The Function of the Lyric Chorus

{206|207} The analysis of the female lyric chorus as to internal structure and connections to ritual and cult has shown it to play a frequent role in paying homage to deities. But above all it seems to have provided a vehicle for the intervention of gods into the human sphere, in conformity with the attributions of the divinity in question. The myths, and sometimes certain rituals, have helped explain the semantic configuration of cults that include choral dances by women. These cults are seen as marking the essential stages of the physiological, social, and institutional development of the woman from birth to adulthood via marriage. There exists, it goes without saying, a close relationship between the semantic configuration of the cults and the attributes and functions of the intervening divinity.
The lyric chorus is thus the line of communication between the deity and its followers, and therefore the status of the chorus members, either adolescents, marriageable women, or young wives, and so on, corresponds in most cases to the sphere of influence of the divinity and thus to the characteristics of the divinity itself. The choral performance in its cultic aspect allows the divinity to influence those who celebrate it, and it is thus within the chorus that help for the observant is realized during transitions through moments of crisis. Through choral performance, the rhythm of different stages in the development of the social life and the gender role of women is validated on the religious level.
This analysis, however, of the insertion of the choral performance into a series of cults only permits us to describe the religious aspects of the lyric chorus. The conception of a choral practice not finding its conclusion in cult, but whose function is fundamentally cultic and social, causes two problems for the interpreter: first, the extra-cultic content of choral practice must be studied. So far we have discussed certain rituals and myths of tribal initiation. It is now necessary to examine whether the secular function of the lyric chorus corresponds to what the ritual and especially the myth indicate, and the modalities and the substance of this function must be examined. On the other hand, the cultic aspect of choral interpretation and, in particular, the parallel existence of professional choruses such as that of the Deliades, and of obviously occasional choruses, pose the problem of the institutional character of the lyric chorus. If the role of the chorus is found to extend beyond the confines of the cult, the social and perhaps juridical foundations for this must be studied. The following paragraphs will attempt to answer these two questions, starting with the second. {207|208}

4.1. The chorus as institution

4.1.1. Hellenistic associations

Before examining the meager evidence on the social status of the Archaic chorus, it may be helpful to glance at the choral associations which flourished during the Hellenistic period. [1] From a methodological point of view, this displacement in time is justified by the abundance of documentation for this period, particularly inscriptions. It seems to me that even if the Hellenistic associations underwent profound modifications, it is still possible to see in the organization of these later associations the reflexes of structures in place in the Archaic period. However, I shall take into account the fact that the Hellenistic associations acquired a marked private character, in contrast to the Archaic ones, and owed their success to the weakening of public life and official cult, whereas Archaic society revolved around these two points. [2]
Since a profound change in the signified of these associations occurs between the Classical and Archaic periods and the Hellenistic period, it seems wise to follow on the level of the signifier their names and the elements composing them. A study of the signifier allows a comparative analysis of the morphology of these societies, independent of their function and of their significance in historically different social contexts.
The commonest terms in inscriptions for Greek phratries are θίασος, "guild," ἔρανος, the feast "of mutual aid," and ὀργεῶνες, the delegates of a corporation. None of these words corresponds exactly to what we know of the lyric chorus. On the other hand, the signifiers for the elements of internal organization of Hellenistic associations are familiar to us; for instance at Pergamon, the βουκόλοι, the followers of Dionysus, formed a thiasos and had at their head two ὑμνοδιδάσκαλοι, two song masters and a choregos. In the same town, the contribution to be paid for participation in the rites organized by the ὑμνῳδοί, the "hymn singers," was called χορεῖον, the choral tribute. A choregos, called respectively χοροστατῶν or χορηγήγας, was also at the head of the society of the hymnôidoi of Nicopolis and of the κορδακισταί, the "cordax dancers" of Amorgos. This position was also designated by the term, already mentioned, of προστάτης. [3] The members of the phratries were often designated with nouns ending in -φορος or by terms such as ἑταῖρος, the companion, and ἀδελφός, the {208|209} brother. [4] Borrowings of terms connected with the Archaic chorus are numerous, and the Hellenistic corporations seem to have continued some of the structures of the chorus, but put them to a different use. The semantic features of 'companionship,' 'leading,' and 'institution (of the chorus)' found in these terms can be taken in their real sense, but those of 'song' and 'dance' do not refer to the activity of Hellenistic phratries and have only a metaphorical meaning.
Poland notes that women play only a minor role in these associations. If the mixed associations are excluded, those for women only had a cult function and were essentially colleges of priestesses. [5] Here again, we see the outlines of the lyric chorus in both origin and function. The professional choruses attached to a particular cult, such as the chorus of the Deliades, must have mediated between the Archaic choral mode and the Hellenistic confraternity. Thus in the case of associations for women, the analogy with Archaic choruses is not only formal, but it is also functional.
These structural resemblances between Archaic choruses and Hellenistic associations suggest that the juridical foundation for the latter shares some analogy with the former. I would now like to examine the merits of this supposition.
One of the terms used in discussing the Hellenistic confraternity is θίασος. In the Classical period, it did not have the significance it had later. It refers to a troupe or gathering of people dancing and singing, generally in a cult context and particularly in Dionysiac rituals. If the bacchic meaning of the word is foremost, it is not the only one. The thiasos can also be made up of Centaurs or persons compared with the Muses. [6] But the oldest use of the word is found in Alcman, where it appears beside θοίνη, the banquet, referring to the meetings of the famous Spartan sussitia. [7] This brief fragment is quoted by Ephoros, himself cited by Strabo. It is taken from an invitation to intone and sing the paean (παιᾶνα κατάρχην) to be performed on this occasion.
The established, political character of the Lacedaemonian sussitia suggests that the association referred to as thiasos has a similar legal base. [8] The widespread use of this word in connection with Hellenistic associations would then be an example of the movement of a word with a precise meaning in the Archaic period from the public to the private domain. The modified application {209|210} of the word would have as a complement the continuity of the formal structures of the institution so designated, an assembly of table companions linked by common interests. In addition, the song sung during the sussitia indicates the choral connotations which the term thiasos also has in the Classical period, particularly in Euripides where the words χορός and θίασος are practically synonymous. [9] I have analyzed above the passage of Iphigenia in Tauris in which the chorus of Iphigenia's attendants yearn to take their places again in the choruses where they danced as young girls. These lines recall the term χοροῖς by means of the expression ἡλίκων θιάσους, thus making the terms not just synonyms but also giving thiasos the choral feature 'contemporary.' [10] The similarity between the thiasos and the chorus leads to an examination of Sappho's much disputed group on Lesbos.

4.1.2. The "circle" of Sappho

With the model of the Hellenistic confraternities and cult groups in mind, many modern scholars have decided that Sappho had a thiasos on Lesbos in the institutional sense of the term. Indications of this are very tenuous, and the word is never used in connection with Sappho; so it seems more prudent to speak with Merkelbach of the Kreis or Lesbian "circle" of Sappho, or in an even more neutral mode, of her group. [11] Nevertheless, it is possible to see through these indications together with some fragments of the poet herself what an association of women at the end of the seventh century could be. The evidence also points to other groups of the same type, of interest as points of comparison with the Spartan system.
The most significant fragment speaks of a μοισοπόλων οἰκία, a house of women dedicated to the Muses. The term μουσοπόλος could have the institutional meaning here that it certainly has in a Boeotian inscription dating perhaps from the second century B.C., in which the actors in a theatrical troupe are described. [12] {210|211}
Sappho's "house" or group, like most of the choruses studied here, was composed of young girls, and apart from the Epithalamia themselves which she probably composed for wedding ceremonies, her poems speak of mostly παρθένοι, κόραι, or παῖδες. [13] Indirect testimony defines the bonds linking the girls with the poet with the terms ἑταῖραι (φίλαι) and μαθήτριαι. [14] The first term contains the feature 'companionship' and is used not only by the indirect tradition, but also by Sappho herself when she speaks of her own companions. [15] Athenaeus cites the fragment in which the term appears and explains that the meaning as used by Sappho is different from the more common one of 'hetaira.' In Sappho's meaning, it is employed when women or girls talk of their most intimate friends (συνήθεις καὶ φίλας). Semantic ambiguities of this type have probably led to the tradition that makes of Sappho a πόρνη γυνή, a woman of doubtful morals. [16] The second term and its implications will be examined in the following paragraphs, emphasizing the pedagogical element in these bonds of friendship and companionship.
There is a probable hint of the institutional basis for these relationships in a line from the celebrated Ode to Aphrodite. The use in the same context of the terms ἀδικεῖν, to commit an injustice, and φιλότης, friendship based on mutual confidence, indicates that the rupture by one of the members of Sappho's circle of the bonds of loving friendship was felt as a juridical violation of the rules. The wrong committed on the person of Sappho at the emotional level was made worse by the injustice committed with regard to the institutional foundation of their relationship. To betray Sappho was not only to betray the intimate and reciprocal relationship of φιλία that the poetess was setting up with the girls of her group, but it meant also to break the bonds sanctioned by a contract. [17] {211|212}
This evidence, to which can be added the choreographic and musical activity indicated in most of Sappho's fragments, shows structures in the Lesbos circle analogous to those characteristic of the female lyric chorus: young girls, bound to the one who leads them by ties expressed in the term ἑταίρα, perform dances and songs together. This situation is described in an epigram of the Palatine Anthology, in which young Lesbians, under the leadership of Sappho, form a chorus in honor of Hera. [18] Philostratos also sees a choral image of this type when a picture of young girls (κόραι) singing round the statue of Aphrodite recalls for him the figure of Sappho. [19] These girls, Philostratos explains, are led (ἄγει) by a choregos (designated as διδάσκαλος), still young, who beats the rhythm while the adolescents (παῖδες) sing the praises of the goddess. By marking the beat, the choregos indicates to the young girls the right moment for beginning the song. It is unnecessary to point out the typically choral semantic features of 'leading' and 'beginning' in this scene described by Philostratos.
Sappho was not the only woman in Lesbos at the end of the seventh century to possess a circle of young girls. She had two rivals in the persons of Andromeda and Gorgo. [20] A fragment of commentary on papyrus tells us that the same relations existed between Gorgo and her companions as between Sappho and her pupils. [21] These relations are referred to by the term σύζυξ, which means, literally, the one who finds himself or herself under the same yoke. The use of this term by the tragedians to refer to the spouse in a matrimonial context has been cited as proof of marriage-like bonds between the members of the circle and its leader. [22] The plurality of these bonds within a circle, and the frequent use of the term σύζυγος as a synonym for ἑταῖρος, the companion, suggest that this denomination is the expression of the bond of 'companionship' which, independent of any matrimonial meaning, unites the members with the choregos in {212|213} Gorgo's group as in the lyric chorus. [23] I shall address later the possible sexual form of these relations.
A late testimonium from Philostratos, probably not very reliable, reports that a certain Damophyle of Pamphylia had composed for young girls (παρθένους) love poems (ἐρωτικά) and also hymns to Artemis Pergaia. [24] Even if Damophyle is difficult to situate historically, it is interesting to note that, again according to Philostratos, this unknown poet passed as a pupil of Sappho, on whose musical activity she modelled herself. Consequently the mention is an indirect witness of Sappho's activity, and it is significant that the author used the word disciple (ὁμιλήτρια) for the girls who sang the compositions of Damophyle. The term is similar to μαθήτρια used in the Suda to denote the companions and pupils of Sappho. [25]
My list would not be complete without Telesilla, the Argive poet of the beginning of the fifth century. One of her poems is addressed to young girls {213|214} (κόραι) and tells the story of Artemis fleeing from Alpheios. [26] The adolescent connotations of this myth could point to the fragment as an extract from a partheneion, but no source explicitly says that Telesilla was the leader of a group of girls.
So several women poets, particularly in eastern Greece, attracted to their groups girls who were both their pupils and their companions. Under their direction these adolescents were musically active, often in a cult context, thus making their association into something very similar, if not identical, to the lyric chorus.

4.1.3. The Spartan agele

In Sparta itself, a line by Pindar, quoted by Athenaeus, gives us some indication, by comparison with the Laconian associations of ephebes, of the existence of a secular function and of a civic and institutional status for Spartan girls' choruses. [27] This fragment, which speaks simply of a troupe (ἀγέλα) of Laconian girls (παρθένων), is quoted in a passage in which Athenaeus attempts to define the poetic form of the hyporchema. He explains that it is a dance by men or women, with the chorus-members singing at the same time. The context leaves no doubt that Pindar's verse refers, by means of the term agele, to a performance of a women's chorus.
In Sparta, the term agele had precise institutional meaning. It designated the groups in which the male children were organized from seven years upwards. Even if Plutarch, who is the principal source on this subject, does not exactly say so, it is possible to imagine that the groups forming the various agelai respected the division into age classes that we spoke of with regard to the rites practiced at the altar of Artemis Orthia; between 14 and 19 years old, adolescents in each category were referred to by a different generic name. The child probably stayed with the same agele until he was an adult. In fact, this division of youth based on age was active in Sparta for the whole period of childhood and adolescence until 19 years when the adolescent became an iren and left his agele. The agelai of the older boys were under the charge of an iren. The members of {214|215} the agele were bound to a youth, older than they, who acted as their leader, giving a relational structure, analogous to that of the lyric chorus, between the chorus-members and the choregos. [28]
The youth at the head of an agele was called ἀγελάρχης, or βουαγόρ, a more specifically Laconian term. This word means literally the one who heads the βοῦα, a Laconian term itself synonymous with ἀγέλα. [29] This evidence, based on two glosses of Hesychius, has for us a double significance: linguistically, the names are metaphorical, drawn from the world of domestic animals, and historically, their use is confirmed by inscriptions discovered in the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia.
Derived from ἄγειν, the term ἀγέλη offers the same connotations of leading as suggested by my analysis of the word χοραγός; defining its signified as a 'group that is by nature to be led,' this term is mainly used for a drove of oxen or a herd of horses. As Chantraine has pointed out, the word ἀγέλη can be related morphologically and etymologically to ἀγωγή, which signifies the act of leading a horse by hand, and to the technical word ἀγωγεύς, the leading rein. [30] The domestication of the horse seems then to have been used in turn as a metaphor for the education of children and adolescents. We know that in Sparta itself the education process of the ephebes was called ἀγωγή, "leading." In the Laws Plato compares the young Spartans (νέους) to colts (πώλους φορβάδας) collected into a flock (ἐν ἀγέλῃ), and thus clearly links the education of youth with the image of the domestication of animals which it is possible to tame; while emphasizing the Lacedaemonian character of this type of collective pedagogy, he contrasts it with the Athenian concept of individual education. [31] This analogy between a group of adolescents and domestic animals is doubtless the origin of the term βοῦα, a probable derivative of βοῦς, the ox. The term βουαγόρ repeats {215|216} etymologically the action of leading that is implied semantically in the derivation of the element -αγόρ (-αγός in Attic) from the verb ἄγειν. [32]
Inscriptions from the Roman period discovered in the precinct of Orthia confirm the fact that the bouagos was older than the members of the agele or of the boua that he commanded; on the other hand, they attest to the fact that the agelai were made up of adolescents in the same age class. The agele consequently presents the feature 'contemporary' like the lyric chorus. [33]
But the agele is not exclusively a Laconian association. The Cretans, according to Ephoros, had an education system similar to the Spartan agoge and also divided their adolescents into different agelai. These bands of youths were led (συνάγουσιν) by the most visible and most influential ephebes; they practiced military confrontations to the sound of the pipe and lyre. The musical element seems to have played an important part for these youths who were trained in an armed dance, first performed by the Couretes. [34] The oath sworn by the ephebes of Dreros in an inscription gives proof of the educational function of the agele. In fact it seems to be the very institution which enabled adolescents to take on the status of adult and citizen. [35] Two funerary epigrams show the presence of similar associations on the coast of Ionia. [36]
Along with the feature 'contemporary,' the agele, like the lyric chorus, contains the semantic feature 'companionship.' At least that is what one can deduce from a gloss by Hesychius which explains that the word κάσιος referred in Sparta to the brothers and cousins (ἀδελφοί τε καὶ ἀνεψιοί) belonging to the same agele. As for instance in Homeric society, the terms ἀδελφός and ἀνεψιός do not necessarily refer just to family relations in the strict sense of the word, but also to relationships formed within the agele. [37] Another gloss of Hesychius defines the term κάσις, normally meaning 'brother,' by ἡλικιώτης, 'companion of the same age,' and in so doing places the semantic features 'contemporary' and 'companionship' outside blood relationships, thus confirming the hypothesis of {216|217} the classificatory and symbolic value of those family relationships. [38] And the inscriptions of the Roman period quoted with regard to the bouagos also confirm this, in spite of their late date. There are indeed many inscriptions dedicated to Orthia in which the winner of the competition at the altar of the goddess is called κάσεν, followed by the indication of the age class to which he belonged. Found only in Laconia in this form, the term κάσεν goes back in its morphology to the words κάσις and κάσιος, glossed by Hesychius. Parallel to κάσεν is συνέφηβος, literally meaning the ephebe companion. A gloss in Photius shows that this term, as does κάσεν, presents the feature 'contemporary.' [39]
In these inscriptions, the synepheboi and, to a lesser extent the kasioi, take the name of the bouagos to whom they belonged; this bond was certainly part of the structure of the agele. Whether or not one agrees with Chrimes who sees the kasioi as ephebes adopted into the agele, and the synepheboi on a higher social level, [40] it is clear that in the inscriptions the kasen and the synephebos are not defined in relation to the other members of the association, as the meaning of the terms might suggest, but in relation to a patronomos or a bouagos, in other words in relation to an adult who occupies a responsible place in the agele, probably in a position of leadership. [41]
It is therefore probable that in the same way as in the chorus the ties of companionship linking the chorus-members were defined by their common bond with the choregos, the family relationships between members of the agele were essentially a bond subordinating them to a leader. The terms for these relationships probably had only a metaphorical and then symbolic value: the "brothers" and the "cousins" in the same agele were fellow members only insofar as they belonged to the same "fathers" in the same association. Without forgetting that the inscription presenting these terms reflects a situation in the Roman period, the quality of kasen, as that of synephebos, was a title retained on leaving the agele and one which could ease access to the magistracy. {217|218}
Two Homeric expressions help to prove that these relationships under certain conditions could include much wider connections defined by the bonds of companionship. They suggest that a group of table companions, with a family Kore, could add members not belonging to the family. This would demonstrate the pertinence of the definitions given by Hesychius not only for the Roman period, but equally for the Archaic period. By connecting the term ἔται, the companions, with κασίγνητοι, which was then supplanted by ἀδελφοί, the brothers, or with ἀνεψιοί, the cousins, Homeric poetry shows the existence of a group of companions surrounding the heroes consisting of near relations as well as table companions, a group with a wider base than that of relatives alone. [42] Integrated into the group, the brothers or cousins of the Homeric heroes are also his companions. This is an explanation for the technical term κάσεν, along with ἀδελφοί and ἀνεψιοί used by Hesychius to define kasioi, bridging the semantic feature 'family relation' and 'companionship.' We have seen earlier, in the study of the internal structure of the chorus, that these two features were often complementary. [43] Since they do not exclude each other, we can suppose that the metaphorical use of terms of family relationships for the companionship structure of the agele was based on actual family relations, as in the Homeric group of table companions. Thus the literal meaning of κάσεν is not incompatible with what συνέφηβος stands for.
Even if there is a lack of literary evidence, inscriptions attest to the institutional character of the structures of the Spartan agele.
The gloss by Hesychius on the kasioi returns us to my initial subject, women's associations. The lexicographer adds to his explanation the fact that among the Laconians the glossed term was also used for women. But Hesychius' glosses are brief and it is not possible to apply to the female agele, even if its existence is confirmed, the same information in inscriptions concerning the structure of the agele for ephebes.
On the other hand, there is no reason to doubt that the connotations implied in the use of the term ἀγέλα were also realized when the group consisted of girls. So it seems highly likely that the Spartans enrolled their adolescent girls in groups with internal structures defined by the features of 'contemporary' and {218|219} 'companionship.' The institutional character of the male agelai was doubtless also true for these groups of adolescent girls.
The description in the Epithalamium for Helen by Theocritus of the troupe composed of four-times-sixty girls competing in races on the banks of the Eurotas, like the boys, might refer to a form of agele for adolescent girls. If the word νεολαία used by Theocritus in his description normally refers etymologically to the entire youth of a city, here it is limited to a single age group, since the girls of the troupe are said to be συνομάλικες, all of the same age. [44] One might conjecture that in Sparta each adolescent age group was divided into four agelai of sixty members each. But that is pure supposition, and the only factor in its favor is that 240 girls by age group would give the number of female citizens, if the body of such citizens was made up of around thirty age groups from 20 to 55 years, corresponding more or less to the canonical number of 9000 citizens in Sparta given by Plutarch. [45] It is unfortunate that the little information we have about the women's agele can only lead to conjecture.

