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Homosexuality & Civilization

Homosexuality & Civilization Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 inter-twined 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 Westcontrast 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.

Review:

"[I]mpressive for its breadth and readability....Crompton's work will be valuable to scholars of all stripes." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"This impressive work is an essential purchase for all gay and lesbian studies and history collections." Library Journal

Review:

"A minor masterpiece. Each chapter is a small work of art in itself." William A. Percy, coeditor of Encyclopedia of Homosexuality

Review:

"Through spirited, richly detailed chronicles...Homosexuality and Civilization aims to refute Foucault's legacy of social-construction theory." Ed Halter, The Village Voice

Synopsis:

Sweeping in scope, elegantly crafted, and lavishly illustrated, this volume is a stunning exploration of a rich and terrible past. 80 color illustrations. 30 halftones.

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 584-597) and index.

About the Author

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

Table of Contents

Preface

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. Rome and Greece: 200 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

5. 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 Dialogue

Two Romances and an Epic

Roman Law before Constantine

The Edicts of 342 and 390

Sodom Transformed

Saint John Chrysostom

The Persecutions of Justinian

6. 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

7. 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

8. Imperial China: 500 BCE-1840

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

9. 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

10. Spain and the Inquisition: 1506-1700

The Spanish Inquisition

Subcultures in Valencia and Madrid

The Inquisition in Portugal

Spain and the New World

11. France from Calvin to Louis XIV: 1517-1715

Outings, Protestant and Catholic

Calvinism and Repression

Henry III and the "Mignons"

The Poets' Revolt 9. Queen Christina

Louis XIII, "The Just"

Monsieur and Madame

Six Generals

Les Lesbiennes

12. 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

13. 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

14. Patterns of Persecution: 1700-1730

Policing Paris

"Reforming" Britain

Souls in Exile

Witch Hunt in the Netherlands

15. Sapphic Lovers: 1700-1793

Law and Religion

Romance and Innuendo

A Nun and an Actress

An Ill-Fated Queen

16. 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

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674011977
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Location:
Cambridge, Mass.
Author:
Crompton, Louis
Subject:
History
Subject:
World
Subject:
Gay Studies
Subject:
Lesbian Studies
Subject:
Gender identity
Subject:
Homosexuality
Subject:
Homophobia
Subject:
World - General
Copyright:
Series Volume:
no. 815
Publication Date:
November 2003
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Cloth Edition: 76 color illustrations, 3
Pages:
648
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.5 in

Related Subjects

Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
Gay and Lesbian » History and Social Science » History and Biographies

Homosexuality & Civilization
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 648 pages Belknap Press - English 9780674011977 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[I]mpressive for its breadth and readability....Crompton's work will be valuable to scholars of all stripes."
"Review" by , "This impressive work is an essential purchase for all gay and lesbian studies and history collections."
"Review" by , "A minor masterpiece. Each chapter is a small work of art in itself."
"Review" by , "Through spirited, richly detailed chronicles...Homosexuality and Civilization aims to refute Foucault's legacy of social-construction theory."
"Synopsis" by , Sweeping in scope, elegantly crafted, and lavishly illustrated, this volume is a stunning exploration of a rich and terrible past. 80 color illustrations. 30 halftones.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 584-597) and index.
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