Homosexuality and Civilization

ISBN-10: 0674022335
ISBN-13: 9780674022331
Edition: 2003
Authors: Louis Crompton
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Description: How have major civilizations of the last two millennia treated people who were attracted to their own sex? In a narrative tour de force, Louis Crompton chronicles the lives and achievements of homosexual men and women alongside a darker history of  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 640
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.134
Language: English

How have major civilizations of the last two millennia treated people who were attracted to their own sex? In a narrative tour de force, Louis Crompton chronicles the lives and achievements of homosexual men and women alongside a darker history of persecution, as he compares the Christian West with the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, Arab Spain, imperial China, and pre-Meiji Japan. Ancient Greek culture celebrated same-sex love in history, literature, and art, making high claims for its moral influence. By contrast, Jewish religious leaders in the sixth century B.C.E. branded male homosexuality as a capital offense and, later, blamed it for the destruction of the biblical city of Sodom. When these two traditions collided in Christian Rome during the late empire, the tragic repercussions were felt throughout Europe and the New World. Louis Crompton traces Church-inspired mutilation, torture, and burning of "sodomites" in sixth-century Byzantium, medieval France, Renaissance Italy, and in Spain under the Inquisition. But Protestant authorities were equally committed to the execution of homosexuals in the Netherlands, Calvin's Geneva, and Georgian England. The root cause was religious superstition, abetted by political ambition and sheer greed. Yet from this cauldron of fears and desires, homoerotic themes surfaced in the art of the Renaissance masters--Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Sodoma, Cellini, and Caravaggio--often intertwined with Christian motifs. Homosexuality also flourished in the court intrigues of Henry III of France, Queen Christina of Sweden, James I and William III of England, Queen Anne, and Frederick the Great. Anti-homosexual atrocities committed in the West contrast starkly with the more tolerant traditions of pre-modern China and Japan, as revealed in poetry, fiction, and art and in the lives of emperors, shoguns, Buddhist priests, scholars, and actors. In the samurai tradition of Japan, Crompton makes clear, the celebration of same-sex love rivaled that of ancient Greece. Sweeping in scope, elegantly crafted, and lavishly illustrated, Homosexuality and Civilization is a stunning exploration of a rich and terrible past.

Louis Crompton was Professor of English, Emeritus, at the University of Nebraska.

Preface
Early Greece 776-480 BCE
A Millennium of Greek Love
Homer's Iliad
Crete, Sparta, Chalcis
Athletics and the Cult of Beauty
Sappho
Alcaeus, Ibycus, Anacreon
Theognis of Megara
Athens' Rulers
The Tyrannicides
Judea 900 BCE-600 CE
The Judgment of Leviticus
The Threat to Population
Sodom's Gold
Who Were the Kedeshim?
Philo of Alexandria
The Talmud
Classical Greece 480-323 BCE
Pindar's Odes
Greek Tragedy
Phidias
The Comedies of Aristophanes
Plato's Symposium
The Phaedrus and the Laws
Xenophon
Aristotle's Dicta
Zeno and the Stoics
Aeschines' Against Timarchus
The Sacred Band of Thebes
Philip and Alexander
Rome and Greece 323 BCE-138 CE
Sexuality and Empire
Cicero and Roman Politics
Greek Love in the Aeneid
Meleager and Callimachus
Catullus and Tibullus
Theocritus and "Corydon"
Horace
Ovid's Myths
Lesbianism
Petronius' Satyricon
Suetonius and the Emperors
Statius, Martial, Juvenal
Hadrian and Antinous
Christians and Pagans 1-565 CE
The Gospels
Intertestamental Judaism and Paul
"Moses" and the Early Church
Greek Love in Late Antiquity
Plutarch's Dialogue on Love
The Lucianic "Affairs of the Heart"
Two Romances and an Epic
Roman Law before Constantine
The Edicts of 342 and 390
Sodom Transformed
Saint John Chrysostom
The Persecutions of Justinian
Darkness Descends 476-1049
The Fall of Rome
Visigothic Spain
Church Councils and Penitentials
The Carolingian Panic
Love in Arab Spain
The Growth of Canon Law
The Book of Gomorrah
The Medieval World 1050-1321
The Fortunes of Ganymede
Scandal in High Places
The Theological Assault
The Inquisition and Its Allies
The Fate of the Templars
Secular Laws: The Sowing
The Harvest Begins
Poets for the Prosecution
Dante's Admirable Sinners
Imperial China 500 BCE-1849
A Peach, a Fish, and a Sleeve
The Han Emperors
Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism
Poets and Lovers
From Tang to Song
Ming China: The West Reacts
Feng Menglong's Anatomy of Love
Fiction and Drama
The Qing Dynasty
The Peking Stage
Italy in the Renaissance 1321-1609
A New Ethos and an Old
Repression in the Italian City States
Death in Venice
Florence: The Price of Love
Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo
Michelangelo: Love, Art, and Guilt
Sodoma and Cellini
Rome and Caravaggio
Spain and the Inquisition 1497-1700
The Spanish Inquisition
Subcultures in Valencia and Madrid
The Inquisition in Portugal
Spain and the New World
France from Calvin to Louis XIV 1517-1715
Outings, Protestant and Catholic
Calvinism and Repression
Henry III and the "Mignons"
The Poets' Revolt
Louis XIII, "The Just"
Monsieur and Madame
Six Generals
Les Lesbiennes
Queen Christina
England from the Reformation to William III 1533-1702
Silence and Denial
Monasteries and the Law
Elizabethan Literature
Christopher Marlowe
The Tragedy of Edward II
Shakespeare's Sonnets
James VI and I
Francis Bacon
Puritanism and the Restoration
Between Women
William III in England
Pre-Meiji Japan 800-1868
Europe Discovers Japan
The Buddhist Priesthood
Samurai and Shoguns
No Drama and Kabuki
A Debate and an Anthology
Saikaku's Great Mirror
Tokugawa Finale
Patterns of Persecution 1700-1730
Policing Paris
"Reforming" Britain
Souls in Exile
Witch Hunt in the Netherlands
Sapphic Lovers 1700-1793
Law and Religion
Romance and Innuendo
A Nun and an Actress
An Ill-Fated Queen
The Enlightenment 1730-1810
Montesquieu and Beccaria
Frederick the Great
The Vagaries of Voltaire
Diderot and Sade
Toward Reform
Bentham vs. Blackstone
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Illustration Credits
Index

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