4.1.4. The Spartan girls' choruses

Beyond the semantic identity between the agele and the lyric chorus, there is no concrete evidence upon which to base a comparison of the two types of association. The new papyri commenting on poems by Alcman supply some information on the political structures of the women's chorus.
One of these, a fragment of a hypomnema, associates a chorus of Dymainai, mentioned in connection with rites for Artemis Karyatis, with another chorus of girls called Pitanatides. [46] Pitane was one of the four obai, one of the four villages that formed the first city of Sparta before Amyklai joined it, according to Pausanias. Dyme, according to a gloss by Hesychius, represented a phyle, a tribe, and a locality in Sparta. This refers both to the triple tribal structure of the Dorians consisting of Dymanes, Hylleis and Pamphyloi, and to a geographic {219|220} location, perhaps a village. Hesychius defines Pitane also as a phyle, referring to a tribe and a place. [47] One might conjecture therefore that the choruses of Spartan adolescent girls were formed according to the villages or districts of the city, and that this pattern corresponded to a tribal structure.
But if the fact that Dyme did not belong to the five villages of Sparta, and that Pitane is not in the canon of the three Dorian tribes, offers serious obstacles to an isomorphic assimilation between the geographic and tribal structures of Archaic Sparta, the fact that the text of the Rhetra of Lykourgos, as transmitted to us by Plutarch, clearly distinguishes between citizens of the obai and their division into phylai, prevents such a simplistic interpretation. And modern historians have not yet been able to establish whether the ancient tripartite tribal structure, imported by the Dorians, was retained in Sparta parallel with a political and spatial division by villages, or whether the two structures were integrated with each other. [48] I must add that a second fragment of commentary on an Alcman poem might confirm the tribe and village arrangement that Hesychius attributes to Dyme; but since the fragment has many gaps and can only be understood conjecturally, its interpretation depends on the hypothetical developments just mentioned. [49] {220|221}
This same fragment of commentary has given us scraps of the exegesis of another Alcman poem which connects the Spartan women's chorus directly with the royal dynasties of the town instead of with its political structures. [50] Without entering into the complex problems of interpretation of this fragment, I would note that the girl described here, called Timasimbrota, whom Alcman qualifies as the best of children (παι[δῶν] ἀρίσταν), is probably the daughter of King Eurykrates of the Agiad dynasty. Further, she, or her brother, was compared by the commentator, if not by Alcman himself, with the son of Leotychides I of the Eurypontid dynasty. [51] Was Timasimbrota a choregos? Her elevated social position suggests it, as this role often went with a noble position.
However it may be, the interest in these fragments comes mainly from the clues they give as to the social connections of the girls' choruses for which Alcman wrote. The existence of choruses of Dymainai and Pitanatides shows that these adolescent choruses were closely connected with the political structures of the city in Archaic Sparta, and confirms that the girls were daughters of citizens and of Spartans in the strict sense of the word. Moreover, the royal blood of Timasimbrota shows that the sons and daughters of the two dynasties reigning over Archaic Sparta were not excluded from these choral performances. This connection of the Spartan chorus with the political civic life was in combination with its religious and ritual character. The presence of women's choruses in several official cults of the city, and their integration into the political organization of the State, eliminates all doubt as to their institutional character. It remains to examine the function of these choral associations in relation to the official religious and political system of the city.

4.2. The pedagogical function of the lyric chorus

In the chapter on the role of the choregos I said that, of the three definitions of the term χορηγός given by Hesychius, the first has to do with the pedagogical function of the chorus leader. [52] This function of διδάσκαλος, master of the lyric chorus, is clearly different from the functions we find in the performance of the dithyramb, where we have a chorus master (χοροδιδάσκαλος) and a chorus leader (κορυφαῖος), two distinct individuals, the financing of the chorus being {221|222} taken care of by a third person called the choregos. In the lyric chorus on the other hand, a single person is responsible for the preparation of the chorus members and also for the direction of the performance. In defining the choregos, the feature 'to teach' must be added to those of 'to organize,' 'to conduct,' and 'to begin.'

4.2.1. The lyric chorus as a place for education

For the Archaic period there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that the instruction given to chorus members was more than just preparation for a performance. The form and content of this instruction seem to have been those of a true education, with the aim of making the chorus participants not only good dancers and singers, but also accomplished men and women. Leading to this conclusion, a passage of Pollux explains that, especially among the Dorians, school was often called choros (χορός) and the school master was called choregos. To support his explanation, he quotes two passages of Epicharmos in which the term χορηγεῖον, an obvious derivative of χορηγός, is used in the sense of 'school.' [53]
This image of the chorus as the specific place for the instruction of adolescents underlies the whole Platonic concept of pedagogy as it is set out in the Laws. The aim of education is the acquisition, by future citizens, of ἀρετή, of the virtue that comes from a just balance between reason and emotions, in other words knowledge of the beautiful and the ugly. [54] For Plato, choral education (χορεία) represented the best means of attaining this, because the elements of performance —music, song, and dance (μέλος, ᾠδή, ὄρχησις)—furnished a young man with a model of beauty and the pleasure (χαίρειν) wherewith to assimilate it. These choral models became a tradition the canons of which were fixed by law. But above all, the exterior beauty of these paradigms corresponded to the beauty of the content for which they were the vehicle: the only choral forms beautiful enough and worthy of serving the education of youth were those that dealt with the actions of virtuous men. [55] The choral models had the same status as any work of art, and it was by mimesis, imitation, itself based on pleasure, that adolescents succeeded in acquiring the qualities that made them, in their turn, into virtuous men. [56] For Plato, to be ἀχόρευτος, literally "without chorus," meant to be ἀπαίδευτος, without education. [57]
As is often the case with Plato, this theory of education goes beyond the abstraction of the philosophical concept to embrace concrete reality, in which it has its origin. Thus the model of choral models, as it appears in the Laws as {222|223} well as in Greek tradition generally, is the chorus of Apollo and the Muses; as I have mentioned, these gods played, for Plato, the role of choregoi. [58] This connection of the philosophical theory with the religious representation underlying Greek reality justifies my mention of Plato's treatise, and it is all the more valuable that this idea of the educational value of the chorus, like most of the theories developed in the Laws, is mainly based on a specifically Cretan and Lacedaemonian reality. [59]
For Plato, the basic education of the virtuous citizen concerned both the development of his soul, through music, and of his body, through gymnastics. [60] Gymnastics is therefore complementary to education that is based on the activity in a chorus, particularly through the motions of rhythmical movement and rhythmical ordering. If this Platonic model was inspired by Cretan and Laconian reality, then there ought to have been an educational system of this sort forming young Cretans and Spartans into accomplished citizens.
But before examining the situation in Laconia, I have to say that the system of education essentially through musical and choral teaching was not the exclusive domain of Crete and Sparta. Without fully confronting a widely debated subject, I should like to recall first the dispute between the old and new forms of education, echoed by Aristophanes in Athens. The old Athenian educational system is described in the Clouds as the teaching of traditional songs. [61] A passage in the Frogs explains that the well-born, wise, just, and virtuous citizens are those who have been raised in the palaestra and in the choruses, in the bosom of music. [62] In Athens of the fifth century, this type of musical instruction came into conflict with the new teaching of the Sophists. {223|224}
According to Polybius, children in Arcadia too were taught to sing the traditional hymns of the city (κατὰ τὰ πάτρια) from an early age. [63] This type of instruction, involving the celebration in song of local (ἐπιχωρίους) heroes and gods, had a religious and established (κατὰ νόμους) dimension. Every year, children and youths appeared in public festivals, performed choral dances (χορεύουσι) and competed in various sports (ἀγῶνας). They thus showed the public the results of an education system that had recourse to choral and gymnastic exercises, as Plato proposed.
And finally, according to two lines attributed to Socrates, the best soldiers are those who show the most enthusiasm when performing choral dances in honor of the gods. Athenaeus modifies this quotation when he uses it to show the instructional value of war dances as the best means of inspiring soldiers with a sense of order and discipline by means of mimesis. The author thus recognizes the outstanding formative value of the choral dance. [64]
It seems that in most regions of Greece musical and choral activity had a pedagogical value, and, far from making a spatial distinction, with Sparta and Crete being the only custodians of such a system, we may see here a temporal distinction particularly in the Archaic period. In any case, Archaic Greek culture can be defined as a "song culture." [65]
In clarifying such evidence, Koller finds in the dithyrambic chorus the origin of the expression ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία, cyclical education; later, after a similar displacement of the signified starting with the same signifier, this will come to mean the combination or "circle" of subjects and sciences forming the system of knowledge offered in higher education. I think it is allowable to go further and say that the feature 'circular,' which as we have seen is a characteristic of the chorus, can be found in the signified ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία. [66] The didactic function of the Archaic lyric chorus would be replaced at the beginning of the Classical period by the particular choral form of the dithyramb. In any case, it is {224|225} significant that an academic system of education should have received a name that connects it with the choral convention.
After this detour by way of Classical Athens, I return to the beginning of the Archaic period and, travelling along the same path followed in the previous part of this chapter, investigate whether the pedagogical aspect of the chorus just discussed is confirmed by the evidence available on women's associations in Lesbos and Sparta.
In Sappho's group, there is no doubt about the didactic relationship between the poet and her companions. For instance, speaking of the famous fragment in which Sappho tells the recipient of the poem that she will disappear and leave no trace in the memory of men if she has not taken part in the "roses of Pieria," in other words in the musical activity of Sappho's circle, Plutarch says that the woman addressed was among those who were ἄμουσαι and ἀμαθεῖς, strangers to music and ignorant. It is not only significant that it is Plutarch, with his great interest in pedagogy, who quotes this fragment and who sees that Sappho's circle offered a form of instruction and education by frequenting the Muses. But it also has to be pointed out that inside Sappho's group, the memorial function generally attributed to poetry in Archaic Greece takes on a specific role: it is only through poetry itself that the beauty acquired through musical activity will gain a kind of afterlife, and that the educated girl will keep it, despite the ravages of time, in the memory of the persons performing the poem that praises her. [67]
Other fragments attributed to the Lesbian poet refer to this pedagogical aspect by characterizing young girls who were not in her circle but in a rival group or were about to join into her circle as ignorant and ungraceful. [68] As I already had the opportunity to mention, the biography in the Suda itself names three μαθήτριαι, three pupils of Sappho, and in the description of the painting in which Philostratos sees the image of Sappho's chorus, the choregos who conducts the young girls as they sing for Aphrodite is called διδάσκαλος, the master-teacher. This relationship between master and pupil is analogous to that between the choregos and the chorus-members, according to the lexicographers. Finally, a new fragment of a commentary on Sappho's poems clearly describes the poet in her role as educator (παιδεύουσα). The commentator adds that this education was not only for girls of good family (τὰς ἀρίστας) in Lesbos, but also those who came from Ionia. [69] {225|226}
I do not need to spend much time on the pedagogical aspect of the men's agele in Crete and Lacedaemonia. The custom of dividing future citizens into age groups and classes appropriate for the educational system of the agoge has been recognized since antiquity.
In Sparta, instruction was carried out in the agele of adolescents by two people, first, an iren, a young man of twenty who had finished his agoge and who was director of the agele, elected to the position, according to Plutarch, by the members of the agele themselves. Second, a παιδονόμος, a magistrate instructor, chosen from among the best citizens, who was responsible for the smooth working of the agele. [70] In addition to these well-defined functions, the body of adult citizens exercised a sort of general control over the behavior of the children and the ephebes. It is probable that the role of the bouagos, so often mentioned in inscriptions found near the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia, corresponded to that of the iren. There was thus a three-layered hierarchy for the education of the agele: the Spartan ephebes were under the authority of an iren, subject to the advice of a paidonomos and under the control of the citizens in general. There is no doubt that the instruction received in the agele was mainly musical and gymnastic. Athenaeus, quoting a fragment of Pratinas, states that the Lacedaemonians had an excellent musical education, and Plutarch confirms it in showing that the essence of Spartan education was instruction in poetry and music. [71]
If this triple hierarchy in the direction of the Spartan agele for men cannot be paralleled for the women's agele for lack of documentation, however, we can assume that the organization of the direction of women's choruses for which Alcman wrote had a similar structure: the conducting of the chorus-members, done by the choregos as previously defined, was combined with the pedagogical function of forming the chorus-members, taken over by the poet himself. The fragment of hypomnema analyzed with regard to the Hyakinthia presents the poet as the διδάσκαλος, master of the boys and girls training in the civic choruses (πατρίο[ις| χοροῖς). [72] I have pointed out that Alcman's commentator used this example of the part the poet played in relation to the cultural patrimony of the city to show the possibility of a foreigner's assuming a political function in the city of Sparta. He adds that in his time—the papyrus dates from the second {226|227} century A.D., but the hypomnema itself is certainly much older—the custom among the Lacedaemonians was to entrust the direction of their choruses to foreigners. In another, very sparse, fragment of a commentary on Alcman, the word παιδεία, education, appears. [73] The use of this word with regard to Alcman is probably a way of confirming that his compositions were inserted into a pedagogical system.
In Archaic Sparta, it was thus the poet who instructed the chorus participants. Traces of the role of the poet as director and instructor of the chorus can be found in some fragments of indirect tradition. Two fragments, of which one is definitely sung by a chorus of girls (ὅσσαι δὲ παῖδες ἁμέων ἐντί), are in praise of the person accompanying them with his music, in one case a piper, in the other a lyre-player. [74] The fragments are extremely short, and it is not possible to confirm without doubt that this musical accompaniment, with the direction of the chorus as part of it, was performed by the poet himself. However, the well-known fragment in which the person reciting addresses the young girls (παρσενικαί) of the chorus (and expresses regret that he cannot be carried by them in the manner of halcyons) most probably refers to the poet's situation. [75] Alcman, feeling the burden of age, can no longer follow the girls in their dances, although in younger days he would have given them the rhythm while dancing along with them. The commentary of a final fragment shows Alcman introducing (εἰσάγων) the girls (παρθένους) who speak the verses quoted by the author of the scholion. [76] There is no doubt that the use of this compound of ἄγω refers to the role of conductor, and consequently of instructor, that Alcman played with regard to the young women of his choruses.
This double position as director and instructor could also have suited a well-known poet such as Archilochus; on one hand, the poet of Paros congratulates himself on knowing how to intone (for a chorus: ἐξάρξαι) the dithyramb addressed to Dionysus and, on the other, the inscription of Mnesiepes features him as a teacher on his island. This epigraphical biography tells us that the poet invented a poem in honor of Dionysus, taught it to a group of his fellow-citizens, and sang it with them. [77] All the lyric poets before Pindar seem to have {227|228} personally functioned as organizers and directors of the chorus for which they wrote their songs. And when Pindar was personally unable to teach the chorus the song he had composed for a particular ceremony, he entrusted the task to the Muse symbolically, and to a local teacher practically. [78] The custom of the poet himself training the chorus continued until the first tragedians: Thespis, Pratinas and Phrynichos were all still involved in teaching their dancers themselves. [79]
While adding the feature 'instructing' to the characteristics of the lyric chorus, I have also introduced a new figure, namely the poet. But since the poet's function goes beyond that of instructing the chorus-members, his addition also widens the semantic field defining chorality by joining to it the feature 'to compose (the song).' The semantic system that includes all the characteristics of the relations between poet, choregos, and chorus-members now includes the five features of 'to compose,' 'to organize,' 'to instruct,' 'to begin' and 'to conduct.' [80] One can rightly ask whether the activity of the choregos does not often duplicate that of the poet where the latter four features are concerned; both seem to instruct and to conduct the chorus.
For Lesbos, there is a rather simple answer to the question. It is one and the same person, Sappho, who directs the chorus for which she composes the songs. Both poet and director of the circle, Sappho generally assumes the five functions defined above. The Palatine Anthology as a testimony for choral performance in the sanctuary of Hera is convincing in this respect: Sappho is both poet and choregos.
Where Alcman and Pindar are concerned, the matter is more complicated because the possible ways of dividing the functions just mentioned between poet and choregos are increased. In fragment 1 of Alcman, the girl who is the {228|229} choregos is definitely a different person from the poet. As we have seen, in Pindar's Daphnephorikon, the choregos can be identified with the child daphnephoros who leads the procession; he is probably seconded by his nearest relative, but also by the girl who is the first in the chorus. This girl's instruction as a chorus-member or as the chorus leader was assumed not by the poet but by Andaisistrota; mentioned towards the end of the poem, the woman trained (ἐπάσκησε) the young girl. [81] Thus the poet seems to disappear behind the child daphnephoros, the girl, and Andaisistrota; he seems to abandon his double function as chorus leader and as chorus instructor to them.
As for the system of the chorus, we face a multitude of functions that can be performed in various combinations by various people. If the feature 'to compose' is always associated with the poet, the others can belong to one or more different people. Here again, I must emphasize the flexibility of the chorus and its form which varies according to the occasion and the number of individuals involved. The type of song being sung also has an influence on how it looks. Whether the chorus sang anonymous traditional songs or whether it performed compositions by ancient authors, as was the case in the Gymnopaidiai, it is clear that the instruction fell to the lot of the choregos or to a third person replacing the poet. [82]
To return to Sparta of the seventh century and to girls' choruses, it seems possible to imagine a similar educational hierarchy for them as for the direction structures in the agele of boys. If one subtracts the undocumented public control, the poet would be in the same position vis-à-vis the chorus of adolescents as the paidonomos instructing the agele, and the choregos in the position of the iren directing it. The poet, as paidonomos, is an adult. If the iren was slightly older than the adolescents of the agele, the choregos seems to have been more or less the same age as the chorus-members. This is so at any rate for Agesidamos, the illustrious choregos contemporary with the girls, perhaps the Dymainai, who praise him in the fragment of Alcman analyzed above. [83] On the other hand Helen, choregos of the choruses and troupes of young women on the banks of the Eurotas, occupies a position which, although having the feature 'contemporary,' is not completely equal. [84] From the moment she leads her companions, she is ready to cross the threshold into adulthood; her position is thus similar to the iren, or at least to a melliren. The mythical image of Helen is important, since she truly reflects the nature of the relations of choregos and {229|230} chorus-members, a relationship of equality with the features 'contemporary' and 'companionship,' but a relationship also of superiority where the role of director is concerned because, in contrast to the chorus-members, she has already completed the cycle of initiation needed to become an adult. The same ambiguity of equality with their peers and authority over them can be seen in Apollo and Theseus in their role as mythical choregoi.
If poet and choregos shared the instruction of the chorus-members in the same way as the paidonomos and the iren of the agele, the direction of the chorus, characterized by 'to begin' and 'to conduct,' also seems to be common ground. Fragments in which Alcman seems to speak in his own name, such as the one where he compares himself to a halcyon, could lead us to think that the poet had a specific task in directing the chorus, for instance by intoning a prooimion to give the note to the chorus-members. [85] He might be compared to Apollo playing the musical prelude on his lyre. It is not impossible that the fragment in which the chorus invokes the Muse and begs her to intone a new song reflects such a prelude. [86] The representative of the Muse in the hic et nunc of the musical performance would be the poet, whose task it would be to begin the song which the chorus-members would then take up. The poet's function would be 'to begin' while the choregos would be responsible for the 'conducting.' The direction of the chorus by Apollo alone, with the lyric prelude followed by musical accompaniment, would then be shared in Sparta between poet and choregos.
However, the poet retains a specific function marked with the feature 'to compose.' In this function, his role is the intermediary between the community and the chorus-members to whom he transmits the cultural patrimony, of which he is the traditional repository in Greece. "Master of truth," the archaic Greek poet is indeed the person who retains and transmits through his σοφία the system of ethical values and the mythology on which the coherence of the community depends. [87] The poet is thus the perfect instructor, since he can communicate through his musical skill and his songs the knowledge necessary to maintain the social system. And the public functions as an authority of control over the female chorus when it can assure itself during public festivals such as the Hyakinthia that the young girls have assimilated the myths and values that build their social existence. {230|231}
Whether the poet or the choregos is at the head, the chorus is the place of instruction. This is confirmed in a passage of Pollux who, as a lexicographer, cites one after the other the terms μαθηταί, pupils, ἀγελαῖοι, members of an agele, ἑταῖροι, companions, χορευταί, chorus members, along with the nouns and verbs formed from them and from which they are formed. [88] I shall now examine more closely the elements of this choral education.

