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A hierarchy of violence? Sex slaves, parthenoi, and rape in Menander's Epitrepontes.

Scholarship on prostitution in ancient Greece, specifically classical Athens, commonly ignores the violence surrounding sexual labor. Whereas violence is central to discussions of prostitution in the modern context, the focus on the ancient hetaira as a courtesan has obscured the reality of Greek prostitutes, many of whom were slaves and vulnerable to abuse. (1) It is not just the obvious fact that prostitution could at times be violent--women, girls, and household slaves in general were at risk for sexual violence more broadly (as comic plots attest and as ancient warfare demonstrates (2))--but that such violence was constructed differently for sex laborers than other social groups: the prostitute body is deemed an accessible body and that accessibility normalizes sexual violence against it and creates a double standard of violence. (3) It is this construction of violence that I begin to explore here by comparing two narratives of sexual assault as recounted by the sex slave Habrotonon in Menander's Epitrepontes. In comparing the two narratives, I place special emphasis on the narrative voice (a shift from third person to first person), the intended context for the narrative (a private conversation between slaves versus a conversation at the symposium), and the identity of the victim (a citizen girl versus a sex slave). Also important is the fact that the narrator of both accounts is the same person, the sex slave Habrotonon.

The plot of Menander's Epitrepontes (The Arbitrators) is typical of New Comedy in that the plot hinges on the rape of a young citizen woman by an unknown and inebriated assailant at a night festival (in this case the Tauropolia). (4) The victim becomes pregnant from the rape. The rapist, discovered to be a wealthy young citizen, does the right thing by acknowledging his child and uniting with the mother. All ends happily. Specific to the plot of this play is the fact that when the action begins, the victim, Pamphile, is unknowingly married to her assailant. Charisius, her husband, has discovered the pregnancy, though not his role in it, and left the marriage to take up with a slave prostitute, Habrotonon. Habrotonon, in turn, discovers that the father of the child is Charisius. Hoping to acquire her freedom, she reveals the child to Charisius, who then happily reunites with his wife.

As noted by Hunter Gardner (2013) and Sharon James (2014), the Epitrepontes is unique in that it presents details of a sexual assault and its effect on the victim. (5) Habrotonon recounts the event as follows (486-90):
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   Although being there with us, she [Pamphile] wandered off. Then
   suddenly she ran up alone crying and pulling out her hair [in
   grief]. Oh gods--she had totally ruined her light cloak, very
   beautiful and fine; for the whole thing was a tattered rag.


Pamphile is described here as hysterical after the encounter, crying and pulling out her hair. The violence of the event and its effect on the victim are further highlighted by her torn clothing. This vivid account leads Gardner and James to conclude that Menander and most likely Athenian society more broadly recognized a "rape victim" and acknowledged sexual violence as an "embodied event" (Gardner 2013, 134; James 2014, 33). Ancient Athenians, they argue, had a concept of sexual assault akin to our modern understanding of rape.

In addition to the absence of descriptive victim accounts, discussions of rape in classical Athens are hindered by the lack of specific terminology referring to it. (6) There is no single term for 'sexual violence' in classical Greek: bia (force), (7) hubris (outrage), and moicheia (adultery) are the legal categories under which sexual offences might fall. (8) Bia and hubris, however, also refer to other forms of violence and other types of crimes. In addition, rape victims are never noted as 'victims of hubris,' only the kurios (guardian) is. (9) Rosanna Omitowoju (2002a) concludes that legally there was no recognition of rape, since consent did not matter in a court of law. (10) Edward Harris (2004) goes even further and argues that the Athenians did not have any concept of rape and that it is anachronistic to talk about rape in Athenian culture. James (2014) argues against this, as does Nancy Rabinowitz (2011), who maintains that rape is an important category to refer to ancient sexual violence since we do at times glimpse a female perspective (notably in tragedy) (11) and in order that, as James (2014, 24) argues, we do not deny the victim's perspective "when considering attitudes and how to denominate the phenomenon of sexual assault in classical Athens." Following Rabinowitz (and James), I argue that it is appropriate in the context of this play and in the assault of Pamphile to use the term 'rape.'

The Rape of Pamphile

The occurrence of a rape is first mentioned in line 453. Onesimos, a slave, identifies a ring found with an abandoned infant as the ring of his master, who lost it at the Tauropolia. (12) He surmises that there was a rape (biasmos) of a girl, who had a child and abandoned it with the ring. Biasmos refers to a use of force emphasising physical violence, but Onesimos relates the event as a matter of fact and almost as a common occurrence:
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   Based on logic this is likely the rape of a girl, who bore a child
   and clearly abandoned it.


