Framing a view of the unviewable: architecture, Aphrodite, and erotic looking in the Lucianic Erotes.
This dialogue on desiring subjects and desired objects situates its eroticism very squarely within a revelatory story about viewing sculpture (Erot. 11-7). (4) The statue of the goddess embodies a doubled erotic stimulus. Viewed from the front she is the most desirable woman, but from the rear, the most perfect boy. Proof of her irresistible erotic charm is the stain on her thigh. Lycinus and his traveling companions learn that this incontrovertible fact of her being used "like a boy" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) remains from a night of passion performed on the statue by a besotted local youth. It is the confounding evidence of intercrural or anal sex (5) with this seemingly most female of statues that engenders the debate on what is the correct focus for male erotic attention: the avenues ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) to erotic satisfaction offered by the bodies of boys or of women. The initial terms of the central philosophical debate (inscribed in semen) are read off Aphrodite's ambiguous body. (6)
This erotic perspective on the goddess, front and back equated with female and male, is a function of the position taken up by the viewer. That position, moreover, is determined by the points of visual access provided by the temple structure itself. Aphrodite is framed by the very architecture she inhabits. In the dialogue, the temple is depicted as a naos with two doors, front and back, communicating into an interior sacred space. There is no 'viewing in the round,' but rather looking is cathected along a very particular directional axis. It is precisely this specific closed temple structure with carefully designed openings onto that space that is a significant feature of Lycinus's description: (7)
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] When we had taken enough pleasure in the gardens, we entered the shrine [naos]. The goddess is situated in the center--a most beautiful statue of Parian marble--splendid and smiling a little with a laughing grin. Her entire beauty is unhidden, draped by no clothes, and left naked, except insofar as she inconspicuously hides her private parts with one of her hands.... The shrine has a door on both sides for those wishing to get a clear look at the goddess from behind in order that no part of her is unadmired. It is easy to enter through the other door and to examine closely her beauty from the back. Therefore, it was decided to view the goddess in all her glory, and we went around to the back of the sacred enclosure. Then, after the door was opened by the woman responsible for keeping the keys, a sudden amazement at the beauty seized us.
In the other, far briefer, references to the Aphrodite statue in literary texts from antiquity, her situation within her shrine is stressed as open and affording easy panoptic visual access. Lucian's description of the sacred interior space is at the same time the most detailed account surviving from antiquity and totally unique. (8)
In scholarship, the peculiar specificity that Lycinus gives to the experience of viewing through an architectural frame has often been 'thought away' as something not significant in and of itself. Visibility is still stressed, and the frame is no impediment to an unobstructed view. (9) Christine Havelock in her study of the Cnidian Aphrodite asserts (1995, 63) that in literary descriptions of the statue the primary interest was "in her erotic effect, not the design of her architectural enframement." The impulse to question the validity of using the Lucianic text or other literary sources to reconstruct the actual space of the temple is not unwarranted, but I would argue that the author of the Erotes makes the "architectural enframement" indispensable to the experience he projects in viewing Aphrodite's erotic charms.
In Lycinus's account, the goddess can only be accessed, visually and physically, through the perforations of the temple wall. This strategy heightens the effect of presenting her as available to view, but also forces the internal viewers to experience her spatial setting in gendered or sexual terms: front/back, female/male, active/passive. From the front, she has some control over the display of her pudenda. When viewed from the rear, her femininity resolves itself into the beauty of Ganymede, and s/he wears the mark of an attempted rape. These dualities are inscribed on the body of the goddess through the act of directed viewing. Furthermore, at the close of the Erotes, this visual framing and its corresponding erotic experience will underpin Theomnestus's ironic send-up of the serious philosopher's position on the homoerotic ideal. In this paper I trace how the architectural frame in the Erotes both limits and exposes the goddess's body at the center, and how visual negotiation through this frame imparts meaning, sexual and aesthetic, to the viewer's and reader's positionality.
Getting a Good Look
In order to understand better what is particularly significant in the Erotes' strategy of 'looking through a frame,' it is necessary to first assess the more common literary depiction of a visually open or penetrable temple setting for the Cnidia. As Havelock points out, the emphasis placed in literary sources on a temple open to view is not concerned with the real architectural structure--whether an open colonnade or hemmed-in cella--but, rather, with a sympathetic reflection or metonymic relation between the 'open' setting and the divine nude body at its center. Aphrodite is a goddess marked by visual irresistibility: "More powerful than all appearances, her body is always visible" (Loraux 1995, 197). Unlike other goddesses, such as Athena, who successfully masquerade as human or other-thandivine, Aphrodite's disguises are always ineffectual, as when she attempted to pass as an old woman in the Iliad (3.396-7) or her barely believable Phrygian princess in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (92-9, 185-6). The goddess of erotic desire always shines through. 'Being seen' and self-looking are constitutive elements of Aphrodite's divinity. Callimachus plays with this issue in his fifth Hymn, on the bath of Pallas. Whereas Aphrodite is absorbed in her reflection in preparation for the Judgment of Paris (which she will win), Hera and Athena specifically do not look at themselves:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Even when the Phrygian judged the strife on Ida, the great goddess did not look into copper nor into the transparent eddy of the Simois, nor did Hera. But Cypris, taking the shining bronze, many times altered and then again altered the same lock. (10)
The reflective mirror is Aphrodite's attribute, and kosmesis--the preparation of her body for display and sexual congress--renews and enacts her divine power. (11)
There is a parallel connection made in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite between viewing in the round, her godhead, and the place of devotion. When faced with the numinous Aphrodite, disguised as a Phrygian damsel in distress, Anchises promises the suspected goddess that he will build an altar for her "on a high peak, in a spot with a view going all around" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Hom. Hymn. Ven. 5.100-1). The goddess had, in fact, prepared for her assignation by withdrawing to her temple at Paphos and emphatically closing the doors ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 5.60). This formulaic line is also found in the Dios Apate (Il. 14.169) when Hera closes the door to her bedchamber to adorn herself. In the Homeric Hymn, Aphrodite's act of preparation for seduction is translated to a ritual space (Breitenberger 2007, 53). In this formulation, her initial cosmetic and erotic preparation are housed within the sanctified space of her temple. Even in this early poetic expression of the goddess's divinity there is a fundamental tension between the power of looking and the need to manage the look of others. In both its open and closed forms, the space of worship is equated with her erotically charged divinity.
