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Sexuality and gender in Alciphron's Letters of Courtesans Funke, Melissa 2008

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SEXUALITY AND GENDER IN ALCIPHRON'S LETTERS OF COURTESANS by MELISSA FUNKE B.A. The University of Winnipeg, 2002 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Classics) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) April 2008 © Melissa Karen Anne Funke Abstract Current studies on the topic of sexuality in the ancient Greek world tend to favour the active/passive paradigm of understanding sexual relations which was originally proposed in Kenneth Dover's Greek Homosexuality (1978) and Michel Foucault's three volume History of Sexuality (1978, 1985, and 1986). In Dover and Foucault, the sexual behaviour of the classical Athenian male takes primacy, so much so that the reader of either scholar can be left with the impression that the role of the active partner was available only to adult citizen males. AlciphrOn's Letters of Courtesans (Book 4 of his works) depict a group of desiring female subjects who demonstrate that sexual agency, the assumption of the active role in a sexual relationship, need not be the exclusively masculine phenomenon that Dover and Foucault describe. Letters of Courtesans prove that female sexuality can be portrayed as active and therefore that women in literature can be sexual agents. Additionally, these letters demonstrate the limits of the approaches of Dover and Foucault, that sexuality need not be defined as exclusively active or exclusively passive. By approaching Letters of Courtesans from this perspective, we are able to see that ancient Greek literature includes depictions of active female sexuality that Dover and Foucault overlooked. Letters of Courtesans are therefore a way to challenge and develop the work on ancient sexuality that has followed from these two landmark studies. Because of their fictional nature and their epistolary format, Letters of Courtesans lay bare the process of AlciphrOn's construction of sexuality and gender. I shall therefore show that AlciphrOn's Letters of Courtesans are an ideal locus for a discussion of these topics. This study will establish that Letters of Courtesans ought to occupy a place of importance in any discussion of ancient ideas of sexuality and gender. ii Table of Contents Abstract^  ii Table of Contents ^  iii List of Figures  iv Acknowledgements^  v Dedication ^  vi Introduction ^1 Chapter 1: AlciphrOn^ 4 Locating Alciphron ^ 4 Textual Transmission^  10 Dating Alciphron  12 Epistolarity^  14 The Second Sophistic^  22 New Comedy  25 The Historical Hetairai  29 Chapter 2: Sexuality, Foucault, and Classics^  38 Freud to Foucault^  40 Post — History of Sexuality Reactions and Constructions^ 46 Foucault and Feminism  54 The Gaze^ 57 Chapter 3: Sexuality in Letters of Courtesans ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ........................... 60 Chresis AphrodizOn... ............ .............................. ............ ......... ... ..... 66 The Gaze  81 Chapter 4: Ventriloquism and the Construction of Gender^  87 Alciphrôn and Lucian^  102 Conclusion^ .109 Figures  110 iii Works cited^  114 Appendix 1: Structure of the Courtesans' Letters^  125 Appendix 2: The Manuscript History of AlciphrOn's Letters   127 Appendix 3: Editions of Al ciphrOn' s Letters ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ^ 129 iv List of Figures Fig. 1 Aphrodite of Knidos^  110 Fig.2^Lateran-Menander Relief^  111 Fig.3 Floor mosaic of Menander, Glykera, and Comedy^  111 Fig. 4 Eurymedon Vase^  112 Fig. 5 Aphrodite Kallipygos^  113 v Acknowledgements I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Marshall for his unwavering patience in the process of writing and revising this thesis. He has consistently gone out of his way on his students' behalf, and has made my experience at UBC both educational and enjoyable. I would also like to thank the rest of the faculty in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies for their commitment to their students' success and their dedication to pedagogy. I have benefited immeasurably from their teaching and research. Finally, I must thank my fellow gradute students who have been a constant source of ideas and inspiration, and most importantly, supportive at all times. They have made my experience at UBC a true pleasure. vi Dedication This is dedicated to my husband, John, who is unfailingly encouraging and supportive, and to my mom and dad, who inspire me everyday. vii Introduction Current studies on the topic of sexuality in the ancient Greek world tend to favour the active/passive paradigm of understanding sexual relations which was originally proposed in Kenneth Dover's Greek Homosexuality (1978) and Michel Foucault's three volume History of Sexuality (1978, 1985, and 1986). In Dover and in the second and third volumes of Foucault, the sexual behaviour of the classical Athenian male takes primacy, so much so that the reader of either scholar can be left with the impression that the role of the active partner was available only to adult citizen males. Alciphrôn's Letters of Courtesans (Book 4 of his works) depict a group of desiring female subjects who demonstrate that sexual agency, the assumption of the active role in a sexual relationship, need not be the exclusively masculine phenomenon that Dover and Foucault describe. Letters of Courtesans, part of a series of fictional letters written by the Second Sophistic writer Alciphran, with the others written from the perspective of farmers, fishermen, and parasites, prove that female sexuality can be portrayed as active even in the Foucauldian sense, and therefore that women in literature can be sexual agents. Additionally, these letters demonstrate the limits of the approaches of Dover and Foucault, that sexuality need not be defined as exclusively active or exclusively passive. By approaching Letters of Courtesans from this perspective, we are able to see that ancient Greek literature includes depictions of active female sexuality that Dover and Foucault overlooked. Letters of Courtesans are therefore a way to challenge and develop the work on ancient sexuality that has followed from these two landmark studies. Since the publication of Foucault's three volumes, and particularly their subsequent translation into English, few scholarly works on the topic of the construction of sexuality have 1 not addressed Foucault in one way or another.' The History of Sexuality informs almost all current discourse on sexuality in the fields of Classics, History, and Cultural Theory. In chapter 2, I shall outline the major issues that have arisen out of this discussion, primarily as they apply to classical and feminist scholarship, contextualizing The History of Sexuality with reference to other major works from the field of Classics that also deal with sexuality. An associated aspect of my approach to sexuality and its expression will deal the influential work of both Laura Mulvey and Teresa De Lauretis on the penetrative male gaze. As in the case of Foucault's History of Sexuality and its effects on the scholarship that followed it, Laura Mulvey's 1975 article, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," established a new paradigm for understanding film and the act of looking. De Lauretis built on Mulvey's work using the same concept of the male gaze. My use of their work acknowledges that a significant shift from their understanding of the gaze has yet to occur, and therefore that Mulvey and De Lauretis are essential to any discussion of the gaze. These works will inform my own analysis of Letters of Courtesans in Chapter 3, as I examine how the courtesans' sexuality has been constructed by AlciphrOn. This section will employ categories taken from Foucault's second volume, The Use of Pleasure: aphrodisia, or sexual pleasures (1985: 38), telea, a pattern of moral conduct within an erotic relationship with a specific aim (1985: 27-8), and chresis aphrodizOn, the use of sexual pleasures (1985: 53). In addition to those of Foucault, I have also added my own category ofpeithô, persuasion. By using categories originally employed in an analysis of male sexuality to look at the sexuality of the Volume 1 was originally published in French in 1976, with its English translation published in 1978. Volumes 2 and 3 were both published in French in 1984, then published in their English translations in 1985 and 1986 respectively. I have chosen to cite the publication dates of the translations rather than the original French publications as The History of Sexuality became well-known and influential in the field of Classics after the translation of volumes 2 and 3 were released (Skinner 1996: 1). 2 hetairai in the Letters of Courtesans, I shall establish two points: that Foucault's androcentric theories can be applied meaningfully to women, and that in terms of our current conceptualization of ancient sexuality, women can indeed be active participants in erotic relationships. Chapter 3 will examine AlciphrOn's representation of the female voice. This discussion of a male author writing in the female first person will use Elizabeth D. Harvey's term "transvestite ventriloquism," (Ventriloquized Voices: Feminist Theory and English Renaissance Texts, 1992). My discussion of ventriloquism will also incorporate theories concerning the construction of gendered identities, particularly as outlined by Judith Butler. These theories will, in turn, be used in a comparison of the courtesans from Lucian's Dialogues of the Courtesans and the courtesans of AlciphrOn. By taking this approach, I will demonstrate that AlciphrOn's ventriloquism of the female voice draws on images of women found throughout ancient Greek literature. Because of their fictional nature and their epistolary format, Letters of Courtesans lay bare the process of AlciphrOn's construction of sexuality and gender. My conclusion will therefore show that AlciphrOn's Letters of Courtesans are an ideal locus for a discussion of these topics. It will establish that Letters of Courtesans ought to occupy a place of importance in any discussion of ancient ideas of sexuality and gender. 3 Chapter 1: AlciphrOn Locating AlciphrOn AlciphrOn is a prose author who writes in a Classical Attic Greek dialect, about whom very little is known. He is thought to have lived in the late 2nd and early 3 rd centuries CE, but is never mentioned by name in antiquity. His name is taken from later manuscripts, along with the appellations "rhetOr" and "Atticist" (Benner and Fobes 1949: 6). 2 A collection of fictionalized letters (twenty-two written by fishermen, thirty-nine by farmers, forty-two by parasites, and twenty by courtesans and their lovers) is his only known work; all of these letters are written in a highly Atticizing style that draws heavily on New Comedy, particularly the works of Menander. Letters of Fishermen and Letters of Farmers are both set in rural Attica. They contain references to various locations in Athens such as the Pnyx (2.19.2), the Kerameikos (2.22.2), and the Peiraeus (1.6.2, 1.11.4, 1.14.2, 1.15.2, and 1.16.3), and to Athenian festivals like the Apaturia and Thesmophoria (2.371), although there are no mentions of any major historical figures. All of the names of the writers of these two types of letters are so-called "speaking names," which indicate the context from which the letter-writer comes. 3 These sets of letters share three themes: the drudgery of physical labour, the conflict between urban and rustic lifestyles, and love. Letter 1.2 captures the motif of hard daily toil: 2 Johannes Tzetzes refers to Alciphron as Pij -rcop in a scholion to the Chiliades 8.895, while Eustathius calls him ' ATTIK 'al* in his commentary on The Iliad. 3 Examples of such speaking names are the writer and addressee of letter 1.22, ThalasserOs to Euplous ("Sea-love" to "Good-sail"), and Hyla to Nomius ("Forest" to "Shepherd") of 2.22. 4 rcdvTa rroviiTat,^KtipTom), St' iip6pas pit) UTrO^Tfic ciA6a5 (1)XEy011EVOIS" VOKTC.I.V Si U1TO Aapffaat TOV pue6v ciffogtiouat, Kai TO itiyOuivov ST) TOUTO EiC T01.15 TO31/ AaValOCJV TOUS- 61.1)0pEa5 EKXEOpEV Trie0U5. In vain are all our toils, CyrtOn; in the daytime we are scorched by the fierce heat, at night by torchlight we comb the surface of the deep with nets, and in fact, as the saying goes, we keep emptying our pitchers into the jars of the DanaIds. (1.2.1, tr. Benner and Fobes, adapted) 4 Letter 2.8 deals with the rural/urban dichotomy: 011KET1 001 pOtit OUTS TflS^iipcjiv 06TE TGSV KOIVCSV11-0161031) 0171TE pijv^KaT' dypOu StaTpt(3 -65, 'an Si EI TO15 &01-805, "You no longer care for our marriage bed or for the children of our union, or in fact for our country way of life; you are wholly wrapped up in the city" (2.8.1). Finally, love is a topic which preoccupies both the fishermen and farmers, and those around them. Letter 1.11 is from the young girl Glaucippe to her mother, Charope. She writes about her love for a guardsman from the city: TotiTc9 ptyrjaopat 111^Aia131av utpriaap6vri IaTrclx,S °UK cliTO Ttls AiuKoiSos rr6Tpas-, aAA' alTO Tc3  TTEtpaiKc3v TrpoPOAcov ElS TOKX1P5CA.)1110V WOG/ I intend to have this man, or, if I can't, I shall follow the example of Lesbian Sappho: not indeed from the Leucadian cliff but from the jutting rocks of the Peiraeus I shall hurl myself into the surf. (1.11.4) Letter 1.11 also illustrates a key contradiction implicit in Letters of Fishermen and Letters of Farmers: the letters are written in fine Attic style by supposedly ignorant rustics. Alciphran refers to just such an inconsistency in letter 3.34, from one parasite to another on the subject of the farmer Corydon (who is also the addressee of letter 2.23): yecopyo5 auvrjeris ifftElK035 Kai 1-6 Troxx« kExEiTo iv ipol TO5 yEXCOTI:ATTIKTiC oTc.opuAias. Kai gbric fl KaTa Tot's - 4 Unless otherwise indicated, all translations of Alciphron are from Benner and Fobes (1949). Where indicated, I have adapted the translation. 5 xcoPTas- irraicov, "I was fairly well acquainted with the farmer Corydon, and he often indulged in making fun of me, for he had a style of banter quite above the level of our country folk" (3.34.1, adapted). Letters of Parasites are set in urban Athens. Like Letters of Fishermen and Letters of Farmers, their writers and addressees have speaking names, all of which in this case allude to the main feature of a parasite's life, which is the dominant theme of these letters: the never-ending pursuit of food. 5 In this pursuit, as the letters relate, these parasites are subject to all kinds of abuse at the hands of their patrons. Letter 3.3, from Artepithymus to Cnisozomus—"Loaf-Lust" to "Savoury-Soup" (names as in Benner and Fobes)— exemplifies the parasite's quandary: ayxcivils- poi Sei, Kai &pet pi OU peTa p(KpOv iv PpOxc9TOv Tpaxn)ov ixovTa. OUTE yap Td cSaTriapaTa oios Ti iipt (I)ipitv Kai Till) caAriv napotviav TcLiv K«KIGT' eTroAoupvo3v ipavtoT6v, o6TE Tris piapac Kai ciSrpt.ayoli yaoTpO5 KpaTiiv• piv yap^Kai OU TrpOs KOpov pOvov ciA2C Eis Tpulyriv• TO TTpui(301TOV Si -rds- irraVvrjAous ITAriyas OUK civixiTat, Kai KivSuvitico TOW OCI)OaApoivITEpov ouoTaAl vat UTrO TLiv iSainopciTcov ivoxAmipsvoc. IOU IOU To3v KaKcLiv, ola irropivitv iipas avayKgit xiyos a'irrri Kai Trapi3opa.rraTri yaa -rijp. Strangling is what I need, and shortly you will see me with my neck in a noose. For I am able neither to endure the cuffings and the general maudlin behaviour of the cursed shot—payers, nor to control my disgusting and gluttonous belly; for it keeps demanding, and not for satiety merely but to satisfy its craving for delicacies. And my face cannot stand the continuous blows, and, pestered as I am by the repeated cuffings, I am in danger of having one of my two eyes messed up. Poor me! The evils that we are compelled to suffer by this gluttonous and all- devouring belly of ours! (3.3.1-3, adapted) This letter therefore represents the basic stereotype of the insatiable parasite, as the letters written by fishermen and farmers also contain fictionalized perspectives of stock characters. These types 5 Letter 3.7, for example, is from Psichoclastas to BuciOn —"Crumb-Breaker" to "Stuff-cheek" (names as in Benner and Fobes). 6 of characters are found in varying types of Greek literature, 6 but most important is the New Comedy of Hellenistic Athens. This process of casting backwards in time to the cultural heyday of Athens was part of a broader cultural trend in the Roman Empire, one that looked directly to Classical and Hellenistic Athens as a focal point of intellectual culture. Hellenistic Athens stands out most in Letters of Courtesans, as these include fictionalized letters referring to, and in some cases are written in the voice of, actual historical Athenian figures of the Hellenistic period, such as Praxiteles the sculptor, Menander the comic playwright, Hypereides the orator, Epicurus the philosopher, and Demetrius Poliorcetes, the Hellenistic general who famously liberated Athens from the occupation of Cassander and Ptolemy. 7 Even certain names of the courtesans themselves refer to historical personages, such as Phryne and Glykera. 8 Because of this use of historical figures, Letters of Courtesans stands apart from the others written by AlciphrOn as an example of the learned display that characterized literature at the time. In his detailed description of Attic life, Alciphron can be described as a "miniaturist," who "gives us a sample of sophistic learning indulged for its own sake or for purposes of learned entertainment" (Anderson 1993: 10). Another factor that sets Letters of Courtesans apart from Alciphren's other groups of letters is the interconnected nature of the individuals and events they describe. 9 Taking letter 4.1, from Phryne to her lover Praxiteles, as an example of this interconnectness, we can see how it is 6 For example, Jackson suggests that AlciphrOn's sympathy for the difficult life of the fishermen reflects Theocritus 21 (1912: 75). OCD3 gives the following dates for these figures (all are BCE): Praxiteles, c.375-330; Menander, 344/3-292; Hypereides, 389-322; Epicurus, 341-270; and Demetrius Poliorcetes, 336-283. 8 For a selection of ancient texts referring to Phryne and Glykera, see the section in this chapter on the historical hetairai (pp. 31-8). 9 See Appendix 1 for a table of all the examples of interconnectedness in Letters of Courtesans. 7 connected to letters 4.3-5, which all discuss the trial of Phryne. These letters are written by Bacchis, who is the topic of discussion in 4.11, and the addressee of 4.2 and 4.14. Letter 4.2 is written by Glykera, who exchanges letters with her lover Menander in 4.18 and 4.19. The only letters that are not connected with the others in any way are 4.12, which is fragmentary, and fragment 5. Because of the interrelated plots, Letters of Courtesans are more cohesive as a collection than the other sets of letters. 1° All of AlciphrOn's Letters are best understood in comparison with works of similar form and subject matter, which can then aid in the process of assigning dates to him. Three works which are similar in form and content to AlciphrOn's Letters place the author in the late second/early third century CE: Aelian's Letters of Farmers, Philostratus' Love Letters, and Lucian's Dialogues of the Courtesans." Like Alciphrôn, Aelian writes a collection of twenty fictionalized letters from farmers, which deal with two of the main topics from Alciphrôn's Letters of Farmers: the difficulty of rural life and love. 12 These letters are also written in imitation of Attic Greek, and, again like those of AlciphrOn, betray a higher degree of sophistication than one might expect from rustics. Phaedrias, the writer of letter 20 in Aelian, credits this to their authors being Athenian: 1° That the interconnected plots of Letters of Courtesans are chronologically inconsistent with the actual dates of their various characters suggests that they are intended as a generic, rather than a historical, picture of Hellenistic Athens. H Aelian's dates are given as ca.175-ca.253 CE by OCD3 , while in Philostratus' case ascertaining dates is made much more difficult by the existence of several "Philostrati." The author of the letters mentioned here is generally thought to be Philostratus II, a sophist who was based first in Athens, then in Rome under Severus (193-211 CE) and into the time of Philip (244-249 CE). Benner and Fobes base this on the 10 th Century Suck (1949: 388-9). The OCD gives Lucian's dates as c.120 to post-180 CE. 12 OCD3 also credits Aelian, a Roman teacher of rhetoric, with two other works, notKiAn ia -ropia (Varia Historia) and c,icoit i516 -rns (De Natura Animalium). 8 El 5i oolx.i.ii-Epa Tair -ra irr6oTaATai Got 11 Kani Trjv To,iv dypc3v xopriyiav, ilrj Oaupdoris- OLl rip iopiv OUTS AIPUES* OUTS AL1501 ciAA''Aerwaiot yEoapyoi. If these written words addressed to you are too clever for the country to supply, do not marvel; for we are not Libyan nor Lydian, but we are Athenian farmers. (tr. Benner and Fobes) Indeed, an analysis of the names of letter-writers and addressees from Aelian shows that he draws as heavily on the Classical Athenian past as AlciphrOn does. Of these names, four come from Old Comedy, five from Middle Comedy, four from New Comedy, one from Tragedy, and three come from Demosthenes while three are also found in Alciphriin and four are found in Lucian. ° Philostratus writes a collection of seventy-three love letters, all written from the same perspective, to both young boys and to women, the majority of whom are unnamed." Some of these letters are prescriptive, such as letter 36, in which Philostratus instructs his addressee on the most attractive choice of footwear. Others are letters of admiration to a beloved, such as letter 38, which is addressed to a prostitute. This letter praises the addressee and her occupation: O Tois ciAAots- irrippuov SoKE7 Kal 114apecos . 4tov,^aVaIGXUVTOC EI Kai epaoeia Kai EUKOXOS, TOUTO patoTa Eyo oou cktAr3...eiSuia xpijoea t oEau -rrjv rrap6xEt5 Kal TflV orjv ool)iav FTTl KaITTOC1 To3v Epyo)v Ixouoa. OUTS yap Tflip eERIOV OVITOJC WS ("DU TO a0011a, OUTS aid■Os- rjOU diKouoi.ra OVITCOS COS Ta oa Film -ca. That which seems to others infamous and deserving of reproach- the fact that you are shameless and bold and complaisant- is what I love about you most...You place your charms at men's disposal with full knowledge, and you possess a skill 13 Two of the names shared with Alciphron come from Aristophanes: Comarchides, of Aelian's second letter, is also found in Alciphron 2.29 and Aristophanes' Peace, while Chremes, of Aelian 9 and 19, is found in Alciphron 1.13 and Ecclesiazusae. Callarus and Callicles of Aelian 6 are from Demosthenes'Against 14 Only nineteen of seventy-four addressees are named by Philostratus, and none of these names are found in AlciphrOn. (Letter 70 is addressed to two individuals, Cleophon and Gaius.) 9 that is nicely adjusted to produce its effect. For fire is not so hot as is your panting, nor aulos so sweet to hear as are your words. (tr. Benner and Fobes, adapted) Other letters of this type praise young boys, and, in the case of letter 30, a married woman. Lucian's Dialogues of the Courtesans are the most useful text to form a comparison with AlciphrOn's Letters of Courtesans. As AlciphrOn does with his letters, Lucian situates his dialogues in Athens, looking back in time to the Hellenistic era. Five of the names of Lucian's hetairai are shared by those of AlciphrOn, and both share the common source of New Comedy. 15 More important than their shared sources, though, is AlciphrOn and Lucian's common subject. In both authors, courtesans speak of their erotic relationships in the first person, which makes Lucian's Dialogues of the Courtesans the closest text to AlciphrOn's Letters of Courtesans. Textual Transmission The transmission of AlciphrOn's texts is a complex issue, as the original configuration of the Letters is unknown. There are four groups of manuscripts from which the current standard Greek text, Schepers' second edition of 1905, is drawn. 16 These include independent manuscripts and those of uncertain position in the stemma, none of which contain the entire corpus of letters.' ? Family 3 is the only group of manuscripts with a complete collection of the Letters of Courtesans. The editio princeps of the Letters consisted of forty-four letters from all four sets of 15 The five names of courtesans found in both authors are Melissa, Thais, Glykera, Bacchis, and Leaena. Out of thirty-five speaking characters in the Dialogues of Courtesans, eight names come from Menander (Glykera, Thais, Philinna, Doris, KrobylE, Pamphilus, PolemOn, and Pythias). 16 The Loeb edition of 1949 is based primarily on Schepers' first and second editions, with minor supplementation from Castiglioni's Collectanea Graeca of 1911. In grouping the Letters, Schepers followed what he considered to be the best manuscripts (Benner and Fobes 1949: 5). 17 The full manuscript history is reproduced following Benner and Fobes' 1949 Loeb edition in Appendix 2. 10 letter-writers, in a Venetian edition of 1499. 18 Bergler's edition of 1715, with a Latin translation, added seventy-two more letters from two separate manuscripts, and is the first complete collection of fishermen's letters. Wagner's 1798 edition contains the first complete collections of both Letters of Farmers and Letters of Courtesans, while Seiler's 1853 and 1856 editions were the first to have all the extant letters. In their modern editions (Schepers and Benner and Fobes), the Letters are arranged according to their writers: the fishermen, farmers, parasites, and courtesans. As the Letters do not occupy a prominent place in the canon of ancient literature, their translation history is limited. 19 There are five Latin translations, the first being Graecanicae Mutuae of "Cujas" (Geneva 1606). 20 There is an equal number of German translations, with the first, J.F. Herel's Altenburg edition, coming in 1767. 21 There are four French translations, the first of which is not the complete collection, but rather selections from the Letters in a 1739 London collection of the Letters of Aristaenetus.22 The first of two Italian translations is by F. 18 See Appendix 3 for all of the editions of AlciphrOn's Letters. 19 Most of this information comes from the introduction to Benner and Fobes' 1949 edition (32-3). 20 Latin translations are as follows: the Epistolae Graecanicae Mutuae of "Cujas" (Geneva 1606), S. Bergler (Leipsic 1715 and Utrecht 1791), J.A. Wagner (Leipsic 1798), E.E. Seiler (Leipzig 1853 and 1856), and R. Hercher (Paris 1873, an adaptation of Seiler's version). 21 The German translations are from J.F. Herel (Altenburg 1767), F. Jacobs (selections, Leipsic 1824), H.W. Fischer (selections, Leipzig 1906?, second edition 1907), P. Hansmann (selections along with letters of Philostratus, Berlin 1919), and W. Plankl (selections, Munich 1925 and 1939). 22Translations in French are as follows: selections from the Letters in a 1739 London collection of the Letters of Aristaenetus, l'abbé JerOme Richard (Amsterdam and Paris, 1784 and 1785), S. de Rouville (books 2 and 3, Paris 1874), and Anne-Marie Ozanam (Paris 1999). 11 Negri (Milan 1806). 23 The first English translation of five is W. Beloe and T. Monro (London 1791). 24 Benner and Fobes' 1949 edition is currently the only complete English text in print. Dating AlciphrOn Research dealing with AlciphrOn has been rather limited, most likely due to the Letters' minor status in the canon of ancient literature. Research in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries tackled the rather tricky issue of dating AlciphrOn. Reich (1894) attempts to establish both a terminus ante quem and a terminus post quern by comparing the Letters to works by Lucian, Aelian, and Longus. He finds fifty-one proper names that recur in Lucian and AlciphrOn, all of which are found in Letters of Farmers and Letters of Courtesans (Reich 1894: 5). On this basis, Reich claims that AlciphrOn drew on Lucian and therefore determines Alciphrôn's terminus post quern as no earlier than ca. 170 CE. Reich then postulates that Aelian's Letters of Farmers imitate AlciphrOn's Letters of Farmers, therefore producing a terminus ante quem of ca.229 CE, the time of Aelian's death (Reich 1894: 29). 