Revive Her Drive

Improving Your Sex Life

Get Instant Access



1. Peter Baker, The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton (New York: Berkley, 2000), 18. Though scandal mongering regarding "presidential peccadilloes" was on the wane prior to the Clinton impeachment trial, the assumption that respectable sexual behavior ought be a characteristic of the president and other political leaders continued, the same assumption that fueled accusations about illegitimate children, adulterous liaisons, and seductions of vulnerable young women against such earlier figures as Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Grover Cleveland, and William Henry Harrison. See John H. Summers, "What Happened to Sex Scandals? Politics and Peccadilloes, Jefferson to Kennedy," The Journal of American History 87, no. 3 (December 2000): 825-54.

2. Seth Mydans, "Top Opposition Leader in Malaysia Is Jailed in Sex Case," New York Times,

21 September 1998; Mydans, "Malaysian Police Break Up Protests on Arrest," New York Times,

22 September 1998; Mydans, "Using a Sexual Slur, Malaysian Calls Ex-Deputy Unacceptable," New York Times, 23 September 1998. For further discussion on the case, from the perspective of those who support Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister, who remains imprisoned today, see the articles and links at Human Rights Watch issued a press release regarding the case in August 2000. See

3. See Bruce Lincoln, Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 71—79.

4. Father Pierre Baird, S.J. (1611), in New American World, ed. D. B. Quinn (New York: Arno Press and Hector Bye, 1979), 4:392.

5. Juan Gines de Sepulveda, Democrates secundus, in Democrates segundo. Apolgia en favor del libro sobre las justas causas de la guerra, ed. Jamie Brafau Prats with Spanish translation by A. Coroleu Lletget (Pozoblanco, Spain: Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Pozoblanco, 1997). For a helpful discussion of Spanish imperialism and the use of pietistic and moralizing discourse to support this imperialism, see Anthony Pagden, Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain, and France, c. 1500—1800 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1995), esp. chapter 2; on Sepulveda, see 99—102.

6. Peter Brown, Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianisation of the Roman World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 11. Brown is interested here in the "Christianisation" of the empire of the fourth century, where the governing elite "presented themselves to themselves" by means of "symbolic forms" that "owed little or nothing to Christianity." See also Virginia Burrus, " 'In the Theater of this Life': The Performance of Orthodoxy in Ancient Christianity," in Essays on Late Antique Thought and Culture in Honor of R. A. Markus, ed. William E. Klingshirn and Mark Vessey (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 80—96.

Burrus notes that late ancient Christian orthodoxy also sought to represent itself to itself as legitimate, often by referencing the absolute unanimity that all orthodox Christians allegedly (and impossibly) shared.

7. See John H. Kautsky, The Politics of Aristocratic Empires (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982), 169—210; and Bruce Lincoln, Authority: Construction and Corrosion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), esp. chapter 1.

8. Vine Deloria Jr., Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto (New York: Macmillan, 1969), 153-54. For an interesting comparative example, see Ana Maria Alonso, "Gender, Power, and Historical Memory: Discourses of Serrano Resistance," in Feminists Theorize the Political, ed. Judith Butler and Joan W. Scott (New York: Routledge, 1992), 404-25.

9. On the dynamics of parody, joke telling, trickster tales, and other "hidden transcripts" designed to undermine the "public transcript" of a dominant group, see James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts ofResistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1990); Lincoln, Authority, 74—89; Robert M. Adams, Bad Mouth: Fugitive Papers on the Dark Side (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977); F. G. Bailey, Gifts and Poison (New York: Schocken, 1971). Adams comments, "Men have been killed with leather swords, and insult and invective, even after we've surrounded them with all the cotton wool at our disposal, are still felt to provide the potential for dangerous fun" (42).

10. I use the word "slander" to indicate that the accusations made were intended to malign and defame. I do not mean to suggest that such charges have no basis in fact—I leave that question to others. Rather, I am exploring the content and implications of these charges, the "slander."

11. Famously argued by Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, trans. Charles Francis Atkinson, 2 vols. (New York: Knopf, 1976; originally published in 1922—23 as Der Untergang des Abendlandes).

12. On Caligula's sexual exploits, see Suet. Calig. 36—41; Cass. Dio 59.28, taken as clear-cut evidence of Caligula's "private pursuits" by Anthony A. Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989), esp. 42—49. Arther Ferrill mocks those historians who seek to "whitewash" Caligula, agreeing with the ancient historians before him that Caligula probably did engage in incest; see his Caligula: Emperor of Rome (London: Thames and Hudson, 1991). For a fictionalized yet influential rendering of Caligula, the monstrous and insane pervert, see Robert Graves, I, Claudius (New York: R. Smith and R. Haas, 1934).