If the goddess incarnates physicality, then the Cnidia bodies forth that divine metaphor in stone. A series of epigrams from the Greek Anthology exploit the frisson inherent in the problem of Praxiteles' artistic depiction of her divine nudity; it attracts a knowingly transgressive eye. (12) Of the twelve epigrams on the Cnidia in the collection, ten contain at least one verb of looking applied directly to the body of Aphrodite. (13) The setting for all this looking is the open temple that allows maximum visual access. As with the altar that Anchises promised to vow in the Homeric Hymn, the emphasis is very much on 'viewing in the round.' An epigram, attributed to Plato but most likely dating to the first century BCE, describes the shrine asperiskeptos (able to be seen from every side):
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Anth. Pal. 160) Paphian Cytherea came through the surf to Cnidus, Wishing to see her own image. When she had gazed at it from every angle in its shrine viewable-all-around, She cried out, "Where did Praxiteles see me naked?"
There is a crescendo of looking, here focalized through the evaluative eye of Aphrodite herself: she travels to Cnidus in order to see, her act of 'seeing' centers on and is facilitated by the open shrine, and the statue's lifelikeness seems to guarantee a prior act of surreptitious (artistic) looking. The conceit of this epigram emphasizes the special visual access afforded to worshippers at Cnidus. Each visitor to the sanctuary can re-create the goddess's own self-appraisal and the originary artistic visual access; in both senses, they view a mimetically 'true' reflection of her divine nudity. It is the open nature of the temple setting that accommodates this visual appreciation of the goddess as statue. In fact, the phrase used to describe the situation of the temple ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) mirrors that used in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) to describe the altar Anchises would vow. (14)
Another epigram (Anth. Pal. 169), identified in the manuscript tradition as a comparison between the Cnidia and a statue of Pallas Athena, makes a distinction in the way one looks at the respective goddesses/statues:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Look all around the golden beauty of the foam-born Paphian, And you will say, 'I approve the judgment of the Phrygian.' Again, looking at Pallas of Athens, you will shout, 'Just like a shepherd for Paris to pass this one by.'
In the first line, the verb used for looking at Aphrodite is the unusual poetic compound [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], whereas the verb used for looking at the statue of Athena is simply [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] without the adverbial prefix. The contemporary viewer of the image is recast as a second judge at the mythical beauty contest, but his visual evaluation of Aphrodite is performed in the round. No angle escapes the critical eye, and he is invited to linger on her "golden beauty."
In the Cnidian series of epigrams, stress is laid on the authenticity of the viewing experience. What is marked as special is the mimetic relationship of copy to original, which is verified by an appeal to some prior moment when Aphrodite the goddess was put on view. This is the strategy also taken in an epigram attributed to Evenus:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Once upon a time the herdsman himself on the Idaean mountains Beheld the one who gained first prize for her beauty. Praxiteles has set her up visible to all the Cnidians, Having Paris's vote as witness to his skill.
There is a subtle shift performed by the poet between the real goddess and her stone copy: Praxiteles has set up Aphrodite herself, but it was also his artistic creation that won the vote of Paris. Which came first, the statue or the goddess? The herdsman on Mount Ida is, in fact, Anchises (Horn. Hymn. Ven. 53-4), and the epigrammatist forges a link between the man mythically privileged to view the goddess nude, the artist, and now all of Cnidus. The sculptor's artistic refashioning, as the poet's epigrammatic recasting, has made the goddess [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (visible to all). The properly restricted and privileged experience of viewing Aphrodite's beauty has been transformed by the sculptor Praxiteles into a public and accessible one. The poet here ties the act of display to the sculptor's techne, not only for mimetic replication, but also in unveiling the goddess's full nudity. She is visible to all, and wholly visible.
I close my consideration of the open' view taken on the Cnidia with the other principal source on the statue and its setting, the account offered by Pliny in his Natural History. Many of the same themes emphasized in the epigrammatic tradition are picked up and amplified--evaluative autopsy, nudity, and the open temple structure (HN 36.20-1):
opera eius sunt Athenis in Ceramico, sed ante omnia est non solum Praxitelis, verum in toto orbe terrarum Venus, quam ut viderent, multi navigaverunt Cnidum. duas fecerat simulque vendebat, alteram velata specie, quam ob id praetulerunt quorum condicio erat, Coi, cum eodem pretio detulisset, severum id ac pudicum arbitrantes; reiectuam Cnidii emerunt, inmensa differentia famae.... aedicula eius tot aperitur, ut conspici possit undique effigies deae, favente ipsa, ut creditur, facta, nec minor ex quacumque parte admiratio est. There are works of his at Athens in the Ceramicus, but first in place not only of Praxiteles' works, but in the entire world, is his Venus. In order to see this, many have sailed to Cnidus. He had made two and was selling them at the same time. One of the two was draped and for this very reason the Coans preferred it--they had a prior buyer's agreement, although it was offered at the same price as the other--judging it to be earnest and chaste. The Cnidians purchased the rejected one, that has a far greater reputation.... Her shrine is completely open, so that the image of the goddess is able to be seen from all sides, built--as is believed--with the goddess's approval. The sense of amazement is no less from any side.
Pliny begins his tale of the Cnidia by emphasizing her attractiveness as a visual site/sight; she incites people to sail to Cnidus not to offer reverence, but in order that they may see her for themselves (Venus quam ut viderent, multi navigaverunt Cnidum). Her nudity is a precondition of her place both in localized cult and in aesthetic preeminence. She enters the world twinned by a fully clothed statuesister, but both this twin's demurely veiled and the Cnidia's undressed states are not contingent on the religious requirements of either the Coans or the Cnidians. The two statues are made at the same time, put up for sale at the same time, and cost the same price; the only difference is the state of nudity. In this account, any cultic significance to Aphrodite's specific form has no bearing on her plastic representation. (15) Rather, in Pliny's anecdote, she simply embodies a cult of visual attraction.