4.2.2. The instruction given in the chorus

If music seems to be the essence of the education Spartan girls received in the chorus, we must remember that neither music nor dance were ends in themselves in Greece; they are the means of communicating by performance and assimilating by mimesis a precise set of contents. By reciting the poems composed by their masters the poets, the chorus-members learn and internalize a series of myths and rules of behavior represented by the material taught—all the more since Archaic choral poetry has to be understood as a performative art, as a set of poems representing cult acts in precise ritual contexts. But examining the content of the musical instruction in a cultic context of performance leads to the question of its function, of its pragmatics: what was the aim of the instruction received in the chorus of young girls? For what would this instruction prepare the chorus members?
To take again the example of Sappho's group, we may agree with numerous interpreters of this poetry that most descriptions of the poet and her advice bear on the themes of feminine grace and beauty. The life of Sappho's companions unfolded almost completely under the sign of Aphrodite, in an atmosphere and in a setting of myth represented on the mythical level by the famous gardens of the goddess. [89] From a pedagogical point of view, Sappho's circle looks like a sort of school for femininity destined to make the young pupils into accomplished women: through the performance of song, music, and cultic acts, they had lessons in comportment and elegance, reflected in the many descriptions of feminine adornment and attitudes in the fragments that we have by Sappho. [90]
So Atthis, according to the Suda one of Sappho's three dearest companions, was a very young and graceless child (σμίκρα πάις κἄχαρις) before joining the group; two sources that cite this fragment specify that graceless in this context {231|232} meant a girl not yet old enough to be married, not yet nubile. [91] Physical grace thus became the mark of nubility; by being in Sappho's chorus the young girl acquires the grace that will make her a beautiful woman, which in turn clears the way for marriage. Consequently, possessing charis signifies gaining the status of adult and the possibility of being a wife, in the same way as 'beauty' made the young followers of the cult of Helen at Therapnai into women ready to marry.
And when Andromeda, Sappho's rival, tries to take away young Atthis, the poet attacks her cruelly by describing her dressed as a peasant, a rustic (ἀγροΐτις). [92] If 'rustic' means simply an exterior lack of elegance, it nevertheless has an impact on the status of the woman described in this way. The status conferred on a girl by Sappho's education is therefore distinguished from the state of ignorance and unsociability of the child without instruction or of the protégée of one of Sappho's rivals, in the same way as culture differs from nature. The education received in Sappho's circle moves the young girl from the unsociability and lack of culture of early adolescence protected by Artemis to the condition of the educated woman capable of inspiring the love embodied by Aphrodite; it leads her from a state of savagery to civilization. If the companion of Atthis is described by Sappho when she returns to Lydia after her time in the group, as shining among the women (γυναίκεσσιν: no longer among the girls!) of her region like the moon among the stars, it is because the education she has undergone in Lesbos has given her divine beauty—and that through the songs and dances (μόλπαι) which charmed Atthis herself. The reference to Aphrodite, guessed at in the final mutilated verses of the poem, as well as the comparison with the moon with its connotations of bodily fluids and ripeness, suggest that the girl is now an accomplished woman, probably married. [93]
The education of Sappho in her group prepared young girls to be adult, married women by teaching feminine charm and beauty. The poet's connections with marriage are confirmed by the numerous fragments of epithalamia or hymenaioi in the papyri, or by a poem such as the one describing the wedding of Hektor and Andromache, which some interpreters would like to be itself an epithalamium. [94] This is apparent again in a passage of Himerius, who paraphrases a poem very certainly by Sappho and shows the poet herself preparing a nuptial chamber for {232|233} the newly married couple. [95] Young girls are arranged there—probably girls from Sappho's circle who form a chorus to celebrate the couple—and a statue of Aphrodite is brought along together with figures representing the Graces and a chorus of Erotes. The preparation of the nuptial chamber was preceded in Himerius' description by a celebration of rites in honor of Aphrodite (τὰ Ἀφροδίτης ὄργια, ἀγῶνας) during which Sappho herself sang to the sound of the lyre. Even if we cannot know exactly what these rites were before the marriage ceremony, constant reference to the goddess of love shows that the ceremony was under the same sign as the values taught by the poet. Thus the acquisition of these same abilities by Sappho's pupils found its justification in the context of marriage. The education they received aimed at developing in adolescents all the qualities required in women, specifically, in young wives. It concerned those aspects of marriage under Aphrodite's protection, namely sensuality and sexuality rather than conjugal fidelity and a wife's tasks, which were under the domain of Hera and Demeter.
However, this education was not addressed to the same public as in the case of the Spartan system of education. Sappho's circle welcomed young adolescents from different parts of Ionia, particularly Lydia, so its character was not strictly Lesbian; the education the girls received, in competition with rival groups such as that of Andromeda, was probably not obligatory. Sappho and her chorus-members may have taken part in the official religious life of the island, but her instructional activity seems not to have been included in the education system legally subject to the political community of Lesbos. Nevertheless, it would be misleading to compare Sappho's group to a real school, not to speak of a "Mädchenpensionat" or a "finishing school." Sappho herself is certainly not to be considered as a "schoolmistress." [96] If she gave through the performance of song and cult acts an education to the girls of her group, this education had an initiatory form and content: it was entirely ritualized. Moreover, Sappho made accomplished women out of her "pupils," but she did not have to make them perfect citizens. She had to initiate them, with the help of Aphrodite, into their gender role as wives of aristocratic families.
It was quite different in Sparta. I do not need to insist on the political ends of the education of youths: the ancients who studied the Spartan system agree that it made the best citizens, in other words the best soldiers in the particular case of {233|234} Sparta. [97] The agoge was a State organization; all members of the community had to submit in order to obtain the rights of the city on becoming a soldier. The physical exercises gave them the agility to be soldiers, the musical part of the education taught them the myths establishing the history and the institutions of their city. Scattered among the praises of the heroes and their great deeds were ethical precepts concerning endurance and courage that gave those heroes their value as models. [98] And finally the mimetic value of the dances accompanying the songs gave the citizen-soldiers a sense of order, discipline, and harmony.
But how about the girls? What were they taught in Sparta of the seventh century during the choral dances at the festivals described above? If their instruction aimed at making adult women of adolescent girls, what was the status of the adult free woman for which the girls were prepared? What was the social role to which they were destined? The questions raised here are related to the difficult problem of the social education which leads to a precise gender role—a gender understood as a set of social conventions and social relations which gives to the adult woman a precise status and a definite representation in the social system, making of the sex difference a social category, particularly in contrast with the social roles assumed by the men. In light of this point of view, our sources offer an image of the Lacedaemonian woman which has often undergone a process of idealization or denigration, in the same way as the whole of Spartan history; but there are some points, outside the deformations and the historical changes, that have won general acceptance.
To begin with marriage, it was common in classical Sparta for the man to abduct his wife; generally the husband spent very little time with his wife and saw her only at night. Without relating the moral and emotional consequences that Plutarch, our principal source for this subject, draws from these customs, we can note that Spartan girls could not marry until they had become adult and physically ready for marriage. [99] This rule had its raison d'être in the fact that, in the gender representation of the Classical period, marriage in Sparta was for the production of fine, healthy children. Once married, Spartan women enjoyed what seemed to foreigners—mainly Athenians of the fourth century B.C.—to be great sexual freedom. [100] It actually originated in the ease with which people could {234|235} change partners in ancient Sparta; but this mobility had a precise end in view that removed any sense of moral dissoluteness from it. People remarried or allowed their spouse to have a lover in the hopes of having a more robust child. [101] The marriage system was subject to the need for stronger and more valuable future citizens.
Besides procreation and the care of the child, it is difficult to imagine what else the wives of these warriors did. On one hand, still in the classical period, the traditional female activities of the Athenian gynaeceum, such as spinning and weaving, were forbidden. [102] On the other, the education of the child was assumed by the mother until the child was seven years old, and then he or she was removed and submitted to the educational system of the agoge. Moreover, the rite of the Tithenidia suggests that Spartan women were helped in the early care of children by nurses. [103] Even if Plutarch refutes criticism by the ancients reproaching Spartan women for their influence over their husbands and public affairs, the education they received probably gave them a certain knowledge about public life and an independence that in other Hellenic cities was the sole privilege of men. [104]
The education of girls, as in the case of boys, consisted in musical and gymnastic practice. [105] Although the gymnasium activities for girls are attested in many other Greek poleis, this exercising of young Spartan girls in the stadium impressed the ancients, and Aristophanes made a good joke of it for his audience {235|236} in classical Athens. [106] Since the fifth century, most observers saw it as a physical preparation for engendering strong and virtuous warriors. [107] It is only the later sources, particularly in Rome, who saw it as military preparation, making Spartan women into women soldiers, like their husbands. [108] Here we have again an idealization of Spartan customs: the analogy between the type of education received by boys and that received by adolescent girls has led some authors to attribute them an identical function, and to confuse the gender specificity in the distinctive social role they were prepared to assume.
In reality, the physical exercises for girls had a specific form. Even if Plutarch counts among them wrestling, throwing the discus and the javelin, and even if other sources speak generically of exercises in the gymnasium, it was the footrace that was the central element of their development, an exercise not exclusively Lacedaemonian since it is also attested in the women's rites of the Heraia at Olympia. [109] However, these exercises were only for girls; when they became adults, Spartan women gave them up, as Plato notes when he reproaches the Lacedaemonian constitution for legislating only half of women's lives, leaving them alone as soon as they became adult and married. He himself suggests that the gymnastic instruction should be prolonged to its logical end, military service! Plato's conclusion leads to the negation of any gender distinction in the function of gymnastics for girls and boys. [110]
As in other Greek cities, adolescent races in Sparta had a precise cult and religious basis. Whether in the cult of Dionysus or Helen at the Platanistas, they seem to have been part of the initiation rites for girls becoming women. This is affirmed to a certain extent in the Lysistrata when the beauty of Lampito from Lacedaemonia, with her fine skin and the firmness of her breasts, is attributed to practicing gymnastics and the race. This quality of 'beauty' was already attributed to the women of Sparta in the Odyssey. [111] As we have seen, it symbolizes possession of the virtues of the consummate young and free woman, ready for marriage. So the qualities acquired by physical exercise are thus the same ones acquired through the initiation process in the religious domain. And that this statement is equally relevant for the Archaic period is shown by the Partheneia of Alcman. While the chorus-members of fragment 1 are singing this very poem, their choregos is engaged with Agido in a footrace in which both the young {236|237} women are compared to fillies. This footrace is a part of the cultic ritual that the chorus singing Alcman's poem is performing. [112]
In addition, where ritual is concerned, acquisition of 'beauty' through gymnastics was to end in the procreation of fine children in the cultural and social system of Sparta. This, at any rate, is the lesson learned from Herodotus' anecdote about Helen's cult at Therapnai. If Ariston, the king of Sparta, wanted to marry his friend's wife, the very ugly girl whom Helen made the most beautiful woman in Sparta, it was because none of his other wives had given him a child. And indeed, this woman of outstanding beauty gave the king the son he wanted, even if born before the usual time. Similarly, the chorus that sings the Epithalamium for Helen by Theocritus sees in the procreation of beautiful children the principal function of the illustrious heroine after her marriage. [113] Feminine 'beauty' is thus subordinate to procreation, and consequently also the whole educational process that is supposed to acquire it. This fact agrees with the interpretation of most ancient authors concerning the practice of gymnastics by young Lacedaemonian girls.
Although, therefore, the content of the gymnastic instruction given the girls and the ephebes was almost identical, its aim was different: the boys will become good soldiers, the girls, mothers of good soldiers. The educational system for girls cannot be thought of as a simple reflection of the male agoge. [114] From a historical point of view, the fact that Ibycus already described Spartan girls in a state of semi-nudity on account of their gymnastics training is a terminus post quem as regards the antiquity of this custom and the representations of it. This qualification of the Spartan girls as "showing their thighs" (φαινομηρίδες) indicates that, for their runs, they were wearing the short σχιστὸς χιτωνίσκος, the tunic open at the side called as well χιτὼν παρθενικός, the tunic for the virgins. [115] It is no longer permissible to say that this image of the Spartan girl was a result of the militarization of the Spartan state in the Classical period.
But development of the physique, the importance of which was exaggerated by the ancients, struck as they were by this unusual custom, was only one facet of education in Sparta. Like the boys, girls were given a solid grounding in music and dancing in addition to gymnastics. Because this was common to all Greek cities, the ancients often omitted it, but Plutarch, drawing on Plato, says {237|238} that the legendary Lykourgos did not forget to accustom the girls to sing and dance at certain festivals. [116] It will suffice to recall the analyses of the second part of the previous chapter in order to give names to these festivals and to realize the important part young girls played, with their songs and choral dances, in the principal cults for adolescents in the city. To the traditional question about the choral and gymnastic practices associated with the cult of Helen at the Platanistas, it can be answered synchronically rather than resorting to a hypothetical historical substitution: choral performances and races coexisted and formed the basis of the education of the young Spartan girl.
We have very little information as to the musical content of this education. Only Alcman's fragments 1 and 3 might give us some indication on this subject. Without anticipating the interpretation of these poems given in another volume, the myth of the Hippocoontids which opens fragment 1 and the gnome taken from it give an idea of the instruction dispensed through the performance of choral songs. Adolescent girls probably assimilated, like the ephebes, the mythical and ethical patrimony of their city in this way. According to Plutarch, they were likewise made aware of the great deeds of their compatriots in these songs. [117] While preparing themselves through gymnastic training for motherhood, they seem to have been associated through music with the myths and the value system underlying the life of the city. In this, their education differs in part from that received in Sappho's circle. But, on the other hand, the austere and military character associated by the ancients with Spartan education does not correspond to the cultural reality of seventh century Sparta. In the Archaic period, the quality of 'beauty' connoted charm and elegance in Sparta, as on Lesbos.

4.2.3. The metaphorical representation of education and marriage

The Greeks, and particularly the Lacedaemonians, developed a whole series of metaphors that reflected their vision of reality and certain myths connected with the education of adolescent girls. The central image is of education as taming, with the girl being compared to a mare that must be broken in. I have mentioned this combination of myth and metaphor with regard to the story of the Leukippides: [118] the Tyndaridai, famed horsemen, appeared at their marriage as the horse-tamers of the white mares that were the twin sisters.
First, as pure metaphor, a passage by the comic writer Epicrates represents very clearly the Hellenic conception of the situation of the adolescent girl. In order to pass herself off as a young virgin, the go-between whom Epicrates {238|239} features in this fragment imitates the attitudes of a young heifer (δάμαλις), of a parthenos, of a young untamed mare (πῶλος ἀδμής); to complete the illusion he/she invokes Kore and Artemis. [119] The metaphor of girl as filly, particularly in use among Greek poets, was generally in association with the wildness of youth or the wildness inspired by the Dionysiac mania, a wildness that had to be controlled. [120] This image was strong enough to allow the metaphorical use of a technical term such as πωλοδαμνεῖν, to tame colts; it is used particularly by Plutarch and Lucian in a pedagogical context to express the need to educate youth. [121]
This vision of female education as taming is semantically related to the element of meaning in words in ἀγ-, analyzed earlier, and to metaphors borrowed from the domestication of animals and used by the ancients to describe the functions and institutions of the educational system of males. This is particularly true in Sparta where, we recall, the technical term agele originates in the taming of young horses. [122]
In a female context, the metaphor of domestication refers both to a girl's education and to her marriage. Homer has an example of this where the idea of taming is still related to the violation of a virgin on her wedding night. [123] This metaphor extends to many images centering on the yoke: the young wife is a {239|240} young animal who submits to the yoke, a yoke imposed on her by her husband when he encloses her in the bonds of marriage. [124] This association of marriage with the image of the yoke probably shares a common origin with the metaphor in the amorous sphere of Eros as tamer. In this erotic context, the beloved is depicted as a colt that the lover must tame before submitting him to his love. [125] The nuptial song sung by the chorus of parthenoi in the Phaethon of Euripides shows the relationship between the two metaphors, matrimonial and erotic, insofar as we see Aphrodite in person, the mistress of Eros, who during the wedding ceremony chokes Hymenaeus, her young husband (τῷ νεόζυγι σῷ πώλῳ). [126] It is probably desire, the imperious power of Eros, that is the choking force of the husband to which the young girl must bend when she submits to the yoke of marriage. It is also because the marriage yoke is imposed by Eros that this image goes beyond matrimony to reappear as in Theocritus in the expression of homoerotic love between the erastes and his eromenos. Similarly, in Sappho's circle, the term σύζυγος, joined under the same yoke, was applied not only to the marriage bonds of man and woman, but also to a homoerotic relationship between a lover and her beloved. [127]
Two metaphorical veins seem to have developed from one core—the one symbolizing the pedagogical formation of youngsters for their harmonious integration into adult society, the other signifying submission to the forces of sexuality, particularly at marriage, symbolized by the yoke. In this group of images centering on the domestication of animals, marriage has an ambiguous position: it marks the transition from adolescence to adulthood, signifying on one hand a rupture with the influence of Artemis, under which the uncontrolled forces of adolescence are first domesticated, and imposing on the other hand a new period of training for submission to the coercive forces of Eros and Aphrodite. Thus marriage withdraws the adult young man and woman from the subjugation of Artemis, only to impose on them a new yoke, that of Eros. {240|241}
This is the ambiguity and the conflict between two different areas of domestication that the legend of Hippolytus in Euripides' version illustrates. At the outset, Hippolytus is presented as a perfect young man. Son of an Amazon, he lives the adolescent life of Artemis, dedicated to the hunt and to horsemanship in which he excels. [128] In this respect he resembles the Dioskouroi. Hippolytus is a domesticated young man, a horse-trainer himself, ready to assume the status of an adult and of adult sexuality. But it is exactly on this point that he refuses to abandon the sphere of Artemis. Since he is an adolescent who has submitted to Artemis and is σώφρων, prudent, he has no intention of allowing himself to be dominated by the forces of love imposed by Aphrodite, whether it is time or no. Judged by the system of values associated with this goddess, Hippolytus, like Iole who refused the advances of Herakles, is a colt without a yoke insofar as he is assimilated to a young girl (πῶλον ἄζυγα). [129] His refusal leads to his death and it is his harness, the incarnation of Artemisian breaking in, that is the cause: the harness of the Enetian mares (συζυγίαν πώλων Ἐνετᾶν), symbol of Hippolytus' skill with horses and consequently his accomplishment in adolescence, disappears by the will of the Graces "who put to the yoke" (συζύγιαι Χάριτες), symbol of the sexual union promoted by Aphrodite and refused by the hero. [130] After having submitted to Artemis of his own free will, Hippolytus is {241|242} forced to submit to Aphrodite; but his resistance to this second taming brings his demise.
The use of metaphors taken from the domestication of animals, in part for the education of adolescents and in part for the achievement by marriage of adult sexuality, appears in other myths in which characters often have names formed on ἵππος, the horse. For instance the myth of the Proitides. As has been said the young girls' recovery after the madness sent by Hera marked their passage from adolescence to adulthood. It is doubtless not a coincidence that two of the girls were called Lysippe and Hipponoe; Hesiod describes Bias, the hero who brought them back from the mountain with Melampous, as tamer of horses (ἱππόδαμος), and Artemis of Lousoi, to whom girls dedicate choruses in gratitude for their recovery, has the epiclesis Ἡμερασία, she who soothes, or Ἥμερα, the Domesticated, the Civilized. [131] Moreover, in the version that Bacchylides gives of this myth, the daughters of Proitos are described as untamed adolescents (Προίτου ἄδματοι θύγατρες), but Hera, by making them go mad, succeeds in imposing a yoke (φρένας ζεύξασα) on the young girls who, refusing the goddess's own cult, prove themselves to be refractory toward marriage. [132] However, this submission of the Proitides to Hera is only possible through the intervention of Artemis. This goddess, contrary to what happens in Euripides' Hippolytus, contributes to the integration of the adolescent into adult sexuality. The yoke imposed by Hera follows the domestication bestowed by Artemis; thus the virgin goddess merits her epiclesis Domesticating or Domesticated.
The same equestrian connotations of domestication constitute one of the essential symbolic levels of the myth of the love affairs and marriage of Pelops and Hippodameia. Everything happens as if each sequence of this legend, whose meaning is perfectly explicit at the level of the human actors who enact it, were repeating itself in a purely equestrian world. {242|243}
The father of Hippodameia, Oinomaos, in order to prevent an oracle from being fulfilled which had promised his death at the hand of his future son-in-law, or, according to other texts, because he was in love with his own daughter, had established an equestrian competition for the suitors of the heroine. This competition amounted to a pursuit race in quadrigae: the suitor racing to obtain Hippodameia's hand had to reach the Isthmus of Corinth, leaving from Elis, before being overtaken by Oinomaos who hurled himself in pursuit. To avoid having to give his daughter in marriage, Oinomaos made her mount the quadrigae of her suitors, whom she would distract, thus allowing her father to overtake and kill them. Pelops was the first, thanks to the winged mares that his protector and lover Poseidon had given him, and with the aid of a trick, to succeed in outdistancing Oinomaos and in riding from Elis to the Isthmus without being caught; thus he was able to marry Hippodameia. [133] Oinomaos, the king of Elis, was reputed to be a great horse connoisseur. Pelops himself was a highly distinguished horseman who was competent to drive the horses of his teacher Poseidon. [134] The goal set on the Isthmus for the race corresponded exactly with an altar of Poseidon, protector of the cavalry. These are therefore the two horsemen who enter into competition, the one to defend, the other to lead away and tame through marriage the young mare that is Hippodameia.
But the process of the myth's equestrian symbolism is developed further to the extent that this legend, as Devereux has shown, can be related to the Elean custom of forbidding the breeding of mules in the region and, consequently, of sending mares outside the frontiers of Elis when they needed to be mated with donkeys. [135] Although it is unclear whether Pelops, by virtue of his mythical Asiatic origins, being foreign to Greece and Elis, can be equated with a "donkey," it is certain that from a structural point of view the interdiction of mule-breeding corresponds term for term to the myth of the eternal postponing by Oinomaos of his daughter's marriage and to its final celebration beyond the {243|244} boundaries of Elis, on the Isthmus. Metaphorically, Pelops thus fulfills, in spite of everything, the function of the donkey that is mated outside Elis with the young Elean mare withdrawn from the authority of her father the king. The equestrian doubling of the tale of the struggle undertaken for the hand of Hippodameia is no longer only symbolic, it seems to be accomplished in the reality of the custom, if not of the rite.
Several points should still be developed concerning this story. I note, first of all, that the marriage of Hippodameia was recalled every five years in a festival which, celebrated in honor of Hera, actualizes the matrimonial connotations that I have already demonstrated; [136] that the race instituted by Oinomaos in fact reproduces the model of an abduction analogous to that undergone by the Leukippides; [137] that, among the children born from the union of Hippodameia and Pelops, a few of the heroes turn out to be founders of cities in the Peloponnese, so that this union signifies the establishment of a new dynasty after Pelops himself had obtained sovereignty on the Pisatis instead of Oinomaos; [138] and that, finally, like Hippolytus who is opposed to the constraining force of Aphrodite, Oinomaos dies on his chariot, victim of his horses.
But whatever the extensions of this legend, essentially it shows that the charioteer Pelops finishes by taming the mare Hippodameia in abducting her from the authority of the other distinguished charioteer, her father, and subjecting her to the yoke of marriage. From the education of the young girl, the equestrian representation has moved us to the moment of her wedding. The metaphor therefore unites two connected processes: it shows that one opens into the other. Indeed, the whole educational process of the Hellenic girl, especially under its gender aspect, tends toward marriage.