This account focuses on the basic facts: a girl, raped, gives birth and abandons the child. His comments contrast sharply with Habrotonon's words quoted above. Her emphasis, as James and others note, is on the victim's experience of the rape and, to quote Gardner, "sexual assault as a traumatic bodily experience." (13) As already commented, Pamphile is hysterical after the event--crying and pulling out her hair; in other words, she's described as being in extreme distress. The violence of the episode is also clear from the torn garments and the exclamation of "O Gods" by the speaker. Habrotonon's recounting of the event clearly emphasizes that there was a struggle. The context of the narration affects the significance of these details. We are not hearing about this from the victim, but as reported via a third party who was witness to the girl's return to the group immediately after the rape. Various commentators have pointed out that the evidence of the girl's distress and of a struggle certainly attest to her sexual virtue--she was certainly not a willing partner. (14) Pamphile is clearly shown to be a 'good girl,' and this is important since she is, after all, of citizen status and now a married woman, and yet the vividness of the account is unsettling. Furthermore, as Adele Scarfuro (1990, 127-33) points out in the case of tragedy, the girl's willingness or unwillingness in the sexual encounter with a god is, in contrast, immaterial. (15) It is worth thinking about this example from comedy in more detail.

As Gardner (2013, 123) argues, the victim could not speak of the event herself without incurring dishonor because of her citizen status. (16) The speaker is instead a slave. Her audience is also a slave. According to Vincent Rosivach (1998, 3), the slave status of the characters allows Menander to recount the rape without the audience having to take the account too seriously. (17) In other words, it does not empower the rape victim or engender indignation; rather, it presents the female perspective only to have this perspective easily dismissed. As slaves, they do not represent the dominant cultural view point. Habrotonon's narration of the event therefore has no lasting impact on citizen male culture, making the violence in this reading seem gratuitous. While the account is not sexualized, the response of the audience might still be classed as voyeurism, but even so, the emotional experience of the violence (for both the victim and the witness) is still there for those audience members who wish to see it. We thus glimpse in this play the realistic reaction of a female victim of rape as outlined by James (2014, 34) based on her comparative research with honor cultures in southeast Asia: There is the initial trauma of the victim, followed by an attempt to keep the rape and pregnancy a secret so as not to lose her honor and position within society. James suggests that in this passage of Menander, we have a "partial recognition" of rape (2014, 24) or, as Gardner (2012, 135) characterizes it, "a semantics of sexual assault ... grounded in an image of what it meant to experience rape, an experience neither neglected by authors nor confined to Euripidean experiment." I agree that here in this passage of Menander we have testimony for the emotional effect of sexual assault.

Slaves Performing Rape

Menander offers a second narrative of the same event approximately twenty-five lines later, but this time the narrative is a staged performance, a play within the play. (18) Onesimos and Habrotonon consider evidence that the victim was Pamphile and the attacker Charisius, her now husband. But before they attribute paternity to the play's foundling, whom they speculate was the outcome of this encounter, they decide that Habrotonon should test Charisius and watch for an admission of guilt. Habrotonon comes up with the plan--to wear the ring Charisius lost at the festival (511-5):

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Habr: Onesimos, consider whether or not you approve of my plot. I will pretend this affair is my own and, wearing this ring, I will approach him inside.

On: Explain what you mean; I'm just starting to get it.

She further clarifies that once he recognizes the ring, she will act as if she was assaulted at the Tauropolia while still parthenos (a girl) and came away with her assailant's ring (516-20): (19)

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Habr: Seeing me with it he will ask where I got it. I will answer "At the Tauropolia when I was still parthenos," pretending that all that happened to her happened to me. Indeed, I know most of it.

On: That's brilliant!

To the delight of Onesimos and to earn his full approval for such deception, she continues with a run through of her performance and what she will say (520-30):

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Habr: If the affair is his own, he will immediately rush to conclusions and indeed being drunk he will hastily confess all first; whatever he says, I will agree and not make mistakes by speaking first.

On: Fantastic, by Helios!

Habr: I will flatter him with generalities in order to avoid mistakes: "How outrageous you were and how bold."

On: Well done!

Habr: "You threw me down with such force: poor me, how I ruined my clothes" I will say.

In the traditional reading of these lines, Habrotonon is seen to butter-up her rapist. Her comments are generalities (ta koina) and thus appropriate for the occasion, she claims. She will speak as few details as possible so as not to mistake the particulars. It is akkioumai, in line 526, which suggests flattery. LSJ translates this verb as "to dissemble and talk common places." Gomme and Sandbach, in their 1973 commentary, argue that the word "connotes affection" and suggest that "Habrotonon will affect a flattering pretense of being impressed by Charisius' brutal virility" (338). (20) Likewise, Arnott (1979) and Slavitt and Bovie (1998) translate the term as "I will flatter him." Stanley Ireland, in his 2010 translation, uses "sweet-talk." William Furley (2009, 189-90) suggests, "I'll play up to him." (21) Gardner presents a different reading, however, arguing that akkioumai is more than simply flattery. She defines it as "playful gesturing mixed with muted accusations"--and so in her reading the term is more edgy. (22) Habrotonon's status as slave, since she does not pretend to be otherwise in her performance with Charisius (23) as Gardner observes, reverses the normal pattern in New Comedy of not presenting the assault of slave women and as such creates a specific parallelism between rape victims whether slave or free. (24)

