Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece: Their Morphology, Religious Roles, and Social Functions

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

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.

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.

4.1.2. The “circle” of Sappho

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

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]

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]

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.

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.

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

4.2.1. The lyric chorus as a place for education

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

4.2.3. The metaphorical representation of education and marriage

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}

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

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.

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

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}

4.3.3. Female homophily in the myths

4.3.4. Female homoeroticism in Sparta

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

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.

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]

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.

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.


[ 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.