In an anecdote from the Life of Apollonius of Tyana (6.40), Philostratus exposes the danger of confusing this visual power of the Cnidia with her cultic significance. On a trip to Cnidus, Apollonius is made aware of a young man who has fallen in love with the statue. The Cnidians are willing to entertain the youth's bid for her hand in marriage, as her celebrity will increase if she takes a lover. When Apollonius insists on purifying the sanctuary, the Cnidians ask whether they will have to alter their rituals of prayer or sacrifice: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("Your eyes," he replied; "I will correct, but you may keep the rites of the sanctuary as they are"). The error on the part of the Cnidians is a conflation of visual attraction as a celebrated object and the requirements for a cult to Aphrodite. (16)
What temple is fitting for such a powerful material manifestation of the goddess? Pliny's answer mirrors that suggested in the epigrammatic tradition--the physical situation must offer full visual access; whether it did so in reality or not is another issue. In describing the setting, the Roman polymath tells us not only that the space is completely open (tot aperitur) in order to allow viewing the statue from every side, but that it was so constructed with the approval of the goddess herself (favente ipsa). He underscores the importance of seeing all of the goddess as part of the experience in visiting her shrine. The visually penetrable temple and the nude body reinforce the availability of Praxiteles' creative remodeling of the erotic, physical, and visual attraction that Aphrodite always represents. Divine endorsement of the temple's openness invites worshippers to become viewers; the implication is that there are no restrictions with this divine body, and this particular sculptural representation, because of the open setting of her sacred space.
Framing a View
This literary resonance between the Cnidia's nude body and her open temple setting is a particular management of the flirtation with epiphany that a naturalistic image of the divine promises. What strategies can be employed in reading (and writing) restricted visual and physical access? In the novel Leucippe and Clitophon, Achilles Tatius makes an interpretive connection between entering a temple, Aphrodite's realm of influence, and a sexually desired body, in this case that of the heroine Leucippe. At the opening of Book 4, Clitophon presses his beloved to consummate their love. She demurs and relates a vision that she had on the preceding day in which Artemis appeared and told her that she would remain a virgin until the goddess herself gave her away in marriage. In response, Clitophon then recalls a significant dream he had experienced (4.1.6-7):
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] On the previous night I dreamed about a temple [vetov] of Aphrodite, and inside the temple was a statue of the goddess. When I approached to pray, the doors slammed shut. I was disappointed, but a woman appeared who looked just like the statue in the temple and said, "You are not allowed to enter the temple [too veco] at this time; but if you wait a short while, I will not only open the doors for you but make you a high priest of the goddess of love." (17)
In this dream, the doors of the temple symbolize the barriers that prevent sexual penetration, and consummation of the sexual act is equated with entrance into the temples interior space. On the simplest reading, this dream temple of Aphrodite is a metaphor for the body of Leucippe; the doors offer or deny access to that body. (18) Clitophon aims to take possession of the temple, or rather its center, which is marked by the presence of the cult statue. In the case of the Cnidia, the temple and the desired/penetrable body share the same space; there is no metaphorical distance.
In the Erotes Lucian makes clear that accessibility is still a paramount concern. His greater specificity with respect to describing the architectural frame is an extension and refinement of the mirroring between the temple and the statue. Unlike Pliny or the epigrammatists, the Erotes presents specific viewing epiphanies that are constrained or limited by the access the temple setting allows. We do not just 'see' Aphrodite in all her glory, a simple and immediate visual apprehension; rather, we are offered a processual viewing experience. In framing a view of Aphrodite through the temple's architecture, emphasis is placed on the very negotiation of space and points of access.
The interplay between the cultic space and the goddess herself is presented as a set of interlocking circles in Lycinus's account of the visit to Cnidus. The very decision to go to Cnidus on the part of the three friends is framed as a desire to see the temple of Aphrodite: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (And so, we decided to make a move to Cnidus to see especially the temple of Aphrodite--celebrated as having a lovely example of Praxiteles' dexterity, Erot. 11.1). As in Pliny's account, movement towards Cnidus is directed at its erotic center that encompasses both temple and statue; to see one is to see the other. After securing lodging, the travel companions then wander through the city admiring other landmarks and eventually make their way to the temple, which not all members of the touring party are equally enthusiastic to do. Callicratidas, the Athenian pederast, equates going to the temple (site) with going to see something female (sight) and is less than excited:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. First having made our circuit to the Stoa of Sostratus and all the other places that could give us pleasure we then walked to the temple of Aphrodite, myself and Charicles enthusiastically, but Callicratidas unwillingly as it was to a womanly site/sight; it would have been more pleasurable for him, I believe, to exchange the Cnidian Aphrodite for the Eros at Thespiae.
At the outset of Lycinus's description, the temple (naos) is presented as its own visual attraction, and stands for both the religious space and the statue-body it contains. On another level, the desire to see religious and artistic objects is equated very directly with the sexual object choice of the two extremists. To want to 'go and see' the Eros of Thespiae or the Cnidia is to want to 'go and see' an erotically charged and desirable body, gendered male or female respectively.
The implicit coordination between the religious space of worship and the goddess herself is made manifest when the three friends finally reach the sanctuary (temenos); the air of the enclosure seems to be the very breath of Aphrodite and in place of sterile stone pavement is a flowering garden. (19) The center of this space is occupied by both the naos and the goddess as statue. To approach Aphrodite is to enter her temple and simultaneously meet her face-to-face. From the front, she is described by Lycinus in fairly minimal terms: the goddess smiles and is nude except for the unobtrusive gesture of one hand over her pudenda:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. When we had taken enough pleasure in the gardens, we entered the shrine [naos]. The goddess is situated in the center--a most beautiful statue of Parian marble--splendid and smiling a little with a laughing grin. Her entire beauty is unhidden, draped by no clothes, and left naked, except insofar as she inconspicuously hides her private parts with one of her hands. The sculptors skill has succeeded to such an extent that the unyielding hardness of the stone was made naturally fitting to each of her limbs.
Whereas infertile stone was replaced by luxuriant nature as a paving material in the temenos, in the statue-body its lapidary nature is undone and refashioned by artistic techne. In Lycinus's description, her nude beauty is triply determined: it is unhidden ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), unclothed ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and simply naked ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).
Modern analyses of the viewing experience presented by the pose of the Cnidia (reconstructed from Roman copies that have survived) have projected a triangle of looking that emphasizes the slight turn of the statue's head to her left. The direct frontal view, with eyes turned away and obscuring hand, seems to shield the goddess from view. Yet an oblique move to the statue's left side allows a viewer to capture both her gaze and a look at what her protecting hand covers. This modern 'look' at the Cnidia projects both a viewer (stage left) in direct visual communication with the goddess-statue, and a voyeur who looks on this visual coupling from the blocking full-frontal position. (20) In this reading, each entrant into the temple will take up successively the positions of voyeur and then of viewer engaged in a direct exchange of glances. This visual and physical repositioning locates the move around the Cnidia's body in the attempt to catch her eye and a look at the ineffable.
