and passion (Simon Goldhill THES)
fascinating, funny, decidedly comprehensive... entertaining and discursive ( GAY COMMUNITY NEWS)
By turns lyrical, analytic and militant, this is a magnificently personal and self-reflexive book... (Catharine Edwards TLS)
Davidson, with his wit, range and learning is able to admit honestly the limitations of historical understanding, while never being less than fascinating. (Christopher Hart THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
provocative and enthralling... fascinating and perplexing. ( QX INTERNATIONAL)
A radical reappraisal of homosexuality in Ancient Greece, the first full-scale book on the subject in English since 1978, by a young historian described as 'the best thing to happen to ancient history for decades' (Andrew Roberts, MAIL ON SUNDAY)
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Descrizione libro Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0297819976