Défense passive (Roman) (French Edition)

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Meier and others appealed to changes over time. First they identified in the distant past - the age of heroes - a rather extreme form of buddydom, comrades-in-arms like Achilles and Patroclus in Homer's Iliad, not lovers in the modern sense, nor in any other sense either, just extremely good friends. When later more homosexually inclined Greeks added kisses - and more - to the relationship, they had simply misunderstood what Homer intended.

The origins of the true in famous Greek Love should be placed, these scholars suggested, about years later, in the years before BC, in a virile and passionate and educational appreciation of youthful male beauty that was very quickly "corrupted" or "poisoned" by sensuality and indeed sex. In , however, Erich Bethe turned this narrative on its head. He had heard rumours of some strange homosexual customs discovered by missionaries in Papua New Guinea; boys there were inseminated as part of an initiation rite in order to help them grow into men.

Perhaps this is how Greek homosexuality started, he said, with primitive tribes like the Dorians cultural ancestors of the Spartans in the second millennium BC using buggery to transmit manly essence into the younger members of the tribe, a quasi-magical ritual. This, he suggested, was what was being commemorated in the recently rediscovered rock inscriptions on Santorini, a Dorian colony. Crimon was calling upon the god Apollo himself to bear witness to "a holy act in a holy place" - a kind of "marriage".

From the Dorians the ritual spread throughout Greece, but the magical essence of the act was lost along the way and buggery was supplanted by something more educational. Bethe's gross analysis was not very popular with his peers, and a pantheon of classicists lined up to dismiss his theories. Then in , Kenneth Dover, a distinguished scholar, was reading the Observer. His attention was drawn to an article about double standards in modern sexual morality - how boys were encouraged to pursue girls, and only added to their reputation if they managed to score, whereas girls were encouraged to resist their advances or else be condemned as "whores".

Suddenly he realised that "practically everything said during the last few centuries about the psychology, ethics and sociology of Greek homosexuality was confused and misleading". The key point, he decided, was that human beings have always had very different attitudes towards the passive and the active roles in sex. Sex is an intrinsically aggressive act, he suggested, a victory for the penetrator. Hence, if you changed the genders in ancient Greek texts you discovered exactly the same kind of double standard the author of the Observer article had noted.

No wonder the Greeks were in two minds about homosexuality. This solution to the problem was not in fact original to Dover. AE Housman had suggested something similar in an article he wrote in But Housman's observations, which alluded tellingly to his experience of the macho homosexual attitudes of the "plebs of Naples", were tucked away in a German academic journal, and were in Latin.

Dover's, on the other hand, were published in paperback in his Greek Homosexuality , and not merely in plain English but even in the coarser variety: "Fuck you", "I'll be fucked". Although Dover had advertised the aim of his book as "modest and limited", a mere launching-pad "for more detailed and specialised exploration", his modern solution to the age-old problem was gratefully received by academics in every field, not least when Michel Foucault, the French post-structuralist historian of sexuality, gave it a glowing review, creating the impression that this methodologically old-fashioned Oxford don was some kind of pioneer of post-modern studies.

Making up for lost time, classicists rushed to re-interpret, even to re-translate, their texts into more graphically sexual terms, as if afflicted by a kind of "sodomania". Pericles, for instance, had asked Athens's warrior-citizens to behave like erastai of their city, ie to act like her self-sacrificing and besotted devotees. After Dover, this exhortation sounded more dangerous. Modern commentators now worried that Pericles was telling Athenians "Sod Athens! The reason Dover's solution to the problem was embraced so eagerly was that it was so neat.

It was not just that the weird old Greeks were transformed into something much more familiar - with a s sexual morality and even the same modes of swearing - but that Dover seemed to have provided a compelling answer to the question of how they could be so "gay" in the first place. They were not really being sexual at all but "pseudo-sexual". Greek homosexuality was like adolescent horseplay, frat-house initiations or prison rape. It was like male monkeys presenting rumps to their superiors This was also a time when Desmond Morris's The Naked Ape and its sequels were topping international bestseller lists.

The only difference was that these human apes had taken this universal gesture of sexual domination a little further than their primate cousins. There were problems with this neat theory, however. In the first place, there was little positive evidence to support it. It was not just that Dover's translations were sometimes simply wrong - the Greeks did not in fact go around saying "fuck you", as Housman, for one, could have told him - nor that the ancient Greeks talked of sex not as an act of aggression, but rather as a "conjoining" or "commingling" if a father dreams of having sex with his absent son it is auspicious, says one ancient writer, reassuringly, since it means they will soon be reunited.