4.3. Homoerotic relationships in the lyric chorus

Several sources suggest the presence of homoerotic relationships between the chorus-members, or certain chorus-members, and the choregos. There has been a lively debate over this among philologists, particularly in the case of Sappho's group. Certainly the 'companionship' in the boys' or girls' chorus was colored with homoerotic overtones, as can clearly be seen both in Sappho's poems and Alcman's fragments 1 and 3. Are these feelings just platonic "Schwärmerei" which emerge naturally among a group of adolescents of the same sex and same age, or can they be said to be actual relationships which take on a traditional and institutional character like the association within which they take place? I have thought it best to study this problem in the context of the social institutions in {244|245} which it appears, rather than in isolation. I shall therefore begin the discussion with a brief glance at the role of so-called "male homosexuality" in Sparta, a well-documented and commentated subject, before examining the problem as it appears on Lesbos in Sappho's circle, then in Sparta again in Alcman's choruses of young girls.

4.3.1. "Male homosexuality" in Sparta and its function

In a well-known passage in his Life of Lykourgos, Plutarch recounts that when they reached the age of twelve, in other words at the time of their entry into the pedagogical system, the ephebes were associated with lovers chosen from the best of the young men (νέοι). This custom is confirmed in an anecdote by the same author that tells how the king of Sparta, Agesilas, while an adolescent in an agele, also had a lover, and by Xenophon who ascribes to Lykourgos the rules for love relationships between adolescents and adults. [139] Even if the latter author sees these relations as purely platonic, Plutarch and Xenophon both speak of Spartan "pederasty" as an institution within the educational system of the agoge, with a specific pedagogical function: πρὸς παιδείαν, for the education, says Xenophon about what he calls τῶν παιδικῶν ἔρωτες, the erotic desires for the boys. [140]
The same educational value can also be seen in the pederastic system in Crete. In Crete, according to Ephorus, the contact between adult lover and young beloved was limited to two months. [141] All the modalities of these homoerotic relationships, abduction of the beloved, gifts given to him, final sacrifice, and so on, were fixed by law (νόμιμον, κατὰ τὸν νόμον) and consequently take on the character of an institution. In addition, the progress of these contacts is comparable in form and content to a tribal initiation rite: having abducted the ephebe (separation from the old order), the lover takes him into the forest where together with companions of the ephebe they go hunting (period of segregation and marginality). After two months, they return to the town, the lover gives the youth the gift of an ox, a cup, and above all his martial armor (moment of reintegration and acceptance into the new adult order). These two months of {245|246} segregation outside the town end for the ephebe upon his being sworn in as a warrior. There are ritual practices that sanction this, such as the sacrifice of the ox to Zeus and the celebration of a great feast. Youths who have undergone this initiation are showered with particular honors, such as the most prominent places in the choruses, and in the gymnasium (here we see the two contexts essential to Archaic education); they receive, marked by the wearing of a special garment, the distinctive title of κλεινοί, the distinguished. [142] The ethical values which determine the choice of the kleinoi are eminently pedagogical: Ephorus emphasizes that it is less beauty than the qualities of courage and decency that are the criteria for this choice.
In Crete, as in Sparta, pederastic relationships were an integral part of the system of adolescent education and in fact had an institutional character. They existed between an ephebe and an older man who was already integrated into the adult society of the city, and they were didactic in function, the beloved modeling himself on his lover and assimilating the virtues of the perfect citizen by imitation. [143]
In a still famous article, Bethe emphasizes the pedagogical and institutional values of homoerotic relationships among the Dorians. Some of the relationships between adolescents and adults were sanctioned by religious rites. [144] The consecration of their institutional character is therefore not only political but cultic as well.
In Thebes, for instance, lovers and their beloved exchanged oaths of fidelity in a holy place where stood the tomb of the hero Iolaos. [145] Iolaos was himself an {246|247} eromenos, the beloved of Herakles, whom he followed and helped in more than one of his labors. The heroon of Iolaos stood beside the gymnasium or a stadium where gymnastic games were held called Iolaeia, the games of Iolaos. [146] These games may have had a direct connection with the religious consecration of homoerotic relations that took place in the nearby heroon. The eminently adolescent activity of gymnastics was thus a framework in which pederasty had its place. This same ritual consecration of homoerotic relationships occurs in Crete in the sacrifice that the young man offers to Zeus after returning from the hunt with his lover, and the Theban custom where the erastes gives his eromenos military equipment when he was enrolled in the army also recalls a Cretan custom. The practice of gymnastics and the homoerotic relations had as their goal the integration of the young beloved into the community of the adult warriors, and were thus the means for the ephebe to change from adolescent to adult, as Plutarch himself recognizes (εἰς ἄνδρας ἐγγραφόμενον). [147]
In Thera we find similar customs on inscriptions dating in part from the seventh century, showing the actual consummation of certain pederastic relationships rather than merely their ritual consecration. [148] These pederastic acclamations were all found near the temple of Apollo Karneios on a site that was later included in the area occupied by the gymnasium. The names of the young eromenoi in the inscriptions are generally accompanied by a reference to their virtues or their skill as athletes or dancers, thus again associating them with the educational system for adolescents involving gymnastics and choral practice. The nearness of the site to the sanctuary and the gymnasium could confirm the ritual aspect of the consecration of homoerotic relationships at Thera, as in Thebes, as well as the association with gymnastic games which proved the endurance and courage of the initiate. {247|248}
It is on purpose that I have avoided using the term homosexuality up to now. The concept implied by its use does not correspond to relationships which played an educational and thus a transitional role for adolescents becoming adult men. From a pathological point of view, it occupied a very different place in Greek society from the one it occupies in ours; its psychological and sociological implications were profoundly different. Pederasty was not only integrated into the social structure as a form of education: ritually and emotionally it marked merely one step in the beloved's passage to the "heterosexuality" of the adult, married citizen. Reserving for the sexual satisfaction of the relationship between a man and a boy the so-called "intercrural position," the pre-classical iconography shows that in its erotic realization, this relation was also ritualized. If adults in Greece had homoerotic relations, it was only with adolescents with the objective of educating them: homoeroticism always held in view the aim of producing future citizens. On the contrary, temporary or not, the homoerotic relationship between two adult citizens or between a free man and a male prostitute was either morally condemned or ridiculed. In Aristophanes' comedy, to be called a "wide anus" and to be treated as a passive homosexual is one of the worst insults. [149] Devereux's perceptive theory is that Greek pederasty was actually only pseudo-homosexual in that it simply used, for social and cultural ends, a universal psychological tendency of the adolescent to lack, temporarily, sexual differentiation. [150] The analyst's explanation of the adult lover as a father substitute, since in Greece the father's role as educator was minimal, takes account of the psychological mechanism underlying the pedagogical objective of pederasty among the Greeks. Whatever we may think of this psychoanalytical explanation, it is true that the ritual homoerotic relationship between a man and a boy in {248|249} Archaic and Classical Greece is always an asymmetrical one: if the man tries to introduce the adolescent to a relation of φιλία, of reciprocal esteem and confidence, he is alone to feel for his eromenos a real erotic and sexual desire. It is why I prefer to refer to the educational and initiatory relationship as one of "homophily." [151] To go back, from the institutions, to the representations of homophily in the myths, the version of the marriage of Pelops and Hippodameia, as told by Himerius in his Epithalamium for Severus, faithfully retraces this passage of a homosexual relation to heterosexuality. [152] Poseidon instructs his beloved Pelops in the equestrian arts, and then organizes the wedding ceremony of his lover and Hippodameia himself; he sings the nuptial song for them. Pelops' and Poseidon's homophily has nothing morbid or perverted about it; it is an integral part of the pedagogical relations between master and protégé. The same can be said of Akontios. In the story mentioned above, the hero, while still an adolescent, is the object of interest of several lovers (Callimachus uses the technical term εἰσπνήλης). This does not prevent him from falling in love shortly afterwards with Kydippe and marrying her. Callimachus specifies that these homosexual relationships of Akontios before marriage were associated with the school and the gymnasium. [153]

4.3.2. Sappho's group

The homoerotic feelings expressed in Sappho's poems have been the object of much debate, which I shall not repeat here. From antiquity on they have been falsified by moralizing derived from different social attitudes that were more or less critical towards male and female "homosexuality" and imposed various aesthetic visions on Sappho's poetry. [154] It is difficult to deny, however, that {249|250} the fragments evoking the power of Eros, to mention only those, refer to a real love that was physically consummated. [155]
It should be noted that the semantic features 'companionship,' 'education,' and 'homophily' are all found among the basic elements that make up Sappho's circle. [156] The instruction leading to marriage given by Sappho has as its corollary the homoerotic relations between mistress and pupils. In comparison with the male educational system, Sappho's circle, however, offers a new problem in that these homoerotic bonds are not between an older individual and a younger one, but specifically between a woman and her group of young girls. And yet, if Sappho sometimes addresses all her companions (ἑταίραις ταὶς ἔμαις), the relationships as expressed in her poems are nevertheless all individual. Sappho's love pangs expressed in several of her poems are provoked by the absence of a single companion, whether Atthis, Anaktoria, or Gongyla; and Sappho asks Aphrodite for a single young girl to entrust her philotes to. [157] There seems to be a contradiction between these singular love protestations and the collective character of the education given to the girls in Sappho's circle. We must presume that only some of the girls had a homoerotic relationship with the poetess, while the other adolescents only participated by reciting the passionate poems addressed to the young beloved. It was probably the same in Gorgo's circle, in which the homoerotic bond defined by the term σύζυξ existed, possibly successively, between Gorgo and two girls, Gongyla and Pleistodike. [158] {250|251}
The Cretan customs for the boys offer a striking parallel, since the eromenos is not alone when he goes away from the city with his erastes but he is generally accompanied by his friends who take part in the rite of abducting the adolescent, go hunting, then celebrate the final banquet at the conclusion of their expedition into the wilderness with the lover and his beloved. These same friends share the expense of the gifts given to the eromenos at the end of the initiation and join with him in the sacrifice of the ox to Zeus. [159] These friends of the eromenos have not had sexual contact with an erastes, but have followed the same itinerary of initiation as their companion. Their participation in the sacrifice to Zeus certainly shows that they too have taken the step that leads to adulthood.
The reality of Sappho's homoerotic feelings and their expression in her love for a young girl explain how a scholar like Devereux can see in the famous fragment 31 Voigt the symptoms of an authentic crisis of "homosexual" anxiety. [160] He recognizes that the clinical expression of homosexuality is not exclusive of its sociological aspect. With Sappho, it is true that we seem to have a case in which homoerotic love has been so internalized that it "short-circuits" any heterosexual feeling. Hence our own awareness when reading the poems of an internal vibration that goes beyond the expression in traditional forms of a homoeroticism entirely conforming to its educational function. This supposed extra dimension does not, however, contradict in any way the institutional reality of the circle and the pedagogical role of the relations within it: for Sappho, the ritual and initiatory "pseudo-homosexuality" could simply become an example of what we call homosexuality. Its educational and social function stays the same; its expression in poetry is inspired by a sensibility that finds no balance in a heterosexual life. And even this conclusion could be modified, since Sappho, as she herself says, had a daughter and, unless her marriage with Kerkylas and her love for Phaon were merely the fantasies of the ancient biographers, she must have crossed the threshold of adult life marked throughout Greece by marriage. [161] {251|252}
I would like to take as proof of the educational and social role of homophily the fact that an adolescent's time in the poet's circle was one step in a process. Most of the fragments of any length that have come down to us contain the memories of girls who returned to their native lands, most often Asia Minor, or left Sappho for a rival school. [162] As I have said, education in Sappho's circle consisted of preparation for marriage through a series of rites, dances, and songs mainly dedicated to Aphrodite. This particular concern not only with Eros, but above all with Aphrodite in Sappho's poems could be considered as their gender specificity. But, independently of any gender distinction, it is also probable that some of these rites, as for the boys at Thebes and perhaps at Thera too, consecrated the homoerotic bonds between lover and beloved by means of a sexual initiation appropriate for adolescents with the objective of teaching the girl the values of adult heterosexuality. The temporary and unreliable character of these bonds may provoke in a homosexually oriented person states of anxiety and depression like those that can probably be traced in almost all Sappho's poems of remembering. This would explain the peculiar and personal feminine tone often felt in the modern readings of Sappho's poetry.

4.3.3. Female homophily in the myths

There are far fewer stories about female homoeroticism than about male pederasty. However, hints of a mythological transposition of relations of this kind can be found in the legend of Leukippos. [163] This young hero, son of Oinomaos, fell in love with Daphne and, in order to overcome the young virgin's fear of men, he disguised himself as a girl (παρθένος) and mingled with the Nymph's companions when they went hunting. In this guise he managed to forge with Daphne an "unshakeable friendship" (φιλίαν ἰσχυράν) and to express as a girl the strength of his love for her.
A similar theme can be found in one (comic) version of the myth of Kallisto, the hunting companion of Artemis; to seduce her, Zeus took the form of a {252|253} goddess, raped her, and impregnated her. [164] It is thus by means of a homoerotic bond that Kallisto is initiated into heterosexuality and becomes an adult woman. But as can be seen in these stories containing the abduction and rape of a Nymph, the forcible break with the life of the young girl has a disastrous outcome—Artemis avenges herself for this unfaithfulness, kills her companion, and transforms her into a bear. The myth turns its back on reality, which it never faithfully reflects; to analyze the reasons for this would go beyond the limits of this study.
What is important here is that Artemis, like Sappho, seems to be attached to a particular Nymph, chosen among those who are attendant on her. As Callimachus informs us, the "love" (φίλαο) of Artemis touches certain Nymphs who are then called companions (ἑταίρας). They are Britomartis (φίλαο), who escaped from Minos by throwing herself into the sea, Cyrene (ἑταρίσσαο), the wild young virgin (παρθένος ἀγροτέρα) of Pindar, Prokris (ὁμοθήρην) and beautiful Antikleia (φιλῆσαι), both hunters, and finally Atalanta (ᾔνησας), the blond girl who fled into the mountains, as described by Theognis, to avoid marriage and the gifts of Aphrodite. [165]
Thus mythic thought, in the transpositions that it works out, allows a representation of female homophily to appear similar to that underlying the bonds of 'companionship' in Sappho's group. [166]

4.3.4. Female homoeroticism in Sparta

Besides the two poems by Alcman which are the subject of another inquiry, the evidence of homoerotic practices among Spartan women cannot be doubted, however small in amount. [167] In Plutarch's discussion of the educational role of homosexuality for men in Sparta, he states that it had become so much a custom {253|254} that women (γυναῖκας) too had relations with girls (παρθένων ἐρᾶν). [168] The women involved in this were well-to-do women (καλὰς καὶ ἀγαθάς), he reports, and by insisting on this he confirms that, as for men, homophily served as a way of transmitting the virtues of an older woman to an adolescent. He adds that these relations were not darkened by amorous rivalry, which suggests that they had the same temporary, instructional value as the "pseudo-homosexuality" defined by Devereux; having only a social function, they probably did not have the dramatic dimension found in Sappho's case. [169]
Athenaeus begins his long discussion of homoeroticism with a quotation from Archytas, the musicologist friend of Plato, stating that Alcman was the principal poet in Greece to "conduct" songs of an erotic nature (τῶν ἐρωτικῶν μελῶν ἡγεμόνα). [170] Although the discussion continues with a description of the Paidika of Stesichorus and the tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles centered on plots about homophily, Athenaeus, following Archytas, interprets the two fragments by Alcman quoted in support of his thesis as proof of the love the poet felt for women and particularly for a certain Megalostrata. [171] We are probably face to face here with a reconstruction of the biography of a poet based on an isolated fragment, as was commonly done in antiquity. There is a strong possibility that Megalostrata, described in the second fragment as the happiest of girls (παρσένων), far from being Alcman's lover, was one of the adolescent actors of a Partheneion, probably the choregos; in the same way, the person who says I, and who is struck by the force of Eros in the first fragment, is probably a girl and not the poet. [172]
The most striking confirmation of female homophily in Sparta found in Alcman's poems is in a gloss that shows the poet using a precise term, almost a technical term, to name the young female eromenai for whom he composed, namely the word ἀῖτις. [173] This term is taken from male homoerotic vocabulary. {254|255} But although it seems that relations between adult women and girls in Sparta, as in Lesbos, introduced the latter to adulthood sanctioned by marriage and to the transition to heterosexuality, there is nothing to confirm that they had the same sort of educational value in that city as elsewhere. A reply to this question can only be given by an analysis of Alcman's fragments 1 and 3.
The problem that must now be resolved is the one, posed in the introduction to this work, of the incompatibility between amorous feelings that our modern sensibility sees as essentially individual and their collective expression by a chorus or in the context of a "circle."

4.3.5. The lyric I/we: Individuality and collectivity

Research into the identity of the one who says I in choral lyric compositions has led to two results: first, the person is generally not the same as the poet who composed the song, but rather the chorus that performs the song; this is true above all of the poems performed for a public ritual, such as the paean or the threnody. [174] Even if the lyric I is often grammatically in the singular, it generally refers to the ensemble of chorus-members who perform the poem. Those two facts have been quite often overlooked in the recent controversy on the empirical and biographical reality of the person assuming the linguistic forms of the I in Archaic lyric poetry. The pragmatic character of these ritual poems excludes the entire fictionality of a purely poetic construction, while the reference to a group distinct from the "author" indicates that the experiences expressed may be generic ones. [175] {255|256}
It is thus possible for girls to express to another girl or woman what we would think of as individual feelings in verses composed by a third person. This is the case with Alcman's poems. Two important facets of Archaic lyric poetry make this happen; on the one hand, the formulaic nature of its language, also used in expressing love, on the other, the oral mode of communication which allows the one who listens to the song to merge the composer of the poem with its performer. [176] By using formulas understood by a whole group, perhaps by an entire culture, the poet can express a collective meaning, and can put in the mouths of young women the expression of feelings foreign to himself but experienced by those professing them and with an impact on the listening audience.
Conversely, the ability of Archaic lyric poetry to express the individual collectively explains how a poem by Sappho can express a personal experience true only for herself and one of her companions but can be accepted, recited, and even reperformed by all the girls in her circle as both a lived and paradigmatic experience. Moreover the language used by Sappho can communicate collectively and can evoke a common system of representations, so that all the pupils of the group can have the impression of being participants in the propaedeutic homoerotic bonds actually experienced by only one of them.
The conventional, formulaic character of the language infuses with life the poem performed by the group, rather than emptying it of meaning. If it seems to readers of Pindar or Ibycus that the homoerotic feelings expressed are a convention for praising the merits of a young man, they may nevertheless have originated in real feelings or in a real experience, feelings and experience which can be repeated through the reperformance of the poem. Moreover, it is surprising to notice that, although the education received by the boys and the girls through the choral performances is differentiated and prepares them for different gender roles, nevertheless the language used to express the homoerotic relationships underlying this ritual formation is basically the same. This kind of reciprocity between the linguistic practice of boys and girls, as well as between what an adult can express to an adolescent (Sappho) or a group of girls to an {256|257} older one (Alcman), is probably typical of a ritual poetry with an educational purpose. [177]
It is also significant that in Alcman's poems, as in Sappho's, where the poet addresses a young woman on behalf of the whole group, [178] the feelings expressed are those of vertical relationships; in other words, relations which unite either the entire chorus with a girl of a higher rank or, conversely, an older girl with the entire chorus. This is so for the Epithalamium for Helen of Theocritus, in which the twelve girls in the chorus together sing the praises of the young heroine, their choregos, or in the Partheneia of Pindar, where the young women collectively express their admiration for their choregos and for the woman who educated her. In this context a distinction between private and public in conjunction with a gender distinction between women and men cannot be relevant: in both cases the choral I is communal and has thereby a ritual value. [179]
It is true that there is no trace of homoerotic feeling in these last two poems. But I hope to have shown that the homoeroticism of Spartan adolescents and of Sappho repeat the schema of a larger structure, a structure I have defined as elementary to the construction of the chorus. This structure has a hierarchical character and unites each chorus-member to the choregos, thus assuring the cohesion of the chorus. As part of this structure, homoerotic feelings are established between a person in a higher position and the collective chorus-members who are all equal. In this way, the individuals of the chorus can each express their own feelings for the woman who directs the chorus, and, vice versa, the woman can express her love for all the members through her love for one of them. The existence of this hierarchical and asymmetrical relationship between {257|258} an individual and a group in the expression of homoerotic feelings accounts for the alternation of lyric I/we and explains how those same feelings can serve as a pedagogical foundation. Greek homoerotic bonds are regularly based on the relationship of master to pupil.