25 In addition to this, Reich considers Letters of Farmers to be products of Aelian's youth, which means that AlciphrOn is most likely writing no later than 200 CE (Reich 1894: 67). 26 23 The two Italian translations are F. Negri (Milan 1806) and E. Avezzii and 0. Longo (Venice 1985). 24 There are five English translations: W. Beloe and T. Monro (London 1791), an anonymous translation of 1896 which was printed for the Athenian Society, F.A. Wright (London and New York 1923), the1949 Loeb of Benner and Fobes, and Patricia Rosenmeyer (selections, London and New York 2006). Letters 2.24, 2.25, and 4.2 from the Benner and Fobes edition have been recently reprinted in Trapp (2003), an anthology of various Greek and Latin letters under the heading, "Affairs of the Heart." 25 Part of Reich's evidence for the Aelian-AlciphrOn connection is that they share eight different proper names, but Bonner (1909a: 33) points out that six of these names come from Comedy. 26 While Reich's dates are generally accepted for AlciphrOn, Bonner (1909a and 1909b) disagrees with the idea that Alciphron was a source for Aelian and with Reich's assertion that AlciphrOn borrowed in turn from Longus. Bonner ascribes the similarities between AlciphrOn and Aelian to their shared topic (rustic life) and the common influence of New Comedy. Baldwin (1982) offers a suggestion based on letter 4.19, from Glykera to Menander. At 4.19.7, 12 Much more scholarship on the topic of AlciphrOn has dealt with Lucian, the writer to whom Alciphrôn is most often compared. Lucian, a Syrian sophist, is slightly earlier than the dates that Reich assigns to AlciphrOn and in his Dialogues of the Courtesans shares subject matter with AlciphrOn's Letters of Courtesans. Classicists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries explored three potential options to explain the similarities between these two authors: either Lucian drew from AlciphrOn, AlciphrOn drew from Lucian, or both were working from shared source material. 27 As I see it, a comparison between Lucian and AlciphrOn centers on three points: their mutual emphasis on paideia, their Atticizing tendencies, and their works on courtesans.28 Like AlciphrOn, Lucian draws on the "canon of Attic diction" in building his fictional world (Jones 1986: 159). Recent scholarship on Alciplu-On has focused on his use of the letter as a literary technique. Costa (2002) and Jenkins (2006) deal with both Greek and Roman fictional letters and therefore include AlciphrOn in their studies, while Rosenmeyer (2006) contains several selected letters from each of AlciphrOn's four books, with brief commentary. Her 2001 book, Ancient Epistolary Fictions, has an entire chapter dedicated to Alciphron which thoroughly examines the ramifications of the epistolary format in the context of the Second Sophistic. Kiinig (2007) takes Glykera mentions singing statues (r0(T XovvTa dyciApara) which can be found in Egypt. Baldwin looks to graffiti that attest to such a phenomenon, and their end point, which is ca. 200 CE. Therefore, according to Baldwin, the Letters are "not later than the first decade of the third century" (Baldwin 1982: 254). Baldwin's theory is contradicted by the fact that Alciphron's letters are about a distant past. For Alciphron to write about them, all that matters is that they were ever famous for their singing, not that they did so at the time of AlciphrOn's writing. In a general survey of Alciphron's Letters, C.N. Jackson suggests that Alciphron is contemporary with Aelian and Philostratus (1912: 72). 27 For an outline of the eighteenth and nineteenth century discussions of these issues, see Benner and Fobes (1949: 8-14). 28 These similarities between the two sophists were enough for the late antique writer Aristaenetus to write fictional correspondence between the two (letters 1.5 and 1.22). In his introduction to the 1971 Teubner edition, Otto Mazal gives Aristaenetus' dates as ca.500 CE (1971: iv). 13 a similar approach, investigating anxiety as it is represented in Alciphrein and the effects of the epistolary format on its depiction. Beyond these scholars' work on epistolarity, there are two other considerations which inform any reading of AlciphrOn's Letters: their place in the larger context of Second Sophistic fictional prose, and their use of New Comedy as a source. A fourth dimension may be added to a consideration of Letters of Courtesans: the fictional portrayal of historical personae. While many of the male characters named in these letters are very famous in their own right, I will be examining Alciphrôn's portrayal of historical hetairai in this section, tracing what information Alciphrôn may have drawn on in creating his courtesan authoresses. The remainder of this chapter will explore these aspects of AlciphrOn's writing, to which the categories of sexuality and gender will be added in subsequent chapters. Epistolarity The Letters are part of a larger trend towards Greek epistolography in the 2nd and 3 rd centuries CE, a trend in which fictional letters became popular as a literary form, and became "an established genre in their own right" (Rosenmeyer 2006: 2). Altman defines epistolarity as "the use of a letter's formal properties to create meaning" (1982: 4). The format of a letter shapes the content of that same letter. Letters are not monolithic in their intent. Rosenmeyer believes that "every epistolary message has a double meaning," its literal meaning and its "connotations as a social phenomenon" (2001: 66-7). The epistolary format is particularly defined by the use of 14 certain conventions that are not unique to the letter on an individual basis, but in combination shape its discourse in a manner unlike any other genre. 29 Letter 4.15, from Philumena to her lover Crito, exemplifies the dual nature of a letter, with its format communicating as clearly as its content: Ti TTOÀÀCX ypdckov civtas aoan-Ov; -rrivTriKowrci aot xpucc6v Se i Kal ypappdTcov cm.; Sii. El piv ()I'm 4tAEis, 505 ' e Si 4mAapyupeis, pi) ivcixAst. eppc000. Why do you trouble yourself with a lot of letter writing? What you need is fifty pieces of gold, and you don't need letters. So then, if you love me, hand them over; if you love money, don't bother me. Farewell. Although brief, this letter proclaims its writer's intent: Crito can either pay up or Philumena will end their relationship. When Philumena calls attention to Crito's letters (ypcippaTa), she highlights her own epistolary act. Her "farewell," the conventional Ippcoao that signs off the letter, is also her final farewell to Crito. Most prominent among the conventions of letter-writing, as laid out in Altman, is what she terms the "Particularity of the I-you" (1982: 117). "I-you" is defined by "the I of epistolary discourse always having as its (implicit or explicit) partner a specific you who stands in unique relationship to the r' (Altman 1982: 117). In return, the you is expected to and often does respond with another letter, creating a reciprocal relationship between author and addressee, a relationship that shifts with each exchange of letters. 3° This relationship between author and 29 When referring to the epistolary format, I will be using the terms writer and addressee to refer to the fictional author and recipient of each letter. When using the terms audience and author, I am referring to the reader/listener and the author of the collection, which is AlciphrOn in this case. I use the term audience specifically because the letters may have been read privately and silently (Gavrilov 1997: 68), or aloud to listeners (Johnson 2000: 616). 30 Letters 4.8 and 4.9 are an example of the reciprocal nature of the epistolary format. In 4.8, SimaliOn writes to the courtesan PetalO, begging her to take him back. In 4.9, Petal responds that she will not return to him without 15 addressee shapes the content of any given letter: "I becomes defined relative to the you he addresses" (Altman 1982: 117). This does not mean that the author and addressee will automatically be the main characters in the letter's narrative. It does, however, mean that the audience's perception of the characters in the narrative will be shaped by the author's presentation (Altman 1982: 120). The second convention Altman identifies is use of the present tense. A letter writer is fixed temporally in an individual present, able to reflect on the past and anticipate future events, in reference to the author's present. Because of this, a letter's author is "highly conscious of writing in a specific present against which past and future are plotted" (Altman 1982: 122). Thus the author's present frames the events narrated in a letter, so that the past and future of the letter are defined by relation to the present. The narrative of a letter never occurs at the same time as it is being written. The present tense of the author's statements is transitory, since by the time a letter has arrived in the hands of its addressee, the moment of writing is past (Altman 1982: 129). Altman's third convention, related to the shift in the author's present tense, is temporal multivalence. In terms of letter-writing, "the temporal aspect of any given epistolary statement is relative to innumerable moments: the actual time that an act described is performed; the moment when it is written down; the respective times that the letter is dispatched, received, read, or reread" (Altman 1982: 118). Thus the author of a letter writes in the present to an addressee who will read it in the future, which is in turn the addressee's present, converting the author's present into the addressee's past. Letter 11 demonstrates the temporal shift of the epistolary format. Written from Menecleides to Euthycles, it is in commemoration of the dead Bacchis, and yet compensation. Because of the reciprocal nature of an exchange of letters, the dynamic shifts from the romantic beseeching of 4.8 to the cold ultimatum of 4.9. 16 Bacchis herself is the writer of letters 4.3-5, and the addressee of 4.2 and 4.14. Because of the epistolary format, Bacchis can be dead in the present of one letter and alive in the present of another. 3 1 Ancient conventions of letter-writing, particularly in the Roman Empire, were centered on three basic elements of epistolary style: brevity, clarity, and gracefulness (syntomia, sapheneia, and charis). 32 Letter 4.1, from Phryne to her lover Praxiteles, which ends with an invitation to lovemaking, shows all three elements: I fl Seiaos• kiipyaoat yap rrayKa7■Ov TI xpfipa, oiov Sfl TI 01:16E15 EThE TTCAiTTOTE 1TC(VTCOV TO3V 516( xiipcov rrovrieivTcov, Trjv ocauToti iTaipav iSptioac iv TEpEVEI. p6ati yap rioTriKa irri TFISAckpoSirris Kai Toil "EpcoTos- apa TOiJ 006. prj cpeovricyris 56 pot Ti -js Ttpris- - oi yap iipas esaaapivot irratvokt TTpatT00 -1, Kai iSTI Tric arts Tixvris yEyova oiJK 6.500601 ps esorrtiis pimp laic:Teat eu.Sv. 'iv Ell T1 6COpECi XEITTEI, iÄ0EiV GE TrpOS rjpac, "Iva iv Tc.C.i TEI.16VEI piT' ciAArjAcov KaTaKAtvoSpiv. OU ptavoiipiv yap TOUS 6E01:15 065 atiToi TTE1TOITIKapEV. ippc000. ...have no fear; for you have wrought a very beautiful work of art, such as nobody, in fact, has ever seen before among all things fashioned by men's hands: you have set up a statue of your own mistress in the sacred precinct near your Aphrodite and your Eros too. And do not begrudge me this honour. For it is Praxiteles that people praise when they have gazed at me; and it is because I am a product of your skill that the Thespians do not count me unfit to be placed between gods. One thing only is still lacking to your gift: that you come to me, so that we may lie together in the precinct. Surely we shall bring no defilement on the gods that we ourselves have created. Farewell. (tr. adapted) In this letter, Phryne is succinct, her motivation for writing the letter (praise of Praxiteles and the invitation to make love) is clear, and her gracefulness is expressed through her deferring the praise of her beauty from the Thespians to Praxiteles for his sculpture. 31 On the other hand, an epistolary novel, such as Chion of Heraclea, requires a consistent internal chronology. 32 Ussher 1987: 99. These elements apply to both fictional and non-fictional letters. 17 For AlciphrOn, then, the epistolary format allows him to write a form of ethopoieia, assuming the identities of a variety of fictionalized characters and expanding on what was a popular intellectual exercise at the time. In some manuscripts, in fact, AlciphrOn is identified as AlciphrOn rhetór, indicating that the work is indeed considered a type of sophistic exercise. At the time of AlciphrOn, letters were a common form of ethopoieia used in schools (Schmitz 2004: 91). As an intellectual exercise, the ethopoieia is intended as "a learned paradox contrived to make its point in the shortest possible compass" (Anderson 1993: 191). As well, ethopoieia lend themselves to being presented in a series, which is exactly what Alciphron has done with his four sets of letters. 33 Hodkinson even labels the collection of letters its own genre (2007: 287). By the Second Sophistic, there are volumes of letters such as Ovid's Heroides, Aelian's Letters of Farmers, Philostratus' Love Letters, and even the epistolary novel Chion of Heraclea, which indicates that the genre of letter collections was becoming more prominent, and that letters were no longer considered to be a secondary form of writing. The epistolary volume becomes equivalent to the book of poetry, a "macro-unit of composition." 34 The phenomenon of ancient letters in a literary context begins with Homer, in Iliad 6, in Glaucus' story of Bellerophon and Proteus. In response to his wife, Anteia's, false allegations of sexual assault against BellerophOn, Proteus sends him to Anteia's father, with a letter of introduction: ir6prrE SE ply AuKiriv Si, rrOpev (5' o r oripa-ra Xuypa yp&pas- iv rrivaKt ITTUKTO5 OUII0460pa TTOÀÀCX. 33 In the Heroides, Ovid does exactly this when he assumes the voices of mythological women such as Penelope, Dido, and Hermione, who write to the lovers who have abandoned them. 34 Hodkinson relates the establishment of the collection of fictional letters to an increase in the variety of characters and plots employed in them (2007: 287). 18 He sent him to Lycia, and gave him baneful signs,/ many life-destroying things which he had written on a folded tablet. (Il. 6. 169-70, my tr.) Letters also play a significant role in the Greek historians. Herodotus, for example, tells of Demaratos sending word to the Spartans of the Persian plan to attack by means of a tablet. 35 Neither Homer nor Herodotus reveals the actual contents of these letters. In Euripides' Hippolytus, the message of the letter itself takes on greater importance with Phaedra's letter of accusation against Hippolytus. At 876, Theseus hints to the chorus about the contents of the letter: Poa PoCi 56A -ros- aao -ra, "The tablet cries out, it cries out painful things." Phaedra, the letter-writer is displaced, and Theseus treats the tablet as though it were "the sender herself' (Jenkins 2006: 83). In Latin literature, non-fictional letters are an important genre. Letters such as those by Cicero and Pliny the Younger raise the profile of the epistolary format, which allows Ovid to work with a set of well-established conventions from prose in writing his Heroides in poetry. Therefore by the time of the Second Sophistic, the letter as a genre, both fictional and non-fictional, is a recognizable literary format. Alciphron's Letters build on this epistolary tradition. Although they can be viewed as a unit in Hodkinson's sense, Letters of Courtesans is markedly different from the rest of AlciphrOn' s letters. Epistolarity is one of the ways in which this difference manifests itself. Because its characters are no longer wholly fictional versions of the New Comic types seen in the other three collections, but rather fictionalized historical figures, its letters are more distinctly rooted in specific places and times in their reference to real events and people. Alciphrôn relies on the sophistication of his audience in recognizing these references, as "being deceived takes 35 This occurs at 7.239. The writing on the tablet is covered in beeswax, so that the bearer of the tablet will remain ignorant of its message. Gorgo, the wife of the king of Sparta, realizes Demaratos' trick, scrapes off the wax, and reveals the hidden message. 19 wisdom, of a sort" (Feeney 1993: 234). In order to embrace the world created by AlciphrOn, the reader requires knowledge of Classical Athens in addition to a recognition of the dual fictional/historical shaping of these characters. 36 The key to these seemingly contradictory facets of AlciphrOn's writing is his use of the epistolary format. AlciphrOn is "playfully exploring and exploiting the 'double vision' that is inherent in the fictitious epistolary situation" (Schmitz 2004: 96). Allowing his characters to speak "for themselves" is a powerful authenticating technique, one that positions the reader as an eavesdropper of sorts. 37 This process of reinforcing fiction through format is referred to as the "buttressing power of literature by its device" (Feeney 1993: 243). In a sense, these fictional letters are "proof' of their own content. For the true art of the Letters to be appreciated, AlciphrOn's art must be simultaneously apparent and invisible, and to fully appreciate his fiction, the reader must believe in the logic of the world AlciphrOn has created, while aware of its fictional aspect at the same time. The reader of fictional letters must be cognizant of the fictional writer and addressee, and the actual author at the same time. The educated reader of Alcipintin doubles this process in the simultaneous apprehension of the historical Athens and AlciphrOn's mimetic version. The ultimate consequence of the epistolary format is that it invites the reader to engage with the letter in place of its intended audience. In a sense, the reader assumes the role of addressee. This is due to one of the key aspects of feminine love letter-writing: the absence of the addressee. Skinner recognizes this connection between love letter and absence when she states "a connection to the absent partner cannot be sustained, in practice, without recourse to writing" 36 For example, in letter 4.1, a knowledgeable reader would recognize both Phryne and Praxiteles, and know that the Knidia was said to be modelled on Phryne. 37 Jenkins sees this process of intercepting another person's letter (whether they are fictional or not) as key to the narrative itself (2006: 1). 20 (1993: 136). Jolivet associates the absence of the addressee with feminine letter-writing: "L'absence est une des conditions essentielles de l'ecriture epistolaire. C'est pourquoi la lettre est parfois consider& comme une genre feminin a l'epoque classique: la femme sedentiare ecrit a son epoux aventurier" (2001: 233). AlciphrOn's courtesans, because of the conventions of the epistolary format, must write in the absence of the addressee. 38 Kauffman also sets out criteria for fictional love-letters written by women which pick up the idea of absence: "letter/literature, natural/artificial, presence/absence, sexual/sentimental" (1986: 315). Following Kauffman's paradigm, when letter becomes literature, the absence of the addressee is replaced by the presence of the reader. The instability of identity that the addressee/reader shift exemplifies is also found in the variety of subject matter that AlciphrOn makes use of in Letters of Courtesans. Each letter represents a shift in objective, and therefore a shift in how the author portrays herself, her addressee, and her narratees. In this process, the courtesans "construct themselves with an eye to achieving their objectives,"39 from Phryne's invitation to love-making in 4.1 to Leaena's invective towards her lover's wife in 4.12 to Philumena's outright demand for money from her lover in 4.15. The variety of what Lindheim terms "performances" (2003: 4) reveals how AlciphrOn has these women manipulate their own identities to achieve their various erotic goals, and by extension, reposition both the addressee and the reader. It is because of the epistolary format that such a process can occur. 38 Letter 4.17, from Lamia to her absent lover Demetrius, exemplifies this. 39 Lindheim says this of the Heroides (2003: 10), yet it is equally applicable to Alciphron's courtesans. 21 The Second Sophistic A second way of reading the Letters is to approach them as a product of the Second Sophistic. This cultural movement is generally characterized by the use of such tropes as Atticizing vocabulary and a focus on the Greek past, as found in AlciphrOn. The German scholar Erwin Rohde, writing in 1886, first identified and named the Second Sophistic as a cultural development of the Roman imperial period. It is a modern term only, and does not apply to a clearly delineated time period, but rather the cultural trend itself. There is "no strong sense of actual temporal location," for the Second Sophistic beyond the first to the third centuries CE (Whitmarsh 2005: 4). 40 As a cultural movement, the Second Sophistic was concerned with the idea of self- fashioning, defining oneself through rhetoric. Rhetoric in the Second Sophistic, as described by Gleason, was an "instrument of self-presentation" (1995: xx). In fact, its practice was so popular at this time that small sophistic auditoria were built for the express purpose of giving speeches. Often these speeches were either given in the persona of, or addressed to, famous mythological or historical figures (Whitmarsh 2005: 20). Rhetoric was not only a method of self-fashioning, but also a way to establish oneself in relation to others. As Goldhill expresses it, paideia represented much more than just education; the term also "implies both a body of privileged texts, artworks, values — a culture to be inherited and preserved as a sign of civilization — and also a process of acculturation — education — which `makes men', which informs the structures and activities of the lives of the civic elite" (2001: 17). (I am following Goldhill (2001:15) in his identification of culture as "an idea of a 40 Intellectual trends seen in the Second Sophistic did continue beyond the third century, as indicated by Aristaenetus' Letters of the fifth century CE; however, the movement as whole had waned before that time. 22 conglomeration of protocols, behavioural patterns, micro-social expectations and ideological formations.") Paideia, as displayed through one's rhetorical skill, was used to maintain one's status (Gleason 1995: 164). The paradox of paideia as an indicator of status was its attainability. Most of the well-known Atticists (Lucian being the most prominent example) were distinctly not Athenian and sometimes not even Greek. 41 In the multi-ethnic Roman Empire, paideia provided a shared "Greekness" which "[transcended] ethnic origin," and provided "a solid basis of identity in a culture which [was] in conflict around fundamental ideas of citizenship, religion, and engagement" (Goldhill 2001: 13-15). Texts like AlciphrOn's Letters allowed any author with a sufficient education to claim the Greek past and share it with an equally knowledgeable reader. This process was more than just the assumption of a common culture by a diverse group of people. It was also an active challenge to the political realities of the Roman Empire. By categorizing Greek culture as "discrete, everlasting, 'natural', or essential," 42 the writers of the Second Sophistic set themselves in opposition to Roman imperial influence. Using Greek, specifically Attic Greek (the language of Classical and Hellenistic Athens), was a way to indicate one's cultivation and acculturation (Goldhill 2001: 17). Lucian draws on this in Teacher of Rhetoricl 6, when the teacher directs his student: ElTEITa TTEVTEKa15EKa Tl OU TTÄEIG) yE TC3V ETKOGIV ' ATTIK6 01/6paTa iK)Aas. Troeiv dKptPcAlic iigieAsTrjaa5, TrpOxeipa dKpas Tfis yÄC.tiTTTIC EXE. Cull from some source or other fifteen, or anyhow not more than twenty, Attic words, and have them ready at the tip of your tongue. (tr. Harmon) 41 Lucian's Greek appellation was AOUK I avOs- o Iapoaccretjs ("Lucian of Samosata"). This identified him as Syrian. 42 Preston 2001: 90. Preston is discussing Greek cultural identity in terms of the Greek elite under Roman rule. The process for the intellectual elite was similar and there was much crossover between the two groups. 23 More than simply choosing Attic-sounding vocabulary, sophists would fully embrace the Attic dialect by replacing double —cm- with double —TT— , using the optative mood more frequently, and inserting the deictic iota.43 There were even various lexica of Atticisms to help would-be sophists perfect the dialect. 44 By adopting a dialect that was by then out of date, the sophists show that Classical Athens, although it could be studied and known through its cultural output, was nonetheless markedly different from the reality of the Roman Empire. For the writers who used such Atticisms, Greek culture was more than a source of education, it was also a treasury of figures and events suitable for imitation. For the Second Sophistic, mimesis was the dominant mode of literary expression. In its fullest sense, mimesis captures the idea not only of imitation, but representation. 45 Imitating the past was therefore a way to give it fresh dynamism (Whitmarsh 2001: 88). AlciphrOn's Letters are an example of this mimetic process. They are not only imitative of the culture and location of Hellenistic Athens, but take many of their characters and situations directly from New Comedy, a distinctly Athenian genre. A classic example of Atticism, the Letters are written in an elevated Athenian dialect. Because of the epistolary format, AlciphrOn exposes his literary technique, while erasing his own authorial voice. According to Schmitz, this is the mark of a talented sophist: 43 Whitmarsh 2005: 42. An example of the deictic iota is Tatrri instead of rau -rci. Lucian uses Tatrri twenty-seven times in his corpus, while Alciphrôn uses it three times, all in Letters of Courtesans, at 4.13.15, 4.13.16, and 4.14.5. 44 Whitmarsh lists as extant examples of these lexica Harpocration's Usages of the Ten Orators, Aelius Dionysius' Attic Words, and Phrynicus' Selection of Attic Words and Phrases (2005: 43 n. 9). 45 The LSJ 's second definition for iipnots is "representation through art," as the term is used by Plato in his Republic. 24 A sophist was most successful when he was most invisible; at the same time, his success would make him conspicuous and let him reap very tangible rewards from his efforts. Alciphron's letters can be read as a playful, yet sophisticated re- enactment of this situation. (2004: 103) AlciphrOn's epistolary device is a transparent technique that is easily recognizable to the reader, and simultaneously allows for more direct characterization. New Comedy In looking at AlciphrOn's sophistic devices, it is also important to keep in mind that New Comedy is the source material for many of his characters. Such an approach to AlciphrOn can be combined with a Second Sophistic reading of the Letters. New Comedy is so prevalent in AlciphrOn that he even goes so far as to include Menander, the most famous writer of Greek New Comedy, as one of his letter writers in the fourth book. New Comedy was a primarily Hellenistic genre popular from the late fourth century until the mid-third century. Menander's works, although mostly fragmentary, are the best extant examples of this type of domestic comedy peopled with stock characters. The fact that both Plautus and Terence, Roman playwrights of the third and second centuries BCE, were able to transport these comedies wholesale to the Roman stage attests to their enduring popularity in the ancient world. 46 The stock figures of Greek New Comedy include young men (most likely in their early twenties), soldiers, parasites, hetairai, young women who are often the object of the young man's affections, and difficult old men, among others. 