[lit-ideas] Slave to love, slave to sex (Is: "sex-slave"

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 22:00:58 EDT

R. Paul:
"I know little Hegel and less Greek, but a 'barbarian'  and a slave were not 
the same thing for Aristotle. A barbarian was  originally simply a non-Greek, 
so-called because of his unintelligible  speech: barbarbarbar...and so on. 
'Barbarian' was originally neutral; I  don't think Aristotle ever uses it 
pejoratively. Athenians had no need  for a supply of barbarians. 

'Natural slaves' (doulos) are discussed near the beginning of the Politics; 
such people are slaves by nature, minimally rational, and minimally virtuous—
rational and virtuous only to the extent that they are capable of understanding 
and carrying out the despotes' requests. 

Natural slavery is different from legal slavery, e.g. captives and prisoners 
of war who are set to work in the lead mines and elsewhere.  It was in 
principle possible to escape from legal bondage, but not to escape from one's 
state as a slave. 

Slaves are probably mentioned somewhere in the NE, but the Politics is 
usually considered the main source for Aristotle's views on natural and legal 

I was considering H. Dover's treatment of the Demosthenes  prosecution of 
Timarkhos. Apparently, Timarkhos had prostituted 'herself',
This is Dover:

"It is noticeable that the law says not 'if  ANYONE has prostituted himself' 
but 'if AN ATHENIAN (lit. 'someone of the  Athenians') has prostituted 

which imposed  penalties on men who sought to exercise these functions after 
prostituting  themselves."

"We should expect in consequence that males who made a  living from 
prostitution would be predominantly non-Athenian"
Well, this "expectation is borne out by a section of  Aiskhines' peroration."
Aiskhines writes:

"Tell those who are hunters of  [males] as are easily caught TO TURN TO 
FOREIGN VISITORS OR RESIDENT FOREIGNERS,  so that they may not be denied the 
pursuit of their inclinations and you (sc.  the people of Athens) may come to 
The problem here is "aesthetic". What if such hunters were not  _attracted_ 
to foreign visitors or even resident foreigners?
"The prostitutes who paid the tax levies on their profession  were PRESUMABLY 
FOR THE MOST PART FOREIGNERS. The passage implies taht no law  was concerned 
to deny satisfaction to sexual inclinations on a commercial basis  PROVIDED 
THAT NO ATHENIAN was procured for the purpose. 
"For the period before Timarkhos, the one contractual  commercial 
relationship for which we do have detailed evidence involved a male  who had AT 
MARGINAL CITIZEN STATUS and may in fact have been regarded as  being, for all 
practical purposes, A FOREIGNER."
"Simon conceived a desire for a PLATAEAN (?). Simon that he  would compel the 
PLATAEAN by illegal force to do whatever he (i. e. Simon)  wished."
And thus be deemed 'a slave'.
"Those Plataeans who escaped in time from the Peloponnesian  capture of 
Plataiai in 427 were GIVEN ATHENIAN CITIZENSHIP. The decree did not  give 
citizenship indiscriminately ... the offer should be closed when  the 
fugitives of 427 had been dealt with."
"A limit was set to the range of administrative offices which  should be open 
to these new citizens, and it was provided that the limitation  should apply 
to those of their issue whose birth did not SATISFY ATHENIAN  CRITERIA OF 
I'm wondering what a proudish prick Aristotle looks in all  that, when he 
hadn't been even born, as Plato and Socrates had, in Athens --  Indeed, he was 
just a resident 'foreigner'.
"Given these facts, it is quite possible that the Plataean did  NOT possess 
Athenian citizen status at all. And even if he did, he could NEVER  HAVE BEEN 
REGARDED by Athenians in the same light as [someone] of pure Athenian  
ancestry" (as Plato.)
"Rather remarkable if he hired someone for prostitution  (hetairesis) for a 
larger sum than he in fact possesses!"
"Once the law had been made, prostitution will naturally have  become the 

"A FOREIGNER at Athens was  regarded as being OF LOWER WORTH than a citizen, 
so that any event which  adversely affected the prosperity or character of a 
foreigner was LESS IMPORTANT  than it would have been if it had adversely 
affected a citizen in the same way  and to the same extent. It is easy to 
indignation at injury done by a  FOREIGNER to a CITIZEN, and judgment in a 
lawsuit between a citizen and a  foreigner was apt to go against the foreigner 
circumstances where the outcome  would have been less predictable if both 
parties had been  citizens."
"A character in Aristophanes (Knights 347) ridicules one who  thinks himself 
a capable speaker just because "you prsented some piddling case  against a 
foreign resident".
"Misgolas and Phaidros found TImarkhos having lunch with some  visiting 
foreigners. They threatened the foreigners and told them to come along  to the 
prison, because they had corruputed a youth ******OF FREE STATUS******;  the 
foreigners were freightened and disappeared, leaving the party they had been  
"Misgolas and Phaidros were bluffing, and the bluff is made  all the more 
remarkable by saying not 'an Athenian youth' but "A FREE YOUTH"  (sc. of any 
nationality). Even if the foreigners had been apprehended at the  climax of an 
erotic tangle with Timarkhos, provided that Timarkhos had said that  he was 
it because he liked it, no one had broken the law; but the  foreigners were 
not prepared to face citizen accusers".
It was so legalistic that R. Burton preferred the Middle East,  where sexual 
adventures with slaves was, while 'less free' (on the part of the  slave) less 
apt to be seen as an illegality.

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