The Pregnant Male as Myth and Metaphor in Classical Greek Literature

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 30, 2012 - History - 307 pages
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This book traces the image of the pregnant male in Greek literature as it evolves over the course of the classical period. The image - as deployed in myth and in metaphor - originates as a representation of paternity and, by extension, "authorship" of ideas, works of art, legislation, and the like. Only later, with its reception in philosophy in the early fourth century, does it also become a way to figure and negotiate the boundary between the sexes. The book considers a number of important moments in the evolution of the image: the masculinist embryological theory of Anaxagoras of Clazomenae and other fifth century pre-Socratics; literary representations of the birth of Dionysus; the origin and functions of pregnancy as a metaphor in tragedy, comedy, and works of some Sophists; and finally the redeployment of some of these myths and metaphors in Aristophanes' Assemblywomen and in Plato's Symposium and Theaetetus..
  

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The New Father of Anaxagoras
18
3 The Thigh Birth of Dionysus
58
4 From Myth to Metaphor
100
5 Blepyruss TurdChild and the Birth of Athena
146
6 The Pregnant Philosopher
182
7 Reading Platos Midwife
227
Did Any Thinker before Democritus Argue for the Existence of Female Seed?
271
Women and Men as Grammatical Subjects of tt
281
Works Cited
285
Index
301
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

David D. Leitao is Professor of Classics at San Francisco State University and Chair of the Departments of Classics and Comparative and World Literature. He has published articles in Classical Antiquity, Mnemosyne and Materiali e Discussioni, as well as in numerous edited volumes.

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