47 While fishermen are not represented in 46 That Menander himself had drawn from other sources is attested to by Aristophanes of Byzantium's book called Parallels to Menander and a selection of the sources from which he stole and Latinus' six-volume Non-Menandrian Elements in Menander (Zagagi 1994:17). 47 Pollux' catalogue of the masks of New Comedy attests to these stock characters, as it includes masks for old men, young men, parasites, slaves, old women, young women, concubines, and prostitutes (Wiles 1991: 75-70). Ovid demonstrates that these types of characters are distinctly associated with Menander in the ancient world in Amores 25 Menander as in Alciphrôn, Menander's plays Georgos ("The Fanner") and Kolax ("The Parasite") testify to the presence of these two types in New Comedy. The plays are often set in the city of Athens. The plots are concerned with romantic affairs and the obstacles that keep lovers apart. These obstacles are usually connected to social status in some way. Either the lovers are not of the same class, or there is a lack of money keeping them apart. The young men are never truly poor, and are often members of the upper class. They most often fall in love with the young woman they will be married or promised to by the end of the play, due to her physical appearance. The beloved young woman is sometimes the victim of rape (before the play itself begins) at the hands of her eventual husband, as in Samia, Georgos, and Heros. A scene of anagnorisis (recognition) at the end of the play neatly overcomes any of the obstacles that have kept the young man and his beloved apart (Rosivach 1998: 1-3). By the end of the play, they are usually married or betrothed. 48 An understanding of the figure of the courtesan in New Comedy is most important for a reading of Letters of Courtesans. There are several Menandrian plays named for prostitutes: Hymnis, Paidion, Phanion, and Thais.49 In addition, other hetairai make appearances in a variety of Menander's plays, and as stated earlier, were stock figures on the New Comic stage, much like the farmers and parasites that AlciphrOn uses. 50 Although later than the time of New Comedy, Pollux' 2nd century CE catalogue of the masks of New Comedy was roughly 1.15.17-18: dum fallax servus, durus pater, inproba lena / Vivent et meretrix blanda, Menandros erit. "While the dishonest servant, harsh father, wanton bawd / and fawning whore live on, there will be Menander" (my tr.). 48 Dyskolos is one such example. 49 The name Thai's also appears in Alciphron, where she is identified as the author of letters 4.6 and 4.7. 50 Other hetairai in Menander include Habrotonon of Epitrepontes, and Malthake of Sikyonioi. Glykera of Perikeiromené, Chrysis of Samia, and Krateia of Misoumenos are all in long-term, live-in relationships with their patrons. 26 contemporary with AlciphrOn's work, and therefore illustrates later assumptions about the conventions of New Comedy that may have informed the Letters. 51 The masks detailed by Pollux include the grown hetaira, the little hetaira, the golden hetaira, and the hetaira with a headband (Brown 2001: 62). The variety of masks depicting hetairai indicates their prominence in New Comedy. Konstan, referring to the prevalence of courtesans in New Comedy, says that, "one might indeed be forgiven for gaining the impression from New Comedy that every Greek woman who was not a citizen or a domestic slave was necessarily some form of prostitute, so exclusively do such women appear in the role of courtesans" (1993: 146). The hetairai that appear in Menander's plays are independent women, by and large, and not to be considered as pornai (common prostitutes working on an encounter-by-encounter basis). 52 The Samia provides a good illustration of how the relationship of the Menandrian hetaira with her client can be depicted. Here, such a relationship is portrayed through the lens of the inappropriateness of older men being involved with younger courtesans. The plot of the Samia involves Chrysis, a hetaira, who is able to pretend successfully to be the mother of an infant. The protagonist is MoschiOn, whose father has established an arrangement with Chrysis (she is effectively his concubine). In the prologue of the play, MoschiOn relates his father's situation, particularly as affected by his advanced age: 2apias iTaipas sic i<Tri>eupiav Tiv6s imeiv iKEivov, Trpayp'lacos dvepaintvov. 1KpUTTTE TOUT', T:1CTXUVEIJ • rjaecipriv iycA.) 51 OCD3 places Pollux in the 2" century CE. He is therefore an appropriate reference point for the accepted conventions of the Second Sophistic. 52 Rosivach 1998: 107. In Perikeiromene, at 340, Daos makes it clear that Glykera is a hetaira: oi:DS' cAS 5 TropviStov -rptaciaAtov, "She's no pathetic prostitute" (tr. Amon, adapted). For a catalogue of hetairai in Old and Middle Comedy, see Henry (1988: 17-40). 27 OcKovi-os- aUroti, 6tEAoytOpriv e' 'OTI, al) pil y6virrat Tfis iyKpaTijs, 6[71 civi-epaoTc6v petpaKiaw iVOXÄTICTETal. He fell in love with a courtesan from Samos, something that's human, possibly. He kept it secret, being embarrassed. I found out, against his wishes, and I judged that if he didn't take her under his protection, he'd then be plagued by younger rivals. (21-6, tr. Arnott) This passage from the Samia corresponds to letter 4.17 from AlciphrOn, in which Leontium writes to her fellow courtesan Lamia of her distaste for her elderly lover Epicurus and her preference for her more age-appropriate lover Timarchus. Epicurus, nearly eighty years old in this letter, is her "besieger" (Oirra)s- irrt TroAt opKfl -rijv IVA) TOIOUTOV, 4.17.3). Timarchus, on the other hand, because he is younger, and therefore more attractive to her, causes a series of physical symptoms of lovesickness in Leontium: 65 iveupripsioa TOU T tucipxou TOv xcoptopOv ac Ccr4uypat Kai ci6pcoKa Tck ac Kai -6 Kap5ia you av6o -rpaTrrat ("At the very thought of separation from Timarchus I have at this moment turned cold, and my hands and my feet have begun to sweat, and my heart has turned upside down," 4.17.8). A significant difference between the plays of Menander and Letters of Courtesans is that while New Comedy is relatively chaste (Segal 2001: x), the courtesans' activities, particularly as detailed in letters 13 and 14, are distinctly not chaste. 53 In Letters of Courtesans we see the sexual activity that is hinted at and often sets the plot in motion in New Comedy. Vocabulary provides the most objective point of comparison between Menander and Alciphron. Both use a similar Attic dialect that does not differ with their characters' social status 53 At 4.13.18, a group of drunken courtesans and their lovers all make love within sight of each other, while at 4.14.4-6, a group of courtesans have a beauty contest which includes naked bum-shaking. 28 (Walton and Arnott 1996: 97). 54 Proof that AlciphrOn drew more than just his characters from Menander is the fact that he uses forty-one words from Menander not found in the standard Attic dialect. 55 The only Second Sophistic authors to use more Menandrian vocabulary are Plutarch and Lucian. For the sake of a more full comparison, Alciphron uses 41 Menandrian words to Plutarch's 125 and Lucian's 70 (Durham 1913: 103). 56 When considered against the relative size of each writer's corpus, it is clear that AlciphrOn was drawing directly from Menander. The Historical Hetairai Searching for traces of historical personae is a method of reading AlciphrOn that applies only to Letters of Courtesans. These letters, unlike the others, move beyond the stock characters of New Comedy into a semi-fictional demi-monde peopled with historical figures. By using hetairai, Alciphron has chosen a group of women that occupy a prominent place in ancient Greek culture. Certain members of their profession were "celebrities in their own right" (Skinner 2005: 100), which is indicated by the fact that Alciphrôn chooses, five centuries later, to use their names in his historical fictions with the expectation that they will be recognized. These historical hetairai in Alciphron lived during the Hellenistic period, what Skinner terms "the great era of courtesan idolatry at Athens" (2005: 100). This is not to say that all courtesans lived lives of ease and wealth. Perhaps the most difficult conflict in the life of the hetaira was her reliance on a complex system of gift exchange 54 See Alciphron 3.34, in which Limpyctes mentions his farmer friend, Corydon's odd use of elevated Attic Greek. 55 This standard dialect is defined by Durham (1913: 9-10) as that used by the orators of Classical Athens, Thucydides, Aristophanes, and the other writers of Old Comedy. 56 Because Durham's study was published in 1913, it does not include Dyskolos, and significant pieces of Samia and Aspis. Nonetheless, I believe that Durham's evidence is useful in establishing a connection between Menander and the Second Sophistic authors. 29 as income (Kurke 1999: 185). In return for the gifts they received from their lovers, hetairai were "obliged to give something in return — at their own discretion, of course" (Davidson 1997: 123). A true courtesan would limit herself to only one or two lovers, often entering into an exclusive relationship with one wealthy benefactor. As well, her services could not be obtained for a set fee, as this was the mark of the common porne (Davidson 1997: 201). 57 As a result, she had to remove herself from the "explicit moneyed sphere of public life" (Llewellyn-Jones 2003:142). 58 A hetaira's income, therefore, was not from set fees for her services, but rather from gifts given to her in exchange for her favour, which she could refuse at anytime (Kurke 1999: 183). 59 A large portion of this income would be reinvested in the accoutrements of her trade, as she required fashionable clothing, cosmetics, and perfumes in order to attract her patrons. The exchange of letters between SimaliOn and Petale (letters 4.8 and 4.9) demonstrates this. Simali6n is being spurned by the courtesan Petale, primarily for insufficient payment. Petale is well aware of the economic necessities of her profession, when she replies to SimaliOn: 'E PouAdtniv piv vino 6aKpticov oiKiav iTaipas Tp4Eoeat • Aaprrpc.35 rip av In-pal-Toy CX(1)00VCOV TOUTCAW cirroAatiouca Trapci C506• VCR) 6i SE( xpuaiou riiiiv, ipaTicov, KOatiou, eEpo1ratvt6icov. i TOlj PIOU 6101K11015 &TICK:Fa EVTEREV. I wish that a courtesan's house were maintained on tears; for then I should be getting along splendidly, since I am supplied with plenty of them by you! But the present fact is that I need money, clothes, finery, maidservants; on these the whole ordering of my life depends. (4.9.1) 57 Ogden says of the relationship between hetairai and Hellenistic rulers that "the relationship between the money and property they were given and the sexual services they provided was doubtlessly kept discreetly indirect" (1999: 237). For a survey of the terms used of female prostitutes in Greek literature, see McClure (2003: 10). For an historical account of the evolution of the terms hetaira and porne, see Kurke (1997). Cohen claims that this economic division is the key difference between the hetaira and the porne (2002: 97). 58 Alciphron contradicts this in letter 4.15, in which Philumena demands the set amount of fifty pieces of gold. Such a demand reduces Philumena to the status of porne. 59 Letter 4.9 in Alciphron is one example of such refusal. 30 Because of these needs, and their attendant costs, a skilful hetaira was only marginally available to the wealthiest patrons. The high fees for her companionship indicated her exclusivity and high social status. Because maintaining her high status necessitated elusiveness, a truly "grand" hetaira would comport herself in the manner of a noblewoman, revealing herself only when necessary (Llewellyn-Jones 2003: 142). Theodote, as described in Xenophön's Memorabilia, is a woman who exemplifies these conflicting ideas. As a hetaira, she is sexually available to those with sufficient resources, and yet, when posing for artists, she only shows as much as is proper (ois - iKE ivriv i rr t Se t kvUe t v iaurfis boa KaAc.35 1xot, 3.11.1). Indeed, the hetairai that appear in vase paintings in non-sympotic contexts behave much like citizen wives, concealing their bodies at home and veiling themselves in public (Dalby 2002: 120). Phryne, who was famously exposed to the court by her lover Hypereides as a method of defence (an incident referred to in letter 4.4), carefully kept herself clothed in public (Athenaeus 13. 590e-  0.6° As a result of the combination of public aid& and inaccessibility, hetairai were able to maintain relatively high standing in Greek society. Thus when Xenophon refers to a group of courtesans at Thebes, he is able to describe them as oE pvo -Ri-ra I Kai KaAA iaTa i ("grandest and most beautiful" Hel. 5.4.4). The historical hetairai, as they appear in Letters of Courtesans, are a group of women who are very much a part of the intellectual and cultural life in Athens. Many of the anecdotes about the famous Athenian hetairai come from Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae, which is dated to 6° Precedents in Greek literature of breast-baring to gain sympathy include Hecuba baring her maternal breast to Hector at Iliad 22.79-83, which is then echoed by Clytemnestra at Aeschylus' Choephoroi 896-7, and the story of Helen baring her breast to Menelaus at Euripides' Andromache 637-41. 31 the third century CE. 61 This work is thought to have taken much of its information regarding these women from a third century BCE work called the Chreiai by Machan, meaning that some of the famous Hellenistic hetairai may have still been alive while the Chreiai was being written (Ogden 1999: 219). The reader of 4.1 is confronted with the first in a series of famous women. Phryne's letter to Praxiteles discusses the famous Aphrodite Knidos. 62 She (Phryne) stands in the middle of the shrine, as embodied in the statue (pear) yap "EoTrika, 4.1.1). 63 As the first monumental female nude, this statue holds a prominent place in the history of Greek art. 64 The Knidia stands in a contrapposto pose, her weight resting on one foot, her right hand holding some draped cloth, and her left hand in front of, but not covering her genitals (see fig.1). 65 Stewart credits this pose of partial modesty as a way of recognizing that Praxiteles' "Aphrodite had simultaneously to acknowledge the protocols of female modesty laid down by the public eye; overwhelm the eroticized glance with her irresistible sexuality; and yet still maintain her distance and dignity as a goddess" (1997: 101). The statue was reportedly so beautiful that Lucian relates the anecdote that a young man contrived to spend the night in the sanctuary, attempted to have intercourse with it, and afterwards committed suicide. The proof of this encounter is the stain left behind on one thigh from the young man's semen (Amores 11). The 61 McClure suggests that Athenaeus's characters, like Alciphron's in Letters of Courtesans, are a mixture of historical and fictional characters (2003: 208 n.35). 62 McClure gives Phryne's birth date as ca. 371 BCE (2003: 127). 63 There was also a gold statue at Delphi, thought to be modeled on PhrynE, which Plutarch mentions at 401a8-12 of The Oracles at Delphi, Dio Chrysostom at Orationes 37.28.7, and Athenaeus at 13.591 b. Keesling suggests that the statue is unique among the other portrait statues at Delphi simply because it depicts a woman by herself (2002: 66). 64 Stewart dates the statue to ca. 350 BCE (1997: 97). 65 The original does not survive, but numerous copies attest to the Knidia's fame in anitiquity. 32 key to this story is "the extent to which all parties concerned behave as though the Cnidia were not a mere sculpture but partly a living woman" (Skinner 2005: 175). 66 Who then was the "living woman" behind the statue? There are many references to the fourth century woman known as "Toad" in ancient sources. 67 Most of these stories refer to her baring her body in two famous incidents. The first is related by Athenaeus, that Phryne, while attending the Mysteries at Eleusis, walked naked into the sea, thus inspiring Praxiteles to use her as his model for the statue of Venus. 68 Indeed, Praxiteles' love for Phryne was so strong that he sculpted an ErOs for her, which she in turn dedicated in her hometown of Thespiai. 69 66 Havelock claims that Phryne as the model for the Knidia is "largely a fictitious character" (1995: 3), while Stewart claims the opposite, claiming that the statue's pose of simultaneous invitation and rejection mirrors a courtesan's dealings with her clients (1997: 106). 67 The word 4) pOvri translates into "toad," which Plutarch, at 401a10-2 of The Oracles at Delphi, suggests was a nickname that came from her sallow complexion. He also says that her real name was Mnesarete, which Athenaeus also claims at 13.591e. 68 Athenaeus 13.591a. At this point in his text, Athenaeus also says that Phryne was the model for Apelles' painting of Aphrodite rising out of the sea. 69 Pausanius relates the story of Phryne selecting this Eros from Praxiteles' workshop. She wanted his favourite work, and when he refused to tell her which one it was, she had a slave burst in, saying that Praxiteles' workshop was on fire. Praxiteles started to rush off, saying that he wanted to rescue his Er6s, which is the statue that Phryne then selected (1.20.1-2). The same statue is also mentioned at 9.27.3. According to Athenaeus, the inscription at the base of this statue said this: 1-1e4ITEXT15 OV ETTaGE S Ir1KptpcaaEv Epco -roc, E 151115 EXKCJV CipXETUTTOV xpaSirls, 1puvr ptcy8Ov ipEio SISOU$ ElIE. P -rpa Si poixxco 06KiT 61,31-86cov, c(AA' ci -rEv0p8vos. Praxitelès has portrayed to perfection the Passion which he felt,/ drawing his model from the depths of his own heart/ and dedicating me Phryne as the price of me. The spell of love which I cast/ comes no longer from my arrow, but from gazing upon me. (13.591a, tr. Gulick, adapted) In his Geography, Strabo says that this statue of Eros was a gift from Praxiteles to Glykera, who then dedicated it to the Thespians, as she was a native of Thespiae. This is obviously a conflation with Phryne. 33 Another prominent story about Phryne is mentioned by Alciphron in letters 4.3, 4, and 5. These letters refer to the trial in which Phryne was charged with impiety by her former lover Euthias. 7° As a woman, Phryne could not defend herself, and so the orator Hypereides spoke in her defence. 7I When it seemed that Phryne would be convicted, Hypereides brought her into the view of all present, and opened her dress, baring her breasts. This caused the jury to "feel superstitious fear" (5e took( tpovijaa 0 at the sight of "this handmaid and ministrant of Aphrodite" (i 6TroOtric Kai soiKopos), and so she was acquitted. 72 Cooper suggests that Phryne did not actually disrobe (1995: 315). Nevertheless, this anecdote, along with the traditions associated with the Knidia, shows that Phryne was known for the exceptional beauty of her body in antiquity. 73 Her reputation as a beauty was so wide-spread that Plutarch (Advice About Keeping Well, 125a11) claims that as she got older, she was able to get a higher price from her patrons, despite her advanced age. A final anecdote concerning Phryne relates to the vast wealth she is said to have accumulated from her lovers. When the walls of Thebes were destroyed in 335 BCE by 70 The motivation for Euthias bringing these charges is usually ascribed to a lovers' quarrel between the two (Cooper 1995: 390). 71 In Letters of Courtesans, Hypereides is Myrrhina's lover. Letter 4.5, from Bacchis to Myrrhina, is full of transparent scorn for Myrrhina, who has apparently left Hypereides for Euthias. Bacchis warns Myrrhina not to ask anything of Euthias, lest she be charged with setting the shipyards on fire or overthrowing the laws (4.5.3). In his Life of Hypereiclês, at 849e3, Plutarch suggests that HypereidEs took up Phryne's case because they had been lovers. At 849e6-7, he also states that it was Hypereides who removed Phryne's tunic. Athenaeus also has Hypereides removing her tunic at 13.590e. 72 This story is recounted in Athenaeus 13.590d-e. 73 Athenaeus 13.590e. Athenaeus, citing Hermippus as his source, says that Euthias was so angry at the outcome of this trial that he never tried another legal case again (13.590d). 34 Alexander the Great, she offered to have them rebuilt. 74 All of these anecdotes illustrate the glamour and appeal of the courtesan in literary tradition. She is always beautiful, wealthy, often associated with prominent men, and sometimes scandalous. The next historical courtesan named in AlciphrOn is Glykera, the writer of letters 4.2 and 4.19, and the addressee of letter 4.18. Glykera was thought to be Menander's mistress, and is portrayed as such by AlciphrOn. In artistic tradition, Glykera is usually portrayed alongside Menander. A stone carving depicts the two together, along with several typical New Comedy masks of the type that Pollux catalogued (see fig.2). As well, there is a floor mosaic from Daphne in modern Turkey, depicting Glykera and Menander alongside a personification of Comedy (see fig.3). This mosaic dates to the second half of the third century CE, and thus represents a continuation of the tradition from which AlciphrOn is working. According to Athenaeus, Glykera was also a mistress of the Macedonian aristocrat Harpalus. He says that Harpalus was so besotted with her beauty that he set up bronze portraits of her in Syria and demanded that anyone who wished to offer him a crown offer one to Glykera as well (13.586c). 75 Diodorus Sicilus says that when Harpalus was in Babylon, he brought Glykera there, and kept her in luxury there (17.108.6). Two more of AlciphrOn's courtesans, Thais and Lamia, were associated with Hellenistic rulers. While the Thais of letters 4.6 and 4.7 is concerned with petty matters, and therefore likely inspired by Menander's Thais, Athenaeus claims that the historical Thais was a lover of 74 Athenaeus 13.591 d. Phryne's offer was made on the condition that the Thebans make an inscription saying, 'AAkavSpoc Ka -r6axmlisv, civa -rricrEv Se Optivri rj iraipa, "Whereas Alexander demolished it, Phryne the courtesan restored it" (tr. Gulick). 75 Athenaeus relates the same anecdote at 13.595d. In his Rhetorum Praeceptor, Lucian uses Glykera as a model of seductiveness (12.9-11). 35 Alexander the Great (13.576e). After the death of Alexander, he says that she became a Hellenistic queen, married to Ptolemy SOter, the king of Egypt (13.576e). 76 Lamia, the author of letter 4.16, was also the mistress of a powerful Hellenistic figure, Demetrius Poliorcetes. According to Plutarch's Life of Demetrius, Lamia first became known for her aulos-playing, and then became a courtesan (16.5). 77 Athenaeus says that she bore a daughter, Phila, to him. 78 More than anything else, what these anecdotes and bits of information tell us is that the glamourous courtesans of Hellenistic Athens captured the public imagination. The most common themes in these stories are their great beauty and seductiveness, which brings them into association with the most influential men (whether politically or culturally) in the Greek world. Alciphrôn's Letters participate in this tradition by adapting several of these stories (Phryne in letters 4.1 and 4.3-5, Glykera in 4.2 and 4.18-9, and Lamia in 4.16) and narrating them from the first person perspective. All four of these methods of reading Alciphrtin demonstrate that his Letters are a deeply mimetic text. The epistolary format brings the very thoughts of AlciphrOn's characters to his audience in first-person perspective. His reconstruction of Classical Athens in Letters of Courtesans brings a bygone era back to life. By drawing on New Comedy, AlciphrOn expands on 76 ThaTs is also one of the speakers in Lucian's first dialogue between courtesans. 77 AlciphrOn refers to this tradition at 4.16.3, when Lamia promises to besiege the besieger with her auloi (cairOv Toil ai2oic irrroAtopKijoco). This is also found at Athenaeus 13.577e, in a fragment of Chreiai. Demetrius was apparently so besotted with her that after ordering the Athenians to raise two hundred fifty talents, he gave it to Lamia and the other courtesans for soap (Plutarch, Dem. 27.1). Because of her supposed greed, Lamia becomes cautionary tale to tell children in Strabo 1.2.8. 78 Athenaeus says this at 13.577c, and also states here that she built a painted stoa for the Sicyonians. Plutarch says that she was able to seduce Demetrius despite the fact that her beauty had begun to wane with age (Dem.16.6). 36 the world of Menander, and then calls attention to that process by using him as one of his characters. In giving the historical hetairai voice, he draws on established biographical traditions. It is this combination of factors that allows for a rich, multi-faceted reading of AlciphrOn. 37 Chapter 2: Sexuality, Foucault, and Classics I would like to propose, supplementary to the foci in Chapter 1, a reading of Alciphron's Letters of Courtesans through the lens of the courtesans' sexuality. This perspective highlights what I see as the definitive aspect of the hetaira letters, which is AlciphrOn's portrayal of the courtesans as actively desiring women. Froma Zeitlin isolates three keys to any discussion of sexuality in the Greek world: "Freud, Foucault, and Feminism(s)" (1999: 54). While I will only briefly discuss Zeitlin's first "F," I will be working in more detail with the other two, Foucault and Feminism, particularly as the combination applies to the field of Classics. The intention of this chapter is to offer a brief history of theories of ancient sexuality, and to situate my own perspective within this larger body of discourse. Using modern theories that deal with ancient sexuality, I will use this chapter as a basis for my examination of the courtesans' sexuality in Chapter 3. Before I begin this process, I would like to elaborate on the definition of sexuality that I am using in this context. According to Phillips and Reay, sexuality is composed of a variety of concepts, including, but not limited to, "identities, orientations, sex acts, work-practices, images, bodies, thoughts, institutions, [and] systems of power" (2002: 3), and accordingly, theoretical approaches to the topic are equally multi-faceted. Weeks identifies five categories of social relations that are involved in the shaping of sexuality: kinship systems, economic and social organizations, patterns of social regulation (both legal and moral), power and politics, and cultures of resistance (2002: 33). Therefore, in my analysis of Letters of Courtesans, I consider sexuality to be a composite of the actions and emotions related to an individual's erotic desire (or lack thereof). In addition, the individual's actions are to be appreciated in the context of their culture. I want to make it clear that this understanding of sexuality is not comparable to our 38 modern conception of sexuality in the West, which assigns sexual orientation to an individual based on who they are having sex with (Parker 2001: 313). I am not approaching sexuality as something that is consistent regardless of time and culture, but rather as a phenomenon that is particular to a given culture. 79 I shall trace the shift in theory from the psychoanalytic approaches of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan to Foucault's landmark The History of Sexuality. I will then examine post-History of Sexuality work in the field of Classics before moving on to feminist reactions to Foucault (primarily within Classics). In doing so, I will set out my own theoretical position in relation to The History of Sexuality. I will then outline another influential theory related to sexuality and gender: the gaze. Originally described in terms of the cinema (particularly by Laura Mulvey in her 1975 article "Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema"), the idea of the gaze has been incorporated into work on both art and literature. As Letters of Courtesans contain several instances in which desire and looking are combined, an examination of how looking can shape desire is necessary for a thorough understanding of sexuality in AlciphrOn. I will therefore also establish my position in relation to Mulvey (1975). 