In terms of visual tracking, our modern accounts start with the protective hand gesture and then move up to Aphrodite's provocatively turned gaze. In the viewing account Lycinus gives, he starts with her arrogantly enticing smile and then moves down her open and naked body to end with the punctuation of her shielded genitals. Yet this looking is not enough, and her visual enticement proves too much for Charicles, the woman-mad Corinthian, and he rushes forward to try and kiss the goddess:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Charicles, for his part, raised a frantic and crazed shout: "Most blessed of all the gods was Ares who for her sake was bound." And at the same time, he ran up with persistent lips, and stretching out his neck as far as possible, he kissed her.
The approach to the Cnidia by Charicles is direct and sexualized, a frontal assault. Moreover, the wish to be trapped together with the goddess as a later-day Ares suggests that contact with this statue may infect the lover with a reciprocal immobilization. The Athenian pederast remains silent, but still amazed ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].) Any shift from excluded look to direct gaze is lost in the desire to physically connect with the statue. Moreover, the subtle shift in position from voyeur to viewer does not adequately account for the next move in Lycinus's story--around to the back; a radical shift in perspective, viewing, and erotic which modern accounts of looking do not fully accommodate. (21)
At first, Lycinus says that it is easy enough to enter through the rear door in order to examine Aphrodite's beauty more closely from every angle. When the three friends, however, decide to take advantage of the full-view, the back door must be opened by a female doorkeeper:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The shrine has a door on both sides for those wishing to get a clear look at the goddess from behind in order that no part of her is unadmired. It is easy to enter through the other door and to examine closely her beauty from the back. Therefore, it was decided to view all of the goddess, and we went around to the back of the sacred enclosure. Then, after the door was opened by the woman responsible for keeping the keys, a sudden amazement at her beauty seized us.
There is an exclusivity to this rear view, hidden behind a locked door. It renews the visitors' appreciation of the Cnidia, and occasions the most erotically and aesthetically effusive exclamations about the body on display.
The avowed pederast, Callicratidas, is sent into a frenzy by those parts of the goddess that remind him of a boy ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and he exclaims in detail on her rear endowments:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] "Oh by Heracles, how much gracefulness to her back, how generous her flanks, what a handful to embrace! How well modeled is the flesh of her buttocks as it arches--neither too thin and drawing close to the bone, nor pouring out into too great an expanse of fat. No one could say how sweet is the smile of those parts impressed on either side by her fleshy hips; how achingly precise the rhythms of her thigh and shin stretching straight to her foot."
Callicratidas goes on to compare the goddess to Ganymede. As Callicratidas has remained silently amazed at the initial (feminine) sight, now Charicles is overcome with amazement and stands fixed, unmoving ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). In both instances, the Cnidia statufies, albeit briefly, her admirers. Aphrodite's charm as an attractive 'boy' is assured by her limbs' perfect rhythm. (23) The arch smile that graced her lips ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) is mirrored here in the swell of her buttocks ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and she is perfectly proportioned from hip to toe. If meeting and negotiating the gaze of the statue-goddess is a charged moment in modern scholarship, this ancient description redirects the male viewer's gaze away from the invested act of looking a goddess in the face. That is not to say that this visual swerve is totally farcical or denigrating; rather, it plays out a serious joke about erotic-visual attraction behind the goddess's back. Only entrance through the locked back-door allows a fully integrated appreciation of Aphrodite's visual, erotic power--an integration that is effected by the power of her body and her divinity to incite sexual arousal in men attracted to women and equally in those with a penchant for boys.
One of the implications of necessitating a physical, visual, and erotic move to the rear of both temple and goddess is that the architecture and the body it contains are fitted together. In order to move around the goddess, one has to move around the structure that houses her. There is no separation, no space in between temple wall and the Cnidia in this particular description which allows for viewers to maneuver. Each door opening into the interior space is coordinated by Lycinus/ Lucian with an eroticized response to the particular view taken on Aphrodite. This architectural framing is emphasized again in the etiological Tale of the Stain.
While the three friends are staring long and hard at the luscious curves of the Cnidia's backside, they notice an imperfection in the marble that looks like a stain on clothes ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 15.1). The pragmatic and logical Lycinus is willing to believe that Praxiteles skillfully hid the mark, but the temple attendant has another tale to tell about the origins of the stain. The short version is that a young man fell head over heels in love with the goddess, contrived to spend the night with the statue, and left a mark from his lovemaking on the marble.
Pliny the Elder briefly relates this anecdote in his account of the Cnidia and her temple setting (ferunt amore captum quendam, cum delituisset noctu, simulacro cohaesisse, eiusque cupiditatis esse indicem maculam [They say that a certain man, seized by love, hid at night and embraced the statue, and that a stain bears witness to his desire, HN 36.21]). Both Lucian in the Imagines and the Christian apologist Clement of Alexandria mention the intrepid defiler of the statue, but omit any specific reference to the stain:
Lucian, Imag. 4: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] But surely you have also heard that tale which the inhabitants (of Cnidus) tell about her (the statue), that someone fell in love with the statue and was left behind hiding in the temple, where he had sex with the statue, as best he was able. Clement, Protr. 4.51: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And there was also an Aphrodite of stone in Cnidus and she was beautiful; another man fell in love with her and made love to the stone.
A narrative cousin to these tales of explicit sex is the anecdote related above from Philostratus, in which the sage Apollonius is able to divert the sacrilege, reconfigured as marriage to the statue, connived in by the Cnidians themselves.
The most expansive version of the tale is that found in the Erotes (15-6), and the specific architecture that has just limited the viewing experience of the three friends in accessing the Cnidia's beauty serves to limit and define the young man's erotic experience:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] For she said a young man of not ignoble birth--although his deed caused him to remain nameless--often came to the temple and under a wretched daimon fell in love with the goddess and, spending the entire day in the temple, at the beginning gave the impression of pious ritual attendance.
The attendant goes on to relate how religiosity gave way to obsession: the young man would cast knucklebones to determine the goddess's favor and scrawl love-drunk graffiti over every wall and tree of the shrine, praising the goddess as "Aphrodite the Beautiful," and Praxiteles as another Zeus, until he reached a fever pitch of lust:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] In the end, the violent impulses of his desires caused him to lose all reason, and recklessness provided a pimp for his desires. For when the sun was setting, quietly hiding from those present he slipped in behind the door and invisible he stood without moving or breathing in almost the innermost part. After the temple attendants closed the door from outside as usual, inside a new Anchises was enclosed.
