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A Problem in Greek Ethics by Symonds

A

PROBLEM

IN

GREEK ETHICS

BEING

AN INQUIRY INTO THE PHENOMENON OF

_SEXUAL INVERSION_

ADDRESSED ESPECIALLY TO MEDICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND JURISTS

BY

JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS

_PRIVATELY PRINTED_

FOR

THE AREOPAGITIGA SOCIETY

LONDON

1908

_Privately Printed in Holland for the Society._

PREFACE.

The following treatise on Greek Love was written in the year 1873, when my mind was occupied with my _Studies of Greek Poets_. I printed ten copies of it privately in 1883. It was only when I read the Terminal Essay appended by Sir Richard Burton to his translation of the _Arabian Nights_ in 1886, that I became aware of M. H. E. Meier's article on Paederastie (Ersch and Gruber's _Encyclopaedie_, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1837). My treatise, therefore, is a wholly independent production. This makes Meier's agreement (in Section 7 of his article) with the theory I have set forth in Section X. regarding the North Hellenic origin of Greek Love, and its Dorian character, the more remarkable. That two students, working separately upon the same mass of material, should have arrived at similar conclusions upon this point strongly confirms the probability of the hypothesis.

J. A. SYMONDS.

CONTENTS.

I. INTRODUCTION: Method of treating the subject.

II. Homer had no knowledge of paiderastia--Achilles--Treatment of Homer by the later Greeks.

III. The Romance of Achilles and Patroclus.

IV. The heroic ideal of masculine love.

V. Vulgar paiderastia--How introduced into Hellas--Crete--Laius--The myth of Ganymede.

VI. Discrimination of two loves, heroic and vulgar. The mixed sort is the paiderastia defined as Greek love in this essay.

VII. The intensity of paiderastia as an emotion, and its quality.

VIII. Myths of paiderastia.

IX. Semi-legendary tales of love--Harmodius and Aristogeiton.

X. Dorian Customs--Sparta and Crete--Conditions of Dorian life--Moral quality of Dorian love--Its final degeneracy--Speculations on the early Dorian _Ethos_--Boeotians' customs--The sacred band--Alexander the Great--Customs of Elis and Megara--_Hybris_--Ionia.


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