4.4. The female lyric chorus and tribal initiation

In the introduction I outlined the structure of the tribal initiation process, and I added general evidence for the various semantic values that would emerge from its three essential moments. Having arrived at the end of the long road that ran from the morphology of the Archaic chorus, by way of an analysis of the rituals embedded in it, to a study of its social function and its institutional nature, I shall now summarize the results and examine their coherence by comparing them with the institution of tribal initiation. In almost all societies that have no education system like that in the West, such an institution appears to be a system aimed at integrating adolescents into the community of adults. If all the aspects I have noted of the lyric chorus combine to form a similar system, I shall have proved the complementarity and internal coherence of the various hypotheses that I have put forward.
In the course of analyzing Hellenic chorality, or "song culture," several signs appearing in myth, ritual, or institutions in general offered characteristic features of tribal initiation. Conversely, the general form and content of the latter have helped to identify and interpret a myth, a ritual, or an aspect of an institution whose meaning was not obvious. It is now necessary to examine whether these disparate elements can be integrated into a complete, autonomous system, as in the case of peoples observed by anthropologists. This comparison will not overstep the bounds imposed on this study; it will consequently concern principally the women's choruses as we see them in Sparta. Choral performances in other Greek cities will be used only in cases where the material has served to enrich the analysis of Lacedaemonian facts.
The analysis of the morphology of the lyric chorus has shown that the choral group was generally composed of fewer than twenty chorus-members, mostly young women, whose cohesion was guaranteed by the fact that they were bound together by age similarity, by ties of 'companionship,' and because they often had a collective appellation. These features are also present among adolescents undergoing initiation; the collective character of the rites contributes to their feeling of belonging to the same group. These bonds are often so strong that they continue after initiation during the period before marriage and the girl's transition to the adult role of procreator. [180] The bonds of camaraderie and equality among initiates, moreover, can be consecrated institutionally in tribal {258|259} societies in the form of family relationships that did not necessarily exist before the formation of the group being initiated. [181] It should be recalled that the feature 'family/geographical belonging' was one of the characteristics of the Greek girls' chorus. A contemporary anthropologist has termed this fundamental element of internal cohesion communitas. [182] It accounts for the fact that for a certain time the initiates go through a period of chaos and have no distinct social role, finding themselves thus united in the same precarious conditions. When the initiation process is made hierarchical in several steps, the age classes corresponding to each stage form as many groups of this kind. Attested particularly well for boys, these age groups also exist in certain tribal societies for girls; traces are found in Greece, and if not in Sparta, at least in Athens and perhaps in Olympia. [183]
But equality among members did not prevent the existence of hierarchies within the choral association. In Greece, adolescent girls were first of all bound to a girl who was more beautiful and somewhat more mature, and who was the director of the choral group while also serving as a model of behavior for the other young women. The choregos was often helped in her role as conductor of the group by an older person, generally the composer of the songs performed by the chorus. This hierarchy is found in more or less the same form among initiation groups of tribal societies. The initiation itself is assumed by older people, generally of the same sex as the initiates. [184]
It is more difficult to recognize in ethnographic reports the position corresponding to the poet in Greece as regards female tribal initiation. In his/her work of forming and directing the chorus-members, the choregos (male or female) in Greece, and particularly in Sparta, is often assisted by the poet, who composes the music and the words of the songs sung by the chorus. The Hellenic poet fulfills an intermediary function between the society and the girls in the chorus; it is he/she who facilitates the communication of the cultural patrimony from civic community to initiates by means of his/her songs and dances. However, in a tribal population these songs are entirely dependent on an oral tradition, and it is understandable that the figure of the poet is not to be found, as in Archaic Greece. In addition, if the involvement of a man in female initiation apparently has no parallel in tribal societies, it is often a man, however, who is responsible for the {259|260} financing and the organizing of the rites. [185] Possibly part of that responsibility also fell to the Greek poet, on the occasions when he/she set up the chorus.
Concerning the ritual practices of the initiation process, I stated in the chapter on Lacedaemonian rituals that it was possible, based on the reconstruction of what we know of Spartan rites for girls, to hypothesize a cycle in which each step in the initiation process is represented: from the rites of separation from childhood and the initiation death represented in the festivals of Artemis Limnatis and Karyatis, to the Hyakinthia, the great feast of the presentation of the new initiates, to the rituals associated with the cults of the Leukippides and Helen that mark the forming of the adult woman, to the final ceremony of marriage and the ritual of Aphrodite-Hera which seems to be connected with it. This reconstruction of the rites that take the young girl from adolescence to being a full member of the city conforms both to the morphology and to the semantic values present in tribal initiation and integration rites into adulthood.
Given the generally secret character of initiation practices for young girls during the segregation period, the Hellenist is at more of a disadvantage than the ethnologist when it comes to examining them. All we have are some general features symbolic of the marginal phase, among which are the acts of violence, as seen in the myths, committed on adolescent girls; these acts symbolize the reversal of social behavior marking this period. On the other hand, one of the most significant features in Greece of the passage from childhood to adulthood is homoeroticism. Signs of this kind of asymmetrical sexual relationship between adults and boys are generally visible in male initiation practices, but it seems they were not absent from the initiation of adolescent girls in certain tribes where homoerotic practices seem to have been used to imitate adult heterosexual relations within a group composed only of women. [186]
However, for Greece, as for tribal societies, we have far more explicit and far more detailed evidence for the ritual practices in the public ceremonies associated with the presentation of new initiates to the community and the reception feasts that led to the marriage ceremony. In tribal societies, the moment of official, public presentation of neo-initiates is especially important for girls. The song, dance, and music that characterize this moment are exactly those that constitute {260|261} the principal activity of the Greek chorus, [187] which, so to speak, crystallizes in itself the official part of the ritual practices performed by the group of initiates. Here we should include all the information we possess about the dances performed by the chorus of Theseus at Delos, at the Oschophoria, those performed by the Proitides in honor of Artemis at Lousoi, those by young Athenian girls at the Panathenaia, and so on. In Sparta itself, the richness of female adolescent practices evinced in the framework of the festival of the Hyakinthia, and the importance of the involvement of the members of the community as spectators, give us an idea of what the final festival of the initiation process was like in Greece. Even if Greek choruses were not limited to this type of ceremony, it is not improbable that they had their origin there.
To turn now to the functional aspect of female initiation rites, it is easy to recognize, from the fragments of choral lyrics left to us, some elements of the education given girls during their initiation. The recitation of mythical legends was an introduction to the mythological and religious patrimony upon which the city's institutions were founded. The importance of the gnomic element in these poems corresponded to the requirement to transmit the norms of behavior that kept the body politic together. Information about the occasions for performing songs provides a sort of commentary on the ritual practices of the young chorus-members, and the frequent expressions of amorous feelings in these poems confirm the role of female tribal initiation in the instruction in sexuality. [188]
Anthropologists have also noted that during the ceremony presenting neo-initiates to the community and the subsequent rites, those girls in search of a husband take particular care of their appearance. From this point of view, the public forum played a central role in the system of distribution and exchange of {261|262} new women, placed at the disposal of the adult social body by initiation. [189] Here one should recall that one of the basic characteristics of the young Greek woman in the final stage of her initiation is 'beauty.' This feature crystallized the meanings of the pre-marriage rituals, such as the festivals of Helen in Sparta and the beauty contests on Lesbos; it also stood for all the preparation for marriage taking place in the Sapphic circle. Its function is the same in tribal societies.
This suggests that in Greece tribal initiation was not immediately followed by the marriage ceremony. Particularly in Sparta, the two cults of Helen show that marriage was probably thought of as a second transition after the initiation itself. There was a pause between the end of initiation and acceptance into the adult community signified by the wedding. It all happened as though the moment of ending the initiation was different from the moment of being integrated into the new order. This was probably meant as a time for finding a future husband and for preparing the girls, through rites such as those for the Leukippides and Helen, to abandon Artemis and Apollo, the gods of adolescence, and enter the domain of Dionysus, Aphrodite, and Hera. This intervening period is present in several tribal societies.
The ritual activity of the lyric chorus of adolescent girls as considered in its morphology and function is consequently comparable to the institution of tribal initiation. Its physiological, religious, political, and social implications constituted a system that touched all aspects of society and was an integral part of the whole social web. By sanctioning a physiological process, choral practice assumed a similar role of admitting new members into society, and consequently of perpetually renewing and maintaining that society with its different gender roles and status. That is why in Spartan tribal societies the female initiation process is entirely oriented towards procreation. [190] From both points of view, we are faced with a coherent system on which depended the survival and the perpetuation of the society promoting it.
The comparison I have just made between Spartan institutions and a tribal society institution raises the problem of the nature of the social structures of Archaic Sparta. The educational aspect of tribal initiation contrasts with the system of education through school attendance as we know it in modern societies and as it already existed in the Athens of the fifth century, as we know from Aristophanes' polemic against the "new education." It is therefore dependent on a certain type of society in which the specialization of labor and the differentiation of social roles are reduced; its members live in a system of relationships all the {262|263} more coherent because less numerous. [191] The analogies made synchronically between Spartan initiation and the model of institutions in tribal communities return us to the historical problem of the existence, at least in the Sparta of Alcman, of social structures forming a system that could be compared to the system of tribal societies. I have tried to offer such a study in a historical dimension with the commentary on Alcman's fragments 1 and 3 presented in Choeurs II. {263|264}