The climax of the story is keyed very closely to the temple architecture, with a move to the back and a corresponding escalation of the erotic similar to that performed by the three friends, although intensified. The architectural 'idea' of an enclosed space is critical to the narrative--the rear door offers special access. The drama of the young man's assault on the goddess is only effective if he must break in to the inner space of the temple. He does this very specifically through the same privileged access point offered by the rear door. In the present of Lycinus's description, only those visitors who enter the rear of the shrine will be able to see the stain on the marble. Moreover, the elaborate story is elicited from the female attendant, who is presumably the same 'keeper of the keys' that had unlocked the door for the three visitors. She ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) is also an analogue to the original attendants ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) who locked in the young man.
Another significant parallel between the 'then' of the etiology and the 'now' of Lycinus's viewing is the movement around the space of the temple. At the start of his infatuation, the young man is situated at the front of the shrine, seated at the feet of the goddess and staring intently at her:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] And in the morning he would get out of bed long before sunrise and return home unwillingly only after sunset, and sitting the whole day straight in front of the goddess, he would fix his unbroken gaze on her.
In order to perform his attempted consummation with the statue-goddess, he must shift his body and his gaze from the front to the rear. The movement of Lycinus, Charicles, and Callicratidas around the shrine and the visual eroticism of their spatial negotiation mirror that of the intense lover. Moreover, as Callicratidas gleefully points out to his companions, even given the opportunity to make love to the goddess as a woman, the location of the stain on the back of her thigh proves that the young man enjoyed her 'as a boy.' The pederast's own transgendering description of the goddess's flanks, buttocks, and thighs is fulfilled in the act of love perpetrated by the young man.
The author of the Erotes constructs a series of carefully managed viewing epiphanies of the statue-body of Aphrodite. The strategy of architectural framing, partitioned viewing, and potential sexual contact in Lycinus's description offers an "evasive epiphany," to borrow a phrase from Verity Platt (2002). As in the epigrams on Aphrodite she discusses, we are promised a full view of the goddess, but the fulfillment of that promise is delayed or shifted. The true epiphanic moment must always be deferred, as the viewing is itself a 'memory' retold, by the attendant to Lycinus and by Lycinus to Theomnestus. There is an inherent danger in success, in moving beyond the frames, architectural and rhetorical, to epiphany. What marks the story of the youth as tragedy is that he succeeds in grasping the object of his desire and enters into the divine space at the center.
The terms applied to this moment of union and its aftermath make very clear what is at stake in moving from looking to touching: Aphrodite's irresistible visibility renders her mortal lover invisible: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (For when the sun was setting, quietly hiding from those present he slipped in behind the door and standing invisible in almost the innermost part without taking a breath he did not move, 16.5). Once he has moved through the frame, the young man is himself remade as a metaphorical statue--not breathing ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and unmoving ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). Whereas the Cnidia expresses visible embodiment, his moment of integration results in his erasure. The youth pushes through the restraining architecture, that same physical barrier that now constrains the travelers' view, into this ambiguous interior space. In his breaking through, however, epiphany becomes anti-epiphany. He becomes invisible ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).
The attendant relating the Tale of the Stain had told Lycinus at the outset that this hubristic act of passion had sundered the young man from his name and patrimony. (24) The close of the attendant's tale reiterates the power of invisibility: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (As for the young man himself, as the popular story relates, they say he either hurled himself upon the rocks or into the waves of the sea and utterly disappeared/became absolutely invisible, Erot. 16.7). The only visible part of the young man that will remain is the indelible stain of his semen on the statue--proof of his success at transgressing the frame between outside and inside, mortal and divine, but also proof of incommensurability. There can be no penetration of either statue or goddess (Platt 2002, 35).
It is at this point, confronted by the ambiguous evidence of that stain, marking equally the love of women and of boys, (25) that Charicles and Callicratidas begin their formal debate over the best object of erotic attention. The Corinthian makes his case for the superiority of women based on mutual physical pleasure and the biological need to reproduce. The staunch Athenian pederast couches his arguments in the rehearsed language of strictly philosophical love; there is deep emotional and intellectual attachment, for life even, but no physical consummation. When Lycinus gives his judgment, he tactfully allows for marriage as a necessity, but the love of boys is an ideal reserved for high-minded philosophers. The dizzying focus on the bigendered body of Aphrodite was a catalyst for the debate, but issues of visual positionality and framing devices, narrative and architectural, seem to be inconsequential in the final verdict.
Reading back out of the Frame
All of this storytelling, viewing, and debating is situated within its own dialogic frame, and architecture is not the only limitation on understanding. Lycinus, who serves as our 'eyes' into the events on Cnidus, has been relating this memory of an experience to his friend Theomnestus. Our visualization as an external audience (reading or listening) is coordinated with that of Theomnestus as he listens as an internal audience to Lycinus's account. The very presentation of the visual is mediated at the level of the dialogue through language; we 'see' the statue, the goddess, and her shrine as a verbal projection. The three visitors have to negotiate and 'see through' the architectural frame, and the audiences, both internal and external, must negotiate the ekphrastic frame of words. This is a frame, moreover, that forces a rereading of the visual and architectural framing erected at the center of the Erotes.
At the close of Lycinus's story, Theomnestus applauds his friends judgment but admits that his love of boys will never be "philosophical." He goes on to describe the path that his love takes with a boy--looking incites the need to touch, light touching leads to the first kiss, kissing turns into groping, and finally you get to the thighs and "strike your target." Theomnestus bursts the bubble on Platonic love. (26) His lengthy description repays close attention:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Erot. 53.6-11) It is not enough to see your beloved and listen to his voice as he sits across from you, but it is as if Eros constructs a ladder of pleasure: the first step is sight, he sees, and, once he has beheld, he desires to get closer and to touch. And if he touches only with the tips of the fingers, then the enjoyment runs through his whole body. Easily succeeding, he makes an attempt at the third stage, the kiss--not straight away an elaborate one, but gently approaching lips to lips, and then steps back before they finish meeting completely so that no cause for suspicion is left behind. Thus, adjusting to what is permitted he melts into ever more persistent embraces, sometimes gently opening the mouth; no idleness of the hands is allowed--open embraces through the clothes unite desire. Or languidly sliding a furtive right hand to the chest he presses nipples swollen more than normal, and evenly explores with his fingers the whole expanse of the firm stomach, then the flower of youth in its early down. And ... "Why must I recount things better left untold?" Finally, having success up to this point, Eros sets to warmer business; then making a go of it from the thighs--as the comic poet says--he "strikes his target."
