Classical culture and modern masculinity /
Daniel Orrells.
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011.
ix, 301 p. ; 23 cm.
0199236445, 9780199236442
More Details
series title
series title
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographic references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Daniel Orrells examines how the pederastic-pedagogic relationship, as exemplified in Plato's texts, became a site for conceptualizing the nature of the relationship between antiquity and modernity itself: precisely what did the Socratic teacher teach his pupil? What was the relationship between older man and male youth? And how did this relationship inform modern discussions about the relationship between one generation and the next, as well as between ancient and modern worlds? What sort of man did the reading of ancient Greek generate? From the work of Johann Matthias Gesner, the very first professor of philology at Gttingen, to Benjamin Jowett's Oxford, to the Oscar Wilde trials in London, to Sigmund Freud's studies in Vienna, the meaning of ancient Greek desires for modern masculinity is explored and examined.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-03-01:
As German and English scholars sought to solidify the position of classical scholarship in the 18th and 19th centuries, a paradox confronted them. In the modern idealization and emulation of Greek history and culture, how was Greek pederasty to be integrated? If actual or even metaphorical homosexual desire was necessary for the transmission of knowledge, if pederasty is indivisible from pedagogy as suggested by Plato, was a modern study of the practice then required to truly "know" the past? Orrells (Univ. of Warwick, UK) provides a complete analysis of these questions via parallel discussion of the history of classical scholarship and popular attitudes to "Greek love," beginning with the historicist movement in Germany and England through to the works of Wilde, Forster, and Freud. He masterfully explores the impact of this conundrum on both classical pedagogy and the history/philosophy of sexuality, concluding with an insightful analysis of both Foucault's seminal work and Davidson's recent volume on the subject. In the end, an understanding of Greek pederasty is perhaps as elusive as ever, but "the relationship between ancient texts and modern desiring selves" is demonstrably clearer. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers/faculty. G. S. Gessert Hood College
Review Quotes
"An in-depth look at the debate over ancient Greece's most controversial legacy."--Charles Green,The Gay & Lesbian Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
The texts, ideas, images, and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome have always been crucial to attempts to appropriate the past in order to authenticate the present. They underlie the mapping of change and the assertion and challenging of values and identities, old and new. Classical Presences brings the latest scholarship to bear on the contexts, theory, and practice of such use, and abuse, of the classical past.
Long Description
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, andculture. 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 investedin a model of history that directly traced the European present back to an ancient Greek past, negotiated the tricky issue of ancient Greek pederasty.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. viii
Introduction: Knowledge and Desire, Ancient and Modernp. 1
Paiderastia and the Contexts of German Historicismp. 52
Translating the Love of Philosophy: Jowett and Pater on Platop. 97
The Case of John Addington Symondsp. 146
Trying Greek Love: Oscar Wilde and E. M. Forster's Mauricep. 185
Freud and the History of Masculinity: Between Oedipus and Narcissusp. 235
Conclusion: The Truth of Eros and the Eros for Truthp. 266
Referencesp. 275
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem