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Classical Culture and Modern Masculinity$
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Daniel Orrells

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199236442

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199236442.001.0001

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Paiderastia and the Contexts of German Historicism

Paiderastia and the Contexts of German Historicism

(p.52) 1 Paiderastia and the Contexts of German Historicism
Classical Culture and Modern Masculinity

Daniel Orrells

Oxford University Press

Chapter one examines the significance of the Socratic/Platonic teaching scene for the development of the philosophy of historicism in the German university in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The chapter opens with the neo‐Humanist inauguration of the modern university system at Göttingen, whose first classics professor, Johann Mathias Gesner, produced what some have called the first modern piece of scholarship on ancient pederasty. The chapter goes on to analyse how the academic discourse of historicism within the German academy took on particular inflections when the subject of pederasty was broached. The ability to describe and examine ancient pederasty in an objective manner was to become a token of one's unshakable historicism, but all too often, the pederastic pedagogy of the Greeks became emptied of historical meaning and glorified as exemplary. The relationship between ancient pederasty and modern German pedagogy required careful elucidation.

Keywords:   pederasty, historicism, scholarship, German, Gottingen, Socrates, Plato, reception

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