13. Stephen Benko, Pagan Rome and the Early Christians (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), 71—73; Hans Jonas, Gnosis und spataniker Geist, vol. 1 (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprect, 1934), 170; Stephen Gero, "With Walter Bauer on the Tigris: Encratite Orthodoxy and Libertine Heresy in Syro-Mesopotamian Christianity," in Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity, ed. Charles W. Hedrick and Robert Hodgson Jr. (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1986), 287—307. Though skeptical of the evidence, Kurt Rudolph suggested that behind the polemic there probably were some set of innovative sexual rites and an ethic of spiritual and psychic freedom, Gnosis: The Nature and History of an Ancient Religion, trans. Robert McL. Wilson (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1983), 248—57. Peter Brown speculated that heretical Christians probably did experiment with "free love"; see Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 61, 61 n. 133: "It is not altogether surprising that, at just this time, we hear shocked rumors that esoteric Christian groups had turned to free love. Their enemies claimed that these explored, through promiscuity, the nature of 'true communion.' ... One cannot rule out the existence of such groups within second-century Christianity: they were not merely figments of a polemist's imagination."

14. For a different interpretation of the representation of Caligula by Suetonius, see Donna W. Hurley, A Historical and Historiographical Commentary on Suetonius' Life of Caligula (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993). On the Simonians, see Iren. Adv. Haer. 1.22.2—23.4 and Epiph. Pan. 21.2—7. The suggestion that the Simonians collect seminal emissions and menstrual blood is found in Epiph. Pan. 21.4.1—2 Epiphanius' representation of the Simonians is generally understood to be unreliable. See Aline Pourkier, L'Hérésiologie chez Epiphane de Salamine, Christinisme Antique 4 (Paris: Beauchesne, 1992), 164-65. Still, many scholars do accept the view that the Simonians included some sort of sexual experimentation among their worship practices. See, for example, Riemer Roukema, Gnosis and Faith in Early Christianity: An Introduction to Gnosticism, trans. John Bowden (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1999), 22; and Karlmann Beyschlag, Simon Magus und die christliche Gnosis, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 16 (Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 1975), 193-201.

15. See Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990); and "Contingent Foundations: Feminism and the Question of 'Postmodernism,' " in Feminists Theorize the Political, ed. Judith Butler and Joan Wallach Scott (New York: Routledge, 1992), 15—16; Joan Wallach Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 49; Philippe Ariès and André Béjin, Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, trans. Anthony Forster (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985); Nancy C. M. Hartsock, Money, Sex, and Power (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1983), 156; Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. 1, An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Random House, 1978); Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, ed. and trans. H. M. Parshley (New York: Vintage Books, 1952). The implications of this approach for the study of ancient history has been a topic of considerable debate. See especially David M. Halperin, One Hundred Years of Homosexuality and Other Essays on Greek Love (New York: Routledge, 1990); and How to Do the History of Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002); Eve Cantarella, Bisexuality in the Ancient World, trans. Cormac O Cuilleanain (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992); John J. Winkler, Constraints of Desire (New York: Routledge, 1990); and "Laying Down the Law: The Oversight of Men's Sexual Behavior in Classical Athens," in Before Sexuality: The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek World, ed. David M. Halperin, John J. Winkler, and Froma I. Zeitlin (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990), 171—209; Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vols. 2 and 3, The Use of Pleasure and The Care of the Self, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1985); Eva Keuls, The Reign of the Phallus: Sexual Politics in Ancient Athens (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985). But also see Bruce Thornton, Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1997); and the responses to Foucault found in David H. J. Larmour, Paul Allen Miller, and Charles Platter, eds., Rethinking Sexuality: Foucault and Classical Antiquity (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998); and by David Cohen and Richard Saller, "Foucault on Sexuality in Greco-Roman Antiquity," in Foucault and the Writing of History, ed. Jan Goldstein (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994), 35—59. Ruth Mazo Karras offers an excellent overview of the topic and the issues involved; see her "Active/Passive, Acts/Passions: Greek and Roman Sexualities," The American Historical Review 105, no. 4 (2000): 1—42.