[ back ] 1. P. Foucart, Des associations religieuses chez les Grecs: Thiases, éranes, orgéons, Paris 1873, pp. 5f., E. Ziebarth, Das griechische Vereinswesen, Leipzig 1896, pp. 191 ff.
[ back ] 2. Poland, Vereinswesens, pp. 8ff. and 514ff., E. Ziebarth, "Soziale und religiöse Gemeinschaftsbildung im alten Griechenland," WJA 1, 1946, pp. 327–340; see also now P. Schmitt-Pantel, La cité au banquet: Histoire des repas publics dans les cités grecques, Paris 1992.
[ back ] 3. See Ziebarth, op. cit. n. 1, pp. 50, 92 and 149, and Poland, Vereinswesen, p. 398.
[ back ] 4. Poland, Vereinswesen, pp. 43 and 54.
[ back ] 5. Ibid., pp. 289ff.; for a women's association whose activity can be related to a gymnasium, see ibid., p. 97 n. 2.
[ back ] 6. Hdt. 4.79, Aristoph. Ran. 156; Eur. IA 1059; Aristoph. Thesm. 41.
[ back ] 7. Alcm. fr. 98 P = 129 C quoted by Strab. 10.4.18 = Eph. FGrHist. 70 F 149.10; see Von der Mühll, art. cit. p. 183 n. 292, p. 211, and Calame, Alcman, pp. 531ff.
[ back ] 8. See Arist. Pol. 1272a 3 and Plut. Lyc. 12 with, among others, Chrimes, Sparta, pp. 231ff.; Michell, Sparta, pp. 281ff.; Oliva, Sparta, pp. 29ff.; Nafissi, Kosmos, pp. 173ff. (especially pp. 206ff.); and Schmitt-Pantel, op. cit. n. 2, pp. 59ff. and 234ff.
[ back ] 9. Eur. Bacch. 680 and 379.
[ back ] 10. Eur. IT 1143ff., see above p. 33. The similarity between χορός and θίασος is underscored in the following entries in Hesychius: θίασος, θιάσαι, θιασῶται, ἐξεθίαζε, and ἐπεθείαζεν (επεθιαζεν cod.) (Θ 573, 570, 575, Ε 3640, 4309 Latte).
[ back ] 11. See Merkelbach, Philologus 101, p. 4 with n. 1, who summarizes the arguments of his predecessors, as also West, Maia 22, pp. 324ff.; Lasserre, Sappho, pp. 114ff.; and F. De Martino, "Appunti sulla scrittura al femminile nel mondo antico," in De Martino, Rose di Pieria, pp. 17–77 (pp. 32ff.).
[ back ] 12. Sapph. fr. 150 V; IG VII. 2484; see Poland, op. cit. n. 2. pp. 206f., and Lanata, QUCC 2, p. 67; in Sappho's fragment, οἰκίᾳ, metrically awkward, is a gloss that has slipped into the line in the place of a probable δόμῳ. For other indications which could refer to the existence of the thiasos of Sappho, see M. Treu, RE Suppl. 11, s.v. Sappho, coll. 1228 and 1325f., and "Neues über Sappho und Alkaios (P. Ox. 2506)," QUCC 2, 1966, pp. 9–36 (pp. 10ff.).
[ back ] 13. Παρθένος· Sapph. frr. 17.14, 27.10, 30.2, 153 V, etc.; κόρη: frr. 140 (a) V; παῖς: frr. 49.2 (Atthis), 58.11 V, etc.; see now the detailed study of Lardinois, TAPhA 124, pp. 65ff. The term γυνή is used only in frr. 44.15, and 31 (description of the wedding of Hektor and Andromache) and 96.6f. V (poem addressed to a young Lydian girl who is no longer in Sappho's circle).
[ back ] 14. Sud. s.v. Σαπφώ (Σ 107 Adler) = test. 253 V (see Ael. VH 12.19 = test. 256 V).
[ back ] 15. Sapph. fr. 160.1 V = Ath. 13.571cd; see fr. 142 and 126 V with Lanata, QUCC 2, pp. 66f. The use of this term has led some interpreters to compare Sappho's group with the political hetaireia Alcaeus was creating at the same time at Mytilene: J. Trumpf, "Über das Trinken in der Poesie des Alkaios," ZPE 12, 1973, pp. 139–160, and Burnett, Three Archaic Poets, p. 209. This hypothesis has now been put forward by Parker, TAPhA 123, pp. 341 ff.; but Sappho's dancing companions are not represented as revellers at the banquet!
[ back ] 16. Sapph. test. 261 and 262 V; on this tradition, see below pp. 249ff.
[ back ] 17. Sapph. fr. 1.18 V, see A. Rivier, "Observations sur Sappho, I. 19 sq.," REG 80, 1967, pp. 84–92 (reprinted in Etudes de littérature grecque, Geneva 1975, pp. 235–242), A. Giacomelli, "The Justice of Aphrodite in Sappho Fr. 1," TAPhA 110, 1980, pp. 135–146, and Burnett, Three Archaic Poets, pp. 254ff.; the bonds of friendship within the Sapphic group were combined with homoerotic relationships: see below pp. 249f., and now Calame, I Greci e l'eros, pp. 17ff. and 72f.
[ back ] 18. AP 9.189, see above p. 65; the word χορός appears only once, it is true, in the fragments we have of Sappho: fr. 70.10 V. It is clear that the classical distinction between monodic poetry and choral poetry, which places Sappho's compositions under the category of monodies, does not correspond to reality. On this subject see above p. 65 n. 171, and, for Sappho specifically, Lardinois, TAPhA 124, p. 73f., and "Who Sang Sappho's Songs?" in E. Greene, Re-Reading Sappho: A Collection of Critical Essays, forthcoming. See also E. Greene, "Apostrophe and Women's Erotics in the Poetry of Sappho," TAPhA 124, 1994, pp. 41–56.
[ back ] 19. Philostr. Im. 2.1.1ff. = Sapph. test. 217 V.
[ back ] 20. Max. Tyr. 18.9 = Sapph. test. 219 V, see frr. 57, 131, 133 and 144 V. Page, Sappho, pp. 133ff., recognizes the existence of rivals and friends of Sappho, but denies that their relations were other than personal, thus also denying any official or professional reasons for these bonds. On another rival circle, see perhaps fr. 71 V.
[ back ] 21. Sapph. fr. 213 V.
[ back ] 22. Gentili, Poesia e pubblico, pp. 106f., and, by the same author, "Il 'letto insaziato' di Medea," SCO 21, 1972, pp. 60–72 (p. 65 n. 18). To the parallels cited by Gentili can be added the existence of a Hera Syzygia: see Stob. 2.7.3a; on this subject see Page, Sappho, p. 144 n. 1, and West, Maia 22, p. 320.
[ back ] 23. The commentary attributed to Gorgo two σύζυγες, namely Gongyla and Pleistodice (probably the girl called by Sappho Archeanassa; see Treu, Sappho, p. 165). Gongyla is herself named in the Suda s.v. Σαπφώ (Σ 107 Adler = Sapph. test 253 V) as one of the pupils of Sappho; see Sapph. fr. 95.4 and possibly fr. 22.10 V. As for Archeanassa, she reappears in a fragment of Sappho unfortunately very mutilated: fr. 103 Ca. 4 V. It is thus possible that, like Atthis (see below p. 232), Pleistodike and Gongyla had left Sappho's confraternity for the rival circle of Gorgo. On the use of σύζυγος, see Eur. IT 250 (Orestes σύζυγος of Pylades), Tr. 1001 (Pollux σύζυγος of Castor); see HF 673ff. (συζυγία of the Muses and the Graces), Aristoph. Plut. 945.
[ back ] 24. Philostr. VA 1.30 = Sapph. test. 223 V, see Treu, Sappho, p. 237.
[ back ] 25. It seems to have been a late tradition that made the poet Erinna a companion (ἑταίρα) of Sappho, see Sud. s.v. Ἤριννα (Η 521 Adler) = Sapph. test. 257 V (see also Eust. Il. 326.46ff.): O. Crusius, RE 6 (1909), s.v. Erinna, J. V. Donado, "Cronologia de Erinna," Emerita 41, 1973, pp. 349–376, and J. Rauk, "Erinna's Distaff and Sappho Fr. 94," GRBS 30, 1989, pp. 101–116. See also AP 9.190 = Sapph. test. 56 Gall., with AP 9.26 = Sapph. test. 52 Gall., which names nine poetesses, the earthly incarnation of the nine Muses. Among them is another so-called companion of Sappho, Nossis (AP 7.718 = Sapph. test. 51 Gall.; she was actually an Alexandrian poet: see P. Maas, RE 17 [1936], s.v. Nossis, M. B. Skinner, "Sapphic Nossis," Arethusa 22, 1989, pp. 5–18, and O. Specchia, "Nosside," Rudiae 5, 1993, pp. 5–53), and also Telesilla. A women's thiasos serving Artemis at Cyzicus is mentioned in the Suda s.v. Δόλων (Δ 1345 Adler) = Ael. fr. 46 Hercher. On the mention of a relationship of 'companionship' in an epigram about Erinna, see AP 7.710.7f. = Erinna fr. 5.7f. D (συνεταιρίς); the companion of Erinna to whom this funeral epigram is dedicated was a newly married young woman. She had probably left Erinna's circle to be married before death struck; see again AP 7.712 = Erinna fr. 4 D also fr. 1B. 47ff. D. See also J. M. Snyder, The Woman and the Lyre: Women Writers in Classical Greece and Rome, Carbondale-Edwardsville 1989, pp. 86ff., and E. Cavallini, "Due poetesse greche, " in De Martino, Rose di Pieria, pp. 97–135.
[ back ] 26. Teles, fr. 717 P; see also fr. 720 P; R. Herzog, "Auf den Spuren der Telesilla," Philologus 91, 1912, pp. 1–21, thinks that the poet headed a thiasos dedicated to Apollo, but see P. Maas, RE 5 A (1934), s.v. Telesilla, and Snyder, op. cit. n. 25, pp. 59ff.
[ back ] 27. Pind. fr. 112 M, quoted by Ath. 14.631c; see also fr. 70 b. 22 M. Pindar uses in another case the term ἀγέλα to refer to the fifty young hetairai (φορβάδων κορᾶν ἀγέλαν) who, like a herd of mares, joined in the sacrifice that Xenophon of Corinth made to Aphrodite after a victory at Olympia: Pind. fr. 122 M quoted by Ath. 13.573f. The context of this fragment is naturally choral, but it is not sung by the young women described in this σκόλιον: see my comments in "Entre rapports de parenté et relations civiques: Aphrodite l'hétaïre au banquet politique des hetairoi" in F. Thelamon (ed.), Aux sources de la Puissance: Sociabilité et Parenté, Rouen 1989, pp. 101–111.
[ back ] 28. Plut. Lyc. 16.7ff.: on the age classes in the cult of Artemis Orthia, see above pp. 156ff. with the references given in nn. 208 and 209; see also Vidal-Naquet, Le chasseur noir, pp. 204ff., and Vernant, Métis 2, pp. 279ff. Plut. Lyc. 16.13 cites, at the same time as the agele, the subdivision of the ἴλη; according to Xen. Resp. Lac. 2.11, the ile was headed by an iren. Given this structure, it is probable that the agele and the ile were names for the same unit and had no hierarchical relationship as some historians have suggested: see Jeanmaire, Couroi, p. 504, and Michell, Sparta, p. 168, who reconstructs a three-step hierarchy going from the ile, the smallest unit, to the agele, the largest unit, by way of the boua, an intermediary unit. Michell lists other views on this subject; I would add to this list the discussion by Nilsson, Klio 12, pp. 312ff., and by Den Boer, Lac. Studies, pp. 248ff.
[ back ] 29. Hsch. s.v. βουαγόρ and βοῦα (Β 867 and 865 Latte), see E. Szanto, RE 3 (1899), s.v. Βοαγός.
[ back ] 30. Chantraine, op. cit. p. 44 n. 108, p. 32, and Dict. étym., s.v. ἀγέλη. The term ἀγελάρχης is used to refer to the herdsman of a drove of oxen; see Sud. s.v. ἀγελάρχης (Α 183 Adler).
[ back ] 31. Plat. Leg. 666e; for the use of φορβάς, see Pind. fr. 122.19 M (quoted above n. 27); significantly, the sch. A. R. 2.88 (p. 131 Wendel) give ἀγελάς as a synonym for φορβάς.
[ back ] 32. Chantraine, Dict. étym., s.v. βοῦα.
[ back ] 33. On this see the analysis of Chrimes, Sparta, pp. 95ff. and 442ff. Note that the thiasos/chorus of the Maenads in Euripides' Bacchae is also called ἀγέλα (l. 1022).
[ back ] 34. Strab. 10.4.16 and 20 = Eph. FGrHist. 70 F 149.16 and 20, and Hsch. s.v. ἀγελάους and ἀπάγελος (Α 432 and 5702 Latte). See C. A. Forbes, Greek Physical Education, New York-London 1929, pp. 44ff.; Jeanmaire, Couroi, pp. 425ff.; Chrimes, Sparta, pp. 219ff.; R. F. Willetts, Aristocratic Society in Ancient Crete, London 1955, pp. 12ff.; and now Lonsdale, Ritual Play, pp. 162ff. and 229ff.
[ back ] 35. SGDI 4952; see Willetts, Cults, pp. 200f.
[ back ] 36. G. Kaibel, Epigrammata Graeca, Berlin 1878, Nos. 223.8 (νέων ἀ[γ]έ[λ]ας, Miletus) and 239.2 (ἀιθέων ἥλικος ἐξ ἀγέλας, Smyrna). See also Poland, Vereinswesen, pp. 90 n. †† and 92 n. ***, who cites two inscriptions, one from Akalissos, the other from Crete, in which appear the terms ἀγελαρχία and ἀγελᾶται: see as well Straton, Epigr. 51.2 (III, p. 80 Jacobs).
[ back ] 37. Hsch. s.v. κάσιοι (Κ 971 Latte); see Poland, Vereinswesen, p. 54; Forbes, op. cit. n. 34, pp. 37f.; and Benveniste, Institutions I, pp. 220f.
[ back ] 38. Hsch. s.v. κάσις (Κ 966 Latte); cf. Eur. Hec. 361 and 428.
[ back ] 39. All the epigraphic material can be found in Chrimes, Sparta, pp. 97ff., 221ff. and 442ff.; Photius, Lex. s.v. συνέφηβος (II, p. 186 Naber), adds that in Sparta the ephebes were called σιδεύνης, a term that is attested only in this gloss.
[ back ] 40. The idea of adoption leads Chrimes, Sparta, pp. 100ff., to contradictions I would like to point out briefly: 1. if κάσεν is a boy who enters an agele after being adopted by a member of a privileged family, the term used should not be brother, but rather son; 2. Chrimes is obliged to admit the existence of unadopted kasioi (pp. 114 and 456); 3. the classical use of the term κάσις/-ιος does not refer to adoption (see LSJ); 4. the term συνέφηβος is neither used for nor means adoption (in spite of her statement on p. 112). At any rate, it is not clear that this supposed system of adoption can be considered part of the system of "protégés" that existed in Sparta at the time of Xenophon: see Toynbee, Problems, pp. 343ff.; on this see also F. R. Wüst, "Laconica," Klio 37, 1959, pp. 53–62 (pp. 60ff.), and D. Lotze, "Μόθακες," Historia 11, 1962, pp. 427–435.
[ back ] 41. On the position and function of the πατρονόμος in Sparta, see Plut. Mor. 795f. and Paus. 2.9.1.
[ back ] 42. Hom. Il. 6.239, 16.456 = 674, Od. 15.273, Il. 9.464, see Chantraine, Dict. étym., s.v. ἔτης and ἑταῖρος; Jeanmaire, Couroi, pp. 106f.; A. Andrewes, "Phratries in Homer," Hermes 89, 1961, pp. 129–140; and "Philochoros on Phratries," JHS 81, 1961, pp. 1–15; also Griffiths, QUCC 14, p. 29; J.-L. Perpillou, "Frères de sang ou frères de culte?," SMEA 25, 1984, pp. 205–220; and N. Loraux, "La politique des frères," in Thelamon, op. cit. n. 27, pp. 21–36. Ἔτης does not connote a family relation, but it is semantically near, if not a synonym of ἑταῖρος: see Hsch. s.v. ἔται (Ε 6479 Latte) and EM 386.45ff., as also G. Glotz, La solidarité de la famille dans le droit criminel en Grèce, Paris 1904, pp. 85ff.
[ back ] 43. See above pp. 30ff.
[ back ] 44. Theocr. 18.24, see sch. ad. loc. (p. 332 Wendel), and above p. 27. On the meaning of νεολαία, see Aesch. Suppl. 688, Pers. 670, and Frisk, GrEW, s.v. νεολαία, with D. J. Georgacas, "A Contribution to Greek World History, Derivation and Etymology," Glotta 36, 1958, pp. 161–193 (pp. 172f.).
[ back ] 45. Plut. Lyc. 8.5f.; on the number of Spartan citizens, see Chrimes, Sparta, pp. 348ff. It is, however, not possible to compare, as K. Kuiper attempts, "De Theocriti carmine XVIII," Mnemosyne 49, 1921, pp. 223–242 (pp. 231ff.), the four groups with the Spartan obai. There were probably five obai in the archaic period: see below n. 48.
[ back ] 46. P. Oxy. 2389, fr. 35 = Alcm. fr. 11 P = 24 C; see above p. 155. According to Barrett's reconstruction, Gnomon 33, p. 687, the commentator says that the girls of Dyme often went to Pitane to dance with the Pitanatides: see Calame, Alcman, pp. 387ff. K. Latte, review of Fränkel, Dichtung, GGA 207, 1953, pp. 30–42 (p. 36), reprinted in Kleine Schriften, Munich 1968, pp. 713–726 (p. 720), had already noted that the so-called thiasos of Sappho and the girls' choruses in Alcman and Pindar had the same ritual function.
[ back ] 47. Paus. 3.16.9; Hsch. s.v. Δύμη) (Δ 2484 Latte), Steph. Byz. s.v. Δυμᾶνες (p. 240 Meineke) and Hsch. s.v. Πιτανάτης στρατός (Π 2382 Schmidt). But Toynbee, Problems, pp. 263ff., notes that there is a slippage of meaning between obe and phyle and that the latter may also mean, at a later time, the geographical division represented by the obe.
[ back ] 48. Plut. Lyc. 6.2. On the problem of the obai, see V. Ehrenberg, RE 17 (1936), s.v. obai, coll. 1694ff.; Michell, Sparta, pp. 97ff.; and more recently Huxley, Sparta, pp. 24 and 39; M. A. Levi, "Studi Spartani (II: Phylai e Obai)," RIL 96, 1962, pp. 500–512 (reprinted in Quattro studi spartani e altri scritti di storia greca, Milano-Varese 1967, pp. 28–50); Kiechle, Lakonien, pp. 119ff., whose reconstructive presuppositions should be avoided (see on this subject Oliva, Sparta, pp. 84ff.), and Forrest, Sparta, pp. 42ff., who takes into account P. Oxy. 2389, fr. 35, and supposes that the chorus mentioned by Alcman's commentator was a chorus made up of members of the tribe of Dymanes from the village of Pitane; thus the division of citizens by tribe may have been integrated with that of the obai (numbering nine), and each obe may have been inhabited by members of the three big Dorian tribes. The best summary of the problem is given by Toynbee, Problems, pp. 260ff.; see also Cartledge, Sparta, pp. 106ff.
[ back ] 49. P. Oxy. 2390, fr. 2, col. II. 22ff. = Alcm. fr. 5.2, col. I. 22ff. P = 81 C, see Harvey, JHS 87, pp. 69ff., who reconstructs at line 24 φυλ[ικὸς δὲ χο]ρός (ἐστι) Δύμα[ς. ]τρα Δύμα[ινα; an objection to this would be that there is no evidence for the term φυλικός in Greek and that in the commentator’s text one would expect the form Δύμης rather than a Dorian Δύμας; see also Toynbee, Problems, p. 265 n. 3. I do not think it is possible for reasons of dialect to keep at line 25 the conjectured πά]τρα Δυμα[ proposed by Lobel, P. Oxy. vol. 24, p. 55, and reprinted by Page, CR 73, p. 20, who reconstructs τῆς τ[ῶν Πιτα]ν(α)τίδων φυλ[ῆς· ὁ δὲ χ]ορός (ἐστι) Δύμα[ιναι, ὧν πά]τρα Δυμᾶ[νες. The most likely conjecture is Barrett’s, Gnomon 33, p. 689 n. 3, which proposes φύλ̣[ης δ(ὲ) ὁ χ]ο̣ρός (ἐστι) Δυμα[ίνης or Δυμά[νιδος, but this of course gives no further clue as to the existence of a village called Δύμη. On this fragment see above p. 155f.
[ back ] 50. P. Oxy. 2390, fr. 2, col. II. 13ff. = Alcm. fr. 5.2, col. I. 13ff. P = 80 C.
[ back ] 51. See Lobel, P. Oxy. vol. 29, p. 54; Page, CR 73, p. 19; Barrett, Gnomon 33, p. 688f.; Harvey, JHS 87, pp. 63ff.; West, CQ 59, pp. 188ff.; Treu, RE Suppl. 11, col. 22ff.; Cuartero, BIEH 6, pp. 13ff.; Calame, Alcman, pp. 435ff.; J. Schneider, "La chronologie d'Alcman," REG 98, 1985, pp. 1–64; and now M. L. West, "Alcman and the Spartan Royalty," ZPE 91, 1992, pp. 1–7. On the position of Timasimbrota, see Choeurs II, p. 96 n. 91.
[ back ] 52. See above p. 43.
[ back ] 53. Poll. 9.14 = Epich. frr. 13 and 104 Kaibel.
[ back ] 54. Plat. Leg. 653aff. and 673a.
[ back ] 55. Ibid. 654e, 657ab, 659dff.; 655aff.; see also Prot. 325cff. with the comments of Nagy, Pindar's Homer, pp. 408ff.
[ back ] 56. Ibid. 655d, 795e, 814eff.; see Mullen, Choreia, pp. 46ff. and 70ff.
[ back ] 57. Ibid. 654a.
[ back ] 58. Ibid. 653dff. and 665a, see above p. 52.
[ back ] 59. See ibid. 660b and 673b; the division into three choruses of children, youths, and old men proposed by Plato in this text (664bff.) is a characteristic reflection of a Spartan custom which decreed that at official festivals three choruses belonging to these three age groups should sing the traditional songs: Plut. Lyc. 21.3, Mor. 238ab and 544e, and Poll. 4.107, who makes Tyrtaeus responsible for the origin of this τριχορία (test. 15 Prato). According to Ath. 15.678c (= Sosib. FGrHist. 595 F 5), the τριχορία was obligatory at the Gymnopaidiai (see above p. 203). On the images of Spartan institutions in the Laws, see Ollier, Mirage I, pp. 276ff.; Chrimes, Sparta, pp. 124ff.; E. Roller, "Musse und musische Paideia," MH 13, 1956, pp. 1–37 and 94– 124 (especially pp. 12ff.); Tigerstedt, Sparta I, pp. 267ff.; and Rawson, Tradition, pp. 65ff.
[ back ] 60. Plat. Leg. 672eff. and 795dff.; all this has now been repeated and developed by Lonsdale, Ritual Play, pp. 29ff. and 45ff.
[ back ] 61. Aristoph. Nub. 964ff., see also 1054ff.; see K. J. Dover, Aristophanes. Clouds, Oxford 1968, pp. LVIIIff.
[ back ] 62. Aristoph. Ran. 727ff., see also 1054ff.; other parallels in Koller, Musik, pp. 86ff.; see Marrou, Education, pp. 80ff., and W. D. Anderson, Ethos and Education in Greek Music, Cambridge, Mass. 21968, pp. 21ff. On the activity of the Athenian Damon as defender of traditional musical education in the first half of the fifth century, see Lasserre, Mus., pp. 53ff. On poetry as the principal vehicle for Greek education, see F. A. G. Beck, Greek Education, 450–350 B.C., London 1964, pp. 313ff., and Nagy, Pindar's Homer, pp. 409ff.
[ back ] 63. Pol. 4.20.4ff. Notice that, at Teos, for example, the musical education of girls, while there was also a school system, was bound up in choral performances given at certain festivals: see Ziebarth, op. cit. p. 199 n. 337, pp. 39 and 58.
[ back ] 64. Ath. 14.628ef = Socr. fr. 3 West. On the didactic value of archaic poetry in general, see in particular Gentili, Introduzione, pp. 92ff., and Gianotti, in Lo spazio letterario, pp. 151ff.
[ back ] 65. According to the definition given by Herington, Poetry, pp. 3ff.; see also Nagy, Pindar's Homer, pp. 37ff.
[ back ] 66. H. Koller, "Ἐγκύκλιος Παιδεία," Glotta 34, 1955, pp. 174–189, and Musik, pp. 91ff.: on the dithyrambic chorus as origin of "cyclical education," see Tzetz. Hist. 11.520. On the semantic feature 'circularity' as being a characteristic of the Archaic chorus, see above pp. 34ff.
[ back ] 67. Sapph. fr. 55 V, see Plut. Mor. 646ef and Stob. 3.4.12 (πρὸς ἀπαίδευτον γυναῖκα). On this subject see B. Snell, "Zur Soziologie des archaischen Griechentums: Der Einzelne und die Gruppe," Gymnasium 65, 1958, pp. 48–58. On the memorial function of Sappho's poems, see Gentili, Poesia e pubblico, pp. 116ff., and Burnett, Three Archaic Poets, pp. 277ff.