79 This is based on Parker (2001), who explains the idea of a culturally-defined sexuality using the categories emic and etic. An emic category is unique to a culture, while an etic category is applicable to any culture. Parker defines these in the following ways: 1) emic categories [e.g. sexuality] exist only inside of a single culture; 2) the lines that distinguish one category from another may be drawn on completely different axes; 3) an emic category may lump together what another culture keeps rigorously separate; and 4) an emic category may separate what another considers a distinctive unity (320-1). Following this, sexuality is emic. 39 Freud to Foucault In the twentieth century, theoretical sexual discourse begins with the psychoanalytic works of Sigmund Freud. In Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), Freud advances his idea that adult sexuality is inextricably linked to early childhood. 8° Although he observes that there is little differentiation between male and female before puberty, Freud states that for little girls, inhibitions related to sexuality develop earlier than in little boys, and "where the component instincts of sexuality appear, they [little girls] prefer the passive form" (1905: 85). In his understanding, the sexual drive, what Freud refers to as "libido," has an exclusively masculine character. In what I see as a contradictory statement, Freud also says that the masculine nature of the libido is apparent regardless of whether "it occurs in men or in women and irrespectively of whether its object is a man or a woman" (1905: 85). For Freud then, feminine sexuality is a passive phenomenon, and when female desire does exist, it is defined in masculine terms. Using a psychoanalytic approach built upon that of Freud, Jacques Lacan interprets female sexuality in terms of desire. For Lacan, the expression of desire is important in its shaping of sexuality. Like Freud, Lacan understands active sexuality as essentially masculine. Indeed, Lacan's work was heavily influenced by Freud. 81 The work in which he engages directly with female desire, is titled On Feminine Sexuality: The Limits of Love and Knowledge (1975). The first section of this work concerns the Lacanian concept of jouissance, which in Lacan's words, 80 This group of essays is most famous for Freud's introduction of penis envy and the Oedipus complex. 81 Lacan was even director of the Ecole Freudienne de Paris from its founding in 1964 until 1980. 40 is "what serves no purpose" (1975: 3).82 In Lacan's analytic perspective, "Woman" is "not whole" (pas-tout), particularly in terms of sexual jouissance, which is centered on the phallus; "jouissance, qua sexual, is phallic" (1975: 9). 83 Woman are not sexed, except with regard to their "sexual organs" (Lacan 1975: 7). This situates Woman as the eternal "Other," marked only by her relationship to the male signifier." Departing from Lacan's heavily psychoanalytic and linguistic approach to sexuality, Michel Foucault's landmark three-volume History of Sexuality takes an historical approach to the subject. Foucault's understanding of sexuality as a product of a specific culture represents a paradigm shift from the psychoanalytic tenet that sexuality was a fundamental aspect of human experience. 85 His first volume, The Will to Knowledge, examines sexuality from the nineteenth century onwards, and sets out Foucault's goal, "to account for the fact that it [sexuality] is spoken about, to discover who does the speaking, the positions and viewpoints from which they speak, the institutions which prompt people to speak about it and which store and distribute the things that are said" (1976: 11). For Foucault, ideas of sexuality arise out of cultural discourse, and are therefore in constant flux (Philips and Reay 2002: 6). The Will To Knowledge also sets out Foucault's version of the active/passive sexual paradigm in terms of power relations. For 82 Lacan's jouissance should not be confused with the conventional translation of the term as "enjoyment." There is an added inflection to the term: it can also mean orgasm. Lacan plays with this added meaning when he says of jouissance that a woman "knows it of course, when it comes. It doesn't happen to all of them" (1975: 74). 83 Lacan says of female analysts, "They haven't contributed one iota to the question of feminine sexuality. There must be an internal reason for that, related to the structure of the apparatus of jouissance"(1975: 58). This is one of many explicitly misogynist comments that Lacan makes when discussing the concept of "Woman." 84 One of Lacan's most noted students is Luce Irigaray, who takes a gendered approach to language, arguing that language use is gendered, and that in its use there are two discrete sexes. As she states, in her relations with others, as a woman, she is "un corps sexue (1997: 58). 85 According to Foucault's conception of it, sexuality then fits into Parker's emic category. 41 Foucault, sexuality is a focal point of power relations (1976: 103). Such relations are not independent of non-sexual relationships and are intentional, "imbued with calculation" (1976: 94). As well, power relations are in constant flux, particularly in sexual relationships. Pleasure in Foucault's understanding, unlike Lacan's jouissance, is a source of truth, and can be conceptualized as a practice. It is imperative to hold pleasure "in its greatest reserve would lose its effectiveness and its virtue by being divulged" (1976: 57). 86 Sexual pleasure is a powerful phenomenon, one that "gives the individual access to his own the whole of his his identity" (1976: 155). Foucauldian pleasure is therefore something to be carefully controlled by the individual, who should not overindulge. In Volume Two of The History of Sexuality, The Use of Pleasure, Foucault moves his focus from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to Classical Greece. In doing so, he demonstrates that sexuality cannot be considered a constant, but rather it is a mutable concept that varies by culture. I believe that this is the strongest aspect of Foucault's argument. The Use of Pleasure also introduces two factors that Foucault identifies as important in shaping ancient Greek sexuality: the subject's telos within a relationship and aphrodisia, or sexual pleasures. The idea of the telos is key to understanding Foucault's construction of ancient Greek sexual relationships. 87 For Foucault, telea are the result of a complex series of actions: An action is not only moral in itself, in its singularity; it is also moral in its circumstantial integration and by virtue of the place it occupies in a pattern of conduct. It is an element and an aspect of this conduct, and it marks a stage in its life, a possible advance in its continuity. A moral action tends toward its own accomplishment; but it also aims toward the latter, to the establishing of a moral 86 This understanding of pleasure would have great bearing on Foucault's work in Volumes 2 and 3 on the ancient Greek concept of enkrateia (self-control). 87 Marriage, loss of virginity, and economic gain are examples of telea within the context of erotic relationships. 42 conduct that commits an individual, not only to other actions always in conformity with values and rules, but to a certain mode of being. (1985: 27-28) Telea are therefore the "modes of being" that result from an individual's values (whether determined by society or not) and that work to locate the individual within larger society. 88 Aphrodisia, or sexual pleasures, are extremely important in Foucault's configuration of sexuality. From Plato, Foucault identifies three basic appetites: food, drink, and sex (1985: 49). 89 Lust for sexual pleasure is the strongest of the three. The category aphrodisia is not limited to explicitly sexual activity, but rather includes the "acts, gestures, and contacts that produce a certain form of pleasure" (1985: 40)." Indeed, pleasure is linked directly to aphrodisia through such actions, so that pleasure and aphrodisia combined are considered a "solid unity," along with the desire for pleasure. Act, desire, and pleasure come together in aphrodisia (1985: 42). Sexual pleasures are then subject to "use," or management by the individual. Foucault refers to this as chresis aphrodizOn (1985: 53). 91 The individual relationship to sexual desire is defined by that individual's agency, how the individual is able to control the desire for sexual pleasure. Foucault outlines three strategies for such management of sexual desire: need, time, and status. Need could regulate aphrodisia in that the intention was "to maintain [pleasure] and to do so through the need that awakened desire...pleasure was dulled if it offered no satisfaction to the keenness of a desire" (1985: 55-6). The idea of time as a strategy to control desire is 88 An example of this would be the courtesan's economic telos within an erotic relationship. Her individual values shape her selection of telos, and the telos in turn locates her in a certain social position. 89 Foucault isolates these appetites in Plato's Laws. Plato discusses the overwhelming power of sexual lust at Laws 1.636a. 9° Citing Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics 3.1118a-b, Foucault isolates "touch and contact" as the only media of pleasure (1985: 40). 91 The title of volume 2 comes from this term. 43 termed kairos (the ideal time), which has three manifestations: the temporal location of the individual within the entire lifespan, the time of year, and the best time of day for undertaking sexual activity (1985: 58). According to Foucault, one's age determined one's eligibility for sex as sexual pleasures were inappropriate for those too old and too young (1985: 58). 92 The time of year was directly related to a sexual regimen, with winter an ideal time for sexual relations, which both warm and dry the body (1985: 112). The best time of day for sex was at night. 93 Status is a complex method of sexual management, as it varies from individual to individual on the basis of age, gender, physical condition, and social ranking (1985: 59-60). 94 All three of these techniques of management (need, kairos, and status) can be employed by the individual in the process of what Foucault calls enkrateia (self-mastery). Enkrateia is the result of victory in the struggle within oneself to manage desire. He also identifies enkrateia as an essentially male process. Even for women, enkrateia is "virile by definition" (1985: 83). 95 Immoderation therefore "derives from a passivity that relates it to femininity" (1985: 84). In establishing this binary relationship, Foucault sets up what is still the dominant paradigm of understanding sexuality and gender in the Classical Greek world— masculinity is equivalent to sexual agency while femininity is equivalent to passivity. 92 Foucault's source here is Aristotle's History of Animals 7.1.582a. Aristotle identifies twenty-one as an ideal age for reproduction, as prior to this, sperm is not strong enough to produce healthy offspring. 93 Foucault reaches this conclusion based on the discussion in Plutarch's Table Talk 3.6. 94 The source for this is Demonsthenes' Erotic Essay. 95 Foucault gets this idea from Xenophôn's Oeconomicus. At 10.1, in a discussion of Isomachus' wife, Socrates praises her for her "masculine mind," ( -6 c'an5piKrj Sicivota). This brings to mind Freud's conception of the libido as exclusively masculine. 44 Foucault's great success in The Use of Pleasure is in identifying that in the Greek world there was "no assumption that sexual acts in themselves and by nature were bad" (1985: 117). This achieves his goal from the first volume of separating modern ideas of sexual morality from ancient ones. He is correct when he states that the ancient Greeks did not make any distinctions of object choice in their understanding of sexuality. The sexual male was identified not so much by whether he preferred women or boys, but by his approach to aphrodisia: "What distinguished a moderate, self-possessed man from one given to pleasures was, from the viewpoint of ethics, much more important than what differentiated, among themselves, the categories of pleasures that invited the greatest devotion" (1985: 187). 96 In my estimation, Foucault is less successful in his privileging of the erasteslerOmenos pederastic relationship. In the context of such relationships, Foucault states that "the Eros came from the lover; as for the beloved, he could not be an active subject of love on the same basis as the erastes" (1985: 239). Foucault focuses only on the erasteslerOmenos dynamic in illustrating his active/passive model, and by omission excludes a model of sexual relations in which both lovers are active. The third and final volume of the History of Sexuality is titled The Care of the Self In this volume, Foucault concentrates on aphrodisia, the individual, and the body, which is an expansion on his discussion of enkrateia from Volume Two. Citing Artemidorus, the author of the Oneirocritica, Foucault isolates three types of sexual acts: kata nomon (according to 96 Foucault means that there were no ancient equivalents of modern classifications of sexuality such as homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. 45 regulation), para nomon (against regulation), and para phusis (against nature). 97 The first category is clearly the one that an individual with enkrateia would pursue. In this volume Foucault also draws attention to the body as a focal point for sexual discourse (1986: 56). In this context, the "image of the self" is of an individual suffering from various ills, which in turn requires that the individual have thorough self-knowledge, and when necessary, practice abstinence (1986: 57-8). Sexual acts need to be placed "under an extremely careful regimen, in accordance with the individual" (1986: 124). Such a regimen for aphrodisia would be "centered on the body" (1986: 133), which recalls the chresis aphrodizOn of the second volume. In this case, however, the regimen would be structured around the "number and frequency of acts," in opposition to the object of desire or the mode of activity (1986: 42). Foucault's greatest contribution to the study of sexuality is his separation of ancient and modern concepts. In proving that sexuality is a product of culture he relies exclusively on philosophical works and medical treatises. This is the cause of his greatest failure, which is the near-exclusion of women from his theoretical construct. His basic framework is nonetheless applicable to ancient works in other genres, and I believe that it can be used to illuminate constructions of female sexuality. Post-History of Sexuality Reactions and Constructions Kenneth Dover's Greek Homosexuality is exactly contemporary with the first volume of The History of Sexuality (both were published in 1978), and shares a similar focus on male 97 In this context, nomos refers to regulation on both an individual and a societal basis (Foucault 1986: 17). 46 sexuality with Foucault's work. 98 Dover disregards women, as Foucault does, except as models of passivity. Like Foucault, he also closely adheres to an active/passive conceptualization of sexuality (Dover 1978: 103). His model of sexuality, like Foucault's, focuses on the active or passive role of the partner, specifically using the erastes and erOmenos to illustrate his point. For Dover, penetration was "the essence of aphrodisia" (Nussbaum and Sihvola 2002: 17). The active, penetrating partner is described as conquering the passive, penetrated partner (Dover 1978: 105)99 In comparison with Foucault, Dover has the advantage of being a dedicated classicist, and is therefore able to use a wider variety of sources than Foucault, and to use them more skilfully. Dover, on the other hand, is clearly surpassed by Foucault in the way that he structures Greek Homosexuality, even in its very title. Where Foucault was successful in divorcing Classical Greek ideas of sexuality from modern conceptualizations of sexual orientation, Dover imbues his work with modern ideas of homosexuality, much to its detriment. As demonstrated by this statement from his first chapter, "Problems, Sources and Methods," he is a slave to the terminology he chooses: "How, when and why overt and unrepressed homosexuality became so conspicuous a feature of Greek life is an interesting subject for speculation" (1978: 1). In his use 98 Prior to Dover (1978), the first comprehensive study of ancient sexuality was written by Friedrich Karl Forberg in 1824. De Figuris Veneris is an exhaustive collection of writings on erotic subjects in Latin and Greek. The collection's English translator, Viscount Julian Smithson, is very careful to stress that De Figuris Veneris is a purely scholarly text: "Those persons...who may peruse it as a means of awakening voluptuous sensations will be severely disappointed. Never did a work more serious issue from the press" (Smithson 1844: v). In much the same vein as Forberg, Paul Brandt (under the pseudonym Hans Licht) published his account of ancient sexuality in 1931. Sexual Life in Ancient Greece is a basic collection of information on sexual activity which, like De Figuris Veneris, uses literary sources. Like Forberg's work, it is best used as a sourcebook, and propounds no significant theory on ancient sexuality. 99 Dover offers the Eurymedon vase as evidence for his victor/conqueror metaphor. This vase depicts a Persian on one side, bent over, while on the other side a Greek man moves toward him, penis in hand. The Persian is saying, "I am Eurymedon, I stand bent over," in reference to the site of an Athenian victory over the Persians. Dover declares that such an image proclaims "We've buggered the Persians!" (1978: 105). See fig. 4. 47 of the words "overt and unrepressed," Dover colours his approach with language that hints at a twentieth century Freudian version of homosexuality, rather than the ancient version he purports to be examining. Dover's work influenced Foucault in his preparation of the second and third volumes of The History of Sexuality. In a 1982 interview with the journal Masques, Foucault praises Greek Homosexuality and isolates what he sees as vital to a study of ancient sexuality, that homo- and heterosexuality are not concepts that apply in such a context: "C'est que Dover montre que notre decoupage des conduits sexuelles entre homo- et h6tero-sexuality n'est absolument pas pertinent pour les Grecs et les Romains" (Joecker, Overd, and Sanzio 1982: 286). In the same interview, Foucault outlines what he thinks is the crux of the active/passive paradigm of male-male sexual relations, that a man of high standing in society simply cannot accept the passive role in a sexual relationship (Joecker, Overd, and Sanzio 1982: 28). In an article of the same year, Foucault further discusses Dover, and it becomes quite apparent that Foucault greatly admires Greek Homosexuality, and was inspired by it in writing the latter two volumes of his History of Sexuality. loo Once more Foucault praises Dover for his separation of sexual discourse from its modern context: "Le coeur de l'analyse de Dover est ld: retrouver ce que disaient ces gestes du sexe et du plaisir, gestes que nous croyons universels ... et qui, analyses dans leur specificitè historique, tiennent un discours bien singulier" (Foucault 1982: 315). While Dover and Foucault propound similar ideas of sexuality as a social construction, it is Foucault who has received the vast majority of reaction. These reactions vary widely, from apologists such as David Halperin, to detractors, such as Amy Richlin. Most critics, however, 100 Foucault cites Dover on multiple occasions, particularly in discussing the erastès and erOmenos (Foucault 1985: 196), and the distinction between modern and ancient concepts of sexuality (Foucault 1985: 252). 48 fall somewhere between these two extremes, acknowledging Foucault's contribution to the study of sexuality, while criticizing his methodology. I will work through the reactions of several prominent classical scholars who have reacted to Foucault, but in no way do I claim that I am presenting an exhaustive collection. In light of the sheer volume of Foucault-related work, I am choosing to outline the work of scholars whom I believe have been the most influential, or have engaged most directly with The History of Sexuality. Davidson traces Dover's effect on Foucault in Volumes 2 and 3 of The History of Sexuality. He criticizes both scholars for their focus on penetration and active/passive sexual roles: "The picture of ancient sex and sexual morality as a plus-minus 'zero-sum game', where one party can only 'win' at the expense of the other, is not only unsubstantiated, but contradicts what evidence there is" (2001: 7). The distinction between the two, according to Davidson, is Dover's unerring belief in Greek sexuality as heterosexuality; erotic activity between two men was not sexuality, just a "behavioural pattern" (2001: 13). Davidson also finds fault with Foucault's over-emphasis on discourse (as compared with actual behaviour). He claims that by privileging representation, "Foucault and his followers sometimes seem to forget about the world if the Greeks walked around in a virtual reality they had constructed for themselves from discourse" (1997: xxv). I challenge the basis of Davidson's criticism here: what evidence of ancient sexuality do we have beyond representations? I°1 David Halperin is one of Foucault's most vocal defenders. As a theorist working extensively in the areas of gender studies, queer theory, and ancient sexuality, Halperin's work has been heavily informed by Foucault. Perhaps this is because of the strong identification that 101 For that matter, what evidence of modern sexuality do we have beyond the representations of others? 49 Halperin feels with Foucault's personal and professional politics. 102 In his own words, Halperin was "the only professional classicist in North America to give the second volume of Foucault's History of Sexuality...a favourable review" (1995:4). 103 Halperin has consistently espoused and promoted Foucault's work, often taking on his detractors. In "Forgetting Foucault" (2002), Halperin engages with Jean Baudrillard's 1977 anti-Foucault pamphlet, entitled "Forget Foucault." In this article, Halperin discusses the hyper-saturation of Foucault in academia, complaining: Foucault's continuing prestige, and the almost ritualistic invocation of his name by academic practitioners of cultural theory, has had the effect of reducing the operative range of his thought to a small set of received ideas, slogans, and bits of jargon that have now become so commonplace and so familiar as to make a more direct engagement with Foucault's texts entirely dispensable. As a result, we are so far from remembering Foucault that there is little point in entertaining the possibility of forgetting him (2002: 22). 104 Halperin's strongest defence of Foucault is that he sees The History of Sexuality as an analysis of discourse, as opposed to a social history. In identifying the History of Sexuality as "discursive analysis" (Halperin 2002: 28), he responds to those who criticize Foucault for privileging masculine sexuality. 105 The key to appreciating Halperin's defense of Foucault is his connection 102 Halperin's identification is so strong that he states, "Michel Foucault, c'est moi" (Halperin 1995: 8). 103 According to Halperin, the second volume of The History of Sexuality marks a turning point in Foucault's approach to sexuality. Halperin says that this is due to his use of a more rigorous philological method, particularly as influenced by Dover (1990: 64). 104 This precisely what Bruce Thornton accuses Halperin of doing. He says that both Halperin and Winkler have reduced Foucault's theories "to a banality of sorts that any modern scholar working on ancient sexual behaviour and attitudes would accept" (1991: 83). 105 Halperin is clear that The History of Sexuality is "not a social history, let alone an exhaustive one" (2002: 28). Davidson's (1997, 2001) dislike of Foucault's discursive approach places him in direct opposition to Halperin. 50 of modern sexual and political theory with ancient. Halperin recognizes that theories based in history can and do have very real effects in contemporary society.' °6 Another important response to Foucault, this one dealing exclusively with classical literature, is Simon Goldhill's Foucault's Virginity: Ancient erotic fiction and the history of sexuality (1995). Goldhill introduces the book as contributing to three topics of discussion: literary criticism and classical studies, the history of the discourse of sexuality, and "the specific and influential contribution to both classical studies and the history of sexuality made by Michel Foucault" (1995: x-xi). Goldhill is interested, following Halperin, in Foucault's approach to discourse. In Goldhill's own construction, the discourse of literary sexuality has a very specific telos: the loss of virginity. Chapter one of Foucault's Virginity uses the novel Daphnis and Chloe to illustrate the didactic aspect of erotics. Goldhill links desire and literary discourse, stating, "The formulation of the desiring subject is a process in which reading ... plays a fundamental role" (1995: 45). The strongest asset of Goldhill's approach is that it incorporates much more detail on female sexuality than Foucault. In his discussion of how literature presents female sexuality, Goldhill moves beyond the loss of virginity to chastity and on to marriage, examining how the ideals and conventions of marriage shape female sexuality. Goldhill's failing, though, is in following Foucault, who is his primary point of reference. As a result of this, he construes 106 He claims, for example, that studying ancient sexuality can challenge modern assumptions about the nature of sexuality (1989: 259). This a reflection of Foucault's approach as well, who is interested in a "history of the present" (Weeks 1982: 116). 51 female sexuality as initiated by male sexuality. 107 In his assessment, female sexuality is defined by its relation to chastity, and therefore the presence or absence of the male partner (1995: 112). J.J. Winkler (1990), while still basing his study on literature, explores ancient sexuality from an anthropological perspective. 108 He claims that by using such methodology, one "can elicit from those texts and pictures a richer and more complex understanding of sex and gender" (1990: 3). Winkler's greatest asset in this work is the amount of attention given to women, and his recognition of the inherent misogyny of ancient Greek culture as expressed in its texts (1990: 138). In his examination of ancient female sexuality, he engages with the difficulty inherent in discussing a subject that is dominated by works written by men. 109 His solution, which he applies to the poetry of Sappho, is to "read what is there," by focussing less on the public, male dominated domain, and more on private, female-dominated space (1990: 164). This moves beyond Goldhill's attempt to find female sexuality as reflected in the male version, and locates it more comfortably in feminine-centred discourse. David Konstan (2002) expands the concept of gendered sexuality when he acknowledges (even in his title, Sexual Symmetry) that desire can be ascribed to both sexual partners. He sees bilateral passion as leading to a "collapse of gender differences" (2002: 359). He does not, however, discard the active/passive model of erotic relations as established by Dover and Foucault, but rather calls it "transitive" and sets it up in opposition to his own "symmetrical" 107 Goldhill does acknowledge that a discussion of female sexuality is limited by the fact that representation of women come from texts written almost exclusively by men (1995: 112). 