Theomnestus makes it clear that the initiatory mechanism for erotic and fully sexual love is sight. (27) Yet, seeing is not enough. His starting point for rereading boy-love out of a philosophical position picks up a formulation presented by Callicratidas himself in the emotional climax of his pederastic defense: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (For my part, ye gods of heaven, I pray that it may forever be my lot in life to sit opposite my dear one and hear close to me his sweet voice, Erot. 46.3). For Theomnestus, looking without touching is not an end point, rather it is the first step on his ladder of pleasure. He directly reworks and responds to the idea of "sitting directly in front" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), but nuances the positionality of lover and beloved: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (It is not enough to see your beloved nor listen to his voice as he sits across from you, Erot. 53.6). In fact, Theomnestus had cast himself at the beginning of the dialogue in the role of an avid (erotic?) listener, a Patroclus to Lycinus's Achilles: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. (28) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Well, let me get up and sit straight across from you, "waiting for the son of Aeacus to make an end of his singing." But, unfold for us in song the ancient and glorious accounts of erotic tussles, Erot. 5.8). As he finishes his presentation of the correct, sexualized approach to the body of a desired boy, Theomnestus revisits this exact formulation, but now the erotic connection between listening, looking, and Lycinus is made even stronger: (29) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Don't be so surprised: for Patroclus wasn't loved by Achilles just because he sat in front of him "waiting for the son of Aeacus to finish his song," but it was physical pleasure that was the mediator of their friendship, Erot. 54.3). Lycinus's narrative account, cheekily dubbed "the ancient and glorious accounts of erotic tussles" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) by Theomnestus, become in retrospect the sweet conversation of the eromenos listened to attentively by his lover. In recasting the terms of pederastic love, Theomnestus also forces an erotic reassessment of the positions, both listening and speaking, implicit in the dialogic format.
The move to eroticize the relationship between Lycinus and Theomnestus, rhetor and audience, is not only prefaced in the pederastic model that Callicratidas first espouses in his part of the agon, but in the relationship between viewers, lovers, and the Cnidia herself. As the attendant relates, the rapist of the statue-goddess would position himself every day directly in front of the goddess:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ... and sitting the whole day straight in front of the goddess, he would fix his unbroken gaze on her. He whispered unintelligibly and complained as lovers will in secret conversation.
While the young man is talking to her face-to-face, she occupies the position of the unendingly patient and silent listener whose attention is fixed as an erastes just as both Callicratidas prescribes and Theomnestus does. In his own tongue-in-cheek self-positioning in front of Lycinus and engagement with the erotic scenario argued for by Callicratidas, Theomnestus forces a rereading of this central Cnidian narrative. Just as in the scenarios of seduction detailed in the debate and framing dialogue, her beloved sits directly in front of her ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and engages in an erotic monologue of sweet nothings, the meaning of which is known only to the goddess and the young man. Yet, part of the ironic power of Lycinus's description and its resonance with Theomnestus's reframing is that the Cnidia as statue and as divine surrogate can never take on the role of active lover (erastes), despite standing in for the goddess of erotic persuasion and physical love.
Even more significantly, Theomnestus's explicit description of sexual seduction starting from this face-to-face moment retraces on the body of his imagined boy not only the erotic experience of Aphrodites misguided lover, but also the visual experience that Lycinus, Charicles, and Callicratidas negotiated around and through the architecture of the shrine. Looking from the front had incited Charicles to attempt a kiss. Like the first approach that Theomnestus suggests, this kiss struggles to connect and acts as a prelude to the continued exploration of the desired goddess. It leaves no stain. As the young man had done, the three then circle around the shrine to position themselves at the back, where looking becomes even more openly erotic. The mark on Aphrodites thigh proves an attempt at sexual union, but also of breaking through the architectural constraints that limited the acts of viewing. The mark on the marble, moreover, is described as like a stain on a piece of clothing ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). As Theomnestus warms to his subject, he advises busy hands that slide over and under clothes:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ... no idleness of the hands is allowed--open embraces through the clothes unite desire. Or languidly sliding a furtive right hand to the chest, he presses nipples swollen more than normal ...
This a reciprocal passion in which the beloved body answers with like passion, swells in response, and matches desire with desire. Aphrodite cannot respond, and there is no getting under her clothes. She is totally uncovered ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) and absolutely impenetrable. (30) She cannot be entered and her temple, in Lycinus's account, cannot be entered except through looking, but that, as Theomnestus makes clear, is not the same erotic experience.
Moreover, the very act that resulted in the stain cannot be seen, and will not be told by the temple guard ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; [But why am I, the chatterbox, explaining to you in detail the affront of that unspeakable night?, Erot. 16.5). Theomnestus performs a similar move. As he maps pleasure onto the body of his erotic object, he stops just short and deflects description with a quotation. This erotic epiphany proves just as illusory and susceptible to deferral as that of the divine. Yet the joke is not quite finished and Theomnestus refuses to defer. He takes up his thread again for one last step in the ladder of pleasure, starting from the thighs ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII])--just as the very debate on Cnidus had done.
Lucian/Lycinus offers his audience access to the body of the goddess through an imaginative visual narrative that extends in unexpected ways the simple metaphor that equates temple with goddess. He did not write his detailed description of Aphrodite's sanctuary on Cnidus with an eye to preserving an accurate record of its architectural framing, but rather with an eye to the rhetorical enframement needed for his erotic dialogue on philosophical love. The entire Erotes circles around the irresistible, desired body of Aphrodite, and it is the architectural framing that allows her body to be 'read' as male and female, all erotic objects simultaneously. At the start of the dialogue it is Lycinus who initially importunes Theomnestus to continue his Milesian, erotic tail-tale telling in terms that resonate with what his own story will reveal: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (But, if you've left out some part of your voyage around Aphrodite, don't cover it over; make your sacrifice to Heracles complete, Erot. 3.7). In constructing the Cnidia as a desired body in parts and reviewing those erotic parts from different perspectives, Lycinus and Theomnestus have contrived a rhetorical, aesthetic, and erotic sacrifice, whole and perfect.
Beard, M., and J. Henderson. 2001. Classical Art: From Greece to Rome. Oxford and New York.
Blinkenberg, C. 1933. Cnidia: Beitrdge zur Kenntnis der praxitelischen Aphrodite. Copenhagen.
Bloch, R. 1907. "De Pseudo-Luciani Amoribus." Ph.d. diss., University de Strasbourg.
