Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens

James N. Davidson

Published by Harper Collins, 1997
ISBN 10: 0002555913 / ISBN 13: 9780002555913
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Synopsis: Shipped from UK, please allow 10 to 21 business days for arrival. Good, A very good, clean and sound copy in purple cloth boards with gilt title on spine and good/very good mosaic ills Dust Jacket. Courtesans & fishcakes: the consuming passions of classical Athens. xxvi, 371 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.. . Includes bibliographical references (p. 353-362) and index.. .

Review: Desire is a dangerous thing, and the relationship between the citizens of ancient Athens and their desires was a complex and troubled one. James Davidson's Courtesans and Fishcakes is a brilliant and kaleidoscopic examination of daily life in classical Athens, and the life he reveals is simultaneously more alien and more familiar than we might have imagined. From fish-guzzling gourmands to the ambiguous eroticism of vase paintings, the cradle of Western culture is artfully, and frequently amusingly, anatomized. Davidson believes that many historians, under the influence of Foucault, are guilty of imposing modern views of desire, and particularly sexuality, on Greek culture, resulting in a simplistic interpretation of what was an extremely complicated issue. He refutes the prevailing opinion that sex in Athens was a simple binary opposition of penetrator and penetrated, drawing on a remarkable number of sources to show how sexuality was a slippery commodity rooted in intricate social negotiations, a characteristic shared with many other objects of desire, from eels to undiluted wine. Davidson sometimes assumes a little too much knowledge on the part of his audience--some basic information about the size of the Athenian population would have been helpful--but in spite of this Courtesans and Fishcakes is both accessible and provocative, offering a fascinating portrait of the private and public lives of ancient Athenians. --Simon Leake

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Title: Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming ...
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition.

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