|only_gremo (only_gremo) wrote in slashy_hotness,|
@ 2007-10-29 15:46:00
|Current music:||Carry On My Wayward Son - Kansas|
|Entry tags:||discourse: book, discourse: film, historical|
Homosexuality in ancient Greece Part II
It’s already been a while since my last entry about homosexuality in ancient Greece. Last time I talked about the reasons and origins of homesexuality in Greek culture. This time I’ll once again stick to the information given in the Eva Cantarella’s book and tell you something about the Homeric poems, especially the Iliad.
Before reading the text I didn’t know, that there had been a "Greek Dark Age" in history. The Dark Ages apparently is the time span between 12th and 18th century BC. The time before is the time of Mycenaen civilisation, the time after is the period of the organized polis system. Must have been really dark ages, because I did hear about both periods in my history lessons, but never of a time in between. Okay, my history teacher was crap, but that’s not the point here.
So, what about the Homeric Poems. I guess anybody at least heard about Homer’s two greatest works: The Iliad and the Odyssey.
The protagonists (as far as you can call them that) are male warriors, bound to their companions by the feelings of friendship and trust. There are many speculations on wether Homer wanted to describe homosexuality in his works or not. It’s like fandom speculations about canon, fanon and subtext (See, Homer’s works are not at all out of fashion).
What I would call the most obvious canon pairing in Homer’s works is Achilles/Patroclus (Iliad). On the one hand you could argue that they are just close friends fighting side by side in a consuming war. On the other hand though, you can see that they have deeper feelings for each other than just a friendship. There are some evidences for their love: Achilles is not married to a wife, although he has already reached the age when Greek men follow their role as family father. His deep feelings for Patroclus let him neglect his social obligations. Also in the story of the Iliad, Patroclus is killed by Hector. When the information of his death reaches Achilles, he is outraged. He vows vengeance and mourns for Patroclus. And with mourning I mean, he lies down next (or rather on top) of Patroclus’ corpse. Doesn’t sound like friendship to me!
One more evidence of the love between Achilles and Patroclus is of course the reception by the readers of the Iliad. Other Greek philosophers as well as many people today can see the bond between those two men. For example there is the short animation film "Achilles" by Barry Purves (I so love the film). It shows the story of Achilles’ and Patroclus love relationship. You have to watch it! Go here!