A Hierarchy of Violence

While there definitely exists a temporary conflation of identities between slave and free, (25) the 'personal' version that Habrotonon intends to share with Charisius has some important differences to the account of Pamphile's rape narrated earlier in the play. In line 489, Habrotonon comments on Pamphile's garment as a tarantinon. She emphasizes the quality of the garment with kalon panu (very beautiful) and lepton (fine or delicate). The tarantinon, moreover, is a very particular type of luxury item. It refers possibly to a garment of sea silk, spun from byssus, the filament that the pinna nobilis mollusk uses to attach itself to the seabed. (26) The spun silk is very fine and has a natural gold sheen that does not fade. It might be an accent thread for a garment or could be twisted together with another material, given its rarity and value. (27) Pamphile is thus richly adorned in a very expensive material, thereby marking her as belonging to the wealthy class. In fact, Habrotonon described the girl as plousia when first talking about the incident (485). (28)

Habrotonon further points out that Pamphile totally ruined (using sphodra to modify apollumi here) this fine apparel in the attack. It became a tattered garment of no value (hrakos). Although the lines directly reference the clothing, Habrotonon hints that the girl and the garment are one and the same. The verb apollumi (line 490), in fact, can be used to refer to the ruin of a woman. The orator Lysias, for example, uses it to refer to the sexual ruin of his wife by Eratosthenes (1.8). (29) The use of this verb here for the clothing likely conjured up such an image of sexual devastation as well, with the clothing being, as Nancy Worman (2003, 620) has argued, "a metonomy for the girl"--now also a ruined commodity. While some commentators argue that Habrotonon's comments on the clothing demonstrate her childishness or her shallowness, (30) the tattered garment in fact reflects not only the violence of the attack but, combined with the pulling out of hair, the emotional state of the girl herself after the rape. The emphasis on the quality of the clothing, however, indicates she too is now a ruined commodity. (31) And of course Charisius her husband abandons her once he finds out that she has had a child and therefore premarital sex with another man. He does not know of course at this point that he himself is this other man. In this telling, both the clothing and the girl are ruined, and the loss in value for each (in the latter case meaning the marriageability of the girl) is indeed great.

In the account she plans to give to Charisius, Habrotonon once more mentions the ruining of garments, using again a form of apollumi, thus creating a parallel between the two as victims. She begins with the comment that he threw her down (kataballein) so forcefully (once again employing sphodra to modify the verb), (32) but she then underplays the violence, thereby dismissing the experiences as equivalent. While Habrotonon refers to herself as wretched (talaina), there are no tears or pulling out of hair, that is, she does not plan to communicate the same signs of distress. Although the reference to her ruined dress is analogous to Pamphile's torn clothes, the description is toned down. She does not comment on the garment in detail as she had in lines 488-90. (33) Here, she simply refers to himatia, a generic term for clothes, and no adjectives highlight the expensive quality of the garment. Furthermore, Habrotonon makes it clear that the focus will be the foundling--not the experience of the rape as in the first account--since she plans to make a show of the child with caresses and some tears before she settles in beside Charisius (530-5). These differences suggest that both the experience of the rape and the loss in value for Habrotonon are not as traumatic or as significant as in the case of Pamphile.

When we consider these lines in the context of Menander's portrayal of Habrotonon's character more generally, these differences become even more significant. Habrotonon is no ordinary slave; she is a sex slave, and her identity as sex laborer dominates the play. (34) Psaltria and pome are both labels that other characters use to refer to her. We learn early on that she has been hired by Charisius from a pomoboskos (pimp) for 12 drachmas a day (136-7). In the rehearsal of what Habrotonon will say to Charisius when she recounts the encounter and puts herself in the position of the victim, she relates the incident in her current role as a sex slave recounting to a paying lover. She does not intend to pretend otherwise. If we go back to earlier in the play when Habrotonon first enters (430-40), we find her lamenting that Charisius does not desire her. She is left to fend for herself against the other symposiasts:
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   Allow me, I beseech you and don't harass me. I, wretched, hadn't
   realized, it seems, I was making a fool of myself. I thought he
   would desire me, but my fellow has an inhuman hatred for me, for he
   does not even allow me, miserable me, to sit near him, so I sit
   apart.... Sad fellow. Why does he waste so much money? Since,
   according to him, I am fit to bear Athena's basket. For I have
   endured "undefiled by intercourse," as they say, for two days now.