[ back ] 68. Sapph. frr. 49, 130.3f. and 57 V; see Bowra, Lyric Poetry, pp. 193f.
[ back ] 69. Sud. s.v. Σαπφώ (Σ 107 Adler) = Sapph. test. 253 V; see frr. 16, 15, 95.4 V, and above p. 213; Philostr. Im. 2.1.1f. = Sapph. test. 217 V: see above p. 212; P. Colon. 5860 a, b = Sapph. fr. S 261A P; see M. Gronewald, “Fragmente aus einem Sappho-Kommentar: Pap. Colon. inv. 5860," ZPE 14, 1974, pp. 114–118. A series of late representations shows a woman educating one or more girls in dancing and music: see the catalogue offered by F. A. G. Beck, Album of Greek Education, Sydney 1975, pp. 55ff. with pll. 374ff.
[ back ] 70. Xen. Resp. Lac. 2.10, Plut. Lyc. 17.1ff.
[ back ] 71. Ath. 14.632f = Prat. fr. 709 P = 4 Sn., Plut. Lyc. 21.1ff. On the complementarity of music and gymnastics in Spartan education, see Xen. Resp. Lac. 4.1. On the role of music in Sparta, see above p. 141, and Chrimes, Sparta, p. 119ff. For musical education in Crete, see Strab. 10.4.20 = Eph. FGrHist. 70 F 149.20.
[ back ] 72. P. Oxy. 2506, fr. 1 (c). 30ff. = Alcm. fr. 10 (a). 30ff. P = test. 5.30ff. C, see above pp. 184f.
[ back ] 73. P. Oxy. 2802.15 = Alcm. fr. S 5.15 P = test. 13.15 C, with commentary by E. Lobel, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. 37, London 1971, pp. 1ff.; W. Luppe, review of Lobel, P. Oxy. vol. 37, Gnomon 45, 1973, pp. 321–330 (p. 322), sees in this fragment a commentary on Aristophanes. In that case, the poems by Alcman would form part of an "alterwürdiges Bildungsgut," valid for Athenians at the time of Aristophanes.
[ back ] 74. Alcm. fr. 37(b) and 38 P = 138 and 137 C; see Calame, Alcman, pp. 544ff.
[ back ] 75. Alcm. fr. 26 P = 90 C; see Calame, Alcman, pp. 472ff.
[ back ] 76. Alcm. fr. 81 P = 150 C.
[ back ] 77. Arch. test. 4, E1 col. III. 19ff. Tarditi and fr. 120 W; see Zimmermann, Dithyrambos, pp. 20ff. It must be added that one is never sure that the poetical I refers directly to the biographical person of the poet: see also W. Rösler, “Persona reale o persona poetica? L’interpretazione dell’ ‘io’ nella lirica greca arcaica,” QUCC 48, 1985, pp. 131–144, and S. R. Slings, "The I in personal archaic lyric: an introduction," in Slings, The poet's I, pp. 1–30.
[ back ] 78. Pind. N. 3.1ff. and O. 6.87ff. with sch. ad loc. (I, pp. 186ff. Drachmann); in most cases, Pindar was not personally involved in organizing the chorus which was to sing his epinicians: see Fränkel, Dichtung, pp. 490f. and 587f., and Herington, Poetry, pp. 26ff. The problem of the reference of the I in Pindar's epinicians to the poet or to the chorus has recently been the object of a long polemic: see the mediatory position of J. M. Bremer, "Pindar's Paradoxical ἐγώ and a Recent Controversy About the Performance of His Epinicia," in Slings, The Poet's I, pp. 41–58. See also Gentili, A&A 36, pp. 13ff.; A. P. Burnett, "Performing Pindar's Odes," CPh 84, 1989, pp. 283–294; K. A. Morgan, "Pindar the Professional and the Rhetoric of the ΚΩΜΩΣ," CPh 88, 1993, pp. 1–15; and G. B. D'Alessio, "First-Person Problems in Pindar," BIClS 39, 1994, pp. 117–139.
[ back ] 79. Ath. 1.22a, see Pickard-Cambridge, Festivals, p. 90, and F. Lasserre, "La condition du poète dans la Grèce antique," EL 2.5, 1962, pp. 3–28 (p. 15); other references on poets as διδάσκαλοι in Herington, Poetry, pp. 87ff. and 183ff.
[ back ] 80. See above pp. 48ff.
[ back ] 81. See above pp. 61f.; in The Craft of Poetic Speech, pp. 30ff., I tried to show, through an analysis of the enunciation of Alcman's Partheneia, what the position of the poet is in his own compositions in relation to the Muses who inspire them, to the city which commissions them, to the chorus which performs them, and finally to their audience.
[ back ] 82. Ath. 15.678bc = Sosib. FGrHist. 595 F 5.
[ back ] 83. Alcm. fr. 10 (b). 8ff. P = 82a and b C; see above pp. 58ff.
[ back ] 84. Aristoph. Lys. 1314f. and Theocr. 18.22ff., see above p. 192.
[ back ] 85. Alcm. fr. 26 P = 90 C; see above pp. 49ff.; for the question of the reference of the poetical I, see the indications given above n. 77.
[ back ] 86. Alcm. fr. 14 (a) P = 4 C; see also fr. 27 P = 84 C; on the use of the verb ἄρχειν in these fragments, see Calame, Alcman, pp. 352 and 471.
[ back ] 87. See, although too aesthetical, H. Maehler, Die Auffassung des Dichterberufs im frühen Griechentum bis zur Zeit Pindars, Göttingen 1963, pp. 69ff. and 81ff., and M. Detienne, Les maîtres de vérité dans la Grèce archaïque, Paris 1967, pp. 18ff., with the nuances on pp. 72ff.; on the "authority" of the poet, see Nagy, Pindar's Homer, pp. 373ff.
[ back ] 88. Poll. 4.43ff., cf. 9.143f.
[ back ] 89. Sapph. fr. 2 V, see Schadewaldt, Sappho, pp. 25ff.; Merkelbach, Philologus 101, pp. 25ff.; Lanata, QUCC 2, pp. 68ff.; Gentili, Poesia e pubblico, pp. 115ff.; E. Barilier, "La figure d'Aphrodite dans quelques fragments de Sappho," EL 3.5, 1972, pp. 20–61; Burnett, Three Archaic Poets, pp. 217ff.; and, specifically for the signification of the gardens, Calame, I Greci e l'eros, pp. 132ff.
[ back ] 90. Sapph. frr. 22.9ff., 81.4ff., 94.12ff. V, etc.
[ back ] 91. Sapph. fr. 49 V, see Plut. Mor. 751d (τὴν οὔπω γάμων ἔχουσαν ὥραν) and sch. Pind. P. 2.42 (II, p. 44 Drachmann).
[ back ] 92. Sapph. fr. 57 V, see fr. 131 V as well as fr. 81 V.
[ back ] 93. Sapph. 96 V, to be compared with fr. 55 V (see above p. 225 n. 67), where the girl who has not partaken of the roses of Pieria, in other words Sappho's education, will die unknown and undistinguished (ἀφάνης). On the connotations of the moon in this poem, see Burnett, Three Archaic Poets, pp. 304ff.
[ back ] 94. Sapph. frr. 104–117 V. On the epithalamia of Sappho see Page, Sappho, pp. 72ff. and 112ff.; Lasserre, Sappho, pp. 17ff.; and above p. 84 n. 229. See fr. 44 V, with the interpretations given also by W. Rösler, "Ein Gedicht und sein Publikum: Überlegungen zu Sappho Fr. 44 Lobel-Page," Hermes 103, 1975, pp. 275–285, and summarized by Lasserre, Sappho, pp. 83ff.
[ back ] 95. Himer. Or. 9.4 = Sapph. test. 194 V. On this subject see J. D. Meerwaldt, "Epithalamica I: De Himerio Sapphus imitatore," Mnemosyne 4.7, 1954, pp. 19–38.
[ back ] 96. Through the notions of Κreis or thiasos, the characterization of Sappho's group as a "Mädchenpensionat" by U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, in Die Griechische und Lateinische Literatur und Sprache, Leipzig-Berlin 31912, p. 41, had a long life outlined by Lasserre, Sappho, pp. 112ff., and by Parker, TAPhA 123, pp. 313ff. (with the justified criticisms of Lardinois, TAPhA 124, pp. 57ff.); see also, recently, Burnett, Three Archaic Poets, pp. 211ff., and Cantarella, Secondo natura, pp. 107ff. See P. Colon. 5860 a, b = Sapph. fr. S 261A P; see above p. 255.
[ back ] 97. Xen. Resp. Lac. 3.1ff., Plut. Lyc. 16.8ff. and Mor. 237a, see Michell, Sparta, pp. 165ff.; Marrou, Education, pp. 55ff.; and Vernant, Métis 2, pp. 272ff.
[ back ] 98. See Plat. Hp. ma. 285bff., Plut. Lyc. 21.1ff. The fragments of poems by Tyrtaeus are a good example of the educational value of poetry at Sparta; see Jaeger, Paideia I, pp. 120ff., and Prato, Tirteo, pp. 5ff.
[ back ] 99. Xen. Resp. Lac. 1.6, Plut. Lyc. 15.4ff., Num. 26.1, see Plat. Leg. 833d: marriage took place then between 18 and 20 years; on this see Den Boer, Lac. Studies, pp. 277ff. On the meaning of the ritual abduction of the wife, see A. Paradiso, "Osservazioni sulla cerimonia nuziale spartana," QS 12, 1987, pp. 137–153; Cartledge, CQ 75, pp. 94ff. and 100ff.; and Pirenne-Delforge, Aphrodite, pp. 200ff.
[ back ] 100. Plat. Leg. 637c and 780e, Arist. Pol. 1269b 12ff., and Rhet. 1361a 9ff. See Plut. Lyc. 14.2 and Num. 25.5 as also Hsch. s.v. Λακωνικὸν τρόπον (Λ 226 Latte); this idea of too great a sexual freedom for the women comes from the critical attitude of Plato and Aristotle towards the Spartan constitution: see Nilsson, Klio 12, pp. 327ff.; Tigerstedt, Sparta I, pp. 272 and 293; and Toynbee, Problems, pp. 356ff., who rightly opposes this negative view of the Spartan woman with the more favorable image in Plutarch's Lives of Agis and Cleomenes, which originates with the historian Phylarchos (but on the idealization of Sparta in this work see Ollier, Mirage II, pp. 195ff.).
[ back ] 101. Xen. Resp. Lac. 1.7ff., Plut. Lyc. 15.12ff., see 14.8, Mor. 227e and Pol. 12.6b. 8. See J. Redfield, "The Women of Sparta," CJ 73, 1978, pp. 148–161, Cartledge, CQ 75, pp. 93ff., and M. H. Dettenhofer, "Die Frauen von Sparta: Oekonomische Kompetenz und politische Relevanz," in M.H. Dettenhofer (ed.), Reine Männersache? Frauen in Männerdomänen der Antiken Welt, Köln-Weimar-Wien 1994, pp. 15–40, who speaks of a "relative Gleichbehandlung": this is valid only for the classical period.
[ back ] 102. Plat. Leg. 806a, Xen. Resp. Lac. 1.3, Plut. Mor. 241d (weaving is bad for conceiving a fine child), Prop. 3.14.27ff.; but it was Spartan women who wove the chiton for Apollo at Amyklai: Paus. 3.16.2 (see above p. 176); see also Theocr. 18.33f.; see Michell, Sparta, pp. 197f.
[ back ] 103. See above pp. 170f., and again Plut. Lyc. 16.4f.
[ back ] 104. Plut. Lyc. 14.2 and Num. 25.9; on this subject see Roussel, Sparte, pp. 50ff.; Ollier, Mirage I, p. 34; and Toynbee, Problems, pp. 361ff.
[ back ] 105. Plat. Leg. 806a, cf. 804de, 813e and Resp. 452aff.
[ back ] 106. Aristoph. Lys. 79ff.; see Eur. Andr. 595ff.; see also Cartledge, CQ 75, pp. 90ff.; on the gymnastic education given to girls in cities other than Sparta, see Arrigoni, in Le donne, pp. 95ff.
[ back ] 107. Crit. 88 Β 32 DK, Xen. Resp. Lac. 1.3, Plut. Lyc. 14.3, Num. 26.1, Philostr. Gym. 27.
[ back ] 108. Cic. Tusc. 2.15.36, Prop. 3.14.1ff.
[ back ] 109. In addition to the sources cited in n. 107, see Theocr. 18.22f. with sch. ad loc. (p. 332 Wendel), and Plat. Leg. 806a and 833d.
[ back ] 110. Plat. Resp. 452a and Leg. 806aff.
[ back ] 111. Aristoph. Lys. 79ff. and 1308ff.; Hom. Od. 13.412 (Σπάρτην καλλιγύναικα). Further references on this topic are to be found in the commentary of J. Henderson, Aristophanes. Lysistrata, Oxford 1987, pp. 77f. and 221.
[ back ] 112. Alcm. fr. 1, 58f. Ρ = 3.58f. C; see the detailed commentary in Choeurs II, pp. 70ff. and 124ff.
[ back ] 113. Hdt. 6.61ff.; see above pp. 196ff. Theocr. 18.21.
[ back ] 114. As Brelich thinks, Paides, p. 160; see also Vidal-Naquet, Le chasseur noir, p. 205.
[ back ] 115. Ibyc. fr. 339 P; see Poll. 2.187 and 7.55; this semi-nudity impressed the ancients: see Soph. fr. 872 Radt, quoted by Plut. Lyc. et Num. comp. 3.5, Eur. Andr. 597, Plut. Num. 25.5ff., and Lyc. 14.4, Prop. 3.14.4, etc.; see Arrigoni, in Le donne, pp. 71f. with pl. 6.
[ back ] 116. Plut. Lyc. 14.4, see also Plat. Resp. 452a and Leg. 806a.
[ back ] 117. Plut. Lyc. 14.5f.; for the signification of the myth of the Hippocoontids in Alcm. fr. 1 and for its relevance to a chorus formed by young girls, see Choeurs II, pp. 52ff. and 59ff., with Alcman, pp. 313ff.; see also Pavese, Il grande Partenio, pp. 15ff. For the (maiden-) chorus as an image of the civic order in Sparta, see Too, QUCC 85, pp. 7ff.
[ back ] 118. See above p. 317.
[ back ] 119. Epicr. fr. 8 KA; in the term δάμαλις can be seen δαμα- with its meaning of 'to tame': see Chantraine, Dict. étym. s.v. δάμνημι; δάμαλις usually means a young animal still to be tamed; another metaphorical use of the word to refer to an adolescent girl: AP 5.292.10.
[ back ] 120. The girl as filly: Anacr. fr. 417.1 P, Eur. Hec. 142, Andr. 621, Hipp. 546, etc.; see also Alcm. fr. 172 Ρ = 299 C, with, however, the remarks of N. A. Livadaras, "Zu Alcmans Fr. 172 (Page)," RhM 115, 1972, pp. 197–199, who sees in this fragment a gloss on Eur. Hipp. 230f.: see also the comparison of Agido and Hagesichora with fillies in Alcm. fr. 1.58ff., with my comment in Choeurs II, pp. 67ff., and Pavese, Il grande Partenio, pp. 66ff. In a bacchic context, see Eur. Bacch. 166 and 1056 and Hel. 544 (δρομαία πῶλος), with the parallels quoted by Kannicht, op. cit. p. 176 n. 269, p. 154; see Hsch. s.v. πῶλος (Π 4500 Schmidt): …πώλους τοὺς νέους καὶ τὰς νέας, καὶ παρθένους. The image of the girl as untamed animal is found already in Homer: Od. 6.109 and 228, see H. Ven. 82. The comparison of the young girl with a fawn has the same meaning: see particularly Anacr. fr. 408 Ρ and Bacch. 13.84ff., with the other passages quoted by R. G. M. Nisbet and M. Hubbard, A Commentary on Horace Odes, Book I, Oxford 1970, pp. 273ff. (commenting on Hor. Carm. 1.23.1).
[ back ] 121. Plut. Mor. 13f., Luc. Am. 45. The same idea is also present in the stories of pursuit and capture of young girls: see Sourvinou-Inwood, Greek Culture, pp. 65ff.
[ back ] 122. See above p. 215.
[ back ] 123. Hom. Il. 18.432; see also 3.301, and Od. 3.269; when a poet says a girl is not tamed (ἀδμής, ἄδμητος), he means she is not married: Η. Ven. 133, Aesch. Suppl. 149, Soph. OC 1056, etc.; Artemis, Athena, and Atalanta are untamed virgins: Soph. El. 1239, Aj. 450, and OC 1321; for the process of taming Atalanta, see Theogn. 1283ff., with my comments in I Greci e l’eros, pp. 17f.; other examples are given by Forbes-Irving, Metamorphoses, pp. 64ff.
[ back ] 124. Eur. Med. 673 and 80; see Aesch. Pers. 542, Choeph. 599, and A.R. 4, 1191; σύζυγος in the sense of 'woman,' 'wife' in Eur. Alc. 314 and 342; see also ibid. 921. Hera (συ)ζυγία presides over marriage: A. R. 4.96, Him. Or. 9.266; see also the example given by Seaford, JHS 108, pp. 122f. For the development of the image of taming in tragedy in relationship with the violence imposed by marriage, see N. Loraux, Façons tragiques de tuer une femme, Paris 1985, pp. 65ff., with further references.
[ back ] 125. Eros or amorous desire as tamers: Hom. Il. 14.199 and 316f., Hes. Th. 120ff., Arch. fr. 196 West, Sapph. fr. 102.2 LP, Theogn. 1350, etc. The beloved compared to a colt to be tamed: Anacr. fr. 417 P, Theogn. 1249ff.; see also Anacr. fr. 346.1, 8ff. P, with commentary by B. Gentili, Anacreonte: Introduzione, testo critico, traduzione, studio sui frammenti papiracei, Roma 1958, p. 186.
[ back ] 126. Eur. Phaeth. 227ff., see Diggle, op. cit. p. 85 n. 230, pp. 150ff.; for the power of Eros as a strangling power, see Zeitlin, in Rape, pp. 143ff. See also R. Seaford, "The Tragic Wedding," JHS 107, 1987, pp. 106–130.
[ back ] 127. Theocr. 12.15; on σύζυγος in the Sapphic context see above p. 212.
[ back ] 128. Eur. Hipp. 110ff., cf. 307ff. and 581; in this context, horse-breaking is under the jurisdiction of Artemis: see 228ff. and on this subject G. Devereux, "The Enetian Horses of Hippolytos (Euripides, Hippolytus, 231, 1131)," AC 33, 1964, pp. 375–383.
[ back ] 129. Eur. Hipp. 545ff.; cf. 1425ff.: in the aition which puts an end to the tragedy, Hippolytos will be the addressee of the ritual consecration of hair by young girls (κόραι ἄζυγες) before their marriage: see W. S. Barrett, Euripides. Hippolytos, Oxford 1964, pp. 263f. and 412ff. For the final domination of Aphrodite over Hippolytos, see F. Zeitlin, "The Power of Aphrodite: Eros and the Boundaries of Self in Euripides' Hippolytos" in P. Burian (ed.), Directions in Euripidean Criticism, Durham N.C. 1985, pp. 52–111, and S. Des Bouvrie, Women in Greek Tragedy, Oslo-Oxford 1990, pp. 240ff.
[ back ] 130. Eur. Hipp. 1131ff., 1210ff., and 1389; on the pun of the 'domestication' of Hippolytus, see C. P. Segal, "The Tragedy of the Hippolytos: The Waters of Ocean and the Untouched Meadow," HSCPh 70, 1965, pp. 117–169; also K. J. Reckford, "Phaethon, Hippolytus, Aphrodite," TAPhA 103, 1972, pp. 405–432 (pp. 419f.), who however does not see the religious opposition between the yoke of Artemis and that of Cypris; also J. M. Bremer, "The Meadow of Love and Two Passages in Euripides' Hippolytus," Mnemosyne IV. 28, 1975, pp. 268–280; the name Ἱππόλυτος is itself perhaps indicative of the hero's fate: see Segal, art. cit., p. 166 n. 48. The myth of Hippolyte the queen of the Amazons is parallel to the legend of Euripides' hero: Hippolyte, also a horse-tamer and a fine horsewoman, is finally tamed by Heracles who takes her belt and thus removes her symbol of virginity; see A. Klügmann in Roscher, s.v. Hippolyte (1). See also the myth of the Amazon Melanippe: H. W. Stoll in Roscher s.v. Melanippe (2). [ back ] On the Χάριτες συζύγιαι, see E.W. Buschala, "Συζύγιαι Χάριτες, Hippolytus 1147," TAPhA 100, 1969, pp. 23–29; the sch. Eur. Hipp. 1147 (II, p. 123 Schwartz) explain: αἱ συζευγνῦσαι, ὅ ἐστι γαμήλιοι.
[ back ] 131. On the names of the Proitides, see Serv. ad Verg. Buc. 6.48 (III 2, p. 117 Thilo-Hagen); on Bias, Hes. fr. 37.13 MW, and above p. 118 n. 88; on Artemis Hemerasia and Hemera at Lousoi, see Paus. 8.18.8, and Call. Dian. 235f. (see also Bacch. 11.39), with pp. 118ff. above. Two of the Minyades whose fate, I have emphasized, is parallel to that of the Proitides, are called Leucippe and Arsippe: Ael. VH 3.42, Ant. Lib 10.1; for the same repretation at Brauron, see C. Sourvinou-Inwood, “Lire l’arkteia—lire les images, les textes, l’animalité,” DHA 16, 1990, pp. 45–60.
[ back ] 132. Bacch. 11.84 and 45f.; without doubt it is equally significant in this context that Proitos offers Artemis, in order to convince her to intervene with Hera, cows that have not yet been yoked (ἄζυγας, l.105). On these metaphors, see now Seaford, JHS 108, pp. 120ff.
[ back ] 133. Pind. O. 1.67ff., Apoll. Epit. 2.4ff., Diod. Sic. 4.73.1ff, etc.; other sources in P. Weizsäcker in Roscher, s.v. Oinomaos (1); particularly the story as it is told by Pindar can be considered as a rewriting of the aition of the Olympic Games: see Nagy, Pindar's Homer, pp. 119f. and 126ff. For the homoerotic relationship of Poseidon with Pelops, see Sergent, Homosexualité, pp. 75ff.
[ back ] 134. Plut. Mor. 303b, Him. Or. 9.6, sch. Pind. O. 1.86b (I, p. 47 Drachmann), sch. Lyc. Alex. 157 (II, pp. 72ff. Scheer). I note that the mares of the team of Hippodameia's first suitor, Marmax, had the significant names of Parthenia and Eripha: Paus. 6.21.7.
[ back ] 135. Hdt. 4.30, Plut. Mor. 303b, Paus. 5.5.2, Ael. NA 5.8; cf. G. Devereux, "The Abduction of Hippodameia as 'aition' of a Greek Animal Husbandry Rite," SMSR 36, 1965, pp. 3–25. I disagree with the author of this article in his interpretation of this practice as "pastoral ritual" and of the myth as aition of this rite. Devereux forgets that the marriage of Hippodameia serves as aition for the Heraia of Olympia that the sixteen women of Elis organize (cf. above pp. 114f.) and that Pelops' victory over Oinomaos represents the model for equestrian victories in the Olympic Games (cf. Pind. O. 1.90ff., and above n. 133).
[ back ] 136. See above pp. 115f.
[ back ] 137. See above pp. 187ff.; this interpretation of the race toward the Isthmus has been proposed by Weizsäcker, art. cit. n. 133, col. 769f.
[ back ] 138. Such as Atreus, Thyestes, Pittheus, etc.; cf. Pind. O. 1.88f. with sch. ad loc. (I, pp. 47f., Drachmann).
[ back ] 139. Plut. Lyc. 17.1, Ages. 2.1, Lys. 22.6 (see also Plut. Agis 24.2 and 58.14), Xen. Resp. Lac. 2.12ff.; see Hsch. s.v. Λακωνικὸν τρόπον and λακωνίζειν (Λ 226 and 224 Latte) = Aristoph. fr. 358 KA; these two glosses make pederasty a typically Laconian trait, proving that in Sparta these types of relations were not platonic: on this subject see W. Kroll, RE 11 (1921), s.v. Knabenliebe, coll. 899f., and P. Cartledge, "The Politics of Spartan Pederasty," PCPhS 207, 1981, pp. 17–36.
[ back ] 140. See Plut. Lyc. 18.9 and Ages. 20.9: also Xen. Symp. 8.35, along with Brelich, Paides, pp. 120f. On Xenophon's idealizing attitude toward Spartan pederasty, see Tigerstedt, Sparta I, p. 164; on Plutarch's attitude in general, see Ollier, Mirage II, pp. 209ff.
[ back ] 141. Strab. 10.4.21 = Eph. FGrHist. 70 F 149.21: see Jeanmaire, Couroi, pp. 450ff.; Chrimes, Sparta, pp. 224ff.; Brelich, Paides, pp. 198f.; and Sergent, Homosexualité, pp. 38ff.
[ back ] 142. See Ath. 11.782c and Hsch. s.v. κλεινοί (Κ 2902 Latte). Pederasty was supposed to have originated in Crete: Ath. 13.602f = Timae. FGrHist. 566 F 144; see also Plat. Leg. 836bc and Arist. Pol. 1272a 23ff., with the different legends analyzed by Sergent, Homosexualité, pp. 227ff.
[ back ] 143. This is the function of homoerotic relationships in general in Greece; the theory behind it is found in Plato's Symposium (see particularly 211bc): see Marrou, Education, pp. 65ff., and Tigerstedt, Sparta I, pp. 75 and 269, with the nuances I tried to introduce in I Greci e l'eros, pp. 143ff. Homoeroticism was the basis of aristocratic educational relationships in the Archaic period: see the elegiac verses attributed to Theognis and sung during the symposia before they were hidden in the second book of the Theognidea. See Jaeger, Paideia I, pp. 236ff., and J. N. Bremmer, "Adolescents, Symposion, and Pederasty," in O. Murray (ed.), Sympotica: A Symposium on the Symposion, Oxford 1990, pp. 135–148.