108^•Winkler calls this "equestrian academics," imagining circus acrobats who "leap from one horse to another" (1990:10). 109 He asks, "How can gender-specific differences of cultural attitude be discerned when one group is muted?" (1990: 164). 52 model (2002: 12). In limiting his study of symmetrical sexuality to the Ancient Novel, and the genres that inform it, such as New Comedy and Pastoral, Konstan is less ambitious in his theoretical reach and therefore more successful in its application. 11° Unlike Foucault and Goldhill, Konstan avoids applying a "one-size-fits-all" paradigm to ancient sexuality. Konstan himself recognizes that his work on sexuality is substantially different from Foucault's in The History of Sexuality (1994: 6-7). 111 This is mainly due to his focus on the Novel, a focus that constrains him to a purely literary approach in his construction of ancient sexuality. In her concept of sexuality Froma Zeitlin (1999) addresses the inherent conflict in ascribing agency to a lover. Working with myth as her frame of reference, she claims that if a lover truly desires, that individual is "both active and passive at the same time, in a position of both strength and weakness" (1999:55). Zeitlin is working with the idea that "Eros is called a tyrannos" (1999: 60). 112 She further explains this in her list of departure points for the examination of desire, "If erotic desire is experienced as an assault on the self and its boundaries, whatever its sensual delights, and its outcome may be figured as fusion or fragmentation" (1999: 60), then desire is a mixture of both agency and passivity. Zeitlin's idea of desire complements that of Konstan in that desire makes an individual simultaneously active and passive. This discards an exclusively active/passive paradigm, which results in a more nuanced approach to sexuality than found in Dover, Foucault, and Goldhill. 110 In his sole reference to AlciphrOn, Konstan uses letter 4.2, in which Glykera expresses her jealousy of Bacchis, as an example of the inability of first-person discourse to express symmetrical desire (1994: 178). I suggest that letters 4.18 and 4.19, between Menander and Glykera, contradict that claim. Konstan does acknowledge a debt of "inspiration and orientation" to Foucault (1994: 7). 112 An example of the characterization of Eros as turannos can be found at 9.573d of Plato's Republic. 53 James Davidson, in his 1997 study Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens, takes a dramatically different approach to ancient sexuality. In Davidson's construction of sexuality, erotic activity among the Athenians is considered simply a pleasure for which there was an appetite, comparable to eating and drinking. For Davidson, the individual's relationship to pleasure is important. The Greeks' approach to pleasure (and by extension sexuality) "was vigorously rationalistic and humane...confident enough to insist on personal responsibility in managing appetites, never so frightened of pleasures as to flee them in vain" (1997:314), which I suggest sounds very much like Foucault's enkrateia. This concentration on appetite frames pleasure as a commodity of sorts; rather, it frames it as obtainable from a specific set of commodities, from fish, to wine, to flute-girls. Thus the opsophagos— a "relish-eater" in Davidson's understanding of the term (1997: 21)— is held in the same regard as the katapugOn- the passive partner in male-male sexual activity (1997: 168). Appetites and individual self- control function in the same way, no matter what the object of desire is. Thus in his assessment of the economy of sexuality and appetite, Davidson is absolutely successful. The strongest aspect of Courtesans and Fishcakes is its linking of appetite to broader political and societal regulation, which goes beyond individual control. Davidson demonstrates that sexuality is a social construct following Weeks' definition (Weeks 2002: 33). Foucault and Feminism From a feminist perspective, Foucault all but ignores female sexual subjectivity. This is a common charge levelled at Foucault's work: his lack of focus on women, or gender as an issue in and of itself. Most critics dealing with gender agree that, "it is indisputable that his analyses do not identify gender as a constitutive feature of power, a fact that, according to some critics, has led to the continued— and now theoretically rationalized— erasure of women from history" 54 (Larmour, Miller, and Platter 1997: 18). 113 This criticism is absolutely valid in terms of gender: Foucault's work would inarguably be strengthened by attention to women. Perhaps the scholar most opposed to Foucault's work and influence is Amy Richlin, for whom Foucauldian "New Historicism" constitutes "erasure and neglect of work by feminists" (Larmour, Miller, and Platter 1997: 20). Not only that, it often erases women themselves (1991: 60). She views such work as either assuming or ignoring the work of feminist scholars, and privileging a male perspective. In addition, Richlin sees The History of Sexuality as replicating "the omissions of the history it documents" (1997: 139). 114 Richlin (1991) identifies three main concerns with The History of Sexuality: (1) that women are merely objects in Foucault's consideration, (2) that Foucault contradicts himself by claiming that sexuality only came into existence in the nineteenth century, and (3) Foucault's ignorance about ancient Greece and Rome (1991: 169-70). 115 She does catch Foucault in a strikingly misogynist statement in his discussion of Aeschines, when he states, "As for the woman's passivity, it did denote an inferiority of nature and condition; but there was no reason to criticize it as a behaviour, precisely because it was in conformity with what nature intended and with what the law prescribed" (Foucault 1985: 216). Richlin's concern here is that Foucault leaves such a statement without comment and makes no attempt at explicating its inherent misogyny. Such occurrences are fodder for those who oppose Foucault, and rightly so. 113 This is precisely the charge that Richlin (1991) levels at Foucault. 114 Richlin's dislike of Foucault rings out in all of her writing regarding his work, no more clearly than when she asks, "Why does this man have his own adjective?" (1997: 169). Halperin responds to Richlin's anti-Foucault stance by calling her work on him "simplistic," "unappetizing," and "political and professional opportunism" (1998: 104). 115 For more on Richlin's own interest in Roman sexuality, see The Garden of Priapus : Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor (1983). 55 Page duBois construes the dearth of female agency in The History of Sexuality as sexism, stating that, "Foucault's work is a superior example of the very prejudices, historical and sexual, that I seek to contest" (1988: 2). 116 duBois also takes issue with Foucault's historical methodology, in that his approach to a history of constructing sexuality fails to incorporate pre- Platonic literature, therefore also failing to identify "how the creation of a discourse of discipline marks a rupture in human history" (1988: 2). For duBois, in his failure to explain "the philosophical establishment of the autonomous male subject," Foucault has "authorized" the desiring male as subject, and effectively removed female agency from his version of history (1988: 2). Part of this issue is also that Foucault's work is very influential in the study of ancient sexuality; its primacy is what makes it so dangerous (duBois 1995: 128). duBois does, however, praise Foucault's assumption of historical difference (1997: 90). In doing so she recognizes, as Foucault does, that it is necessary to approach ancient thought without using modern ideas as a touchstone. Lynn Hunt acknowledges Foucault's usefulness to feminist historians in his identification of the body as "the site for the deployment of discourses" (1992: 81). For Hunt, despite the fact that Foucault did not engage with the feminist implications of his work, The History of Sexuality "opened the way for a consideration of the gendering of subjectivity" (1992: 81). Conversely, this is precisely the point that Catherine MacKinnon identifies as Foucault's main failure: "When he misses gender, he misses how power is organized sexually, hence socially" (1992: 129). Buker reiterates the themes found in much of the feminist scholarship dealing with Foucault: The History of Sexuality is relevant because it opens up the topic of sexuality to a fresh examination, divorced from current essentialist ideas concerning sexuality, and yet is simultaneously highly 116 duBois' work takes a psychoanalytic approach to sexuality and the female body. 56 flawed because it almost entirely ignores female sexuality (1990: 811). Buker identifies Foucault's and feminism's shared focus on relationships, connecting the two when she says, "the production of knowledge depends upon connections to the world, not upon detachment" (1990: 816). My own opinion of Foucault is that his work has been so useful in reshaping assumptions about the essential nature of sexuality that it cannot be discarded, despite its almost complete absence of attention to women. By taking Foucault's techniques and applying them to a different set of sources than the ones he uses, it is possible to delineate varying constructions of sexuality, some that are in line with Foucault's own conclusions, and some that depart radically from them. I will therefore be using Foucault's basic categories, informed by the work of Konstan and Zeitlin on desire, in my own analysis of Letters of Courtesans. The Gaze In both ancient and modern culture, the formulation of sexual desire is often linked to the act of seeing. According to Goldhill, looking is equivalent to "a kind of copulation" (2002: 384). This follows Laura Mulvey's formulation of the gaze in cinematic terms. For Mulvey (1975), the gaze is a highly gendered phenomenon, one that can be found in the discourse of film. She is dealing with "the way film reflects, reveals, and even plays on the straight, socially established interpretation of sexual difference, which controls images, erotic ways of looking and spectacle" (1975: 6). Mulvey discusses how cinema "satisfies a primordial wish for pleasurable looking" (1975: 9). 117 117 Mulvey's essay takes the films of Josef von Sternberg and Alfred Hitchcock as its examples of this process. 57 Mulvey's delineation of the gaze also uses an active/passive paradigm, similar to the one found in Foucault and Dover's conceptions of sexuality, which is understood in terms of gender: "The determining [active] male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female [passive] figure which is styled accordingly" (1975: 11). When a male projects his fantasy onto the female via the gaze, he removes her power, which in turn converts her from a dangerous to a reassuring entity (Mulvey 1975: 14). The gaze in Mulvey's construction is therefore problematically male. The male gaze determines the female object. Seeing the gaze as a masculine phenomenon limits the feminine ability to look and shapes the female as object only. Jack Berger outlines the effects of the woman-as-object version of the gaze when he states that for the female object, "her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another" (1972: 46). While not denying the existence of the masculine gaze, I would like to open it up to include a feminine gaze. Desire is often shaped by the act of looking, both genders can desire, and therefore both can be the subject of the gaze. The gaze is not static, and the "reversibility of gender roles" must be taken into account (Ancona and Greene 2005: 6). 118 A further dimension is added to the act of looking when it is represented in literature. Literature makes use of visual metaphor, so that when someone or something is described in a narrative, the reader envisions the object of their literary gaze. In cinema, when the subject of the gaze looks at the object, the plot slows down, freezing "the flow of the action in moments of erotic contemplation" (Mulvey 1975: 11). This is mirrored in literature, particularly first-person discourse, which replicates the camera's singular perspective. Narrative gaze, therefore, can be equally as determinative of its object as its cinematic counterpart. 118 In his De Sensu, Aristotle works with a similar concept of vision, in which the object looked at can equally affect the one who looks. 58 I have isolated four main issues from these modern discussions that I see as key to approaching ancient sexuality. The first is that any current notions of what sexuality is must be completely abandoned. The ancient Greeks must be treated as an entirely separate culture from that of the modem West. Secondly, sexuality, as defined in these cultural terms, should be understood as a construction, a composite of practices and acts related to desire. This means that actions that are not explicitly sexual are to be taken into account when examining an individual's sexuality. The third issue is the active/passive paradigm. While agency and passivity are valid ways of assessing sexuality, rarely is an individual exclusively active or exclusively passive. Finally, gender and sexual agency should not be thought of as inextricably linked. Gender can shape expressions of desire, but it does not determine agency. I shall therefore analyze Letters of Courtesans with these issues in mind. 59 Chapter 3: Sexuality in Letters of Courtesans In Letters of Courtesans, Alciphron's audience is presented with a group of women whose livelihoods revolve around and who are reliant upon their sexuality. Sexuality is therefore a dominant theme in this collection of letters. This chapter will examine how Alciphron has constructed the courtesans' sexuality. As the current paradigm for discussing sexuality is dominated by the ideas expressed in The History of Sexuality, I will be presenting instances in which these women display sexual agency in Foucauldian terms: the sexual pleasures the courtesans seek (aphrodisia), as defined by the specific manifestations of those pleasures (chresis aphrodizOn); the goals the courtesans identify in their erotic relationships (telea); and my own category of persuasion (peithei), particularly as it applies to the achievement of the courtesans' telea. These categories are far from discrete, and there is much overlap amongst them. It is a combination of all of these concepts, rather than any single one, that determines the sexual agency of the courtesans Finally, I shall isolate examples of the desiring gaze. This will move beyond the determinative male gaze of Mulvey (1975), as the gaze that Alciphron presents can also originate with women, and is not only directed at one's beloved, but also at one's peers, and even oneself. Because Alciphron writes in the courtesans' own voices, his audience is able to quite literally see from their perspectives. It is the combination of these two dominant theories that will locate the courtesans as actively desiring women. Foucault's and Mulvey's theories have established a theoretical framework that can be applied in this context, with modification. Foucault and Mulvey are therefore starting points in a discussion which will extend beyond the original scope of both scholars. 60 Aphrodisia Aphrodisia, as sexual pleasures, are not explicitly defined by Foucault. They are, rather vaguely, the "acts, gestures, and contacts that produce a certain form of pleasure" (Foucault 1985: 40). Working with this as my basis, I have isolated references to any type of sexual activity in the courtesans' letters, whether these instances are explicitly sexual or merely suggestive of this type of activity. Letter 1, from Phryne to Praxiteles, provides an example of sexual activity that is only suggested in Phryne's invitation to make love: 'iv ETl Tr) &opEa Ae irrE 1, Dail) GE rrpOs -rjpa-5,`iva iv Tcki rEpivet NET' c;AArjAcov KaTaKAivc.;.ipev, ("One thing only is still lacking to your gift: that you come to me, so that we may lie together in the precinct" 4.1). The term she uses (KaTakAivEtv) is often used in reference to reclining at a banquet; however a comparison with Old Comedy shows that Phryne's true intentions are evident. In a scene from Arispohanes' Lysistrata, Cinesias is attempting to persuade his wife Myrrhine to end her sexual embargo and make love with him . M. ,Totyap, „ 51^ "Kaycay an-N.1 EKEIGE . ViT1V 8' OcTropa.voKa. K. QU (5' aAAa KaTaKAivriet pET ' Epoii Sta xpOvou. M. OU SfiTa• KaITOI cy' oi('Epc.3 y' oSs 011 cimAo3. K. cimAeis; TI 0171V OU KaTEKAIVTIC c3 Mtipplov; M. 63 Ka -rayaaa -r' evav -riov TOU TraiSiou; K. lid Ai' 60■Ad TOUTO y' o'iKaS' w Mau dpgpE. 't5o6 To p6) 001 TraiSiov Kai 61) KaTaKAivet. 61 M. Then, if you decide to, I'll leave for there; but for now, I've taken an oath to avoid you. K. Just lie down with me for a while. M. No way! But I'm not saying that I don't love you. K. You love me? Then why won't you lie down with me? M. You fool! With the baby right there? K. By Zeus! Take the baby home Manes. See, the baby's out of the picture, but you're not lying down with me! (400-408, my tr.) The plot of the play, which is about a sex strike by the women of Athens to force their husbands to end the Peloponnesian War, makes is clear what Cinesias means by KaTaKAivEtv in this exchange." 9 This in turn demonstrates that Phryne is proposing that she and Praxiteles make love next to the Knidia. Letter 7, from Thais to Euthydemus, is more explicit than Phryne's letter. In this letter, Thais sets up a contrast between the philosophers that her lover Euthydemus studies with and courtesans. To Thais, both groups have their own unique types of persuasion, and so she attempts to convince Euthydemus that the courtesans' version is preferable. Thais presents an intimate image of her relationship with her lover when she claims to prefer sleeping with him in her arms over the gold of the sophists (oi yap TrEpti3dAktioa Kotpeida t peiAkov ii3ouXOpriv -6 TO Trap( Trearrcov acyrrioruliv xpuoiov, 4.7.3). She goes on in the same letter to state that their shared activities produce pleasure: 119 The term cruvKAivEtv also appears in Herodotus 2.181.2 in reference to intercourse. For a discussion of similar terms such as Ka TdKE I aea i , see Henderson (1991: 160). 62 Kai rrpOs- Trjv ipcou6vriv 1 KE Trjv EaUTOU Olos irraveXecAv cirrO AUKE1OU TrOXAdKIC TOV iSpoSTa rroticA.i pEvos , "Iva utKpex Kpa rraArjaawrsc irri6sickipEea dAArjAots- TO KaAov T67os- Tn5 Come to your beloved as you are when you have come back, for instance, from the Lyceum wiping off the sweat, that we may carouse a bit and give each other a demonstration of that noble end, pleasure. (4.7.8, tr. adapted) Thais has shown that Euthydemus is the source of her sexual pleasure, and has even specified the conditions she would prefer for such pleasure: she would have him come to her from physical rather than intellectual exercise. The tale of a party in the countryside with several courtesans and their lovers, as recounted in letter 13, provides the most detailed account of aphrodisia in the Letters of Courtesans. Written by an unnamed hetaira and apparently addressed to one of her peers, 12° this letter, the second-longest in the book, begins with a group of courtesans making their way to a country estate. Upon arriving, they go to a grove with statues of Pan and some Nymphs, a setting that suggests the activity to come. Sacrifices are made to the Nymphs and Aphrodite, and the banquet commences outside, alongside the statues. Wine is consumed, music is played, and there is some dancing by the courtesan Plangôn, who is so enticing that the statue of Pan seems to be excited too: iKa Si dvaaniaa KaTcopxrjaaTo Kai Trjv Oact)Uv clveKivriaev TTAayyciv, OXiyou TTav ii5rioEv cirrO Tfis rrhpas irri Trjv rruyijv miTfis ioDOteaeat. But when Plangon got up and danced, swaying her hips, Pan from his rock almost leapt upon her backside. (4.13.12, tr. adapted) Pan is not the only one to be stimulated by the happenings at the party. The courtesans too are moved by the combination of wine and music: 120 This is the only example from Letters of Courtesans with an unnamed writer and addressee. This can be attributed to the fact that this letter is fragmentary. 63 atiTiKa Si iipeis iSOvriaiv rj pouoirri Kai UrroPiPpiypivai i'ixopiv TOv voiiv—oiSas- O TI ÄiyCA.). T0i5 TcLiv ipaoTc3v xEipas- ipaAciTTopiv ToUs. SarniAm's- EK To3v lippc5v rip6pa ircos- xaAo3aai, Kal TrpO5 Atovt;a9 irralCopev. Kai Tic ictancriv tiTyriciaaaa Kal pacyTaplaw ilijKiv iikpaaeal, Kal Oiov drrooTpa4ii0a ciTexv65 Tots- 3ou3o3oi TO KaTOTTIV Tri5 00(1)605 TTIDOGCCIT6OXIPE. StaviaTavTo Si iiSn iipo3v piv TcLiv yUVONKCASV -re( TTO(OT1, To3v dv5pc3v Si iKiiva. And at once the music excited us and since we were a bit tipsy our thoughts turned to— you know what I mean. We stroked the hands of our lovers, gently unbending their flexed fingers, and between drinks we played. Someone laid back and kissed her lover, letting him feel her breasts, and as if she were turning away she would actually press her hips on his groin. And now our passions were rising, and those of the men too. (4.13.13-4, tr. adapted) This passage demonstrates that AlciphrOn can conceive that hetairai are capable of desiring their lovers, and indeed initiating sexual contact with them. By their manipulation of the situation, it is clear that these women are "active sexual and social subjects" (Winkler 1990: 207). After their brief rendezvous, the partygoers return to more drinking and eating (with Pan and Priapus looking on in approval), and become so drunk that they no longer hide their sexual encounters from one another: iKpatTraAoSpev pdAa viaviKth's p6xpt priSi Aavedvitv CarjAas 06Aetc, priSi aiSoup6vcos Tfis eaPpoSiTns TrapaKA6TrTeiv ("We set to drinking quite lustily until we girls no longer cared to keep out of each other's sight or modestly to enjoy our lovemaking in secret," 4.13.18, tr. adapted). The use of the term CaPpoSi -rri as a euphemism for sexual intercourse stands out in this letter. That this term means intercourse in this context is demonstrated by letter 4.17, when Leontium describes her lover Timarchus as her first sexual partner. In taking her virginity, Timarchus also provided Leontium with her first sexual experience, which she refers to as -6 TrpuiTri ciciToSi -rri. in In letter 4.16, Lamia offers to welcome her lover, the great Macedonian general Demetrius, with "the charms of Aphrodite" 121 Similar expressions for sexual intercourse include citivoStmciEtti and citivoSima TrolEiv (Henderson 1991: 154). 64 (tirroSopai 6 -6 GE irra4vo6i -rcos, 4.16.4), which further indicates that Alciphron uses the term in 4.13 to refer to intercourse. As opposed to Phryne's KaTtia tvetv, the term cicl)poSi -rn is a direct reference to intercourse. In letter 4.17, Leontium writes to Lamia in a quandary: she is stuck with an aged lover, the philosopher Epicurus, who is trying to prevent her from seeing her younger lover, the handsome Timarchus. Punning on the epithet of Lamia's lover, Poliorcetes ("the Besieger"), Leontium complains of her own besieger: Ov -rcos irrtrroAtoprriTijv ixa.) TOIOUTOV, mix oiov GU, Acipta, Ariprj -rptov, "I have such a besieger, not like you have in Demetrius, Lamia" (4.17.3, my tr.). The type of sexual activity that Leontium is talking about is distinctly not pleasurable for her. She then contrasts Epicurus with the younger, more handsome Timarchus. In addition to providing her with finery, servants, and delicacies, Timarchus is identified as the man who taught Leontium how to make love: OUK dpvoiipat rrpOs- TOv veavioKOv oiKEiWs- ixetv EK TroUoii—n-pOs- of pot TariOfj, Acipta —Kai TilV rrp6Triv C4poSirriv ipaeov -rrap' ain-oii oxs5Ov• °tilos- ydp pE StEn-ap06veucnv EK yEITOVCOV oiKoGoay. I do not deny that my relations with the young man have been familiar for a long time— to you, Lamia, I must write the truth— and I first learned about sex from him; for I lived next door to him, and it was he who took my virginity (4.17.4, tr. adapted) Writing to her peer Lamia, Leontium is unafraid to compare one lover to another unfavourably, nor does she hesitate to identify Timarchus as her first sexual partner. 122 Letters 16 and 17 reveal a trend in the courtesans' letters. When discussing sexual activity with each other, they are explicit, discussing in detail what has occurred. Letter 13's 122 The word StarrapeEvviEtv also appears at Herodotus 4.168.10 in a discussion of the Adyrmachidae, a Libyan people who allow their king to deflower his choice of virgins. 65 mentions of specific body parts and the use of d4)po61 -rri in letters 13, 16, and 17 illustrate this. When writing to their lovers, as in letters 1, 7, and 16, however, the courtesans are much coyer, using euphemisms to refer vaguely to intercourse. In either case, however, it is clear that the courtesans partake of Foucault's aphrodisia in an active manner. They can desire their lovers, initiate sexual activity with them, or, as in the case of Leontium, dread the intercourse of a lover they do not desire. Chresis AphrodizUn I would now like to examine the examples of aphrodisia outlined above for evidence of the courtesans' chresis aphrodizein. For Foucault, determining such "use of pleasures" allows one to "work out the conditions and modalities of a 'use' (Foucault 1985: 53). By looking at the specific manifestations of the courtesans' sexuality, it is possible to ascertain how the courtesans manage their own sexuality. In this process, I will be using the three categories that make up Foucault's "threefold strategy" (1985: 54): need, timeliness (kairos), and status. Foucault relates aphrodisia and need when he identifies the practice of aphrodisia as "nothing more or less than the satisfaction of a need" (1985: 55). The satisfaction of sexual pleasure as a response to desire is then just another physical need, on a par with eating when hungry, or relieving oneself when necessary. I23 In this equivocation, Foucault hints at what Davidson elaborates on, that sexual pleasure is as equally consumable as food (1997: xvi). 124 How, then, do the courtesans identify the point at which they must satisfy their own desire? 123 The example that Foucault provides here is Diogenes the Cynic, who, according to Diogenes Laertius, would relieve his sexual urges by masturbating in the agora (6.2.46). Athenaeus links Diogenes (the philosopher) to the courtesan Lais of Hycarra at 13.588c. 124 Davidson isolates what he refers to as the "consuming passions": eating, drinking, and sex (1997: xvi). 