In these lines, Charisius does not let her near him. She wonders why he wastes his money on her, and complains that she has not had intercourse for two days, reinforcing a view that prostitutes desire sex. We next see her engaging with Onesimos, a fellow slave, about the ring, the baby, and the Tauropolia. When she reflects that at the time she did not yet know how a man might behave (478-9), Onesimos cannot let her comment pass without expressing some disbelief: "Yeah, right [kai mala]," he exclaims. (35) But Habrotonon swears by Aphrodite that she did not (480). While Aphrodite as the goddess of love is appropriate for a prostitute to invoke, she is also known for her lying and scheming ways. (36) The exchange is only brief, but it denies the prostitute any virginal status. Very quickly, we realize that the concern is not that there was a rape, but that there is a child who may be freeborn and so the identity of the parents must be uncovered. It is at this point that Habrotonon comes up with the idea of pretending to be the woman Charisius encountered at the Tauropolia. She rehearses her performance with Onesimos. This performance, however, is not isolated from the sexual notoriety that Onesimos has hinted at. (37) His comments form the backdrop for her act. As she relates what she will say to Charisius, it is difficult not to recall, and likely impossible for an audience to forget, her role as a sex slave. (38) The scene she will perform for Charisius (actually at the symposium, a meretricious context to be sure) is dominated by this identity Her first recounting of the event casts a shadow over her words, but it also makes clear the performative aspect of this second encounter with Charisius.

The implications of these similar yet different accounts highlight distinctions in attitude toward sexual violence that depend on the status of the victim. While Menander recognizes in each case that there was a violent sexual assault through the use of the verbs apollumi and kataballo, he only chooses to emphasize the effect on the victim in the case of Pamphile. It is only in the account of Pamphile that we get a glimpse of 'rape.' He portrays her experience as more traumatic, since it is the immediate trauma of the event that persists in Habrotonon's memory. In doing so, he creates a hierarchy of violence that, while expressly recognizing rape as a possible category, still envisions the sexual assault of sex slaves as less problematic than that of free citizen girls. This construction of sexual violence highlights the common accessibility of sex slaves, whose accessibility distinguishes them even from other slaves. While household slaves, for example, are also accessible for sex, they are only available to the master or with a master's permission. Sex slaves are thus a special class of slave defined not by ownership but their common accessibility.

Sex Slaves and Sexual Violence

Menander clearly demonstrates this attitude in another of his plays, the Dyskolos. In the opening scene, the young man Sostratos confides to his friend that he is in love with a girl and seeks his help. The friend, Chaireas, knows nothing yet of the girl's status and so outlines two plans of action for his friend: if a slave prostitute, he can abduct her for a quick affair; if a free girl, he will proceed more cautiously and find out about her background (58-68):
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   Some friend admits to desiring passionately a hetaira--I immediately
   snatch and carry her off. I drink myself silly, burn [down the
   door], (39) and altogether refuse [to heed] any reason. You must act
   before examining closely who she is. For delay will increase the
   passion, but acting fast on it means it is possible to quell
   quickly. Someone mentions sex [gamon] and a free girl, I become
   another person in such circumstances: I learn her family, their
   livelihood, and her character. For now I leave my friend a
   permanent testimony to how I manage things.


The mention of eleuthera (free) in the second circumstance suggests a hetaira of slave status in contrast to the kore. She is likely working for a pimp who keeps his girls in a brothel, indicated by what appears to be the imagined forced entry of Chaireas. Chaireas thinks nothing of burning down the door and carrying off one of the sex slaves. Harpazo indicates both the abduction and her imminent rape. His aim is to have the friend consummate his desire as quickly as possible in order that it has no long lasting hold on his psyche. When we stop and contemplate his words, we cannot ignore the chaos, the fear, and the violence confronting the sex slaves inside. The pimp is powerless to protect them against Chaireas's assault. His drunkenness emboldens him and renders him impervious to reason. There is no negotiation between Chaireas and any pimp (or the sex slave), as is normally required, and the only conclusion can be that the sex slave will also be forced into intercourse until the friend is satiated. In contrast, when contemplating his friend with a free girl, Chaireas proceeds cautiously in the hopes of bringing about a permanent arrangement between two suitable families--an arrangement that will occur without rash actions and violence but reasoned discussion and diplomacy. While the free woman is not so readily available, there is a definite attitude that prostitutes are accessible for sex and that this accessibility is connected to, and even defined through, sexual violence.