Borbein, A. 1973. "Die griechische Statue des 4. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.: Formanalytische Untersuchungen zur Kunst der Nachklassik." JDAI88: 43-212.
Borg, B. 2004. "Bilder zum Horen--Bilder zum Sehen: Lukians Ekphraseis und die Rekonstruktion antike Kunstwerke." Millennium 1: 25-57.
Breitenberger, B. 2007. Aphrodite and Eros: The Development of Erotic Mythology in Early Greek Poetry and Cult. New York.
Buffiere, F. 1980. Eros adolescent: la pederastie dans la Grece antique. Paris.
Corso, A. 2007. The Art of Praxiteles, II: The Mature Years. Rome.
Eisner, J. 2007. Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text. Princeton.
Foucault, M. 1984. Le Souci de soi. Vol. 3 of Histoire de la sexualite. 3 volumes. Paris.
Goldhill, S. 1995. Foucaults Virginity: Ancient Erotic Fiction and the History of Sexuality. Cambridge.
Halperin, D. 2002. Flow to Do the History of Homosexuality. Chicago.
Havelock, C. M. 1995. The Aphrodite of Cnidus and Her Successors: A Historical Review of the Female Nude in Greek Art. Ann Arbor.
Jones, C. P. 1984. "Tarsos in the Amores Ascribed to Lucian." GRBS 25: 177-81.
Klabunde, M. 2001. "Boys or Women? The Rhetoric of Sexual Preference in Achilles Tatius, Plutarch and Pseudo-Lucian." Ph.d. diss., University of Cincinnati.
Laguna-Mariscal, G., and M. Sanz-Morales. 2005. "Was the Relationship between Achilles and Patroclus Homoerotic? The View of Apollonius Rhodius." Hermes 133: 120-3.
Loraux, N. 1995, The Experiences of Tiresias: The Feminine and the Greek Man. English translation by Paula Wissing. Princeton.
Love, I. 1970. "A Preliminary Report of the Excavations at Cnidus, 1969." AJA 74: 149-55.
Macleod, M. D. 1972-1987. Luciani Opera. 4 volumes. Oxford.
Montel, S. 2010. "The Architectural Setting of the Knidian Aphrodite." In A. C. Smith and
S. Pickup, eds., Brills Companion to Aphrodite. Leiden and Boston. 251-68.
Mossman, J. 2007. "Heracles, Prometheus and the Play of Genres in [Lucian] 's Amores." In S. Swain, S. Harrison, and J. Eisner, eds., Severan Culture. Cambridge. 146-59.
Osborne, R. 1994. "Looking on--Greek Style. Does the Sculpted Girl Speak to Women Too?" In I. Morris, ed" Classical Greece: Ancient Histories and Modern Archaeologies. Cambridge. 81-96.
Platt, V. 2002. "Evasive Epiphanies in Ekphrastic Epigram." Ramus 31: 33-50.
--. 2011. Facing the Gods: Epiphany and Representation in Graeco-Roman Art, Literature and Religion. Cambridge.
Pollitt, J. J. 1974. The Ancient View of Greek Art. New Haven and London.
Ridgway, B. S. 2004. "Some Personal Thoughts on the Cnidia." In B. S. Ridgway, Second Chance: Greek Sculptural Studies Revisited. London. 713-25.
Salomon, N. 1997. "Making a World of Difference: Gender, Asymmetry, and the Greek Nude." In A. O. Koloski-Ostrow and C. L. Lyons, eds., Naked Truths: Women, Sexuality, and Gender in Classical Art and Archaeology. London and New York. 197-219.
Sandberg, N. 1954. Euploia Etudes epigraphiques. Acta Universitas Gothoburgensis, 60.8. Goteberg.
Sanz-Morales, M" and G. Laguna-Mariscal. 2003. "The Relationship between Achilles and Patroclus according to Chariton of Aphrodisias." CQ 53: 292-5.
Shapiro, H. A. 1992. "Eros in Love: Pederasty and Pornography in Greece." In A. Richlin, ed., Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome. Oxford. 53-72.
Spivey, N. 1996. Understanding Greek Sculpture: Ancient Meanings, Modern Readings. London.
Squire, M. 2011. The Art of the Body. Oxford.
Stewart, A. 1997. Art, Desire and the Body in Ancient Greece. Cambridge.
Taylor, R. 2008. The Moral Mirror of Roman Art. New York.
Winkler, J. J. 1989. "Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon." In B. P. Reardon, ed., The Collected Ancient Greek Novels. Berkeley. 171-284.
Zanker, G. 2004. Modes of Viewing in Hellenistic Poetry and Art. Madison.
(1.) Versions of this paper were presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association (Chicago) and the "Vision and Power" panel of the 2008 Celtic Conference in Classics, Cork. I am grateful to both audiences for their insightful comments, particularly on the issue of (in)visibility.
(2.) I leave aside here the question of authorship and date; I use Lucian here although the case for authenticity is unresolved. For a discussion of the issues, see Bloch 1907 and Jones 1984. Buffiere (1980, 481) places the dialogue in the second century CE. Eisner (2007, 119 note 26) addresses the arbitrariness of identifying this dialogue as 'pseudo' and makes a claim for considering it authentically Lucianic.
(3.) Generic complexity: Foucault 1984, 243-61; Goldhill (1995, 102-9) places the dialogue in relation to the periplus and ancient Greek novel; Mossman (2007) discusses comic and tragic allusions. Pederasty: Halperin (2002, 89-103) restates the Foucauldian position. Cnidia: for general studies see Blinkenberg 1933, Flavelock 1995, Corso 2007. Analyses of the viewing context and interpretation of the pudica gesture are offered by Osborne 1994; Spivey 1996; Stewart 1997, 97-106; Salomon 1997. For cautionary statements on interpretive reconstruction, see Borg 2004 and Ridgway 2004. A piquant, albeit brief, analysis of the Cnidia and the Lucianic narrative is also offered by Beard and Henderson 2000, 123-32; see also Squire 2011, 88-102.
(4.) I do not reproduce an image of the Cnidia in order to focus attention on the act of having to read a visual experience.