The main problem was that the Greeks did not seem terribly concerned with the ins and outs of sexual positions at all, details which for Dover were critical. Like the Victorians, the Greeks were being coy, he suggested: their silence on the matter only proved its importance. All this lovey-doviness was simply a cover for their true anxiety about "homosexual submission". He decided he would have to supply his own more detailed texts, "translating" the innocent-sounding discussions in Plato's Symposium, for example, into something more graphic: "Acceptance of the teacher's thrusting penis between his thighs or in his anus is the fee which the pupil pays for good teaching".

Was it possible that the Greeks had got the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus so badly wrong, that a peculiarly same-sex-loving culture had simply chanced upon a passionate same-sex relationship at the heart of its foundational text? Surely that was more than fortuitous. Indeed some lines in the Iliad had seemed so overheated to later generations that they had excised them as inauthentic additions, not because they indicated homosexual love, but because they implied a particularly degenerate and extreme kind of passion that was considered unworthy of the dignity of warriors and inappropriate to the grandeur of the epic genre.

And if Homer's Greeks knew nothing of homosexuality, how had it managed to spread so far and so fast and so variously in the space of a couple of generations? And then, of course, there was the question of the girls. How did lovely Wianthemis, Astaphis and Philulla fit into this gestural homosexuality of penetration and domination?

What of Sappho and the lady-loving ladies of Lesbos? All-in-all, Dover's solution caused more problems than it solved. So how do we begin to make sense of this truly extraordinary historical phenomenon, an entire culture turning noisily and spectacularly gay for hundreds of years? When I first embarked on the research for my book The Greeks and Greek Love I was not expecting any easy answers, but I did not expect it would be quite as hard as it turned out to be, and take so long as it ultimately did.

In fact, it was 10 years later that I finally felt ready to write a conclusion, and it was the longest chapter in the book. I started to think of the phenomenon as a great big Gordian knot at the heart of Greek culture, tying lots of things together but extremely difficult to unravel - "The knot was made from the smooth bark of the cornel tree, and neither its end nor its beginning was visible.

But the first lesson I learned about my own particular knot was to stop looking for a single neat solution to a homogeneous phenomenon. These revealed very different attitudes and employed very different practices: "We Athenians consider these things utterly reprehensible, but for the Thebans and Eleans they are normal. But there was more to it than that.


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The males of Elis, in particular, the guardians of Olympia - the holiest shrine in Greece - seem to have got it on together in a particularly "licentious" way. Unfortunately none of our sources could bring himself to say what was so licentious about it: "I will not say it", "I pass over it". There are hints, however, that their sexual transactions were shockingly "straightforward" and did not involve any preliminary courting; and one particularly illustrious Elean, Phaedo, a member of the aristocracy, was said to have served as a male prostitute in his youth, "sitting in a cubicle", waiting to serve whoever walked in.

Was this a garbled allusion to the "sanctioned lust" of Elis? The "peculiar custom" of the Cretans, on the other hand, involved an abduction and a tug-of-war over a boy, a two-month-long hunting expedition, lavish gifts, the sacrifice of an ox and a great sacrificial banquet, at which the boy formally announced his acceptance or not of "the relationship". Thereafter he got to wear a special costume that announced to the rest of the community his new status as "famed". Our evidence for this elaborate ritual comes from a general account of the Cretan "constitution".

When the sources compare and contrast Athenian homosexuality with, say, Theban or Spartan homosexuality, they are not referring to undercover reportage - "My night spent with the Army of Lovers: The secrets of the Sacred Band revealed"; nor to surveys of contemporary attitudes - "Do you think it is A. These local institutionalised practices covered all stages of same-sex loving, from courting to coupledom to sex. Athenian same-sex courting meant literally following a boy around or writing "so-and-so is beautiful" in a public place. Thousands of examples of such "kalos-acclamations" survive, signed by hundreds of different hands.

The mid-20th century

And, in the archaic period at least, there seems to have been an equally formulaic sexual practice when one's wooing got a result - "Athenian homosex", what they called diamerion, or "between-the-thighs" sex, ie "frottage". Spartan homosex, on the other hand, meant sex with one's cloak on: "everything except the dirty deed itself": a fragment from a vase shows the great Spartan hero Hyacinthus engaged in precisely this bizarre sexual act with his lover the winged wind-god Zephyr, hovering with him above the horizon.

Was this what our well-informed source was alluding to when he claimed that the Spartan "lawgiver laid down that it was shameful to be seen to reach out to touch the body of a boy"? Doubtless there was a great deal of same-sex loving on Crete, fumblings, fondnesses and passionately devoted relationships, that did not involve a tug-of-war, two months of hunting and the sacrifice of an ox.

The mid-20th century

So we need to make a further distinction between "Cretan homo-sexuality"in all its customary, disruptive and expensive glory, which may have occurred only once or twice a month, and "homosexuality in Crete", the latter, by its very undisruptive and unspectacular nature, much more frequent, but also much more elusive and certainly very difficult now to reconstruct. Another important principle was to recognise that the same words can be used to mean different things. This is especially important when we come to the question of age.