66 Letters 1, 7, 13, 16, and 17, as discussed above, all contain instances in which hetairai desire their lovers, and seek sexual activity to satisfy that desire. In letter 1, Phryne's desire arises out of appreciation for the statue of herself that Praxiteles has set up. The statue is of unprecedented beauty (TrciyKaA6v T1 xpiipa), and yet Praxiteles' gift is insufficient without the physical pleasure of lovemaking. Phryne is clear about this when she says in reference to the statue, `v ET1 Ti] 5correa AE irrE I, "One thing is sti 11 lacking in your gift" (4.1). Letter 13 contains the clearest expressions of desire. The first bout of lovemaking at the party in the countryside comes when the women in attendance become excited by the music. This excitement causes them to turn to their lovers for satisfaction, who are stimulated in return. All present then dash off to gratify their desires in makeshift outdoor bedchambers: inTEK5u6pEvat 5' oi.3iv ptKpOv aTTCOOEV ouvrips0j Tlva A6priv iiipopsv, dKpoGvTa TI] TOTE KpaITTOA13 OCACX1.10V. iwraika SiaverrauOpeea TOU TTOTOU Kai TOIC KOITCOVIC5K015 CiTrIOCiVCOS* eioeffaiopEv. And so we slipped away and found a thicket a short distance off, a bedchamber suited to this stage of our revel. Here we quit drinking and made in haste for our little bedrooms, doing our act not very convincingly. (4.13.14, tr. adapted) When the courtesans and their lovers stop drinking, they exchange one of Foucault's needs for another. For Lamia in letter 16, the mere presence of her lover Demetrius is enough to enflame her passion. She desires her lover so much that she is unable to manipulate him as other courtesans do with their lovers: 67 XotiTOv T14las Sii TC( uEV Troteiv, T6( Si paAaKisoeat, Tc3( Si Om, TO( Si atAiiv, re( Si Opxiioeat, Ta Si 6EITTVOTTOIElV, TO( Si Koopsiv TOv oiKov, Tas On-c000iiv CAAcos- Taxi, papalvoi6vas pioo2ai3otioas xprjosic,"tva paAAov iciTrTcovTat Tois StaoTripaotv atiaAotjoTipat atiTcLiv ai kpuxal...TaiiTa Si Trpos piv iT6pous- Tdxa dV iSuvcipriv, PactAEG, cpuAoiTTEGOat Kai TEXVITEUEIV• TrpOs- Si GE, ... [IC( Tics Aas Motioas, otiK aV Viropsivatiit TTAdTTECTeal. Well then, we courtesans must at one time be 'occupied,' or again be 'unwell,' or must sing, or play the flute, or dance, or get the dinner ready, or decorate the room; blocking the way to those intimate pleasures that otherwise would surely wither fast, so that our lovers' passions, made more inflammable by the delays that intervene, may burst into the hotter flame... Where other men were concerned, my lord, I could perhaps bring myself to take these precautions and to play these tricks; but with you...I couldn't bear, by the dear Muses I couldn't, to employ deceit. (4.16.6-7, tr. adapted) Lamia's declaration indicates two major points. First, that she, as a courtesan, understands the functioning of desire, and how she may cause it to grow in her clients by modulating her availability to them. I25 Second, and more important in terms of the Foucauldian conception of chresis aphrodithn, she claims to recognize that her own desire for Demetrius is so strong that she cannot delay its satisfaction with the tricks she uses on her other lovers. Lamia's profession of such desire becomes a method of appearing sincere to Demetrius, particularly as contrasted with her lack of desire for other men. Lamia's claim of a need for Demetrius is part of a larger theme of deference that runs through her entire letter. She opens her correspondence by thanking him for even allowing her to write to him: 125 The refusal of affections is a common technique that AlciphrOn's courtesans use to manipulate their lovers, as seen in 4.9, 4.10, and 4.15. At 4.10.3, Myrrhina reiterates this idea: E'icas rip tj Papti -rris cipEAEia6a ka -rai3cakcy6a I , "Arrogance is generally broken down by a show of indifference." 68 16 Tojyris- Tijs Trapprlalas di -rios- , Toaoirros. div BaOIXEUC, EITa imi-pgk,las Kai i -raipa ypci4)Eiv 001 Kai mix iirladilEVOS SEtvOv iin -uyxdiniv Toic ipoic ypdpiaoiv 'al] poi Ei'rrvyxcivcov. I have you to thank for the freedom I have of addressing you, you who are such a great king, who nevertheless permit even a courtesan to write letters to you and think it no harm to hold converse with my letters as you do with my entire self. (4.16.1, tr. adapted) This tone of capitulation continues for the entire letter. This is an example of the flexibility of discourse that the epistolary format affords (Rosenmeyer 2001: 301). Because she is writing a letter, Lamia is free to portray herself as the deferential lover to Demetrius. Lamia's correspondent in 4.17, Leontium, suffers from the physical side-effects of desire that goes without resolution. The mere thought of being without Timarchus is sufficient to cause physical symptoms for her: Vli Td( ilUOTripla, Vil Tip) TOUTCOV TCSV KaKO3V cirraXXayriv, oSs. iveupnOsioa Toii Ttpcipxou TOv xcaptopOv Cip-rt durgkpuypat Kai "o5pcom Ta ciKpa Kai TI Kap51a you 61)601-parr-rat. I swear by the Mysteries, as I hope for release from these calamities, that at the very thought of separation from Timarchus I have at this moment turned cold, and my hands and feet have begin to sweat, and my heart has turned upside down. (4.17.8) Leontium's lovesickness shows that when the need that originates in desire is not fulfilled, there are physical consequences. As opposed to Lamia's professed desire for Demetrius, Leontium's can be seen as more authentic. She is not writing to a lover with manipulation in mind, but rather to a friend. This shows, along with the other three letters discussed, that when desire arises, the courtesans actively seek its fulfilment. They treat their sexual desires as a need, answerable by aphrodisia. 69 When seeking opportunities for sexual fulfilment, the hetairai employ Foucault's second strategy of chresis aphrodizön, timeliness (hereafter referred to as kairos). For Foucault, there are three ways to determine kairos, one's age, the time of year, and the time of day (1985: 57-8). While time of year doesn't appear to be an important consideration in the Letters of Courtesans, the other two issues, age and time of day, factor into the courtesans' sexual activity. While in marriage an age-gap between husband and wife was seemingly acceptable (Konstan 1994: 106), 126 the age of a courtesan and her lover is an important concern. Age is a leading factor in Leontium's preference for Timarchus over Epicurus. In her characterization of Epicurus, Leontium expresses the conflict inherent in an old man taking up with a young courtesan: otic5iv 6uaapeaTOTEpov, c.:35 iotKEV, EGT1V eip-rt Tratv petpaKsuopivou rrpeof3ti -rou, "Nothing is harder to please it seems, than an old man just beginning to play at being a boy again" (4.7.1). In the juxtaposition of psi paKEtiopa 1 and Trpea[30-rns in the opening sentence of the letter, Alciphron captures the essence of Leontium's problem: her too-old lover is supplanting her age-appropriate lover. She emphasizes Epicurus' age (nearly eighty) and in contrasting the two later in the letter, insinuates that the younger Timarchus has the juster claim to her affections: Kai O pit) veaviaKos WV aVEXETaI TOv 1:10TEpOV OIVTEpaCYTTIV yepovTa, O 8E TOv 61KatOTEpov o6x Urropivet. And he, though still a youth, puts up with his rival, the latecomer, an old man, but the latter cannot abide the man with the juster claim. (4.17.8) Leontium then mentions that Epicurus is being ridiculed by his own peers for his unseemly behaviour, and calls him shameless: 126 Konstan uses the example of XenophOn's Oeconomicus, with its idea of the husband educating his wife (1994: 106). 70 TroodKis °Yet pE, Acipta, TTpOc ait-Ov islet TrapayEvopivriv "Ti TTOIE'15, ' ETTIKOUpE; °UK Oida WS StaKcopc9SEI GE TIPOKpCiTTIC O MriTpoOctipou C(SEA)Os ETT1 TOUTOIS EV Talc iKKArioiats, iv Tois OEcirpots, Trapd TOis caXots cxlmoTais-;" dAAd Ti EOTIV aUTG5 Trotijoat; dvaioxtivToc EGTI TO ipCiv. How often do you think, Lamia, I have gone to him privately and said, 'What are you doing, Epicurus? Don't you know that you are being ridiculed for this by Timocrates the brother of Metrodorus, in the Assembly, in the theatre, in the company of other sophists?' But what can be done with him? He is shameless in his passion. (4.17.10) The preceding statement makes it clear that Epicurus is "shameless" (cilia iaxuv -ros) because of his involvement with a much younger courtesan. Menander and Glykera provide a counterpoint to the relationship between Leontium and Epicurus. Because they are lovers of the appropriate age for one another, Menander is able to discuss the two of them growing old together: Ti 6' irrapOfiva t peiCov 5tivaiprw Tfis- ofis 4)1Xias Ei Kai TO ioxaTov rjpoSv yfipas 6ta Tous colic TpOirovs- Kai Ta Ge( fier, VEOTMs e(Ei coaviiTai pot; Kai ouvvEdoa t pm/ aaarjAols Kai ouyyripcioa pEv What greater exaltation could be mine than your love, inasmuch as, thanks to your character and your manners, even our extreme old age will to me always seem youth? May we be young together, may we grow old together too. (4.18.2-3) The key to Menander's wish is that he and Glykera are able to experience their youth and old age simultaneously, which makes them suited to each other as lovers. 127 In the courtesans' management of their sexuality, the ideal time of day to make love is during the night. In letter 13, dawn puts an end to lovemaking. The second round of orgiastic lovemaking that occurs at the rural party is finally ended by the coming of dawn: p m -(3 TOv £K yEITOVCOV asKTpuOva koKKtioac 64)EiAsTo Triv Trapotviav, "Oh, bother the neighbours' 127 This is a motif also found in Longus' Daphnis and Chloe, in which the title characters are said to grow old together (4.39.2). 71 cock! He crowed and brought our carousal to an end" (4.13.18). At 4.7.6, Thais claims that when a man stays with a courtesan, he is up until he "takes his early morning drink" (arrciaac -rOv icatv6v, my tr.). Foucault's final strategy in determining the manifestations of pleasure is status. For Foucault, sexual activity "had to be adapted to suit the user and his personal status" (1985: 59). For the hetairai, this is a very specific process, as their status in society is in direct correlation to their sexuality. Thais addresses the social standing of the courtesans when she compares them with sophists: Ei cOTI Te(5 vE(PgAas. OTTOOeu ETEv Kai Tas . ciT6pous On-Oat ciyvooiit.tEv, Stec TOUTO TITTOUS" 150K011pEV 001 TO:3V 004)10Ta3V. Kai atirn Trap& Tot:iots icx6AaKa Kal TroAAdis- 6tEIXEypat. of SE EiC iTaipa OptAu3v TupavviSas OvetponoAei Kal aTaalgEl Ta KOIVa, cAA anciaas TOv iczetvOv Kai pEOucy0Els Etc (.,Spav Tpirriv rj TETCipTTIV 441E7. Tratt5Etiopev Si oil xeipov TOUS v6ous.. ETTEI ouyKp(vov, Ei poael,'Acrrraoiav iTaipav Kai ICOKpdTT)V TOV acxptaTriv, Kai TrOTEpos- cipeivottc airroSv irraiSsucev dvSpac A6yloat. -rfic piv rip &pet paeriTiiv TTeptKA6a, TOU SE KptTiay. But possibly we seem to you inferior to the sophists because we don't know where the clouds come from or what the atoms are like. I myself have gone to school to see them and have talked with many of them. No one, when he's with a courtesan, dreams of a tyrant's power or raises sedition in the state; on the contrary, he drains his early-morning beaker and then prolongs his drunken rest until the third or fourth hour. We teach young men just as well as they do. Judge, if you will, between Aspasia the courtesan and Socrates the sophist, and consider which of them trained the better men. You will find Pericles the pupil of one and Critias the pupil of the other. (4.7.5-7) 72 By mentioning Pericles and Aspasia, Thais illustrates the courtesan's status as derived from the men she associates with. 128 On the other hand, she also highlights a courtesan's erotic power over her lover, and thus how erotic status can affect social status. Lamia's letter takes such a reversal of social status to its extreme. When she sees her lover, the powerful Demetrius, with his retinue of troops and ambassadors, he is truly Demetrius the Besieger: Kai TOTE poi Ov-rc.os O TroAtopicrirns Elva( 5oKsis Anprj -rpios, "And then you appear to me to be in very truth Demetrius the Besieger of Cities" (4.16.1). When he comes to her as a lover, however, he loses his military and political power: Kai `61-av TrEprn-AaKEls ieya icIAAT:js, miAtv Trpos ipauTrjv Tdvawria Aiyco, "01.31-05 iOTIV O 11-0Ä10pKTITTiC; 015TOC EGTIV O E1Tl Tois aTpaTorriSotc; Toirrov 440136 -rat MaKESovia, TOUTOV^EÄÄ0(5, TOCITOV ep41(11; And when you take me in your arms and give me a hearty kiss, then again I say to myself just the opposite, "Is this the Besieger of Cities? Is this the commander of armies? Is this the terror of Macedonia, of Greece, of Thrace? (4.16.3) In the erotic domain, status is shifted, so that even the most powerful figures in society are affected. In the case of Aspasia (as mentioned by Thais) and Lamia, the courtesans can influence powerful figures, and in Thais' estimation, even society. Telea Each of the courtesans' erotic relationships has a distinct telos, falling into the two broad categories of those motivated by love and those motivated by money. There are no letters in 128 Pericles the democratic statesman, as Aspasia the courtesan's student is contrasted with Critias the oligarch as Socrates the philosopher's student. Aspasia was the long-term lover of Pericles. Athenaeus refers to her as his pallake (concubine) at 13. 589d-f. 73 which the two goals are combined. 129 By determining the goals of their relationships, it is easier to understand the individual actions that comprise the continuum that is the courtesans' sexuality. Like Phryne's letter to Praxiteles, the two letters from Glykera (4.2 and 4.19) exhibit a purely erotic telos in her relationship with Menander. In letter 4.2, Menander is off to Corinth to see the Isthmian games, and supposedly to visit Glykera's courtesan friend Bacchis (the addressee of the letter). Glykera is concerned that her lover will not be able to resist Bacchis' charms, a concern which is doubled by the fact that Menander "is amazingly amorous, and not even the glummest man could resist Bacchis," (ipwertKOs rip ioTt Oatpovicos, Kai BaKxiOos oils' a il TcLiv aKU0pcorroTciTaw T15 arrooxo( TO, 4.2.3, tr. adapted). Glykera's concern is rooted in her feelings for Menander, and her fear that she may lose him. The deep affection of Glykera for Menander is revealed in much more detail in letter 19, when she responds to news that he has been invited to Egypt by King Ptolemy. She offers to follow him to Egypt, to nurse him when the sea-voyage makes him seasick, and most importantly, assures him that she is secure in their love: Si Pg13ala Tro(vTa, Kai TO aCTU Kai o netpatE65 Kai i AlyurrToc. ott&v xcopiov ipcoTac ot;x1 SkETat rrAripEts. Kew rr6Tpav oiKcSpev, et) OiSa d4po5iotov aUTI)v TO e6vouv rrotrjoet. Our world stands all secure, whether it be the city, or the Peiraeus, or Egypt. No region but will have capacity for our love; even if we dwell upon a rock, I am sure that our affection will make it a bower of Aphrodite. (4.19.10, tr. adapted) The telos of this individual letter, within the larger context to Menander and Glykera's relationship, becomes clearer later in the letter. That she wishes to accompany him to Egypt is 129The letters in which courtesans discuss money in terms of their lovers are 4.6, 4.9, and 4.15. The letters that are written to a lover with no mention of money are 4.1, 4.2, 4.16, and 4.19. 74 made evident by how she claims she will occupy her time while she waits for him to come to her from Peiraeus: Icos- 6stipo trapayivn rrpOs- ijpeis TTEipatOesv, purierjoopa0va GE Talc xspolv OcKtipova vauoToArjoco rrASouoa, si ToiiTo apstvov Elva! Ipaivorro. Until you come to me from the Peiraeus I shall be learning the secrets of steering a ship or of standing watch at the bow, so that I may guide you over quiet seas with my own hands, if it should seem better to make the voyage. (4.19.21) In connection with the news of Menander's invitation to Egypt in letter 4.18, and her pleas to Bacchis in letter 4.2, the sacrifice that she is prepared to make by following him to Egypt shows that Glykera's primary motivation is love. Although written by her former lover to his male friend, letter 4.11 creates an image of Bacchis as truly in love. As related by Menecleides, she spurned an economic opportunity in favour of his love, actively setting aside an economic telos to pursue an erotic one: oloea TOv 1v1115stov SKsivou TOv drrO Tfis luptac Ssupi KaTcipavTa pse' bons- esparrs lac Kai rrapaoKarns ioOPE t , st'ivotixous 6Trtoxvotipsvos Kai espatraivac Kai KOopov TIVa (3apPaptKOv . Kai Opcos ijKovTa airrOv oti TrpooisTo, aAA' inrO To6pOv TjyciTra KotpcopSyn xAaviuKtov TO ArrOv TOUTO Kai 5ripoTtKOv, Kai Tois Trap' 6103v yÄ ioxpo)s- at;Tfi TrEP =pivots. STravixouoa TO(S" am-pan-was iKEivas Kai TroAuxptiaous- 5copEcis 616)06To. You remember that Median who put in here from Syria and stalked about with that retinue and accoutrements, promising eunuchs and maidservants and ornaments of barbaric splendour; and yet, when he came to her, she would not let him in, but she was content to sleep under my poor cloak, plain and plebeian as it is; satisfied with the scanty presents I sent her, she refused his gifts— gifts worthy of a prince. (4.11.4, tr. adapted) By rejecting the rich gifts of her Median suitor, Bacchis is working towards her purely erotic telos. The romantic altruism of Bacchis is then compared with the utter lack thereof in her 75 mercenary counterpart Megara. Menecleides calls Megara a "dirty whore" (i Turcirropvoc), and claims that she "pitilessly fleeced Theagenes," (GEayvriv auArjoaoa 61) .0E6.35, 4.11.8). 13° Megara, however, is not alone in her mercenary bent. The exchange of letters between the estranged lovers SimaliOn and Petale puts a spotlight on the economic reality of a courtesans' relationships. In letter 8, SimaliOn writes to Petale in an epistolary version of the paraclausithyron, 131 in which he begs to get her back after a quarrel. That he writes out of love for Petale is evident when he states his reason for doing so: ipc.3 ydp, a3 TTE-ran, KaKc35, "For I love you, Petale, to distraction" (4.8.4). In contrast to Simalion's protestation of love, Petard is well aware, in her response, that her erotic attentions must come at a price: ei3ouX6pnv pit) UrrO SaKptiam oiKiav iTaipas Tp4soeat• Aaprrpc.35 ydp av 1TTpaTTOV e4e0VGJV TOUTCOV drroAatiouoa Trap& 0°6• vim) c5 Sei xpuoiou ipa -ricov, KOopou, 0EparratviSicov. Tl To0 Piou StoiKnotc arraaa iVTE1:10EV. I wish that a courtesan's house were maintained on tears; for then I should be getting along splendidly, since I am supplied with plenty of them by you! But the present fact is that I need money, clothes, finery, maidservants; on these the whole ordering of my life depends. (4.9.1) Petale even goes on to question Simalion's true incentive in their relationship, effectively blackmailing him into a financial demonstration of his love: 130 The word i Tr -rr6Tropvoc appears in two other places in Alciphr0n. It is used at 2.31.2, when the farmer's wife Anthylla complains to her husband of the attention that he is paying to a harp-girl, and at 3.14.1, when the parasite Bucopnictes complains of a prostitute who he feels is treating a young man unkindly. It also appears at line 19 of Menander's Theophorumene, of a girl that ParmenOn feels has stolen his gifts. It is therefore clearly a derogative term. 131 The paraclausithyron is a conventional scene from comedy and elegy, in which the male lover lingers outside his beloved's door, which is invariably shut to him. See Ovid Amores 1.6 and Zagagi (1994: 39-40). For the door's perspective, see Propertius 1.16. 76 OAEic, avepcorre, cOris- , Kai 13oUÄEt Got TTIV Epo.vivriv OlaAgyEaeat•^yap xcapic EKEivtic [it) 6Uvaaeat. Ti oOv; oU TTOTTipld EGTIV ETTI TTi5 olKiac xpuoia TTIS" PTITp05, pi) 60(VEla Toi5 TraTpOs- Koplotipsvo5. You're in love, you say, sir, and you want your sweetheart's company: for you say you cannot live without her. Well then! Haven't you people any goblets in your house? ...unless you're ready to raise cash on some of your mother's jewels or some of your father's bonds. (4.9.3-4) There is no mistaking Petale's goal in writing such a letter: it is apparent that love is not part of her relationship with Simalion. Petale's demands for cash and gifts are surpassed by Philumena, the ultimate avaricious hetaira, who puts a specific price on her attentions, and makes no attempt to her disguise the telos in her relationship with Crito. In 4.15, the shortest courtesan letter, she openly equates her company with fifty pieces of gold: Ti TTOXX ypci4:,cov civ as- oauTOv ; TTEVTIIIKOVT0( col xpuoc3v SE-1 Kai ypappciTcov oti SEI. El 116) OL1V TrtAsic, SOs• ei SE 41Aapyupsis, ivOxAst. Eppcoc3o. Why do you trouble yourself with a lot of letter writing? What you need is fifty pieces of gold, and you don't need letters. So then, if you love me, hand them over; if you love money, don't bother me. Farewel1. 132 Unlike Petale, Philumena offers no justification for her demands. There is no detailing of the needs of a courtesan; the fact that she demands gold from her lover is ample explanation of her motives. That she demands a specific amount lowers her to the status of the common porne (Davidson 1997: 201). 133 132^•^•This is the entire text of Philumena's letter. 133 The amount of fifty pieces of gold is generic, and therefore does not limit this letter to a specific time. 77 PeithO The courtesans' principal means of achieving their various erotic telea is persuasion (peith5). 134 As demonstrated by the letters of Petale and Philumena, peithO need not always be subtle, and can amount to the outright extortion of money. For most of the hetairai, however, persuasion takes on a variety of forms. Letter 10, from Myrrhina to Nicippe, outlines two different methods of regaining a lover's lost attention. Diphilus, a one-time lover of Myrrhina, is now spending his time with Thettale, a rival courtesan. Myrrhina's first recourse is to the tactic of refusing affection: xotTr6v 06v ciTroKxEiEIv, Kay ixeu 1TOTE TTp05 fipa5 Kotprieria6pEvos- (iav KVIOal 'ROTE EKEIVT1V (3OUATIOEITI), SicLiaaaeat• iica0E yap rj Pap:ITT -is TO5 cipEAEiaeat KaTai3a2Asaeal. So the only course I have left is to lock him out; and, if he ever comes to spend the night with me (supposing he wants to annoy her now and then), to repulse him. For arrogance is generally broken down by a show of indifference. (4.10.3) Indifference (6110\6'00w) is the courtesans' most commonly used method of peithO, but Myrrhina assumes that Diphilus will also use it in his relationship with Thettale. She is, however, unconvinced of its efficacy, and so she goes a step farther in her persuasive efforts, asking Nicippe for a love potion. This will, in turn, be combined with Myrrhina's acting to ensure Diphilus' devotion: EOTI GOI TTElpadiEV, WS 4) l$, ITO)AdKIC EV TiAtKias- ()IATpOV. Totoirrou TivOs . PortOripaTos- SEOpE0a, O TOv TroAtiv a6Toi3 Tibtov, ctAA' otiv Kai TTil./ Kpa t TraTiV EKKOpliGEIEV. ETTIKTITTUKEUCTOpeea 51) aitTo5 Kal SaKptioopsv Trieavc3s, Kal 1--nv N6pEa1v Ssiv di-ray Opeiv El oi,Tc0S EuE TrEpicioTat ipo3aav airroij, Kai Totairra cXXa ipotipEv Kal TrAaa6uEea. 134 For more on peithO in Greek Tragedy, see R.G.A. Buxton's Persuasion in Greek Tragedy: A Study of Peitho (1982). 78 Now you have an aphrodisiac, you say, that you often tried when you were young. Some such help as that is what I need, something that would make a clean sweep of his excessive presumption and of his drunkenness too. So I will make overtures to him for a reconciliation and shed some tears in a convincing way, and tell him he must watch out for Nemesis if he neglects me who loves him; and I'll invent some other lies of that sort. (4.10.4, tr. adapted) Myrrhina has identified three means of persuasion in this letter: indifference, false emotion (her tears), and finally, the aphrodisiac. She ends the letter by musing about the lethal potential of the philtre, but she is not overly concerned with such a result. As long as she can remove Diphilus from Thettale's grasp, her peithO will have been successful, and she will have regained her patron as a source of income. Not all of the courtesans' attempts to persuade their lovers are quite as insidious as Myrrhina's potion. Leaena does not seem to be seeking anything other than her lover's preference for her over his wife in letter 4.13. She calls attention to the distinction between wife and courtesan in her letter that mocks her lover Philodemus' wife: EXECS GE Vii triv'Acl)po6iTriv, TaAairro3pE, dia TrciaxEis LIST' EKEIVT1S KaeEt.;6631) Tfl xeAuivris. oi-rOxpc3pa Tfis yuvaiK6s, a6Tooav6apoirri• TjAiKous. Si KaesiTo To6s- TrAoKdpous fl vtiplyri, o66iv iotKOTas Talc in-1 Tric Kopuchs. Ogiv....iiAiKot 6i of TrOSEs, c.:35 rrAwrsis, WS appuepoi. al at yupvijv TrEpiAaPsiv iKsivriv oicSv iaTtv• Epol 116, Kai pap:, T1 E6OKE( TTpOCHTVgEllr pET0( cl)ptivou Ka0EtiOeiv Civ EIA6priv, NI6pEal &arrolva. ip[3A6kpat Xipaipi6t 13o6Aop a I ... By Aphrodite, I pity you, you unlucky fellow, for what you must suffer, sleeping with that tortoise. What a complexion the woman has, sheer vermillion! And what big curls your bride had dangling, not at all like the hair on top of her head! ... And how big her feet are! How flat! How unshapely! Dear me! What it must be like to embrace her with her clothes off! And it seemed to me she had foul 79 breath too. I should have preferred to sleep with a toad, 0 mistress Nemesis. I'd rather look the Chimaera in the face... (4.12.1-3) 135 Leaena dramatically insults her rival in every manner possible: her skin is bright red, she wears a wig, her feet are too big, and she suffers from halitosis. I36 By comparison, Leaena is a far more desirable candidate for her lover's affections. That beauty is an essential component in feminine peithO is alluded to in Leaena's illicit comparison of her lover's wife to herself. The exposure of Phryne's breasts during her trial makes this explicit. The trial itself is the subject of letters 4.3-5, which are all written by Bacchis. The first of the three is addressed to Hypereides, who defended Phryne. His legal sophistry is praised in letters 4.3 and 4.4. Bacchis states that it set the stage for the dramatic revelation of Phryne's naked torso: prp5i Tois Äiyouoi COI 'OTI, El inj TOv XITCA.WICKOV Trepippriap6vri TO( paaTdpta Tots StKaa -ra►s- irr6Sitas-, 06(56) O r5r1T-cop oSclAst, TTE100U. Kai yap auto -roii-rotva iv Katpc.9 y6vrrai Got fl EKEIVOU rrap6oxi ouvriyopia. And when people tell you that, if you hadn't torn open your shift and shown the judges your breasts, your advocate would have been of no avail, don't believe them. As a matter of fact it was his pleading that gave you the opportunity to do that very thing at the right moment. (4.4.4) While Bacchis is certain that Hypereides' speech was what acquitted Phryne of the charges brought against her, it seems from this letter that Phryne's gesture was equally important. If in the disrobing of Phryne, Hypereides "discovered something that was more effective and certainly more dramatic than all his best arguments" (Cooper 1995: 318), then this sets up a dichotomy 135 This letter is fragmentary, so the second part of the comparison "I'd rather look the Chimaera in the face than..."is lost. 136 On the theme of women and wigs, see Ovid Amores 1.14. 80 between Hypereides' male peithO, dominated by speech and reason, and Phryne's female peithei, dominated by physical beauty. 137 Overall, the letters discussed above show the variety of techniques that the courtesans use in persuading their lovers, or even the general public (as in Phryne's case). PeithO is the courtesans' most successful and most commonly used tool in seeking to engage with their lovers and to achieve the telea of their erotic relationships. The Gaze My final parameter for examining Letters of Courtesans is instances of the gaze. In doing so, I will be extending the male determinative gaze of Mulvey (1975) and De Lauretis (1987) to include instances in which the spectator is female. For De Lauretis, the spectator is identified as male, while the object of the gaze is female. Mulvey too believes that "the male figure cannot bear the burden of sexual objectification" (1975: 12). My own conception of the desiring gaze departs from the male/female paradigm established by Mulvey and De Lauretis. When one looks at someone else in an erotic context, a process of shaping and determining occurs. When one of the hetairai envisions her beloved, she is molding the version of him that she wants to see, which does not necessarily correspond to what he is. The hetairai can also look at each other erotically, occupying the position of both "surveyor and surveyed" (Berger 1972: 46). The case of Phryne and the Knidia shows that it is even possible to hold oneself as the object of the gaze. The gaze in the Letters of Courtesans therefore assumes three different manifestations: a gaze toward a beloved, a mutual gaze between the hetairai, and a self-gaze. All three position the spectator as agent. The spectator within the text, like De Lauretis' spectator 137 For more on breast-baring and peithO, see Ch.1 n.59. 