We encounter this same conceptual collocation of sex and violence in Aristophanes. In his comic play Peace, Trygaeus presents the council with Theoria (Greek festival), (40) one of the attendants of Peace, whom he has recently returned to earth. In contrast to Peace's other attendant, Opora (Fertility), who will become Trygaeus's bride and wife (706-7), Theoria is sexually available to all 500 members of the boule (894-906):

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Now that you have her, you're free to hold a fine sporting competition first thing tomorrow. You can wrestle her to the ground, stand her on all fours, oil up for the pankration, and like young lads bang and gouge with fist and prick alike! Then on the second day you'll hold the equestrian events, where jockey will outjockey jockey, and chariots will tumble over each other and match thrusts, puffing and panting, and other drivers will lie with cocks unfurled, collapsed at the goal line. Now, Chairmen, you're welcome to Holiday! Look how heartily this Chairman took her from me! (Translation Henderson 1998)

Trygaeus strips her of her clothes and invites them all to enjoy her. He suggests they can wrestle her to the ground, stand her on all fours [throw her down sideways, set her up leaning forward toward her knees], and by anointing her for the pankration, like young men, they can strike and gouge her with fist and penis alike. The fun even includes horse races with each one 'riding' her. Allusions to sport served as metaphors for sexual experience and desire from the archaic period onwards. Anacreon, for example, compares his experience of desire to a boxing match with Eros (Fr. 369 Diehl; Fr. 51 PMG). (41) This passage of Aristophanes is unique, however, in that it is not about the individual's struggle with desire, but the enactment of desire on the female body. (42) What stands out is the violence of the sex: Trygaeus encourages rough treatment for Theoria. Particularly vivid is the reference to the pankration, a sport with scarcely any rules. The comparison suggests there are no regulations on how to engage with Theoria either. The verbs employed: paiein (to strike) and oruttein (to gouge) are graphic. He further imagines the sex lasting over two days with each one riding her until exhaustion. He proposes they "outjockey" each other, or "ride side by side" (as O'Neill Jr. translates parakeletiei), suggesting more than one penetrating her at the same time (orally, anally, and vaginally), perhaps as shown in some early vase paintings, or "screwing" (proskinesetai) her in succession. (43)

As recently argued by Donald Sells, Theoria is presented here as a prostitute available for the council's pleasure. (44) The passage links pan-hellenic athletic festivals to sex with this class of women. According to Sells (2014, 166), "Shared Hellenic culture is thus assimilated to the shared enjoyment of a hetaira's sexual favors." This association depends on a concept of the sex laborer as commonly available to all. While Aristophanes' point is how the actual war is interfering with institutions that provide good times and the good life, this passage also makes clear an attitude toward prostitutes that emphasizes an accessibility which includes sexual violence. Prostitutes are available for anything. Theoria, unlike Opora, is offered up for rough sexual treatment at the hands of all. The justification for the different treatment centers on Theoria's identity as a sex slave as opposed to Opora's identity as a free girl available for marriage. Here, too, Aristophanes presents a hierarchy of violence that exposes the sex slave to sexual violence, and highlights this brutality as a feature of her common accessibility.

Even when we move beyond the comic stage, traces of this attitude are apparent. In the infamous speech against Neaira ([Demosthenes] 59), Apollodorus relates the life of Neaira as a slave and prostitute in order to prove she is not a legitimate citizen wife, but an alien, whom his opponent Stephanus has been treating as if she were such a wife--a serious charge with hefty penalties in classical Athens. (45) As in the other examples, we have two categories of women being contrasted: the foreign sex slave versus the free citizen female. (46) This juxtaposition once again suggests a hierarchy of violence. In the course of the narrative, Apollodorus emphasizes that Neaira was a sex slave and freely available to all. At the climax of his description on her past life, he recounts her lover Phrynion's treatment of her after she was supposedly freed (59.33-4):
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   Coming back here with her, he used her lewdly and with
   recklessness. He went with her to dinners, where there was
   drinking; he always partied with her, and openly had sex with her
   whenever and wherever he wanted, showing off his sexual licence to
   onlookers. He went to many different homes with her to party, even
   the home of Chabrias of Aexone, when, in the archonship of
   Socratidas, he came first at the Pythian games with the four-horse
   chariot which he had bought from the sons of Mitys, the Argive, and
   returning from Delphi he held a victory celebration at Colias, and
   many there had sex with her, drunk from the wine, while Phrynion
   was asleep--even Chabrias's slaves who had served up the meal.


Phrynion's treatment of Neaira here blurs the boundary between slave and freed. He is rough with her and makes such a show of his sexual access that, as Omitowju (1997, 11) comments, even slaves are comfortable to have sex with her without fear of punishment. He narrates how Neaira attended a victory party to celebrate a first-place win in chariot racing at the Pythian games. Neaira apparently got drunk at this party and, while Phrynion was sleeping, other attendees and even the serving slaves had sex (sunegignonto) with her. What to modern sensibilities is an extreme case of sexual violence (most likely a gang rape) is offered as further support that she was readily accessible by all as a sex laborer. (47) Anyone of any status is allowed to penetrate her body. There is no critique of those assaulting her here. Apollodorus is using the episode as support that she was a sex laborer, but he also intends to raise the disgust of the audience toward her with this example. (48) At this point (and at the actual trial), Neaira is no longer a sex slave, but Apollodorus continually reminds the audience of her past status as a sex laborer and stresses her identity as a slave in order to arouse hostility at her usurpation of citizen status. To Apollodorus, the suggestion of violence is unproblematic (hardly noticed in fact) and its presence simply reinforces her accessibility and identity as a past sex slave.