Often "boy" pais refers specifically to the formal age-grade of Boys, ie those who have not yet been certified as 18, following two physical examinations, performed first by their local parish and then by the Council of Athens. Those who failed this examination were sent "back to Boys", and the council fined the parish that had allowed his candidature to go ahead.


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In Athens these unders were vigorously protected, rather like the young women in a Jane Austen novel, although their younger sisters would have been expected to be married by the age of These were the Boys who were escorted to the gymnasium by the slave paidagogoi and followed around at a distance by a pack of admirers. He died, in Laon, during one of the many plague epidemics of the time. Bodin generally wrote in French, with later Latin translations. Bodin wrote in turn books on history, economics, politics, demonology, and natural philosophy; [17] and also left a later notorious work in manuscript on religion see under "Religious tolerance".

In France, Bodin was noted as a historian for his Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem Method for the easy knowledge of history. He wrote, "Of history, that is, the true narration of things, there are three kinds: human, natural and divine". This book was one of the most significant contributions to the ars historica of the period, and distinctively put an emphasis on the role of political knowledge in interpreting historical writings.

The Methodus was a successful and influential manual on the writing of technical history. Bodin aux paradoxes de M. The background to discussion in the s was that by an increase in the money supply in Western Europe had brought general benefits. The debates of the time laid the foundation for the " quantity theory of money ".

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The Theatrum Universae Naturae is Bodin's statement of natural philosophy. It contains many particular and even idiosyncratic personal views, for instance that eclipses are related to political events. Consideration of the orderly majesty of God leads to encyclopedism about the universe and an analogue of a memory system. Problems of Bodin became attached to some Renaissance editions of Aristotelian problemata in natural philosophy.

Bodin's best-known work was written in Bartholomew's Day massacre gave the inspiration; Bodin attempted to embark on a middle path. Machiavelli would have granted the sovereign the right to act for the benefit of his state without moral consideration, and Protestant theorists advocated a popular government, or at least an elective monarchy. The Six livres were an immediate success and were frequently reprinted.

A revised and expanded Latin translation by the author appeared in With this work, Bodin became one of the founders of the pragmatic inter-confessional group known as the politiques , who ultimately succeeded in ending the Wars of Religion under King Henry IV , with the Edict of Nantes In its reasoning against all types of mixed constitution and resistance theory , it was an effective counter-attack against the monarchomach position invoking "popular sovereignty".

The structure of the earlier books has been described as Ramist in structure. Book VI contains astrological and numerological reasoning. The Ottoman Empire is analysed as a "seigneurial monarchy". The ideas in the Six livres on the importance of climate in the shaping of a people's character were also influential, finding a prominent place in the work of Giovanni Botero — and later in Baron de Montesquieu 's — climatic determinism.

Based on the assumption that a country's climate shapes the character of its population, and hence to a large extent the most suitable form of government, Bodin postulated that a hereditary monarchy would be the ideal regime for a temperate nation such as France. This power should be "sovereign", i. Above all, the monarch is "responsible only to God", that is, must stand above confessional factions. The work soon became widely known.


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Gaspar de Anastro made a Spanish translation in It appeared under the title The Six Bookes of a Common-weale. Bodin's major work on sorcery and the witchcraft persecutions was first issued in , ten editions being published by The book relates histories of sorcerers, [47] but does not mention Faust and his pact. He wrote in extreme terms about procedures in sorcery trials, opposing the normal safeguards of justice.

Bodin's attitude has been called a populationist strategy typical of mercantilism. One surviving copy of the text, located in the University of Southern California's Special Collections Library, is a rare presentation copy signed by Bodin himself, and is one of only two known surviving texts that feature such an inscription by the author.

Varroni, thought to be a legal colleague of Bodin's. Bodin became well known for his analysis of sovereignty, which he took to be indivisible, and to involve full legislative powers though with qualifications and caveats. He hedged the absolutist nature of his theory of sovereignty, which was an analytical concept; if later his ideas were used in a different, normative fashion, that was not overtly the reason in Bodin. He was a politique in theory, which was the moderate position of the period in French politics; but drew the conclusion that only passive resistance to authority was justified.

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Bodin's work on political theory saw the introduction of the modern concept of "state" but was in the fact on the cusp of usage with that of Corasius , with the older meaning of a monarch "maintaining his state" not having dropped away. Bodin studied the balance of liberty and authority. His doctrine was one of balance as harmony, with numerous qualifications; as such it could be used in different manners, and was.