(5.) Contrary to the idealized representation of male-male intercrural sex on archaic and classical vases where the erastes and erdmenos face one another during penetration (Shapiro 1992, Fig. 3.1), this dialogue makes it clear that sexual attention is focused on the buttocks. Callicratidas comments that the stains location on the rear of her thigh proves Aphrodite was used 'like a boy' because her assailant specifically did not want to face her femininity ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [He had intercourse with the marble like a boy, not wanting, I'm sure, to be confronted by her womanliness, Erot. 17.26]). Within the agon proper, the heterosexual Charicles in his defense of women will claim that the female body has another pathway, specifically a 'boyish' one, which can be used for sexual satisfaction ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [You can enjoy a woman, Callicratidas, 'even more like boys than boys,' the paths to pleasure being doubled, but the male has no way of bestowing womanly pleasure, Erot. 27.6). On the sexual 'repurposing' of women's bodies through anal penetration, see Anth. Graec. 5.54.5; Ovid, Her. 16.161-2; Martial 11.43.9-10 and 11.104.17-20.
(6.) In the actual debate, the first contestant--Charicles, the lover of women--generally keeps his arguments to this theme and addresses the unique pleasures offered in penetrating a female body. Callicratidas, the Athenian pederast, shifts the terms of the debate and presents a pederastic eroticism that elevates philosophical love above the physical.
(7.) All translations are my own unless otherwise stated. The text of Lucian is Macleod 1980.
(8.) See Borg 2004, 54-6 with notes 55-9 for a discussion of the intersection between the literary accounts of Pliny and Lucian with the material evidence. Borbein (1973) based his reconstruction of a small naiskos on the detail and vividness of the Lucianic account, but more recent scholarship (Havelock 1995, 60-1 and note 11) has distanced itself from this approach. See the discussion in Montel 2011 on the state of the question and its relation to current excavations; Montel reaches the same impasse regarding the use of literary accounts in reconstruction.
(9.) Stewart 1997, 97: "[F]or all its engaging vividness, his narrative was not based on firsthand experience ... Osborne 1994, 82: "[Lucian]'s story, although implying that in fact it could not be seen from every side, stresses the special lengths to which the Cnidians had gone to make the back as well as the front visible ..."; Havelock 1995, 62-3: "[W]hether the shrine was open or closed, the only thing that mattered to these authors, whose readers were probably predominantly men, was that the nude goddess could be seen totally, either in reality or in the imagination."
(10.) Cf. Apollonius, Arg. 1.742-6. On the cloak Hypsipyle gives to Jason, Aphrodite is depicted inspecting herself in Ares' shield.
(11.) On Aphrodite and the mirror as a motif in art, see Taylor 2008, 39-46, and on the issue of kosmisis, Breitenberger 2007, 52-60.
(12.) For a thought-provoking discussion of the intersection between verbal and visual, poet and artist, sexual and divine, in epigrams on sculpted and painted Aphrodite, see Platt 2002 and now Platt 2011 as well.
(13.) Anth. Pal. 159: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 160: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 162: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 163: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 165: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 166: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 167: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 168: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 169: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; 170: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
(14.) The formulation with [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is found only in the Horn. Hymn. Ven. (TLG Canon search), but [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is also used in the Odyssey to describe the room of Telemachus (1.426), the palace of Circe (10.211, 10.253), and Eumaeus's abode (14.6).
(15.) Praxiteles' statue may have been associated with the cult of Aphrodite Euploia at Cnidus; on the cult see Sandberg 1954 and Corso 2007, 23-33. See Havelock 1995, 28-9, 36 for a discussion of how the cult at Cnidus may have informed the iconic form of the Cnidia--her pose, her attributes, and her nudity.
(16.) See Platt 2011, 293-332 for a discussion of the visual theology in Philostratus.
(17.) Translation adapted from Winkler 1989.
(18.) In the novel, however, the body that Clitophon will gain access to first is not that of Leucippe, but rather the sexy widow Melite.
(19.) Erot. 12.1: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (And immediately there breathed upon us from the sacred precinct itself Love-drenched breezes. For the courtyard was not for the most part paved with smooth slabs of stone to form an unproductive area but, as it should be in Aphrodite's precinct, the entire place was lush with fruits of the garden).
(20.) Osborne 1994, 84-5; Stewart 1997,103-4; Zanker 2004,42-5. For a different reading of the pudica gesture and this visual exchange, see Salomon 1997 and, for an overview of all these 'positions,' Ridgway 2004.
(21.) Both Spivey 1996 (Fig. 110) and Stewart 1997 (Fig. 58) reproduce a rear-view of a plaster cast taken from a Roman copy in the Musei Vaticani, but do not offer a thoroughgoing analysis. More attention is paid to the lack of a vulva (on the Roman copies) than on the Cnidia's rear delights; see Ridgway 2004, 718-9.
(22.) This is the only exclamation addressed to Heracles in Lycinus's enframed narration (Erot. 11-52). The entire dialogue between Theomnestus and Lycinus is set on the morning of a festival in honor of Heracles, and ends with the two friends leaving to see the bonfires on Mount Oeta (Erot. 54). Mossman (2007) discusses the god's place in the framing dialogue as a self-aware reference to Old Comedy. The use of an oath to Heracles here may serve to directly link this exposition of the Cnidia's backside to the external frame, and to Theomnestus's position of akolasia more specifically; see further below.
(23.) On the mulitvalency of the ancient art critical term ruthmos and euruthmia, see Pollitt 1974, 218-28.
(24.) Erot. 15.6: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (She said, "A young man from a distinguished family--but the act has made the name unspeakable--would come often into the sanctuary).
(25.) Foucault 1984,245: "Acte ambigu. Faut-il, cette impiete-hommage, cette reverence profanatoire, la mettre au compte de l'amour des femmes, ou des garcons?" (An ambiguous act. Should this impious homage, this profane reverence be counted for the love of women or of boys?).
(26.) The sexual act as a part of philosophical pederasty is conceded in Achilles Tatius 2.38.4-5 and Plutarch, Amat. 752A-B; see discussion in Klabunde 2001.
(27.) Cf. the exposition of love's genesis in Achilles Tatius 1.9.4-5.
(28.) Homer, Il. 9.191.
(29.) Mossman 2007,159. For a discussion of the homoerotic reading of the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles in postclassical ancient texts, see Sanz-Morales and Laguna-Mariscal 2003 and Laguna-Mariscal and Sanz-Morales 2005.
(30.) There may be an arch joke in the comment made by Callicratidas about the location of the stain (Erot. 17), namely that the Cnidia was used by her young lover Tike a boy; given his idealization of pederasty in which the desired boy is loved forever and never penetrated.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||I. Art and Text|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2013|
|Previous Article:||Swallow this: a pelike within Late Archaic Song and Visual Culture.|
|Next Article:||Apparitions apparent: ekphrasis and the parameters of vision in the elder philostratus's Imagines.|