These examples suggest a hierarchy of violence that links the availability of the prostitute to her corporal treatment. It is not simply that prostitutes' lives were violent, but that Athenian society asserted their accessibility through enactments of violence on their physical bodies. The prostitute body was a body without protection, being as it was without a kurios. (49) This treatment, furthermore, suggests an underlying attitude toward prostitutes--slave prostitutes in particular--which equates violence with sexual accessibility. In the case of Menander's Epitrepontes, this equating is more subtle, but still in evidence. While Menander appears to demonstrate a partial recognition of rape in the case of Pamphile (and acknowledges how the experience was gendered), he also denies the emotional effect of sexual violence in the case of prostitutes. Both women, however, bear some blame (or guilt) for the violence against them, since he makes each female victim take responsibility for the ruin of her clothes and, by extension, her own body. She is the subject of apollumi, not her assailant.

Conclusion

Near the close of her thoughtful article, Gardner (2013, 135) comments as follows: "While threats to [lower status] characters are generally problematized [in Menander], the courtesan's perspective as a victim is frequently overlooked. Whether that oversight is written into Menandrian drama or is the result of a tradition of scholarly inattention remains an issue worth addressing." What I hope to have shown here is that this oversight is indeed a factor of Menandrian drama, and of Athenian society more broadly, but that it also persists in modern scholarship with its overemphasis on the hetaira as wealthy, independent, and autonomous. This inattention is partly a result of modern attitudes that also disregard violence against sex workers and even consider violence against these women to be less of a concern than violence against other women. (50) But when we look closely, we see that Menander presents a disturbing stereotype of prostitutes as not virginal and always accessible. For Habrotonon, sex is par for the course. As a prostitute she has to be ready and willing, but she is also thought to be ready and willing always and for anything. While we may see hints here that the effect of 'rape' was recognized, we also see an overall lack of concern to do anything for its female victims, as well as a belief that prostitutes do not suffer 'rape' in the same way as other women. (51)

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Notes

(1.) Toph Marshall's recent chapter (2013) using South East Asian practices of sex trafficking as a means of reconstructing the experience of ancient sex slavery in New Comedy is important because it brings emphasis to this issue of prostitution and slavery, and sex slavery as a special kind of slavery.

(2.) See Gaea 2011.

(3.) Even in the modern context, sex workers are more vulnerable to violence than other groups. According to Potterat et al. 2004, 781-2, sex workers are more commonly the victims of homicide than other groups. They are also more frequently the victims of serial killers (Quinet 2011).

(4.) Bibliography on rape in New Comedy is extensive. A good start is: Fantham 1975, Pierce 1997, James 1998, Sommerstein 1998, Rosivach 1998, and Lape 2001; more recently Gardner 2013 and James 2014.

(5.) Pierce (1998, 132) also comments that Menander has Habrotonon narrate a "realistic description of a rape victim."

(6.) See discussions in Cole 1984 and Scafuro 1990, 128.

(7.) On bia and sexual violence see Omitowoju 2002, 54-6. Biazomai and biad are the verbal forms commonly used.

(8.) On sexual offences and the law, see Philips 2013, 102-15, esp. 104-5.

(9.) See Omitowoju 2002, 38-9 and 1997, 5-6, 14.

(10.) See also 1997, 17. But note that she intimates in the 2002 study that consent was recognized in other contexts, like comedy.

(11.) See Scafuro 1990.

(12.) In a recent examination, Bathrellou (2012) reconstructs the festival as a festival of maturation in honor of Artemis with activities for both males and females (albeit separate). According to Bathrellou, the mention of festivals connected to Artemis (here and in other of Menander's plays) as a locus for rape highlights Menander's interest in "the maturation of the young protagonists" (both the youth and the maiden). The ritual setting of Pamphile's rape is central to Bathrellou's interpretation of Pamphile's characterization and what she identifies as her liminal status in the play (2012, 178-81).

(13.) Gardner 2013, 123; also p. 124.

(14.) See Brown 1991, 534. Pierce (1997, 177-8) comments on the torn clothing as evidence of her "pure and virginal" status. In note 6, Pierce also comments how the torn clothing may have been meant to be "sexually exciting to the audience." Furley (2009, 183) comments on the torn clothing's "restrained eroticism;" but the emphasis is clearly on the emotional effect of the rape on Pamphile here.

(15.) Scafuro discusses how Creousa in Euripides' Ion is a notable exception.

(16.) Also Scafuro 1990, 140-1, 143-51.

