Classical Culture and Modern Masculinity

ISBN : 9780199236442

Daniel Orrells
312 Pages
145 x 220 mm
Pub date
Jun 2011
Classical Presences
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Since the middle of the eighteenth century, the classical world has been seen as foundational and exemplary to Western civilization. However, the Greeks never invaded and colonised western and northern Europe the way the Romans did, and, conversely, Greece was a difficult place to reach for modern travellers well into the nineteenth century. Inevitably, therefore, the links with ancient Greece were a product of the imagination: an exemplary civilization, in its politics, arts, and culture. There was one problem, however: the Greeks, it seemed, enjoyed pederastic relations. And not only this: one of Athens' most famous teachers, Socrates, was attracted to boys. Daniel Orrells offers a fresh, original examination of how modern thinkers in Germany and Britain, who were so invested in a model of history that directly traced the European present back to an ancient Greek past, negotiated the tricky issue of ancient Greek pederasty.


1. Paiderastia and the Contexts of German Historicism
2. Translating the Love of Philosophy: Jowett and Pater on Plato
3. The Bewildering Case of John Addington Symonds
4. Trying Greek Love: Oscar Wilde and E. M. Forster's Maurice
5. Freud and the History of Masculinity: Between Oedipus and Narcissus
Conclusion: The Truth of Eros and the Eros for Truth

About the author: 

Daniel Orrells, Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick

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