81 within the film, "commands at once the action and the landscape" (De Lauretis 1987: 44), regardless of gender. In Alciphran, the gaze works to slow the narrative tempo. The epistolary format allows for narration that is not fully in synch with the actual chronology of the event being described, and thus a look in AlciphrOn can linger for longer than the original action as the writer contemplates what is envisioned. This is in keeping with Mulvey's "presence of the object of the gaze" (1975: 11). Thais' letter to Euthydemus contains an example of a desiring female's gaze towards her beloved. Although she is not in his presence, she imagines him coming to her after exercising. It is this process of envisioning that shapes Euthydemus as Thais would like to see him: oios- iTraveAe6v drrO AuKeiou TroUoiKis TOv 1.5pcS-ra drrokpuipsvos, "As you are when you have come back, for instance, from the Lyceum wiping off the sweat" (4.7.8). Imagining Euthydemus puts him into the position of object, and positions Thais as the subject, so that she able to mold him as she wishes. 138 The hetairai can also direct the gaze at each other. While they do not explicitly desire each other, when they look at each other, they are performing an erotic act. The party in the countryside of letter 4.13 is described in terms of erotic vision. The first suggestion of this comes in the description of the party's setting: 6TTO 5i Talc s oxaic ToLiv TreTp1Sio3v NItivimt Tives `ISpuvral Kai Tidy oiov KaTO1TTEUCJV Tdc Nai6a5 671-EpEKUTTTEV. Under [the rock's] projecting edges are some statues of Nymphs, and a Pan peeped over as if spying on the Naiads. (4.13.4) 138 Because this letter is addressed to Euthydemus, as he reads Thais' vision of him, he is invited to envision himself. His experience can be seen as the male version of Phryne's experience in letter 4.1. 82 Alciphron's audience is positioned alongside the statue of Pan, spying on the party, watching the events as they unfold. Later, when the meal has been finished and the musical entertainment begun, this same statue of Pan seems to be excited at the sight of the courtesan Plangôn's dancing. After the second meal, due to their ever-increasing intoxication, the courtesans and their lovers make love in full sight of one another, which results in a sort of mutual gaze: iKparrraWpev pciXa veavu<635 p6xpt iiri Aavecivetv CO■ArjAas- egAsic, priSi alSoupvcos -rtic e4poSi -rric rrapaa6Tr -retv, "We set to drinking quite lustily until we girls no longer cared to keep out of each other's sight or modestly to enjoy our lovemaking in secret" (4.13.18, tr. adapted). Two words are key to understanding this scene: Aavedve iv and aiSoup6vcos. Because there is no effort on the courtesans' behalf to hide (Aavedvsi I)), they are lacking in shame (aiSci,i5). That they lack shame sets them in opposition to women in the other books of Alciphron. In letter 1.12, Charope admonishes her daughter Glaucippe for falling in love with a young man other than her betrothed: ijTIS, Siov ai6x6vEcreat Kamm35, eari4aas. TTIv aiSo3 TOG TrpoouiTrou, "You who, instead of being shame-faced as a girl should be, have wiped all modesty from your countenance" (1.12.1). When Epiphyllis describes her rape in letter 2.35, she is unable to describe what happened in detail, due to her shame: aiSoi_ipai Traciv irrrivciKacn, "I am ashamed to say, what he forced me to endure" (2.35.3, tr. adapted). The courtesans at the party are in stark contrast to this as they see each other having sex with their lovers. The best example of the courtesans' shared gaze comes in letter 4.14, which contains an account of a beauty contest of sorts between the courtesans. The competition is initiated by Thryallis and Myrrhina, who want to determine who has the most attractive backside. This is identified by the author of the letter, Megara, as the most entertaining part of the party: 83 TO yOUV TrAEIQTT)V fµIV TrapaOKEUaGav TEpgJIV, SEIVf Tic IAOVEIKIa KaTEQXE OpuaAAi a Ka! Muppivr v uTrEp TTl$ Truyfls TrOTEpa KPEITTC.J K a l IXTraAWTEpav erSEI EI. Kai 1Tp(OTf MUppiv To ^covlov Avaaaa (c 43u S' 1jV TO X ITWVIOV) SI B aUTOU Tpspouoav OIOV TI µEA 1 TrfKT0V ydAa T11V OQ^Uv aVEOaAEUOEV, uirO(3Aerrouoa Eic T0Ur00 TrpO$ Ta KIVfµaTa Tr>S TrUyfs fPEµa & OIOV EVEpyOU J TI EPWTIKOV UTrEGTEVatjEV, GA)QT' E µE Vrl Tflt) 'A4poSiTfv KaraTrAayfval. But the thing that gave us the greatest pleasure, anyhow, was a serious rivalry that arose between Thrya1lis and Myrrhina in the matter of backsides— as to which could display the lovelier, softer one. And first Myrrhina unfastened her girdle (her shift was silk), and began to shake her loins (visible through her shift), which quivered like soft cheese, the while she cocked her eye back at the waggling of her behind. And so gently, as if she were in the act, she sighed a bit, that, by Aphrodite, I was thunderstruck. (4.14.4, tr. adapted). r39 In this description of Myrrhina's dance, she is the focal point of all of her peers' attention. She behaves as though having sex (evspyouoa TI EpWTIKOV), which enhances the erotic nature of her peers' gaze. She is not only subjected to the gaze of those watching her (Mulvey 1975: 13), but she is simultaneously subject and object of her own gaze. Her opponent in the contest, Thryallis, will not however, be surpassed, as she takes her turn and draws the courtesans' communal gaze: aTrESuoaTo TO XITWVIOV Kal µ(KpOV uTrOolpWQaaa TfV O64MUV, "ISOU, OKOTrSI To XpWµa," noIV, "o. S aKPnREc, Mupplvi>, W$ dKrlpaTOV, WS KaOapoU, Ta TrapirO$Upa TOM) IQXIWV TaUTI, TfV eTri TOU$ µl1POUs IEyKAIOiV, TO µfTE UTrEpOyKOV aUTG)V µfTE a6apKOV, TOUS yEAao11VoUc ETr' aK WV. dAX' OUT E EI V ^ ^la" a ' U io ei&cSoa — "W61TE Mu Iv c."P^P µ^Tl µ^µ^P rl^PP Tl 139 Just as letter 4.1 recalls the Knidia, it seems that Alciphron had the Aphrodite Kallipygos in mind when he wrote this scene. Havelock dates the Kallipygos to c.300 BCE (1995:100), making it a Hellenistic creation, and therefore an apt reference for Alciphron. See fig. 5. 84 So she took off her shift; and raising her groin a little, she said, "See, look at the colour, how youthful, Myrrhina, how pure, how free from blemish; see these rosy hips, how they merge into the thighs, how there's neither too much plumpness nor any thinness, and the dimples at the edges. But, by Zeus, it doesn't quiver," she said, smiling a bit, "like Myrrhina's." (4.14.5-8, tr. Benner and Fobes, adapted) Thryallis, more than Myrrhina, directs her spectator's gaze, so that when she is describing her body, she is the one shaping and determining what they see. After Thryallis is declared the winner, the contest continues, with competitions over hips, breasts, and bellies. This indicates that the hetairai are able to assess each other's beauty, meaning that they are directing a mutually determinative gaze at each other. Phryne's letter to Praxiteles is my final example of the gaze. In 4.1, as she praises the Knidia, she turns the first half of her letter into erotic contemplation of her own beauty: 5gicros . kgipyaocu yap rrayKaA6v T1 oiov Sri T1 065E15 El5E ITC)ITOTE TrdVT0311 TWV 05la xiipcov rrovriOivi -cov, TTIv asauToti iTaipav i5ptioas iv TEpEVEI. pgoiri yap ' EUTT)Ka ETTI TiiS: AcppoSiTns- Kai TOO "EpOJTOS" apa TOU aotl ufl (Povrjarjs- 8g pot rijs. Ttprjs• of yap ;lilac eiaacipivot irratvoiiat TTpatTgAri, Kai 'Oil TflS ans Tgxvris ygyova ot:JK aSotoiiat GEOTTlEiC p£CTTIV KEICTeal eEcsv. ...have no fear; for you have wrought a very beautiful work of art, such as nobody, in fact, has ever seen before among all things fashioned by men's hands: you have set up a statue of your own mistress in the sacred precinct near your Aphrodite and your Eros too. And do not begrudge me this honour. For it is Praxiteles that people praise when they have gazed at me; and it is because I am a product of your skill that the Thespians do not count me unfit to be placed between gods. Phryne was definitely the object of Praxiteles' gaze as he created his sculpture. It is his skill ( -rgxvri) that has made her image so beautiful, so that her "sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated by another" (Berger 1972: 46), the others being the Thespians. Yet she is still appreciating the statue as herself, as demonstrated by her ensuing invitation to 85 love-making that comes because she is erotically inspired by this image. The courtesans, therefore, can control the gaze as much as they are determined by it. They direct it at their lovers and at each other, and sometimes even themselves. In this sense, they are spectators as much as they are spectacle. Alciphron's courtesans display a sexuality that is diverse. It encompasses loving relationships, like that of Menander and Glykera, and relationships that are acrimoniously mercenary, like that of Simalien and Petale. It is bold at times, as at the party in the countryside, and reluctant at others, as with Leontium and her relationship to Epicurus. Their sexuality is, however, consistently active. The courtesans are sexual agents when they express jealousy, disgust, and love, when they initiate erotic encounters with their lovers, and when they determine the circumstances under which those encounters will occur. In this, they can be seen to be sexual agents in the fullest sense. 86 Chapter 4: Ventriloquism and the Construction of Gender I have discussed how AlciphrEin portrayed his courtesans as actively desiring examples of female sexuality, but I have not yet examined how he constructed the female aspect of that depiction. A final feature of Letters of Courtesans that I wish to address is Alciphran's assumption of the female voice. Because several of his courtesans are well-known historical figures, Alciphron's appropriation of their perspectives is all the more enticing to his audience, who have a biographical tradition with which to compare these letters. Ovid's Heroides operate in much the same way, presenting the voices of mythological and historical figures, including Sappho herself (Fulkerson 2005: 5). The success of this appropriation of historical figures is directly linked to AlciphrOn's ability to represent the female voice convincingly. The term ventriloquism is used in literary criticism to refer to the appropriation by an author of a textual voice that belongs to an "Other" (Davis 1998: 133). An author writing from the perspective of a gender, race, age, or economic status different from his or her own is considered to be practicing ventriloquism. The very act of writing fiction can be said to be ventriloquism in a sense, because it involves appropriating a voice other than one's own. Transvestite ventriloquism, as defined by Elizabeth Harvey, is the appropriation of a female voice by a male author, a feature shared by a number of texts from different eras (1992: 1). Of such texts Harvey says that "although written by male authors, they are voiced by female characters in a way that seems either to erase the gender of the authorial voice or to thematize the transvestism of this process" (1992: 1). 14° Discussing a similar process in terms of philosophy, Teresa De Lauretis claims that such assumption of the female perspective in a text by a man 140 The process of a male author taking on a female voice is also referred to as "narrative cross-dressing" in Carson (1989). I will only be using the term ventriloquism in this discussion to avoid confusion. 87 occurs because "that position is vacant and... cannot be claimed by women" (1987: 32). 141 The striking paucity of female-authored texts from the ancient world indicates that this is true of ancient fiction, and therefore AlciphrOn's work as well.' 42 Authorial voice in its broadest literary sense can be understood as the function of discourse through which "writers...reveal a range of attitudes toward everything from the subject at hand to those whom [they] are addressing" (Murfin and Ray 1997: 403). To Harvey, voice narrows to the point that it is only the actual author's perspective, which, in terms of the Letters, would be the voice of AlciphrOn himself Harvey's concept is problematized in the case of AlciphrOn, by what I see as the complete absence of his authorial voice. Because the Letters are his only attested works, and because they are all written from the perspective of individual characters, there is no sense of AlciphrOn as narrator or as representing a specific perspective. A coherent authorial voice is not important to AlciphrOn's epistolary exercise, and therefore his authorial technique is only apparent in his polymorphous use of others' voices. Nor do we possess any other writings credited to Alciplutin that might illuminate his authorial presence in the Letters. By stating that there is no authorial voice in AlciphrOn, I mean that there is no transparent sense in the Letters of who he might have been, or what views he might have held. Isolating the authorial voice is a difficult process in any text because due to an "eradicable and irreducible play of differance, writing perpetually slips through the net of fixable meaning" (Aczel 2001: 703-4). I do not expect there to be a distinct authorial voice in any given text; however it is 141 She is referring to Nietzsche and Derrida. 142 The anthology Women Writers of Greece and Rome (Plant 2004) is a comprehensive collection of ancient female writers. It contains highly fragmentary works by only fifty-five female authors. 88 necessary to address the complex issue of authorial presence (or absence). This issue is identified by Aczel: "the act of ventriloquism problematizes presence. But it does so by staging presence" (2001: 705). In his use of the epistolary format AlciphrOn has effectively removed himself (however he might be conceptualized) from the text, therefore the Letters are defined by his ventriloquism of all of his fictional letter-writers. In a comparison of the actual practice of ventriloquism as a genre of performance (dummy and all) with the use of the literary term, Davis (1998) discusses the effacement of the performer's real voice through the process of performance. For Davis, "the ventriloquist dominates the scene on the level of material production, is effaced on the diegetic level, and participates on the mimetic level" (1998: 140). If we understand Alciphrôn as assuming the role of Davis' ventriloquist, it is possible to understand him on these three levels: as the author who actually composed the Letters, as a non-existent presence in his narrative, and as present in the process of mimesis. It is the paradoxical combination of the latter two categories which I wish to search for in Alciphrän. I shall therefore be seeking points in Letters of Courtesans at which Alciphron assumes the female voice, and is successful in his mimesis. Although I believe that AlciphrOn is successful in his assumption of the female voice, I am hesitant to define the female voice as a quantifiable entity. As Kauffman asks, "can we deduce the gender of an author solely on the basis of internal textual evidence?" (1986: 19). Rather than pursue a topic I consider to be based entirely on essentialist assumptions, I prefer to shift this discussion of what the female voice is to what a construction of the female voice 89 entails. 143 In using the term construction in reference to gender, I am building upon the work of Judith Butler, who understands gender as "the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and enactments of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self" (1988: 519). Gender is not the biological phenomenon of being male or of being female, but rather a result of the totality of an individual's actions. These actions are performed by the individual, and yet they are interpreted collectively, so that they become the basis of a culturally- based "shared experience" (Butler 1988: 525). De Lauretis shares a similar systemic approach to the construction of gender, so that she sees it as "semiotic difference," with the result that gender can be understood by systems of reference and meaning (1987: 48). In the context of Letters of Courtesans, these references and meaning that shape gender are primarily found in the courtesans' use of rhetoric. I will therefore be examining the courtesan's letters for "male ideas of what it means to write as a woman" (Goldsmith 1989: vii). AlciphrOn's Letters of Courtesans are an example of "the power of the female in the male imagination" (Lindheim 2003: 181): these women are depicted as vividly as they are due to the importance of the feminine in the male-dominated cultural imagination of the Second Sophistic. By looking at Alciphrôn's ventriloquism, we can also learn about cultural constructions of gender in the ancient world. 144 One way of measuring the degree to which AlciphrOn has appropriated the female voice is to compare the rhetoric of Letters of Courtesans with depictions of women and assumptions about how women express themselves that are found in other ancient texts. An apt starting point for such a process is the poetry of Sappho. Sappho is the best point of comparison for the 143 When I use the term "essentialist," I am referring to the assumption that biological sex determines gender, and that gender-based characteristics are therefore not only linked to, but caused by, one's sex. Under this assumption, gender is a stable category, rather than one that is constantly shifting on both an individual and societal level. 144 I recognize that accepting Alciphron as male is an assumption. 90 hetairai, as her works are the most significant extant contribution to the ancient literary canon by a female writer, and they deal with issues of female desire that are pertinent to Alciphrôn's work. Sappho's poetry therefore provides a prototype of how female desire can be shaped in Greek literature. Marilyn Skinner remarks on the linguistic "strategies" that separate the work of Sappho from that of male poets, and which therefore work "to convey the passionate sexual longing felt by a woman" (1993: 131). Such strategies depict a model of desire that is markedly different from the active/passive pattern found in male homoerotic relationships. In contrast, the paradigm that Sappho depicts in her poetry is decidedly bilateral. Skinner provides fragment 31 as the best example of the egalitarian nature of female desire (1993: 133): cl)aivErai poi Kfivos- Taos- 06otatv EPIJEV' cf.ivrip, Orris- ilidVTIO5 TOI ia5civel Kai TrAciatov ei6t, (1)COVE1 — GaS 6TraKolist Kai yEXaicyas. ii4oEv, TO p' 1l pew KapSlav EV OTTiOEGIV iTTTOWOEV• cis ricp 'S. a' 15a)13pcixE', c'65 .1E (I)uivat — a' 065' iV 'il- ' EIKEI, &AA& Kcip KIEV yX(Sood <1..r> iaye, A6TTTOV S'aiiTIKa Xpc3 Triip 61Ta6E8pOUTIKEV, OTTTrdTECYCJI 5' o65' iv Oltripp', ilTITTIT6p- PEIGI 5' dKotat, Kci5 56 p' l'Spo)s- KaK)*Tat, TpOpos Si Traiaav dypet, xAco -ripa 5i Troias ippt, TEOVOiKTIV 5' ciAiyco ' -rri5Etins (1)aivop ip' aura. aXXa Tray TOApaTov, ETrEI Kai TrEVflTa... 91 He seems as fortunate as the gods to me, the man who sits opposite you and listens nearby to your sweet voice and lovely laughter. Truly that sets my heart trembling in my breast. For when I look at you for a moment, then it is no longer possible for me to speak; my tongue has snapped, at once a subtle fire has stolen beneath my flesh, I see nothing with my eyes, my ears hum, sweat pours from me, a trembling seizes me all over, I am greener than grass, and it seems to me that I am little short of dying. But all can be endured, since... even a poor man... (tr. Campbell) In this example, the author is active in that she desires the woman about whom this poem is written. Her beloved is the object of her gaze, as well as the object of the gaze coming from the man seated beside her, and yet, as the object, she is able to cause Sappho's physical reaction to her presence. This is much like letter 4.17 of Alciphrôn, in which Leontium is struck by very similar physical symptoms at the thought of separation from her beloved. The object of desire in Sappho is able to reciprocate by affecting the one who loves her. In fragment 31, Sappho employs the word KapSia as the center of the physical reaction to the beloved. In letters 2.31 and 1.22 AlciphrOn mirrors Sappho's use of KapSia, and in doing so highlights his own constructions of gendered desire. Letter 2.31, from the farmer's wife Anthylla to her husband Coriscus, contains the same trope found in fragment 31 of the beloved striking the female lover to her very heart: EOIKE Kal Ta vapaTa Els Te( avc*) rsUliGEGea I, ET ye OUTCOS, CJ KOplOKE, 6411XIKEGTEp05 yeyovc.65, COTE 65ri 6iSot,s Kal OuyaTpt6ois ixopev, Kteapc9Soij yuvatKOs Kcipe Kviets- axpt Tot-, Kal ain-rjv ,^-eKptvnaat -rip Kap61ay. Apparently even the streams are going to flow uphill, since you, my Coriscus, well along in years as you are, when we already have sons' and daughters' sons, are enamoured of a harp-girl and are vexing me to the point of tearing out my very heart. (2.31.1-2) In contrast, letter 1.22, from the fisherman Thalasserôs to his friend Euplotis, presents a different model of desire, in which eras, as opposed to the beloved herself, strikes the lover's heart: 92 lip£Tep05 otiv irpOs- prp-pOs O Ipcos, Kai tirrO TOUTOU (3ArieEic Tip) KapSim) ixco rrpOs- eaXciTTri Till/ KOpry, TTavOrro vopicov fl FaXaTEia Talc Ka XXI aTEuotiaa 1 5 To3v Nrjpri i 663 v auvEiva I . On his mother's side, therefore, Eros is ours, and stricken by him in the heart, I have my girl by the sea, and it seems to me that I am with Panope or Galateia, the most beautiful of the Nereids. (1.22.2, tr. adapted) As this letter shows, male desire in the KapSia is stirred by ergs, and the beloved is accordingly severed from the equation. This results in an image of desire that is unidirectional, as opposed to the female desire of fragment 31 and letters 4.17 and 2.31. These letters strongly suggest that AlciphrOn is shaping the desire of his women characters as expressly female. Peithei (persuasion) is another means of distinguishing between AlciphrOn's male and female authors. The role of persuasion plays an important role in the shaping of feminine discourse, and in ancient literature is customarily found in domestic or erotic contexts (McClure 1999: 62). In Sappho fragment 1, peithii is explicitly erotic. Sappho invokes Aphrodite, who responds to her pain: Tiva SritTE TrEiew d o'dyqv ic Fe) 41AOTaTa; Tis a', 63 Td-n-V, 661K -rjet; Kai y6p ai cOetiyet, TaXEGJC 61CgEl • ai Si 5c3pap ii 56KE-C, aAAa 56.iast • ai Si pii (pixel, TaEcos- cl)tArjael KCOUK ie6x01C5a. Whom am Ito persuade this time to lead you back to her love? Who wrongs you, Sappho? If she runs away, soon she shall pursue; if she does not accept gifts, why, she shall give them instead; and if she does not love, soon she shall love even against her will. (1.18-24, tr. Campbell) 93 As seen here, peitho is a tool of seduction, a means to engender desire in the beloved. Letter 4.11, from Menecleides to Euthycles, on the death of Menecleides' lover Bacchis, illustrates this connection between peitho and seduction: apTic.os J v oiov ic1)0yyrro,^`oat Talc OptAiats atrfic oitprivis EVit puvTO, aSs Si 456 TI Kai aKflpaTOV ecrrO Tc.3v 4)1AripciTcov v6K-t-aplaTaEV• E1T' diKpots pot SoKei Tois xE Aeotv auTTls EKaOIOEV nEtecA; How she spoke just now, how she glanced over, how many Siren charms were found in her conversations, how sweet and how pure the nectar that fell from her kisses. It seems to me that Persuasion sat on the edge of her lips. (4.11.7, tr. adapted) Menecleides' description of Bacchis shows how, for women, persuasion, desire, and the body are linked. Persuasive speech of this kind, coming from women, "was viewed as inextricably bound to their bodies and the desire engendered by them" (McClure 1999: 67). Letter 3.29, from the parasite Pexanconus to his fellow-parasite Rhigomachus demonstrates that precisely the opposite is true of men's peitho. Male persuasion is speech-based, and reflects social status. In this letter, Pexanconus is writing in praise of a foreign merchant who has just arrived in Athens: lort Si Kai Ockei-jvat KixaptopivaiTaToc, Kai TO 1Tp60031TOV atiTai Tas:AXias ivo-rrxoup6as EXEI, Kai Trjv nEte6 To5^itriKathjoaat diTrois iicv• Trpoo-rraistv TE yAal)urrOs- Kai AaXijaat o-rcopAoc, oUVEKa of yAuK6 Motioa KaTa oT6paTos XEE vkTap. And he is most gracious to look at, and he has sea-nymphs dancing about his face, and you could say that Persuasion sits upon his lips; he has a smooth wit and his speech is fluent, because the Muse dropped sweet nectar on his lips. (3.29.3) 94 By using a reference to Theocritus 7.82, which letter 4.11 also recalls, Alciphron constructs a clear vision of masculine peith5. 145 Although in both cases peitho is found on the lips, in Bacchis' case, her feminine persuasion is coupled with her kisses (TO( clAripa -ra) and is therefore corporeal, whereas that of the foreign merchant comes directly from his ability to be witty (rrpoarra ICE iv) and to speak fluently (AaAijaat o -rcopaos- ). In letter 4.7, AlciphrOn has Thais express the sentiment that women's peithO is equivalent to seduction, and is therefore corporeal. This letter, to her lover Euthydemus, lays out the distinction between rhetorical and erotic peithO. She begins by stressing the common telos of sophists and courtesans: diet Si StaOpetv iTaipas GOCMOTTiV; TOCTOCITOVIOWS 6001) OU 816 -rc31) cui -rcLiv iKaTepoi -rreieetv, errei REV ye ciu(kolipois TO■os. TTpOKEITal TO AaPsiv. Do you think a sophist is better than a courtesan? So far, possibly, as the means by which they seek to persuade are different; but one end— gain— is the object of both. (4.7.4) What then are a courtesan's means of persuasion? Thais insinuates that they are erotic, as a man with a courtesan is distracted from his political aspirations, and cares only to stay in bed with his lover: o6Si eiS e -raipa OrnAo3v TupavviSas OvitpoTroAil Kai CrraOlgEl Ta KOIVCX, 00016( OTTO(Cla5 TOV EcoetvOv Kai peOu60eis EIS diTrav -rpirriv Tl TET4TTIV TraiSitiopiv Si OU xiipov^To6s- vious. No one, when he's with a courtesan, dreams of a tyrant's power or raises sedition in the state; on the contrary, he drains his early-morning beaker and then prolongs his drunken rest until the third or fourth hour. We teach young men just as well as they do. (4.7.6, tr. Benner and Fobes) 145 The line evoked from Theocritus is: OUVEKC( of yXUKU Moiaa Kara cr -rOpa -ros XeE i)k -rap, "Because of which the Muse poured sweet honey on my lips" (7.82, my tr.). 95 In this example, Thais is made by Alciphren to describe a version of persuasion that is unambiguously gendered. Having them give voice to such distinctions confirms that Alciphrôn is actively seeking to construct the gender of his courtesans. Gossip is yet another form of speech commonly associated with women in the ancient Greek imagination. Semonides' fragment 7 picks up on this concept. 146 In his poem, he lists various types of women (as identified with different animals), and criticizes most of them for all kinds of offences. The dog woman is the busy-body exemplar, who cannot stay out of others' affairs: Tip 5' EK KuvOs AtToEpyOv, ain-oprjTopa, it 1TaVT' ciKoticrat, TrdvTa 5' Ei8ivai 06Xet, Trciv -rn 5i rrarr -raivouaa Kai rrAavaapEvrt AiAT1KEV, ijv Kai priSiv CiV0pWITCOV Opa. TraUCTEIE 8' ay ptv OUT' Oviretkrjaas chrrjp 065' Ei xoAczeels . kapgEtsv Aleut 656vTa s-, OUT Oiv pEtXixoas puestipevos, ot;5' Ei rrape( Eivotoiv Tjp6vri niXr,i- dAX' ip1r5o3s- aTTpliKTOV at'iovilv'Exst. One type is from a dog— a no-good bitch, a mother through and through; she wants to hear everything, know everything, go everywhere, and stick her nose in everything, and bark whether she sees anyone or not. A man can't stop her barking; not with threats, not (when he's had enough) by knocking out her teeth with a stone, and not with sweet talk either; even among guests, she'll sit and yap; the onslaught of her voice cannot be stopped. (frag. 7. 12-20, tr. Svarlien) 146 Semonidas is uncertainly dated to sometime after the mid-seventh century BCE. However Hubbard (1994) suggests that he could range in time anywhere from that point up to the mid-sixth century BCE based on similarities with several other ancient texts. 96 In sharp contrast to the dog woman is the bee woman, who does not indulge in gossip: Tr]V Si EK 1.1EXIC50115* TriV TIC EUTUXEI Xa(36v - '<Elva ycip din palipos. 