(17.) Sommerstein (1998, 101-3) comments that the rape evokes sympathy from Habrotonon, but that, while the experience of rape is recognized as traumatic "when it happens," it is not problematized for the audience. In fact, he states further (105) that "it is essential that the trauma of rape be downplayed to the greatest possible extent." Pierce (1998, 135) argues further that rape in New Comedy attests to the masculinity of young men.

(18.) Gutzwiller (2000, 118-21) emphasizes the performance as a moment of meta-theater. Furley (2009, 187) disagrees, arguing instead that this episode "cements the dramatic action of the play" and reinforces the identity of Habrotonon as a hired sex laborer. Goldberg (1980, 64) concludes that the performance highlights Habrotonon's "ability to play a role and manipulate a man.... This gift of mimicry and pretence recalls her profession and her condition."

(19.) See also lines 477-80. Scholars debate why it is that Habrotonon would disclose her status as parthenos at the Tauropolia. Perhaps it was a requirement of the festival (Gomme and Sandbach 1973, 333; Arnott 1979, 447 note 1; discussion of both in Gardner 2013, 128). Perhaps it was meant to create an "uncomfortable parallel between the slave Habrotonon and her citizen peers" (Gardner 2013: 128; also p. 130). Bathrellou (2012, 167) argues that the similarity suggests full participation by Habrotonon.

(20.) Also note Traill 2008, 226 on this passage: "Not only does she emphasize his virility, but she carefully avoids provoking feelings of anxiety or guilt."

(21.) He further comments (2009, 190): "She will play a helpless innocent, but in a coy and provocative manner."

(22.) Sommerstien (1998, 101) suggests this too with his rendering of akkioumai as "roguish flattery."

(23.) Gardner (2013, 130) also stresses this, putting the emphasis on her slave status.

(24.) Gardner 2013, 135. Earlier she comments (2013, 133): "We cannot entirely divorce such signifiers from their earlier, traumatic context." See also Lape 2004, 102 on the "aversion" of the playwright to references to the rape of noncitizen women.

(25.) See Gardner 2013, 124. See also Henry 1986, 147 and Lape 2004, 167 and 247 on confusion between slave and citizen women in New Comedy. Goldberg (1980, 63-4), Lape (2004, 38), and Traill (2008, 223) refer to Habrotonon as a dramatic "surrogate" for Pamphile.

(26.) LSJ, s.v. tarantinon: "a garment made of diaphanous material woven from the byssus of the pinna." See also Cleland et al. 2007, s.v. tarantinon, tarantinidion. Hesychius (s.v. tarantinon) refers to the tarantinon as fine clothing worn by women, himation gunaikeion lepton. "Byssos" in reference to cloth can also refer to sea-silk. For a recent discussion of the pinna nobilis and sea-silk, see Burke 2012, 171-9. Note that Burke considers evidence that the harvesting and use of sea-silk goes back to the Aegean Bronze Age.

(27.) One pound of harvested mussel results in only three ounces of thread; see Burke 2012, 172. Pinna nobilis is still harvested and woven into small items in parts of the Mediterranean today, notably Sicily. See also the Museo del Bisso, Sardinia, started by the artist Chiara Vigo and published on-line at www.chiaravigo.com /wordpress/museo.

(28.) Bathrellou suggests Pamphile's looks, wealth, and expensive robes distinguish her as the choregos of a girls' chorus at the festival and thus also indicates her marriage-ability. She argues (2012, 171-4 and note 110) that the tarantinon is a ritual garment in this context, noting that the tarantinon (along with the krokotos) are popular dedications listed in the inventory lists from Brauron.

(29.) He also uses diaphtheiresthai (1.4 and 1.8). Actual terms for rape are aischunei biai and biazomai (1.32), as well as prattesthai biai and diaphteirein (1.33) to contrast rape versus seduction. Interestingly, here apollumi seems to be the final effect and not to refer to consent or non-consent.

(30.) See Sandbach in Gomme and Sandbach 1973, 334.

(31.) According to Barthellou 2012, 1 74, who associates the garment with a maturation ritual, its ragged state "might also have signaled Pamphile's forced and premature transition into womanhood."

(32.) Kataballo also appears in Menander, Georgos, fr. 9c, and may refer to a rape as well. The subject of the verb here is ho adikon (the wrongdoer) and the main plot concerns the rape and pregnancy of Myrrhine. Arnott (1979, 137) suggests her as the speaker of the lines. The term also appears in Aristophanes in the context of the rape of a slave girl (Ach. 274-5). Whether or not the verb is typical in descriptions of rape (Gardner 2013, 131-2) is unclear.

(33.) But see Gardner 2013, 131-2, who emphasizes the violence behind kataballo.

(34.) Gardner (2013, 123-4, 125, 126) notes her status as a pslatria, but focuses on her status as slave. On her characterization in particular see Henry 1985, 51-60. For a more negative view of her character and her motivations see Rosivach 1998, 100.