16. My thinking here has been informed by the work of philosophers, historians, and feminists who regard discourse as constitutive of social worlds and even of "the self," especially Michel Foucault. There is, I would argue, a reciprocal and generative relationship between power, knowledge, and discourse. As a discursive practice, Christian sexual slander is implicated in social formation, power relations, and constructions of communal and personal identity. In other words, discourses "constitute the truths they claim to discover and transmit," including truths about the virtue or vice of Christians, pagans, heretics, Jews, Greeks, Romans, and so on. See Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1979); "The Subject and Power," in Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, ed. Herbert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982); The Essential Words of Michel Foucault, ed. Paul Rabinow, vol. 1, Ethics, Subjectivity, and Truth (New York: The New Press, 1994); Irene Diamond and Lee Quinby, eds., Feminism and Foucault: Reflections on Resistance (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988); and Susan J. Hekman, Feminist Interpretations of Michel Foucault (University Park: Pennsylvania University Press, 1996); Jana Sawicki, Disciplining Foucault: Feminism, Power, and the Body (New York: Routledge, 1991). Quotation from Paul A. Bové, Mastering Discourse: The Politics of Intellectual Culture (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1992), 8.

17. Athenagoras Leg 3; Minucius Felix Oct.x 9.2; Theophilus Ad Auto. 3.4—5; Tertullian Ad. nat. 1.15. For an overview of accusations of Christian flagitia, see Albert Henrichs, "Pagan Ritual and the Alleged Crimes of the Early Christians: A Reconsideration," in Kyriakon: Festschrift Johannes Quasten, vol. 1, ed. Patrick Granfield and Josef A. Jangmann (Münster: Verlag Aschendorff, 1970), 18-35. Henrichs argues that such practices did occur among some groups, but not among the Christians. The Christians had the misfortune to be identified with these practices through a process of guilt by association. For a discussion of the association between Christians and hysterical women in particular, see the excellent treatment by Margaret Y. MacDonald in her Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion: The Power of the Hysterical Woman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

18. Minucius Felix Oct. 9.6-7. For a helpful introduction to Latin Christian apologetics, see Simon Price, "Latin Christian Apologetics: Minucius Felix, Tertullian, and Cyprian," in Apologetics in the Roman Empire: Pagans, Jews, and Christians, ed. Mark Edwards, Martin Goodman, and Simon Price (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 105—29.

19. Joseph Ap. 2.89—102; Tac. Hist. 5.4—5: "They sit apart at meals, and they sleep apart, and although as a race, they are prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; yet among themselves nothing is unlawful." On the charge that Jews worship the head of an ass, see esp. Louis H. Feldman and John R. Levison, eds. "An Ass in the Jerusalem Temple: The Origins and Development of the Slander," in Josephus' Contra Apionem: Studies in its Character and Context with a Latin Concordance to the Portion Missing in Greek, ed. Louis H. Feldman and John R. Levison, Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums 34 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996), 310—26. For a discussion of the polemics against the Jews, see Louis H. Feldman, Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993), esp. 123—76.

20. Wis 14:12; T. Levi 14.1—8; Joseph Ap. 2.197, 273—5; Sib. Or. 3.590—600; Philo Virt. 34.182. For discussion, see Maurice Gilbert, La Critique des dieux dans le Livre de la Sagesse, Analecta Biblica 53 (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1973); Aryeh Kasher, "Polemic and Apologetic Methods of Writing in Contra Apionem," in Josephus' Contra Apionem: Studies in its Character and Context with a Latin Concordance to the Portion Missing in Greek, ed. Louis H. Feldman and John R. Levison, Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums 34 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996), 147—50; Erich S. Gruen, "Jews, Greeks, and Romans in the Third Sibylline Oracle," in Jews in a Graeco-Roman World, ed. Martin Goodman (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), 15—36; Martin Goodman, "Josephus' Treatise Against Apion," in Apologetics in the Roman Empire: Pagans, Jews, and Christians, ed. Mark Edwards, Martin Goodman, and Simon Price (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 45—58.

21. The view that Persians were slavish due to their extreme wealth and the tyrannical form of government they preferred is at least as old as the Persian wars. Aeschylus argued that the Greeks are free but the Persians are slaves (1.242); Herodotus records the Spartans telling the Persians that they know how to be slaves and have never tasted freedom (7.135); Euripides has Helen state that all barbarians (i.e., Persians) are slaves, with the exception of their king (1.276). See discussion in Yvon Garlan, Slavery in Ancient Greece, trans. Janet Lloyd (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988), 120.

