DYNAMICS OF DESIRE: GIFT GIVING AND RECIPROCITY IN ANCIENT GREEK HOMOEROTIC COURTSHIP COURTSHIP
AbstractThe article addresses the problem of reciprocity in homoerotic relationships in classical Athens. According to the more traditional approach, the pecking ord er model ’’, these typically asymmetrical relationships almost inevitably involved humiliation of one of the partners, who literally or metaphorically assumed a passive and therefore 'unmanly' role. Although more recent studies tend to underline the artificial character of these scholarly reconstructions, they still fail to account for the nuances of ancient homoerotic courtship. I argue that some sources often used by scholars as reflecting negative attitudes towards homoeroticism may actually testify to the existence of very clear rules of highly valued and praised behaviours of passive partners. These rules formed an implicit 'grammar' of social actions but were never explicitly codified.
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