013 TTpOCTIOVEI, eCiXXEI 15'^al3T1i5 Ke(1TC4ETal Rios... Kcipirrpitrijs piv iv yilvati yiyve -rat trciariat, Oeiri 5' cip4m565popiv xciptc . oti(5' iv yuvat0;^KaOripivfl, ÒKOU ÀEyOUCTIV cicivoStaious- Aciyous. Another type is from a bee. Good luck in finding such a woman! Only she deserves to be exempt from stinging blame. The household she manages will thrive... ...she herself shines bright among all women. Grace envelops her. She doesn't like to sit with other women discussing sex. (frag. 7.84-90, tr. Svarlien)' 47 Simonides presents the bee woman as an ideal, because she alone among all women does not participate in gossip. McClure draws on the propensity of Athenian drama to perpetuate the stereotype of the gossipy woman (McClure 1999: 59-60). In Euripides' Hippolytus, Phaedra includes long, gossipy, leisurely talks among the pleasures of a woman's life: i'tai (5' ii5oval troMal 131ov paKpai TE XE0)(al Kai oxoArj "Life's pleasures are many long leisurely talks" (383-4, tr. Kovacs). At Phoenician Women 198-201, the female chorus is introduced by the Pedagogue with a reference to their gossipy nature: 14"7 ^645-56 of Euripides' Trojan Women, Andromache is positioned in a manner comparable to Semonides' bee woman (North 1977: 38). 97 cl)ikikpoyov 5i xpi-jpa eriAetc3v apiKpcis^64Oppd5 TIV ÄC((3COGI TC:31/ Aciycov, TrXEious. in-Eal)ipouatv• 1)5ovii SE Tic yuvc41 pr15iv tiytis dAArjAac A6ysiv. The noble among women are fond of scandal, and if they get minor occasions for talking, they make them major; for there is some pleasure for women in speaking poorly of one another. (198-201, my tr.) Lastly, at Ecclesiazusae 120, as the women prepare to take over the Assembly, after Praxagora has proposed that they rehearse what they will say, Woman A responds: Tic (5' c.:3 fipoSv oti XaAeiv irriaTaTat; "Who among us doesn't know how to gossip?" (my tr.) Letters of Courtesans are particularly well-suited to present instances of gossip among the hetairai as these women are part of a small, female-dominated circle. 148 We can assume that the courtesans' world is small enough that they all know one another, which is evidenced by the list of women attending the same party together in 4.14. 149 These examples further indicate that Alciphron purposely manipulates received cultural ideas concerning women in his assumption of the female epistolary voice. Letter 4.6 is one such sample of woman-to-woman gossip, in which Thais complains to her fellow courtesan Thettale about their fellow-courtesans Megara and Euxippe. A quarrel has arisen between Thais and Euxippe over a lover, and Megara has become involved. Megara and Euxippe show their toward Thais by insulting her and openly gossiping: 148 This builds on Fulkerson who uses the model of a female community of writers as one method of analyzing the Heroides (2005: 6 and 67). 149 The attendees of the party in 4.14 are listed as Thettale (addressee of 4.6), Moscharium, Thais (writer of 4.6 and 4.7), Anthracium, Petale (addressee of 4.8, writer of 4.9), Thryallis, Myrhinna (addressee of 4.5, writer of 4.10), Chrysium, Euxippe, and Philumena (writer of 4.15). 98 aAAa ToaiTriv piv oUSiv^TTOIEIV TrapaAoyov KaK6s- A6youaav pE....TO pit; yap TTpCSTOV KI)OgOUGa peT' iKEivns Kai pcoKcopivti Trjv Suap6velav EvESEIKvuTo, EITa (1)avEpc.)c TrolflpaTa Ti6EV 615 TOV OUK6Er rjpiv trpoo6xovTa epaaTriv. ...5E5rjAcoKa 56 aot Alva prj pE TI pEillP1:1. Well, I thought she was doing nothing surprising in saying mean things about me...she showed her^first by giggling with Megara and making fun of me; then she openly sang some verses on the lover who was no longer attentive to me...I've told you the story so that you won't blame me. (4.6.2-5, tr. Benner and Fobes, adapted) Three aspects of this passage characterize it as an example of gossip: the insults directed at Thais, the mention of her former lover, and the closing imprecation to Thettale that she take Thais' side in the matter. It is due to the epistolary format that Thais can actively shape her discourse as the correct version of the encounter. The accounts of parties in letters 4.13 and 4.14 are also examples of gossip. In these letters, there is no lining up of allies against personal slander, but rather a chatty recounting of the events at hand. After relating all the events of the party in the countryside to her friend, the anonymous letter-writer concludes by telling her addressee that the others present at the party urged her to pass on an account of what happened: E6E1 aTTOXOUGal OE T65 4/011V aKO -65 TOU GUI.111-0010U Tpuci)spOv yap ijv Kai,^, TrpETTOV 6pC01 - 1141 OplXia El KW^Tris- trapoivias eouvrimis - spounopriv oi-jv dKpl[3(.35 1KaoTa imaTEiXat Kai -roUTpanTiv. It was only proper that you should have at least the pleasure of hearing about the party (since it was luxurious and suitable for a group of lovers) even if you couldn't be there. And so I wanted to write an exact account of everything, and they urged me to do so. (4.13.19, tr. adapted) As in letter 4.6, the letter-writer reminds her addressee that she is presenting a correct account. Whether this is true or not is unimportant. The epistolary format allows her to shape her discourse specifically for her addressee. Letter 4.14, from Megara to Bacchis similarly recounts 99 the events of a party from which the addressee was absent. Its tone is partially mocking, partially teasing Bacchis for missing out on the fun: 2 oi pOvn ipao -rtins- )4yoviv, Ov (1)(Xiis- OUTO)S CISOTE priS' aKapij TTCOS* ain-oi, Stasuxei-jvat Stivacyeal. ills driSias, Sian°Iva 'Act)poSi -rri. KkrieElm in-rO FAuKipas ETTI &Krim EIS TOGOU- TOV xpOvov citrO To 3v Atovuoicov yap 15] piv im-heyetAii) ot,x films, dipat Si iKeivov OUSE -ras (1)1Aas. iSE'iv yuvaiKas- civaoxopgvn. oc4po3v yiyovas al:, Kai cktAsis- -rOv ipao -rriv, paKapia -rlis- st;ichpias- ijpsis Si rrOpvat Kai ciKOXao -rot...Opyiopat yap Inj -rip) pEyciAriv OEOv...06 8' tnjpiv pOvri TOv''AScoviv TTEplEll/UXEC, prj TTOU KaTaXE14)0EVTa OUTOV UTTO 006 TliS: A4)poSiTric ii TTEpoulxivri TrapaAcik. You're the only woman who has a lover, and you love him so much that you can't be separated from him, even for a moment! How nauseating of you, by Aphrodite! You were invited by Glykera to her sacrificial feast so long beforehand (in fact it was back at the time of the Dionysia that she gave us our invitations), yet you didn't come, I think because of him you couldn't bring yourself to see even your girlfriends! You have become a virtuous woman and love your lover— congratulations on your good reputation! But we are whores and not virtuous...Yes, you make me angry, I swear by the Great Goddess....You were the only one who stayed to cuddle with her Adonis; I suppose you were afraid that, if you, his Aphrodite should leave him alone, Persephone might get hold of him. (4.14.1-3, tr. adapted) When Megara chides Bacchis that they are merely whores, she uses the term -n-Opyri, which is commonly used to denote the type of prostitute who charges per act, a distinct step away from the income by gift exchange of the hetairai. 15° She is self-deprecatingly making fun of herself here too. This is, in fact, the only mention of the word TrOpuri in Letters of Courtesans, which is all the more important because it occurs in a letter from courtesan to courtesan. The hetairai 150 Davidson distinguishes between the hetaira as paid for an evening's entertainment and the porne as paid for a specific sexual act (1997: 95). See page 31. 100 never identify themselves as anything but hetairai to their lovers, yet they can jest about their status amongst themselves. 151 The passage from 4.14 contains another element of Alciphron's ventriloquism of the hetairai, the use of oaths. 152 (For the purposes of this investigation, an oath will be considered any reference to a divinity in the vocative case, or with vri, pd, op Trp65.) Such an analysis is easily quantifiable along the lines of gender, as evidence from the Greek epistolographers shows that women do not swear by Athena, Apollo, or Heracles, and men do not swear by Artemis (Wright 1918: 73). In Old Comedy, gender inversion is enhanced by the use of the other gender's common oaths (Dillon 1995: 138). 153 In the passage quoted above, Megara invokes two deities specifically important to women, Aphrodite and Cybele (the "Great Goddess"). The first, Aphrodite, has special significance to the courtesans, as a goddess of love and sexuality. Bacchis makes this connection clear when she qualifies the hetairai as Trcioa 1 Tipeis ai T1/11/ 1AavOpcorro -r6pav 'AcPpo5iTriv rrpoTtpuicat, ("all of us who hold in chief honour the more humane Aphrodite," 4.5.3). 154 The same invocation of the love-goddess occurs two more times in courtesan-authored letters at 4.5.1 and 4.9.3, and all three oaths are phrased identically: 56a rroi va 'AcPpo51 -rn (Mistress Aphrodite). At 4.12.1, Leaena uses the goddess' name to 151 At 4.11, Phryne refers to herself as Praxiteles' own courtesan ( .6 crEau -roii i -raipa), and Bacchis mentions that all the hetairai (mica' ai i -raipat) are grateful to Hypereides for his defence of Phryne at 4.3.1. For a courtesan to refer to herself as anything but hetaira to her lover would damage a relationship based on gift exchange. 152 Out of twenty-five instances of courtesans making oaths, Aphrodite is invoked nine times, Artemis four times, Zeus four times, Nemesis twice, and Cybele, the Muses, Kalligeneia, Demeter, Persephone, and all the gods once. The structure of these oaths and the deities sworn by are by and large consistent with their use in the Menander available to Wright (1918: 72). 153 The gender-bending examples Dillon gives are AgathOn in Thesmophoriazousai and the women who take over the assembly in Ecclesiazousai. 154 The existence of the temple of Aphrodite at Corinth, served by up to a thousand hierodoules (temple prostitutes), also testifies to the connection between Aphrodite and prostitutes. See Strabo 8.6.20. 101 enhance her insult of her lover's wife: iXecAi QE of Tip; AeppoSiTry, TaAairro,vs, oia TraoxEic [JET' iKsivric Ka0EtiScov Tf15 xsÀo.iv -qc, ("By Aphroditö, I pity you, for what you must suffer, sleeping with that tortoise"). The same invocation is made at 4.16. by Lamia, as she tells Demetrius how she trembles in his presence, and Leontium both at 4.17.2 and at 4.17.6, when she complains about her aged lover. The courtesans also swear by Artemis. As opposed to the oaths to Aphrodite, referring to Artemis is a way to show a courtesan's seriousness in the claim she is making. Lamia invokes her as a guarantee of her fidelity to Demetrius at 4.16.5: ou Trot (loco TO ETaIpIKOV, oUSi qieticsopat, 56an-o-ra, Cris CO■Aco Trototiatv. poi rip E iKEivou,^Tfiv ”ApTcptv, o6.5i TrpoGETrE 1 Jav 'ETI 1T0ÄÄ01 01/6i irreipaaay. I will not play the courtesan, nor, my lord, will I lie, as other women do. From that time, by Artemis, few people have even sent me a message or made approaches. (tr. adapted) She names Artemis again in the same letter at 4.16.8, although this time the oath is made in passing as she is talking about the banquet she is arranging, and is no vow of trustworthiness. At 4.17.6, Leontium also invokes Artemis, once more bewailing her relationship with the elderly Epicurus. Glykera does the same thing at 4.19.5, as she expresses her excitement at watching a performance of Menander's plays, and again at 4.19.5 when she tells him of her shame at being compared to him intellectually. AlciphrOn and Lucian AlciphrOn's appropriation of the female voice can be further examined by juxtaposing Letters of Courtesans with Lucian's Dialogues of the Courtesans, a work with similar subject matter. These dialogues are the best and closest point of comparison for Letters of Courtesans. 102 Lucian is also a Second Sophistic writer, who uses many of the same mimetic techniques as AlciphrOn, and the dialogues, much as in the case of the epistolary format, allow for use of first- person discourse. Aristaenetus' letters between Lucian and AlciphrOn testify to the perceived resemblance between these two authors in late antiquity. 155 Despite these similarities, Lucian's courtesans are more contrived than those of AlciphrOn. Their voices are more artificial, and their personalities correspond more to the broad stereotypes of prostitutes found in New Comedy. 156 Because of the use of these New Comic characters, Dialogues of the Courtesans have a mercenary tone that is more consistently present than in Letters of Courtesans. In my comparison of the appropriation of the female voice in these two works, I shall be using the same categories that were applied to AlciphrOn's ventriloquism, looking for examples of bilateral desire (as originally portrayed by Sappho), peithii, gossip, and the use of oaths. Desire in which the beloved can cause the lover a host of physical symptoms, as found in Sappho's fragment 31 and Alciphron's letter 4.17, is not found in anywhere in the Dialogues of the Courtesans. Dialogue 3, a conversation between Philinna and her mother, shows that in Lucian, professional, economically-motivated jealousy is the common reaction to one's lover being with another. Philinna has angered her lover Diphilus by kissing his friend Lamprias, to which Diphilus responded by being attentive to another courtesan. While Philinna is angry at this, her mother isolates the source of such jealousy. Rather than anger caused by desire, Philinna's response to Diphilus' actions comes because she is financially dependent on him, as her mother reminds her: 155 See Aristaenetus 1.5 and 1.22 (Mazal 1971). 156 Out of thirty-five speaking characters in the Dialogues of Courtesans, eight names come from extant Menander (Glykera, Thais, Philinna, Doris, KrobylE, Pamphilus, PolemOn, and Pythias). Of these eight names, three (Glykera, Doris, and Polemon) come from Perikeiromene. 103 oti6ip4iviloat cSoa Trap' au'Toti iXdPopev oiov Sr) TO1) Tr4 Juot xeipc3va,^,^„^,5triyciyopEv av, Et^TOUTOV Tiptv^AcppootTri ETTEOE;...Kal OTTa pri KaTa Try Trapoipiav ciyroppr'RcopEv Troivu Teivouoat To KaAcJo riSiov. Do you forget how much he has given us, and how we'd have had to pass the last winter, if Aphrodite hadn't sent him to us?...Remember the proverb, and take care that we don't strain the rope to the breaking point. (3.283-92, tr. Harmon) The only mention in Dialogues of the Courtesans of the symptoms caused by desire is in reference to a man's reaction to his beloved. In dialogue 8, Ampelis explains these effects to her fellow courtesan Chrysis: 'Ap.—"OoTts 56, c3 Xpucyi, pTiTE .11À0TUTT^OpyiETat priTe ETITTaTTICIE 1TOTE TTEplEKElpEV ijnic ipaiTta TTEOIEGXICIEV, ETt ipaurns- iKeivOs- ioTiv; Xp.— 01"moi.iv TaUTa pc>va ipc3vTos, W 'ApirsAi, SEiypaTa; 'A p.— Nai,^6v5pOs eeppoi• irrEl TdAAa, 4mAripaTa Kal SciKpua Kal OTTKOI Kai TO TroXAoiK15 ijKstv ci -uxopivou ipcoTos oripiiov Kai cl)uop6,rou ETI. Am.- If a man isn't jealous or angry, Chrysis, and never hits you, cuts your hair off, or tears your clothes, is he still in love with you? Ch.- Are these the only sure signs of a man's love, then? Am.- Yes, these are the signs of a burning love. All else, the kisses, the tears, the vows and the frequent visits are the signs of a love that is beginning and still growing. (8.300-306, tr. Harmon) 157 This shows that in Lucian's appropriation of the courtesans' voices, female desire is less of an issue than it is for Alciphrôn. In Alciphron 4.7, Thais argues that courtesans' erotic peith5 is equally persuasive to that of sophists, and has a mollifying effect on men. In Lucian, however, when peithó makes its appearance, it is a manly trait, less persuasion than outright force. Dialogue 10 provides a clear 157 •Dialogue 8 betrays the influence on Lucian of Roman love elegy, particularly Ovid Amores 1.7 , in which Ovid abuses his beloved. Further evidence of this influence can be found in dialogue 6, in which one of the courtesans is named Corinna, who is Ovid's mistress in the Amores. 104 counterpoint to letter 4.7, with its almost identical plot and inclusion of a letter in the dialogue. Drosis is complaining to her fellow courtesan Chelidonium, that her young lover, Clinias, has abandoned her for philosophy, under the tutelage of the philosopher Aristaenetus. After seeing Drosis' serving girl in the agora, Clinias sends a note to Drosis, which Chelidonium reads to her: 1 " (JUTE civciyKri TrEi0Ec30a t aUTCA3• TTapaKOAOUOE'l yap ciKp 4365 Trapacl)uAaaaav, Kai OÀcos- oti5i Trpo64376rrsiv CO^Aa? oti5Evi Isa -rtv EKE1VCJ• El 5E acocivovoipt Kai TrdVTa TTEIGOEIT1V aUTC9, UTTICIXVEITal TTO(VU Eti5a ipova gaEa0ai pE. So I must obey him; for he follows me while keeping a very close eye on me. In fact, I'm not allowed even to look at anyone but him If I live a sober life, and obey him in everything, he promises me I'll be completely happy. (8.3.15-20, tr. Harmon) This passage proves that peithO is not the powerful force that it is in the Letters. Lucian has replaced persuasion with obedience. Unlike Thais of letter 4.7, Drosis makes no suggestion that she will use her own peithO to lure her lover back, and instead plots to have some slanderous graffiti written about Aristaenetus. When persuasion is credited to a woman at dialogue 5.2.5, she is the transgressive Megilla, who lives as Megillus in a same-sex relationship with Demonassa, whom she calls her "wife." PeithO in Dialogues of the Courtesans, therefore, is of little importance to the construction of either the courtesans' relationships with their lovers or the presentation of their gendered voices. Dialogues of the Courtesans do not depict the same kind of close-knit demi-monde seen in Alciphron's Letters. This can be attributed to the fact that none of the dialogues have over- lapping or intersecting plots and the only name that occurs in more than one dialogue is Thais (in 158 Unlike the courtesans of Alciphron, who can presumably read and write (as there is never any mention of an intermediary slave in the Letters), Drosis is illiterate, and dependent on her friend to read Clinias' note. 105 dialogues 1 and 3), a repetition that has no effect on the storyline. Gossip in Dialogues of the Courtesans, however, bears much of the burden of moving the plot along in the individual dialogues, and is therefore one of the aspects of Lucian's construction of the female voice that stands out most. Dialogue 1, two courtesans insulting and sharing rumours about a rival, is a reversal of letter 4.6, in which the letter-writer is the object of her antagonists' jibes. Thais and Glykera compare notes on Gorgona, who has taken Thais' lover: ea.— a -rap EKEIVO eallpgCO, Ti Kai ilT6180EV a6T-fjs. 6 aTpaTto.irris. droc, EKTO5 Ei prj 1TaVTCfTaal TUCIA65 £6TIV, OS' 06X OSpCiKEI Tas 1.1EV Tpixas aimjv dpaid5 Ixoucav Kal iiri TrOXU TOU liETCAiTTOU eurnyp6vas-. Ta )(Oa) Si TriXtSvd Kai TpdxnAos- AE1TTOS" Kai illiaflp01 EV at'n-ck3 aiclAiPis Kai ()lc paKpd.^pOvov, it,priKris icYri Kai OpOT) Kai pitSiCurcivu in-aycoyov. IA.— OYE1 ydp, 03 Oai , TW KdAAit ripaiaeal TOVAKapvciva; OLIK oicsea WS (PappaKI5 -1) Xpuacipt6v ia-nv priTrip a6 -rfis, GicsaaAds TIVaC CiriSa5 iTTIOTal.161/11 Kal TT)V aeArivriv KaTdyouoa; cl)aal Si airriiv Kal "ITTECJea Tn5 VUKTOC. Th.- But I do wonder what this soldier man found in her, unless he's absolutely blind and hadn't noticed that her hair is thin on top and receding a long way in front; her lips are livid and her neck's scraggy with the veins all standing out, and what a long nose she's got! Her only good point is that she's tall and has a good carriage and a very attractive smile. GL- Why, Thais, you don't think the Acarnian has fallen for her beauty? Don't you know that her mother, Chrysarium, is a witch who knows Thessalian spells, and can bring the moon down? Why, they say she even flies at night. (1.2.1-13, tr. Harmon) Not only do the courtesans mock Gorgona's appearance, but they also add the rumour of witchcraft. 159 159 The rumour about Chrysarium is part of the same tradition of the hag with the ability to do magic, as found in Ovid Amores 1.8. 106 The use of oaths is the fourth and final category I shall employ in my analysis of Lucian and Alciphron's ventriloquism. The oaths of Lucian's courtesans include two invocations of Aphrodite, although she is referred to by epithets rather than by name. At 5.1.8, Clonarium refers to her as rj KoupoTp4os ("boy-rearing"), while later in the same dialogue Leaena calls her ot;pavia ("the heavenly one"). 16° At 13.4.12, Hymnis invokes the Graces (ai Xcipt -rsc), a trio of goddesses closely associated with Aphrodite. In a clearer analogy with AlciphrOn's courtesans, Crobyle calls on Nemesis twice in dialogue 6, using the epithet 'ASpda -reta at 6.2.16 and 6.3.26. 161 Calling on Nemesis in this context is apotropaic; Crobyle has been telling her daughter about her prospects as a courtesan and does not want to jinx them. 162 Dialogues of the Courtesans make use of cultural associations with feminine communication in a different manner than Letters of Courtesans do, with the result that Lucian's ventriloquism takes a form unlike that of AlciphrOn. Looking for techniques of ventriloquism in an author as similar as Lucian allows us to see more clearly how AlciphrOn assumes the female voice. In establishing his mimetic technique, Alciphrôn goes beyond the names and places of Hellenistic Athens to represent a feminine voice that conforms to ancient conceptions of women. He has drawn on culturally received ideas of what it means to talk, or rather write, as a woman. This in turn erases his own authorial voice. His active construction of gender in the Letters of Courtesans is "obscured by the credibility of its own production" (Butler 1988: 522). His 160 KoupoTp4os is also used of Aphrodite at Horn. Epigr. 12, while Xenophon refers to her as otipavia at Symposium 8.9. 161 Alciphron's courtesans invoke Nemesis by name at 4.6.5, 4.10.4, and 4.12.3. 162 The chorus of Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound calls on Nemesis for a similar purpose at 936. 107 audience, however, never loses sight of AlciphrOn's device of epistolarity. This is where Alciphren succeeds in his mimetic writing. For ventriloquism to be truly successful, "it must at once convincingly sustain the illusion of the dummy's speech, while never letting us lose sight of the art by which this illusion is sustained" (Aczel 2001: 704). The illusion of the courtesans' voices are sustained by the epistolary format. 108 Conclusion This study has presented several ways of reading AlciphrOn's Letters of Courtesans. It began by outlining how the epistolary format shapes first-person discourse and the content of a letter. It followed this with a discussion of the four books of Letters as a Second Sophistic text, considering the process of mimesis that arose out of this nostalgic period. Next, it described the influence of Menandrian New Comedy on the characters and vocabulary of AlciphrOn as an extension of his mimetic process. It then detailed the presence of historical courtesans in the text, as yet another aspect of Alciplu -On's recreation of a generically Hellenistic Athens. The most important readings to my study are sexuality and gender. By charting out trends in the contemporary discourse of sexuality, particularly as influenced by Michel Foucault, I have shown that it is possible to examine the female sexuality portrayed in Letters of Courtesans using theory that was originally applied to male sexuality. I have demonstrated in this process that the courtesans have a distinct sexual agency, and that even though they are objects of desire for their lovers, they are equally active in their own desire. In my chapter on ventriloquism, I established that AlciphrOn drew on ideas of the feminine in ancient Greek culture that were found in literature. Through a comparison with Lucian, I demonstrated that AlciphrOn used these tropes in a manner unique to his own work. AlciphrOn's portrayal of the courtesans' sexuality and gender in the epistolary format makes Letters of Courtesans a work in which the author's mimetic techniques are apparent. 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Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 50-76. 124 Appendix 1: Structure of the Courtesans' Letters 163 Number in Loeb Author and Addressee Topic Linked Letters 164 1 (fragment) Phryne to Praxiteles Aphrodite of Knidos 3, 4, 5 2 Glykera to Bacchis Menander's trip to Corinth 3, 14, 18, 19 3 Bacchis to Hypereides Phryne's court case 1, 4, 5, 11, 14 4 Bacchis to Phryne Phryne's court case 1, 3, 5, 11, 13, 14 5 Bacchis to Myrrhina Phryne's court case 1, 3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 14 6 Thais to Thettale professional/personal competition 7, 10 7 Thais to Euthydemus sophists vs. courtesans 6, 10 8 SimaliOn to Petale SimaliOn's paraclausithyron 9 9 Petale to SimaliOn Petale's denial of SimaliOn 8 10 Myrrhina to Nicippe love philtre 5, 6 11 Menecleides to Euthycles death of Bacchis 3, 4, 5, 14 12 (fragment) Leaena to Philodemus courtesan vs. wife - 13 (fragment) Courtesan to Female Friend (no names given) rural party with courtesans and lovers 8, 9 14 Megara to Bacchis courtesans' beauty contest 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 15, 18, 19 163 The letters are presented in the same order as in the 1949 Loeb edition. 164 This category refers to letters that continue a narrative from another letter, that are written by the same author, that are written by the addressee of another letter, or that feature characters from other letters. 125 15 Philumena to Crito money 14 16 Lamia to Demetrius Lamia's love for Demetrius 17 17 Leontium to Lamia old lover vs. young lover 16 18 Menander to Glykera invitation to Egypt 2, 14, 19 19 Glykera to Menander response to invitation 2, 14, 18 Frag. 5 Courtesans in Corinth to Courtesans in Athens Lais - 126 Appendix 2: The Manuscript History of AlciphrOn's Letters Independent or Uncertain Position in the Stemma: Name Date Letters Contained 165 B-Vindobensis phil. 342 12th-13th cent. 2.1-4, 6-39 Neap.b- Neapolitanus III. AA. 14 14th-15 th cent. 1.1-12166 N- Parisinus suppl.grec 352 13th cent. Book 1, 3.1-4, 5 (To i^06) F-Parisinus 3054 15th cent. 4.2, 18-19167 Family 1: Harl.- Harleianus 5566 (part of x) 14th cent. 1.1-13, 15-22; 2.2-30; 3.1-7, 9-35, 37-39, 42 Ven.- Marcianus VIII.2 14th-15th cent. 1.1-13, 15-22; 2.2-30; 3.1-7, (also part of x) 9-35, 37-39, 42 ordered as 3.1- 7, 9-18, 20-27, 33, 28-32, 34- 35, 37-39, 42, 19; 2.2-15, 17- 27, 16, 28-30; 1.1-13, 15-22 Neap. a- Neapolitanus III. AA. 14111-15 111 cent. 3.14, 6-7, 9-13, 16-19 ordered 14 as^1, 17, 2-4, 6-7, 9-13, 16, 18-19 165 Letters are referenced by their numbers as found in Schepers' 1905 edition. 166 May be related to Vaticanus 140 and x2 . 167 In this manuscript, the letters are in the order 18-19, 2. These are the letters of Glykera and Menander. 127 Family 2: G- Parisinus 1696 14th cent. 2.2-28, 30 ordered as 2-15, 17- 27, 16, 28, 30; 3.1-39, 41-42 Vat.1- Vaticanus 140 14th cent. 2.2-28, 30; 3.1-19 (Folia torn out may have contained 3.20- 39, 42) Family 3: Vat. 2- Vaticanus 1461 14th -15 th cent. 1.1-10, 11 (through evopXsiaeat Tdc), 13 (beginning with iSc3v olljv)- 22; 2.2 (beginning with io,iKEtv Si) -7, 8 (beginning with (3oafi KO I VOI/pEVOC)-4 1, 4.1-19, frag. 5 Flor.- Laurentianus 59.5 15th cent. Same as above P- Parisinus 3021 15th cent. Same as above D- Parisinus 3050 15th cent. Same letters as above in the following order: 1.1-10, 14- 22; 3.37-40; 2.3-7; 4.2-11, 14- 19; 1.11,13; 3.36, 41; 2.2, 8; 4.1, 12-13, frag. 5 128 Appendix 3: Editions of AlciphrOn's Letters Edition Year Book 1 168 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Aldine' 69 1499 1-10, 14-22 3-7 37-40 2-11, 14-19 Geneva 1606 1-10, 14-22 3-7 37-40 2-11, 14-19 Bergler 1715 1-2217° 1-28, 30-39 1-40 2-11, 14-19 Wagner 1798 1-22 1-3917' 1-41 1-19, frag. 5 172 Seiler' 73 1853 and 1-22 1-39 1-42174 1-19, frag. 5 1856 Meineke 1853 1-22 1-39 1-42 1-19, frag. 5 Hercher 1873 1-22 1-39 1-42 1-19, frag. 5 Schepers 1901 1-22 1-39 1-42 1-19, frag. 5 Schepers 1905 1-22 1-39 1-42 1-19, frag. 5 Benner and 1949 1-22 1-39 1-42 1-19, frag. 5 Fobes 168 Letter numbers and book divisions are taken from Schepers' 1905 edition. 169 Editio Princeps. 170 Represents complete Letters of Fishermen. 171 Represents complete Letters of Farmers. 172 Represents complete Letters of Courtesans. 173 Represents complete current collection. 174 Represents complete Letters of Parasites. 129


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