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But our reactions are inevitably shaped by the society we live in.
Greek attitudes towards sex were different from our own, but are all those myths about the sex lives of the ancient Greeks true? Here are the facts behind four commonly held beliefs.
According to Plato, everyone at the wrestling school gazes at Charmides “as if he were a statue” and Socrates himself “catches fire” when he sees inside the youth’s cloak.
For all that Charmides and other hotties – both male and female – are described as “beautiful” and “pretty-faced”, Greek authors rarely mention specific facial features.
An exhibition at the British Museum promises to lift the lid on what beauty meant for the ancient Greeks.
But while we gaze at the serene marble statues on display – straining male torsos and soft female flesh – are we seeing what the ancients saw?
But whether these scenes reflect the real goings-on at these parties is another matter.
Disappointingly for anyone who likes to think of the ancient Greeks as free from sexual hang-ups, these depictions of orgies may just be an erotic fantasy or a tongue-in-cheek warning of the consequences of drunkenness.
Some thing in the past are just going to have to remain in the past.The British Museum’s exquisite statues are a world away from these erotic images.Defining Beauty shuns the symposium’s tangle of limbs in favour of a more refined, other-worldly aesthetic.However, it is true that as unnatural relationships become more accepted and promoted, civilization itself will rot and die.I wouldn't be at all surprised if such practices, perhaps minor in number, played a key role in the collapse of Greek civilization just as they are playing a key role in the fall of the current West.