[ back ] 144. E. Bethe, "Die dorische Knabenliebe: Ihre Ethik und ihre Idee," RhM 62, 1907, pp. 438–475; see now the comprehensive study of J. Bremmer, "An Enigmatic Indo-European Rite: Pederasty," Arethusa 13, 1980, pp. 279–298.
[ back ] 145. Plut. Μor. 761de and Pel. 18.5 = Arist. fr. 97 Rose; see W. Kroll, RE 9 (1916), s.v. Iolaos (1), and Sergent, Homosexualité, pp. 171ff.; other references in Calame, I Greci e l'eros, p. 185 n. 25. A similar rite is perhaps the reason for the kissing competition in which adolescents at Megara took part to celebrate Diokles, another mythical figure embodying male homoeroticism: Theocr. 12.27ff. Games were also held in his honor: see sch. Aristoph. Ach. 774; also Gow, Theocr. II, p. 226.
[ back ] 146. Paus. 9.23.1, see Hitzig-Bluemmer, Paus. III, p. 457.
[ back ] 147. Plut. Mor. 761b; on these customs, see in general, Dover, Homosexuality, pp. 180ff.; according to Dover, "Greek Homosexuality and Initiation," in The Greeks and Their Legacy, Oxford 1988, pp. 115–134, "the didactic relationship between erastes and eromenos was superimposed on the erotic, not vice versa."
[ back ] 148. IG XII 3.536–601 and 1410–1439, see Bethe, art. cit. n. 144, pp. 449ff.; Jeanmaire, Couroi, pp. 456ff., Brelich, Paides, pp. 183ff. Inscriptions of the same type have now been found at Thasos and at Nemea: see Calame, I Greci e l'eros, pp. 78ff. This evidence of consummation of homoerotic relationships among the Greeks avoids the necessity of reexamining the thesis defended by Bethe, ibid., pp. 460ff.: on this subject see Devereux, SO 42, p. 80; with regard to the typically Laconian expressions εἰσπνεῖν and εἰσπνήλας, see Theocr. 12.12ff., Call. Aet. III, fr. 68 Pf., Plut. Agis 24.2, Ael. VH 3.12, EGen. s.v. εἰσπνήλης. Recognizing their ritual aspect on an interesting comparative basis, H. Patzer, Die griechische Knabenliebe, Wiesbaden 1982, pp. 67ff., denies them any sexual realization; see also the comparative parallels quoted by Sergent, Homosexualité, pp. 54ff.
[ back ] 149. In Athens, pederasty, like gymnastics, was only for free men, which shows its social role: see Sol. fr. 16 GP and frr. 74a-e Ruschenbusch with Aeschin. Tim. 138f. It was, after all, accepted and recommended among the aristocracy as pedagogical reinforcement. On the positions of Aristophanes and Plato, see K. J. Dover, "Eros and Nomos," BICS 11, 1964, pp. 31–42. For the moral condemnation of adult homosexuality and for its use in Attic comedy, see particularly Dover, Homosexuality, pp. 135ff. and 153ff. (pp. 91ff. for the iconography of "intercrural intercourse"), J. Henderson, The Maculate Muse: Obscene Language in Attic Comedy, Oxford-London 21991, pp. 204ff., and J. J. Winkler, "Laying Down the Law: The Oversight of Men's Sexual Behavior in Classical Athens," in Halperin, Winkler, and Zeitlin, Before Sexuality, pp. 171–209, with the further references I give in I Greci e l'eros, pp. 102ff. For the iconography, see C. Reinsberg, Ehe, Hetärentum und Knabenliebe im antiken Griechenland, München 1989, pp. 174ff.
[ back ] 150. Devereux, SO 42, pp. 70ff.; for our benefit, D. M. Halperin, One Hundred Years of Homosexuality and Other Essays on Greek Love, New York-London 1990, pp. 15ff., has now shown that the concepts of "homosexuality" and "heterosexuality" are not Greek categories; see also F. Zeitlin, "Introduction," in Halperin, Winkler, and Zeitlin, Before Sexuality, pp. 3–20, and Patzer, op. cit. n. 148, pp. 43ff.
[ back ] 151. See Calame, I Greci e l'eros, pp. 68ff. The initiatory and ritual value of the homoerotic practices of the Greeks has been completely overlooked by M. Foucault, Histoire de la sexualité, 2. L'usage des plaisirs, Paris 1984, pp. 237ff.
[ back ] 152. Him. Or. 9.6. In the traditional version of the myth as told by Pind. O. 1.67ff., Poseidon also helps to make the marriage possible by giving the hero he loves the chariot that allows him to take part in the race imposed by the girl's father (on this see above pp. 242ff.). On the homosexual relations between Poseidon and Pelops, see Pind. O. 1.25, with O. Höfer in Roscher, s.v. Pelops, col. 1871.
[ back ] 153. Call. Aet. III, frr. 68 and 69 Pf., with commentary by Pfeiffer ad loc.; see above p. 112.
[ back ] 154. Page, Sappho, pp. 143ff., expresses a certain skepticism because of the lacunae in our documentation concerning the reality of "Sapphic love." See also Lasserre, Serta Turyniana, pp. 20ff., and Sappho, pp. 209ff. For Marrou, Education, p. 72; Schadewaldt, Sappho, pp. 98ff.; Merkelbach, Philologus 101, p. 7 (in spite of p. 3 n. 2?); G. Jachmann, "Sappho und Catull," RhM 107, 1964, pp. 1–33 (p. 3); Gentili, Poesia e pubblico, pp. 117ff.; Lanata, QUCC 2, p. 64; West, Maia 22, pp. 320ff.; or with hesitation, Dover, Homosexuality, pp. 173ff., the reality of Sapphic eros is beyond doubt. For a history of the image of Sappho's sexuality, see Lardinois, in Bremmer, From Sappho, pp. 21 ff., A. Paradiso, "Saffo, la poetessa," in N. Loraux (ed.), Grecia al femminile, Roma-Bari 1993, pp. 39–72, and the studies collected by E. Greene (ed.), Re-Reading Sappho: Reception and Transmission, Berkeley-Los Angeles-London 1996.
[ back ] 155. Sapph. frr. 47, 130, 48 and 49 V, see also 1.19, 16.4 and 94.21ff. V. For the erotic meaning of the expression ἐξίης πόθο[ν in this last poem, see particularly Burnett, Three Archaic Poets, p. 298, who points out as well the sexual meaning of the "sleep" in fr. 2.8 V (pp. 270ff.).
[ back ] 156. The bonds between ἑταῖραι were placed under the sign of Aphrodite: Sapph. frr. 142, 160 and 126 V with Ath. 13.571cd. The connection between education, homophily, and the ties that bind companions is found in a gloss of Pollux (4.43ff.) which makes the terms ἀγελαῖοι, μαθηταί, χορευταί and συνερασταί synonymous. See Lardinois TAPhA 124, pp. 58ff., against the arguments of Parker TAPhA 123, pp. 341ff., who makes the ἑταῖραι of Sappho the participants in a sympotic hetaireia.
[ back ] 157. Sapph. frr. 160, 49, 131, 16.15, 95.4, and 1.18ff. V; see Max. Tyr. 18.9 = test. 219 V. It is significant that in Sappho's life in the Suda s.v. Σαπφώ (Σ 107 Adler) = test. 253 V, Atthis is described as one of the ἑταῖραι φίλαι, the dear companions, while Anaktoria and Gongyla are called μαθήτριαι, pupils. Sappho's poems themselves show that the pupils are also her loved ones: see Marrou, Education, pp. 70ff.; J. Danielewicz, "Experience in its Artistic Aspect in Sappho's Subjective Lyrics," Eos 58, 1969/70, pp. 163–169, also sees a "didactic purpose" in Sappho's love for the girls in her circle; see as well Cantarella, Secondo natura, pp. 108ff., and Williamson, Sappho's Immortal Daughters, p. 90ff.
[ back ] 158. Sapph. fr. 213 V; see above pp. 212f. and n. 23.
[ back ] 159. Strab. 10.4.21 = Eph. FGrHist. 70 F 149.21; see above pp. 245f.
[ back ] 160. G. Devereux, "The Nature of Sappho's Seizure in Fr. 31 LP as Evidence of her Inversion," CQ 64, 1970, pp. 17–31. Sappho's anxiety attack is not due to a sudden awareness of a socially sanctioned homosexuality, as F. Manieri supposes, "Saffo: appunti di metodologia generale per un approccio psichiatrico," QUCC 14, 1972, pp. 44–64, who anyhow is wrong to attribute to Devereux such an interpretation of fr. 31 V and who gives no solution to the problem posed by the particular content of this fragment. Sappho's crisis was probably provoked by seeing her masculine rival for whom she cannot be a substitute for the girl (cf. Devereux, art. cit., p. 22). G. A. Privitera, "Ambiguità antitesi analogia nel fr. 31 LP di Saffo," QUCC 8, 1969, pp. 37–80 (republished in La rete di Aphrodite, Palermo 1974, pp. 85–129), is right in saying that Sappho's symptoms are the sign of her fear when she realizes her love is hopeless and will never be returned; see also Burnett, Three Archaic Poets, pp. 229ff., and V. Di Benedetto, "Intorno al linguaggio erotico di Saffo," Hermes 113, 1985, pp. 145–156.
[ back ] 161. Sapph. frr. 98b and 132 V, see P. Oxy. 1800, fr. 1.14 = test. 252 V, Sud. s.v. Σαπφώ (Σ 107 Adler) = test. 253 V, see also test. 219 V. On the legend of the loves of Sappho and Phaon, see test. 211 V, and G. Nagy, Greek Mythology and Poetics, Ithaca-London, 1990, pp. 223ff. For the controversy on the nature of Sappho's homoerotic feelings, see J. P. Hallett, "Sappho and Her Social Context: Sense and Sensuality," Signs 4, 1979, pp. 447–464 (also in Greene, Reading Sappho, pp. 125–142: "public, rather than personal, statements"), and E. Stigers, "Romantic Sensuality, Poetic Sense: A Response to Hallett on Sappho," ibid., pp. 465–471 ("a specifically feminine form of sensibility"); see also J. J. Winkler, "Gardens of Nymphs: Public and Private in Sappho's Lyrics," in Foley, Reflections, pp. 63–90 (also in Greene, Reading Sappho, pp. 89–109).
[ back ] 162. Sapph. frr. 16.15f., 94.2ff., 96 and 131 V; see West, Maia 22, pp. 318ff. On the gender identification of Sappho's poems, see M. B. Skinner, "Aphrodite Garlanded: Erôs and Poetic Creativity in Sappho and Nossis," in De Martino, Rose di Pieria, pp. 77–96, and Stehle, Performance and Gender, pp. 310 ff.; see further below n. 177.
[ back ] 163. For the sources of this myth, see above p. 147 n. 165.
[ back ] 164. Hyg. Astr. 2.1 = Amphis fr. 46 KA. Hesiod's version (Hes. fr. 163 MW) does not mention the disguise of Zeus; other sources in Franz, art. cit., p. 198 n. 336. The different versions of Kallisto's story have been studied by A. Henrichs, "Three Approaches to Greek Mythography," in J. Bremmer (ed.), Interpretations of Greek Mythology, London-Sydney 1987, pp. 242–277 (with the skepticism expressed at n. 82); the other references given at n. 336. We have seen above that Kallisto, later celebrated under the title Artemis Kalliste, is situated exactly between adolescence and adulthood; her name denotes the physical maturity of the end of adolescence.
[ back ] 165. Call. Dian. 184ff., Pind. P. 9.6 and 17ff., Theogn. 1290ff.; on Atalanta, see above p. 101 with n. 32.
[ back ] 166. On a probable scene of female homoeroticism, see the Attic kylix in Tarquinia Mus. Arch, with the commentary by J. Boardman and E. La Rocca, Eros in Grecia, Milan 1975, pp. 110ff. (pl. p. 111); see also the archaic cup from Thera quoted by Dover, Homosexuality, pp. 93ff. and 173 (with pl. CE 34), and the documents quoted by M. F. Kilmer, Greek Erotica on Attic Red-Figure Vases, London 1993, pp. 26ff. (with pll. R 73, R 152, and R 207).
[ back ] 167. For the homoerotic feelings that the girls singing poems 1 and 3 of Alcman express for their choregos, see Choeurs II, pp. 86ff.
[ back ] 168. Plut. Lyc. 18.9.
[ back ] 169. Moreover, Athenaeus, 13.602de, quoting the philosopher of the Academy Hagnon, says that in Sparta, custom (νόμος) demanded that "girls before their marriage have to be treated like παιδικά (like the eromenoi)." The verb ὁμιλεῖν used by Athenaeus has no subject, but the context, with the quotation of fr. 16 GP of Solon, shows that here the practice of intercrural intercourse, as prescribed for the sexual relationship between erastes and eromenos, is alluded to. Thus the subject of the verb should be rather male than female. Contrary to what is stated by Devereux, SO 42, pp. 83f., and Parker, TAPhA 123, p. 327 n. 38, anal intercourse is here excluded; see Brelich, Paides, p. 158 n. 138.
[ back ] 170. Ath. 13.600f. = Chamael. fr. 25 Wehrli; see Archyt. fr. 47 B 6 DK.
[ back ] 171. Alcm. frr. 59 (a) and (b) P = 148 and 149 C.
[ back ] 172. This is the position taken by Garzya, Alcm., pp. 149ff.; see also Diels, Hermes 31, p. 352 n. 1, and E. Degani and G. Burzacchini, Lirici greci, Firenze 1977, pp. 291f.; see Choeurs II, pp. 93f., and Alcman, pp. 558ff. and 561ff. See as well Alcm. fr. 58 P = 147 C.
[ back ] 173. Alcm. fr. 34 P = 183 C. The term ἀΐτας, the eromenos, is the Thessalian counterpart of the Laconian εἰσπνήλας, the erastes; see Theocr. 12.13, and above n. 148. On the meaning of the word see among others EGud. 57.19ff. De Stefani and Hdn. Orth. s.v. ἀΐτας (II, p. 471 Lentz); Hsch. s.v. ἀΐτας (Α 2162 Latte) glosses this term significantly by ἑταῖρος, the companion. See C. Gallavotti, "Alcmane, Teocrito, e un' iscrizione laconica," QUCC 27, 1978, pp. 183–194, with my reply in Alcman, pp. 597f.
[ back ] 174. W. Kranz, "SPHRAGIS," RhM 104, 1961, pp. 3–46 and 97–124 (pp. 29ff.); M. R. Lefkowitz, "ΤΩ ΚΑΙ ΕΓΩ, The First Person in Pindar," HSCPh 67, 1963, pp. 177–253 (p. 194; contribution reprinted with other articles on the same subject in First-Person Fictions: Pindar's Poetic I, Oxford 1991, pp. 1–71); M. Kaimio, The Chorus of Greek Drama within the Light of the Person and Number Used, Helsinki-Helsingfors 1970, pp. 29ff.; and Calame, The Craft, pp. 5ff., and "Performative aspects of the choral voice in Greek tragedy: civic identity in performance," in S. Goldhill and R. Osborne (eds.), Performance culture and Athenian democracy, Cambridge 1999, pp. 125–153. Even in monodic poetry, the person who says I can be in the feminine even if it is a male poet who composed the song: see Alc. fr. 10 V or Anacr. fr. 385 P. On the problem of the reality or the fictionality of the Greek lyric I, see the references given above nn. 77 and 78. For the authority of the lyric I, see Nagy, Pindar's Homer, pp. 369ff. and 377f.
[ back ] 175. For example in Alcm. fr. 81 P = 150 C, all the young girls in the chorus say αἰ γὰρ ἐμὸς πόσις εἴη; for the alternation of the forms of singular and plural in fr. 1, see Choeurs II, pp. 45f. with n. 8. The opposite can also happen, since Sappho speaks of herself in the plural: see e.g. fr. 121 V.
[ back ] 176. On this subject see Plat. Resp. 397aff., with commentary by E. A. Havelock, Preface to Plato, Cambridge, Mass. 1963, pp. 21ff., and Pavese, Tradizioni, p. 213. On the formulaic expression of love in lyric poetry, see Alcm. fr. 59 (a) P = 148 C (Ἔρως με δηὖτε…κατείβων…καρδίαν ἰαίνει), Ibyc. fr. 287 P (Ἔρος αὖτέ με ἔς ἄπειρα δίκτυα Κύπριδος ἐσβάλλει), Anacr. frr. 358 P (δηὖτε με Ἔρως συμπαίζειν προκαλεῖται) and 413 P (δηὖτέ μ’ Ἔρως ἔκοψεν), Sapph. fr. 130 V (Ἔρος δηὖτέ μ’… δόνει): see Lanata, QUCC, pp. 65ff., and A. Carson, Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay, Princeton 1986, pp. 117ff. On the formulaic language in general of Archaic lyric poetry, see Gentili, Introduzione, pp. 69ff. Fränkel, Dichtung, p. 587, without mentioning formulaic language, has nevertheless seen that the feelings expressed by the lyric I are often not personal, but have a paradigmatic value for those listening.
[ back ] 177. For Pindar's poems, see P. Von der Mühll, "Weitere pindarische Notizen," MH 21, 1964, pp. 168–172, and Lasserre, Serta Turyniana, pp. 17ff.; the frr. 286 and 287 P of Ibycus prove that for this poet amorous feelings were not only a conventional way of expressing admiration, as in fr. 282 P, but were probably also a personal experience. On attempts at a definition of Sappho's poetry from the point of view of gender, see the contributions of Hallett and Stigers quoted above n. 161, and E. Stigers, "Sappho's Private World," in Foley, Reflections, pp. 219–245, with the review by M. B. Skinner, "Woman and Language in Archaic Greece, or, Why Is Sappho a Woman?," in N. S. Rabinowitz and A. Richlin (eds.), Feminist Theory and the Classics, New York-London 1993, pp. 125–144 (also in Greene, Reading Sappho, pp. 175–192). See also the complicated argument of J. J. Winkler, "Double Consciousness in Sappho's Lyrics," in The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender, New York 1990, pp. 162–187, and the balanced position of Williamson, Sappho's Immortal Daughters, pp. 165ff.; see also above n. 162.
[ back ] 178. Sometimes Sappho seems to address all the companions in her circle: see fr. 160 V; see J. M. Snyder, "Public Occasion and Private Passion in the Lyrics of Sappho of Lesbos," in S.B. Pomeroy (ed.), Women's History and Ancient History, Chapel Hill, N.C. 1991, pp. 1–19, and A. Lardinois, "Who Sang Sappho's Songs?" in Greene, Reading Sappho, pp. 150–172.
[ back ] 179. Theocr. 18.25ff.; see Aristoph. Lys. 1308ff., and above pp. 192ff.; Pind. fr. 94b. 67ff. M; see also above p. 62; for Sappho's I, see Lardinois, art. cit. n. 18, forthcoming.
[ back ] 180. Eliade, Naissances, p. 93, Brelich, Paides, p. 108 n. 153, and B. B. LeVine, "The Initiation of Girls," chapter taken from "Nyansogo: A Gusii Community in Kenya," in B. B. Whiting (ed.), Six Cultures, New York-London 1963, pp. 183–194, reprinted in Popp, Initiation, pp. 45–59 (pp. 57f.).
[ back ] 181. On this subject see Brelich, Paides, pp. 102f. with nn. 143 and 144.
[ back ] 182. Turner, Ritual Process, pp. 95ff.
[ back ] 183. On this problem in general, see Brelich, Paides, pp. 40f.; for age groups among women, see S. Dreyfus, Les Kayapo du Nord, Paris-La Haye 1963, pp. 71ff., and Paulme, op. cit. p. 13 n. 32, pp. 136ff. and 166ff.
[ back ] 184. Eliade, Naissances, p. 93, Brelich, Paides, p. 109 n. 155. Among the Bemba of the former Northern Rhodesia, the mistress of the initiation ceremony for girls possesses a particular status in the community and becomes the protector of the initiates: see A. I. Richards, Chisungu: A Girls' Initiation Ceremony Among the Bemba of Northern Rhodesia, London 1956, pp. 57 and 131f.
[ back ] 185. Richards, op. cit. n. 184, p. 56; for the "authorship" of the poet in Greece, see Nagy, Pindar's Homer, pp. 369ff. and 397ff.; but see the critique by Stehle, Performance and Gender, pp. 86ff.
[ back ] 186. Male homoerotic practices in Brelich, Paides, p. 84 n. 100, enumerating their various functions, and in D. J. West, Homosexuality, Harmondsworth 31968, pp. 19f.; see also G. H. Herdt (ed.), Ritualized Homosexuality in Melanesia, Berkeley 1984; for adolescent girls see LeVine, art. cit. n. 180, p. 52. B. Bettelheim, Symbolic Wounds: Puberty Rites and the Envious Male, New York 21962, pp. 138ff., gives a psychoanalytic interpretation of the sexual ambivalence of initiates as regards the practices of circumcision and excision; see also the French translation of the work (Paris 21971) with the remarks of A. Green (pp. 213ff.) and particularly J. Pouillon (pp. 235ff.), who shows the impact and the cultural rather than psychic values of the practice of circumcision/excision.
[ back ] 187. Eliade, Naissances, pp. 95ff.; semantically, it is possible that the term χορός originally meant the ‘group of initiates,’ gradually reduced to the 'group of chorus members' with exclusively musical connotations to the extent that this public activity lost its initiation meaning and became important at the expense of the secret practices. On the use of dance and music in the education and socialization of adolescents, see M. Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa: A Study of Adolescence and Sex in Primitive Societies, Harmondsworth 21943, pp. 92ff.; and A. Strathern, “‘A line of boys': Melpa dance as a symbol of maturation," in P. Spencer (ed.), Society and the Dance: The Social Anthropology of Process and Performance, Cambridge 1985, pp. 119–139.
[ back ] 188. On these different propaedeutic functions of tribal initiation, see above pp. 13ff. Richards, op. cit. n. 184, pp. 125ff., emphasizes that, during initiation among the Bemba, girls receive less instruction in practical things than an idea of the social responsibility and duty implied by the practical activities of the adult woman. This education also allows the girls to absorb the legal and ethical aspects of their future status; see also Turner, Ritual Process, pp. 106ff. For Archaic Greece, all these elements of choral education are discussed at length in the detailed analysis of Alcman's fragments 1 and 3 that I present in Choeurs II, pp. 52ff., 59ff., 86ff., and 97ff.
[ back ] 189. See LeVine, art. cit. n. 180, p. 57.
[ back ] 190. On the function of female tribal initiation as an instrument for maintaining the solidarity of the family while that of men assured the solidarity of the community, see Young, Initiation Ceremonies, pp. 109ff.
[ back ] 191. Within the category of tribal societies one must distinguish, independently of any historical order in their succession, different social systems based on the means of production essential to the economy: hunting, gathering, nomadism, agriculture, etc. But the initiation process defined by Van Gennep and repeated by his successors seems to be common to all tribal societies, independent of their economic structure.