22. For example, Sail. Cat. 11.5. See discussion of this charge in Craig A. Williams, Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, J999), 40—42; Paul Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, trans. Alan Shapiro (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988), 52; Catharine Edwards, The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 93; Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1939), 270—77.

23. Justin 1 Apol. 5.9,18; 2 Apol. 12; Tatian Or. 22, 33; Theophilus Ad Auto. 1.2, 9—10; 3.3, 5, 6, 8; Athenagoras Leg. 20.3—21.4; 32.1; Tertullian Apol. 9.16—16; 13.9; 15.1—3, 7; 35.2—5; Minucius Felix Oct. 28—31.

24. As we shall see, in Christian usage, "heresy" became a label with pejorative content meaning something like "whatever diverges from the 'true' doctrine." By using such terms I do not mean to imply—with the Christian authors who employed these labels—that the group or doctrine under consideration was not in fact "Christian." For further discussion, see Marcel Simon, "From Greek Hairesis to Christian Heresy," in Early Christian Literature and the Classical Intellectual Tradition: In Honorem Robert M. Grant, ed. William R. Schoedel and Robert L. Wilken, Théologie Historique 53 (Paris: Éditions Beuchesne, 1979), 101—16.

25. Iren. Adv. Haer. 1.25.3. Unger's translation, 88.

26. All too often, conclusions about the sexual practices of the ancients have been drawn from these sources without adequate consideration of the rhetorical function of slander. For example, charges of depravity lodged by Christians against gentiles have led to the conclusion that the Christians were especially pure and their neighbors especially promiscuous, yet many "pagan" authors consistently argued that it was they who were distinctively virtuous. So, for example, New Testament scholars sometimes mention the (allegedly) depraved morals of non- or pre-Christian Corinthians, arguing that Paul had no choice but to spend so much of his first letter to that city dealing with problems of sexual immorality, especially since these practices continued to be promoted by Paul's Christian opponents. For recent examples of this view, see Amos Jones Jr., Paul's Message of Freedom: What Does It Mean to the Black Church? (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1992), 29—30; and Allen Verhey, Remembering Jesus: Christian Community, Scripture, and the Moral Life (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2002), 220—28. In an analogous argument regarding the epistle of Jude, Richard Bauckham observed that "pagan morality" often involved the promotion of hedonism and, hence, the author of Jude properly identified idolatry with sexual immorality; see his Jude, 2 Peter, Word Biblical Commentaries 50 (Waco, Tex.: Word Books, 1983), 155. See also Benjamin Fiore, "Passion in Paul and Plutarch: 1 Corinthians 5—6 and the Polemic Against Epicureans," in Greeks, Romans, and Christians, ed. E. Ferguson, D. L. Balch, and W. A. Meeks (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990), 124. On pagan claims about their own virtue, see James A. Francis, Subversive Virtue: Asceticism and Authority in the Second-Century Pagan World (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995); Averil Cameron, "Redrawing the Map: Early Christian Territory After Foucault," JRS 76 (1986): 266—71; Judith Evans Grubbs, "Constantine and Imperial Legislation on the Family," in The Theodosian Code, ed. Jill Harries and Ian Wood (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993), 120—42. All of these studies note the continuity between pagan claims about their own virtue and the claims of Christian authors about the unique moral excellence of the followers of Christ. Another common argument presupposes that, while "true," "orthodox" Christians were sexually self-controlled, the "heretics" probably were guilty of antinomian sexual ethics, or worse. In recent years, several influential monographs have called this particular argument into question, noting that the evidence for "bad" behavior on the part of the "heretics" or "gnostics" is highly suspect. See esp. Karen King, What Is Gnosticism? (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003); Michael Allen Williams, Rethinking "Gnosticism ": An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); Anne McGuire, "Women, Gender, and Gnosis in Gnostic Texts and Traditions," in Women and Christian Origins, ed. Ross Shepard Kraemer and Mary Rose D'Angelo (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 257—60; Frederick Wisse, "The Epistle of Jude in the History of Heresiology," in Essays on the Nag Hammadi Texts in Honour of Alexander Bohlig, ed Martin Krause, Nag Hammadi Studies 3 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972), 133—43. See also the helpful and succinct comments of Bart D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, !993), 15—17. I am sympathetic with these studies. Nevertheless, I have bracketed questions of what Christians, pagans, heretics and others were doing in favor of a close examination of what Christians were saying about their rivals, about outsiders, and about themselves.

27. Dem. De cor. 129, 260. Similarly, Aeschines attacked the target of one of his forensic speeches by claiming that he had prostituted himself in his youth and squandered his inheritance: Aeschin. In Tim.

