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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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The Case of John Addington Symonds

The Case of John Addington Symonds

(p.146) 3 The Case of John Addington Symonds
Classical Culture and Modern Masculinity

Daniel Orrells

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how dangerous John Addington Symonds (Jowett's other famous pupil) thought the learning of classics to be, for both those men who desired women and those who desired other men. The chapter looks at how ancient Greece offered competing examples of same‐sex desire for the modern Symonds: on the one hand, an “Ionic” relationship between man and boy, and a “Doric” relationship between two virile men. The profusion of types of ancient desire both fascinated and troubled Symonds: “Greek love” was no simple model for modernity, instead it offered a worrying selection of options, causing a sense of fragmentation in Symonds's very soul. The relationship between ancient textuality and modern sexuality would not be a seamless one for this scholar who penned the first history of homosexuality in English.

Keywords:   Symonds, Ionic, Doric, autobiography, pederasty, sexology, Havelock Ellis

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