In the famous speech already mentioned above, Aeschines accused Timarchus of prostituting himself, a crime for which Timarchus lost his Athenian citizenship. Timarchus was accused of violating the following Athenian law: "If a man who has prostituted himself thereafter addresses the assembly, holds an administrative office, etc., then an indictment, entitled 'indictment of hetairesis,' may be brought against him, and if he is found guilty, he may be executed."110 By law, therefore, citizen males should not prostitute themselves and then later seek to address the assembly. If they did so, they would incur a serious penalty, even execution. Those charged with sexual extravagance were frequently accused of lavish expenditure on prostitutes and courtesans. Another strategy was to accuse the target not only of associating with prostitutes but of acting as a prostitute himself. Demosthenes came close to charging Aeschines of the same crime in his speech De Corona: he accused Aeschines of resorting to menial and degrading occupations in order to support himself (Dem. De cor. 258); he alluded to Aeschines' slave origins, suggesting that his mother acted as if she were a prostitute, his father wore shackles, and Aeschines was brought up to excel at acting in minor parts on the stage. (De cor. 129-31, 262-63). Though Demosthenes did not go so far as to directly charge Aeschines with prostituting himself, targeting Aeschines' mother instead, the allusions to Aeschines' ignoble origins, the degrading occupations he was forced to perform, and his association with the stage implied the worst.111
Those charged with prostituting themselves were further maligned by accusations of pathic anal sex and "womanly" behavior.112 Two terms are of importance here: Kivai8o~ and av8poguvo~. Both refer to an "effeminate" man, a man with feminine characteristics (as those were variously defined), but kinaidos implies full sexual deviance, defined in its strictest sense as a man who enjoys playing the receptive role.113 Demosthenes and Aeschines associated one another with the kinaidoi. Aeschines asserted that Demosthenes was an example of "unmanliness" in dress and behavior, insinuating that Demosthenes assimilated himself to women and slaves by seeking phallic penetration (In Tim. 3).114 There were several labels—
effeminate, weak, soft, womanish115—available to accuse a man of being "feminine," preference for the passive role being the most disturbing.116 For example, one could be "soft" (i.e., effeminate) and therefore more likely to take bribes (too soft to resist money), a charge that rested on beliefs about gender, even if the main point was that this man takes bribes (Plut. Them. 4.1).
The accusation that a man had failed at being a "man"—or, worse, had intentionally revoked his male privileges by seeking sexual penetration—was repeated in later, Roman-era sources. For example, Apuleius compared his target Aemilianus to a brothel, calling him a "vile haunt and hideous habitation of lust and gluttony"; Aemilianus was a stage-dancer in his youth, Apuleius continued, yet he was "clumsy and inartistic in his very effeminacy" (Apul. Apol. 74).117 According to Apuleius, then, Aemilianus had not only failed at being a "man," he had failed at being a "woman" as well. Often, as in the case of the charge of luxury, Greeks were blamed by their Roman counterparts. Plutarch complained that Romans typically characterized Greeks as soft (malakia) and slavish (douleia; Mor. (Quaest. Rom). 40.274d). Tacitus lamented the encroachment of Greek ways on Roman life, especially the new Roman habit of "indulging in the gymnasia and idleness and disgraceful love-affairs" (Ann. 14.20).118 Cicero attacked Antony for turning his toga119 into a whore's garment: Antony, Cicero alleged, was a common prostitute.120 Cicero offered other less direct but equally suggestive insults to the "manhood" of other opponents. Catiline's "boys," Cicero argued, "loved to dance and sing, but also to brandish daggers and infuse poison" (Cat. 2.23). Could Cicero intend "daggers" to contain a double meaning here? Similarly, Suetonius criticized both Caligula and Nero for their effeminate tendencies. Not only did they desire to be penetrated, they adopted a feminine gait, wore women's clothing, and pampered themselves with perfumes.121 Caligula had an insatiable desire for phallic penetration, Suetonius claimed (Calig. 36.1). He wore exotic, feminine garments, including a woman's robe and shoes (52.1). He fancied himself a singer or dancer, singing along with actors on the stage, and dancing in front of three consulars in a long cloak (54.1-2). He kissed an actor he particularly liked in public (55.1). Nero defiled every part of his body, enjoying the passive role in sexual acts with his freedmen (Nero 29.1), yet he also lusted after boys, and even went so far as to violate freeborn youths (28.1).122
From Attic Greece to the Roman imperial era, therefore, rhetorical targets were maligned, rivals were eliminated, and rulers were denounced for failing to display and maintain "manliness." These men were said to be
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effeminate or soft and even to seek feminine sexual satisfaction, that is, oral or anal penetration by another man.123 Revoking the (elite) male privilege of penetrating another was condemned as a shocking violation of maleness and status.124 These charges were so dangerous that Roman youths were trained to shun "feminine" mannerisms (Quint. Inst. 11.3.76), and adult men carefully avoided walking in a "feminine" way (Sen. Ep. 52.12). Yet the twin charges "he seeks to be penetrated" (and therefore to be feminine) and "he seeks to penetrate those who are off-limits to him" regularly accompanied one another, as we saw in the example of Suetonius' representation of Caligula and Nero. Nero enjoyed being penetrated but he also sought to corrupt boys.125 Caligula sought frequent penetration by one of his male slaves, but he also seduced Roman matrons (Suet. Calig. 36). In this way, sexual excess and the reception of a phallus were gendered feminine; both practices were described as a contrary to "manliness." Lurking behind these accusations of effeminacy was a stereotype of a good, citizen male, a master of his passions, who penetrates others designated "by nature" or station to be penetrated, male or female.126 This active man shows courage (Greek: avSpeia, a cognate of avhp, "man," this word could also be translated "manliness"; Latin: virtus) and shuns weakness.127 By choosing to insult men by suggesting that they are like women, these charges implied an intimately related definition of femininity and the female.
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