The key was that the central point of power should be above faction. Where Aristotle argued for six types of state, Bodin allowed only monarchy , aristocracy and democracy. He advocated, however, distinguishing the form of state constitution from the form of government administration. Families were the basic unit and model for the state; [75] on the other hand John Milton found in Bodin an ally on the topic of divorce. In matters of law and politics, Bodin saw religion as a social prop, encouraging respect for law and governance. He praised printing as outshining any achievement of the ancients.

In physics, he is credited as the first modern writer to use the concept of physical laws to define change, [83] but his idea of nature included the action of spirits. In politics, he adhered to the ideas of his time in considering a political revolution in the nature of an astronomical cycle: a changement French or simply a change as translated in English; [84] from Polybius Bodin took the idea of anacyclosis , or cyclic change of constitution.

In Bodin was engaged in French politics, and then argued against the use of compulsion in matters of religion, if unsuccessfully. Wars, he considered, should be subject to statecraft, and matters of religion did not touch the state. It was attacked by Pedro de Rivadeneira and Juan de Mariana , from the conventional opposing position of a state obligation to root out religious dissent. It is a conversation about the nature of truth between seven educated men, each with a distinct religious or philosophical orientation - a natural philosopher, a Calvinist, a Muslim, a Roman Catholic, a Lutheran, a Jew, and a skeptic.

Truth, in Bodin's view, commanded universal agreement; and the Abrahamic religions agreed on the Old Testament Tanakh. The "Colloquium of the Seven regarding the hidden secrets of the sublime things" offers a peaceful discussion with seven representatives of various religions and worldviews, who in the end agree on the fundamental underlying similarity of their beliefs. Bodin's theory, as based in considerations of harmony, resembles that of Sebastian Castellio. The Colloquium was one of the major and most popular manuscripts in clandestine circulation in the early modern period, with more than copies catalogued.

Gottfried Leibniz , who criticized the Colloquium to Jacob Thomasius and Hermann Conring , some years later did editorial work on the manuscript. Henry Oldenburg wanted to copy it, for transmission to John Milton and possibly John Dury , [] or for some other connection in Bodin was influenced by philosophic Judaism to believe in the annihilation of the wicked 'post exacta supplicia'. Bodin was a polymath, concerned with universal history which he approached as a jurist.

The genre thus founded, drawing social conclusions, identified itself as "civil history", and was influenced particularly by Polybius. While Bodin's common ground with Machiavelli is not so large, and indeed Bodin opposed the Godless vision of the world in Machiavelli, [] they are often enough paired, for example by A.

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Crombie as philosophical historians with contemporary concerns; Crombie also links Bodin with Francis Bacon , as rational and critical historians. He showed little interest, however, in the New World. This was within a scheme of Vaticinium Eliae or three periods of years for universal history, to which he had little commitment, though indicating its connection with the three climate regions and their predominance. The "south-eastern" theory depended for its explanation on Bodin's climate theory and astrology: it was given in the Methodus , and developed in Book VI of the Six Livres.

He made an identification of peoples and geographical sectors with planetary influences, in Book V of the Six Livres. It has been suggested that he took them from a follower of Cardano , Auger Ferrier. Bodin's conception of sovereignty was widely adopted in Europe. In a form simplified and adapted by others, such as the French jurists Charles Loyseau — and Cardin Le Bret — , it played an important role in the development of absolutism. Influentially, Bodin defended an orderly Gallican monarchy against Huguenots , and any external interference. As a demonologist, his work was taken to be authoritative and based on experience as witch-hunting practitioner.

Bodin's rejection of the Four Monarchies model was unpopular, given the German investment in the Holy Roman Emperor as fourth monarch, [] the attitude of Johannes Sleidanus. The need to accommodate the existing structure of the Empire with Bodin as theorist of sovereignty led to a controversy running over nearly half a century; starting with Henning Arnisaeus , it continued unresolved to and the time of Christopher Besoldus. He drew a line under it, by adopting the concept of composite polyarchy , which held sway subsequently. Generally the English took great interest in the French Wars of Religion; their literature came into commonplace use in English political debate, [] and Amyas Paulet made immediate efforts to find the Six livres for Edward Dyer.

His ideas on inflation were familiar by Bodin's view of parallelism of French and English monarchies was accepted by Ralegh.

Jean Bodin

While Bodin's ideas on authority fitted with the theory of divine right of kings , his main concern was not with the choice of the sovereign. But that meant they could cut both ways, being cited by parliamentarians as well as royalists. Henry Parker in asserted the sovereignty of Parliament by Bodinian reasoning. John Milton used Bodin's theory in defending his anti-democratic plan for a Grand Council, after Oliver Cromwell 's death. Sir John Eliot summarized work of Arnisaeus as critic of Bodin, [] and wrote in the Tower of London following Bodin that a lawful king, as opposed to a tyrant , "will not do what he may do", in his De iure majestatis.