(35.) Furley (2009, 188) states in relation to this episode: "It is Habrotonon's fate in this play to be constantly reminded of her status."

(36.) Hymn. Horn. Cei: 34-40, 108-43. Lying and scheming is also a stereotype of female prostitutes. According to Traill 2008, 204, Smikrines, the father of Pamphile, "draws, accordingly, on the figure of the ruthless whore, making her the model of everything Pamphile is not: smooth-talking, calculating, unscrupulous." Onesimos also characterizes Habrotonon as calculating, manipulative, and untrustworthy (327-9, 340-4), but while emphasizing her identity as an experienced prostitute, he does not vilify her quite like Smikrines does. Traill (2008, 227) also comments on the irony of invoking Aphrodite to attest to virginity.

(37.) Traill (2008, 232) characterizes it as "uncomfortable" since Habrotonon worries about making a mistake and pulling it off, but that the intended effect is to "reassure us that [the performance] will be temporary."

(38.) Traill (2008, 225) comments: "To an Athenian audience, Habrotonon was first and foremost a high-priced harp player with the traits of her type: charm and diplomacy, a nose for opportunity and the resourcefulness to exploit it." See also Omitowoju 2002, 219.

(39.) See Gomme and Sandbach 1973, 145 who notes Terenece, Ad. 90 as another case of burning down the door of a pimp to access prostitutes.

(40.) Sells (2014, 165-6) defines Theoria as "a personification of the act of attendance, participation in, and administration of Greek festivals," noting the difficulty of translating the term into a modern equivalent.

(41.) See Scanlon 2002, esp. chapter 8, on erotics and Greek athletics. Scanlon points to wrestling Erotes as a representation of marriage and heterosexual relationships in vase painting and lists textual examples of boxing and wrestling with Eros as a metaphor "[allowing] for three levels of meaning: internal struggle, lover struggling with beloved, and rival lovers contesting for a beloved" (2012, 263, and 260-4 more generally).

(42.) Also see Scanlon 2002, 269 on this passage.

(43.) See, e.g., a red-figure cup by the Pedieus Painter with a female figure forced to perform fellatio while a second figure penetrates her from behind (525-475 BCE): Louvre G13, ARV2 1578.16 and 86.A. For the image see Beazley Archive 200694.

(44.) Robson (2013, 168) refers to Theoria as "the prostitute Theoria." Note also the use of pornoboskousi in line 849. Sommerstein (1998, 106) interprets it in reference to both Opora and Theoria, but the play makes clear that Opora is to be a wife and wedded to Trygaeus.

(45.) On the graphs xenias (for which the penalty was enslavement), see Phillips 2013, 42, 77-8, 149-50, 176. For the speech and commentary, see Kapparis 1999, which summarizes the issues of the speech at 25-33.

(46.) See further Glazebrook 2005 and 2006.

(47.) Apollodorus stresses this accessibility throughout his speech: [Dem.] 59.19, 20, 22, 23, 41, esp. 114; see Glazebrook 2005.

(48.) Kapparis (1999, 45-6) and Hamel (2003, 41) argue that this episode evokes sympathy, but I agree with Carey 1992, 103 that the account would more likely invoke hostility and highlights Neaira as sexually insatiable. Omitowoju (1997, 11-2, 14) suggests the episode emphasizes her noncitizen status, since there is no kurios to suffer insult at Neaira's treatment and bring a charge of hubris. See Glazebrook 2006, 170 on how the episode adds to Apollodorus's negative portrayal of Neaira.

(49.) On the lack of evidence for legal protections against violence in the case of sex slaves, see Glazebrook 2011; also Fisher 1995, 69-70 and Omitowoju 1997, 12-3.

(50.) While violence against modern-day sex workers varies locally and globally, depending on the location of the work, the working conditions, and the type of sex work, when violence does occur the community is frequently slow to action and outrage. When prosecution occurs, the defendant's sentence is regularly less severe than in the case of other victims of violence. Public, legal, and even judicial attitudes suggest violence against prostitutes is tolerable, important as a deterrent to the practice, and even considered an appropriate punishment. For an example of the negative attitude of police toward sex workers in Canada, see Bruckert and Hannen 2013. The belief persists that selling sex means one must accept any customer and perform any sexual activity, thereby putting sex workers further at risk for violence. For a summary of these issues and bibliography see Kinnell 2006 and 2008.

(51.) I am most grateful to Andrew Faulkner for the opportunity to present this work at the Research Seminar on Women in Antiquity at the University of Waterloo, February 2014. The resulting discussion helped move the project forward. This material was also presented at the Celtic Classics Conference, June 2014, in a panel on violence organized by Nancy S. Rabinowitz and Fiona McHardy. I would especially like to thank Nancy, Kathy L. Gaea, Hunter FT Gardner, and Rebecca F. Kennedy for their helpful feedback at that session.
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