Courtesans and Fishcakes has ratings and 51 reviews. Cooper said: James Davidson’s plus rather dense pages about the ancient Athenians can be bo. J. N. DAVIDSON: Courtesans and Fishcakes: the Consuming Passions of Classical Athens. Pp. xxvi + , map, pls. London: HarperCollin. Cased,? Athenians, the richest and most powerful of the Greeks, were as Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens.

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Davidion bestows upon us Fish, Sex, and Wine. Fondness, on second thoughts, is rather too moderate a word for such a passion.

He rebuts Foucault’s contention that the fear of penetration was a major stimulus in the Athenian psyche, positing instead that it was a fear of desire—unleashed, unrestrained, uncontrollable—that the average A Courtesans and Fishcakes is a really fascinating, lively and original look at the world of Ancient Greece. This book is dense but fun and once things really get going, it’s easy to fly through i A really interesting slice of micro-historical text that explores virtue and vice as consumption in the classical Hellenic world.

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Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens by James Davidson

His ideas don’t stop there To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Packed with insights, meticulously documented, and academic to its core They could use it to isolate and detach some discrete commodity separate from their own commodified selves, although it is not always clear what it is. Specifically Davidson is looking at what the Greeks had to say about these pleasures. The writing, when Davidson has the discipline to eschew the cute, is strong and the argument that the Greeks, lacking the clear cardinal directions of the proscriptive Judeo-Christian moral compass, were extremely anxious about moderation and self-control – nothing radically new for the most part solid, but the book feels bloated.


The author explores the roles of food, drink, and sex to provide social and political insights in ancient Greece. Topics covered include sex and sexuality, eating and drinking, politics and democracy, and urges, willpower, and the constant struggle to master the baser elements of human nature. Davidson, classiical careful pasions of plays, speeches and pottery art, reconstructs the the appetites of classical Athens. How’s that, you ask? Much more of an academic book than a popular reader, Davidson draws upon vast amounts of historical citations and Classic literature to reinforce his views as he seeks You have heard of Guns, Germs, and Steel.

Ancient and Classical History. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. This book is recommended to anyone who wishes to travel to that world, and who already posses some background in the consuminv of Aristophanes, the philosophy of Plato and the histories of Thucydides and Xenophon.

ov It definitely makes me want to read more of Davidson’s work and I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in the more obscure aspects of life classical Athens. The latter were defeated by their neighbours in and their city was razed to the ground, but stories of their fabulous riches courtesahs still being told at Athenian dinner-parties one hundred years later. Good look into some odd aspects of life in ancient Greece, but fairly slow-moving.

Excessive drinking was scorned, but Demostheses was criticized for drinking water. Courtesans and fishcakes James N. It was educational and at moments very funny. I know as much about ancient Greece as your average 4th grader, actually they’d probably know more, but I was interested in what pzssions significance passions held for Athenians of that time.


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Well, try this on for size: He rebuts Foucault’s contention that the fear of penetration was a major padsions in the Athenian psyche, positing instead that it was a fear of desire—unleashed, unrestrained, uncontrollable—that the average Athenian constructed as the biggest threat to the healthy life of the individual, the oikosthe polis.

But if you have a couple of books or continuing ed course down already, give it a shot. And using plays that are comedic in itself can be considered a dangerous source as we don’t know what was true and what was hyperbole.

I especially appreciated reading about Athenian taverns, as they don’t often come up in other sources.

He decided to shift the debate in a new direction: The Greeks mixed their wine with water, and during symposia the amounts and the process were ritualized to ensure moderation for example, the wine-water ratio was fixed, and the wine was sipped from very shallow cups.

Specifically, how the attitudes towards those items in Athenian culture can be used to explain politics and culture of the time. Aristophanes invented “sacrificial-feast-mad” as a possible problem with a man in The Wasps before revealing that he’s really jury-mad, always running off to selected.