28. Cic. Cat. 1.13—16. R. M. Nisbet offers a thorough survey of the sorts of charges commonly employed by Cicero in "The in Pisonem as an invective," appendix 6 to Cicero: In L. Campur-

nium Pisonem (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961), 192—97. Cicero specifically commended the rhetorical methods of his Athenian predecessors in De or. 22.94, 23.94—95. Plutarch compared Cicero to Demosthenes in his Parallel Lives, noting that they share much in common. See Plut. Dem. 2.3—4, and Plutarch, Comparatio Ciceronis cum Demosthene.

29. See Jacqueline Flint Long, Claudian s In Eutropium: Or, How, When, and Why to Slander a Eunuch (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 65—146; Severin Koster, Die Invektive in der griechischen und römischen Literatur, Beiträge zur Klassichen Philologie 99 (Meisenheim am Glan: Verlag Anton Hain, 1980); James Rives, "Human Sacrifice Among Pagans and Christians," JRS 85 (1995): 65-85.

30. Luke Timothy Johnson, "The New Testament's Anti-Jewish Slander and the Conventions of Ancient Polemic," JBL 108 (1989): 433, emphasis in the original.

31. Andrew McGowan, "Eating People: Accusations of Cannibalism Against Christians in the Second Century," JECS 2 (1994): 413-42; and Rives, "Human Sacrifice," 65-85. See also Henrichs, "Pagan Ritual," esp. 24-29.

32. Rives, "Human Sacrifice," 70.

33. Rives, "Human Sacrifice," 74; McGowan, 434: "To be a 'cannibal' meant to be lawless, primitive, foreign, immoral, secretive, and violent."

34. Edwards, Politics oflmmorality, 11.

35. Virginia J. Hunter, Policing Athens: Social Control in the Attic Lawsuits, 420—320 B. C. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994), esp. 102-5. Indeed, that the charges were stereotypical reemphasizes how closely they were linked to a standard definition of proper behavior. See also Winkler, Constraints, 46: "The kinaidos is a scare-image standing behind the more concrete charges of shaming one's integrity as a male citizen by hiring out one's body to another man's use." In other words, according to Winkler, the most devastating charge that could be made against an Athenian male citizen was that he sought sexual penetration by another, the "feminine" role. Such a charge could have serious social consequences. For further discussion, see chapter 1 below.

36. Exod 34:15-16; see also Lev 17:7, 20:1-9; Deut 31:16; Judg 2:17, 8:27; 1 Chr 5:25; Ezek 6:9, 20:30; 2 Kgs 9:22. See Phyllis A. Bird, " 'To Play the Harlot': An Inquiry Into an Old Testament Metaphor," in Gender Difference in Ancient Israel, ed. P. Day (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, ^89), 75-94. See also Bird, "The Harlot as Heroine: Narrative Art and Social Presupposition in Three Old Testament Texts," in Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), 197-218; Fokkelien van Dijk-Hemmes, "The Metaphorization of Women in Prophetic Speech: An Analysis of Ezekiel 23," in On Gendering Texts: Female and Male Voices in the Hebrew Bible, ed. Athalya Brenner and F. Van Dijk-Hemmes, Biblical Interpretation Series 1 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1993), 167-76; Howard Eilberg-Schwartz, God's Phallus and Other Problems for Men and Monotheism (Boston: Beacon Press, 1994), 97-105; Yvonne Sherwood, The Prostitute and the Prophet: Hosea's Marriage in Literary and Theoretical Perspective, JSOT Supplement Series 212 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), 19-20; Tikva Freymer-Kensky, "Law and Philosophy: The Case of Sex in the Bible," in Women in the Hebrew Bible: A Reader, ed. Alice Bach (New York: Routledge, 1999), 293-304.

38. 1 Cor 5:1-13; Eph 5:3, 5, 22-32; Col 3:5-7, 18-25; 1 Tim 2:8-15; 3:2-7, 12; 5:11-16; 2 Tim 3:2-9; Titus 2:3-7; Ign. Pol. 5.1-2; Poly. Phil. 4:2-3, 5.3.

39. Arist. Apol. 15; Athenagoras Leg. 32.2-5, 33.1, 4-5; Justin 1 Apol. 15; Tatian Or. 33; Theoph-ilus Ad Auto. 13; Tertullian Apol. 39.

40. Acta Pauli et Theclae, in Acta apostolorum apocrypha, ed. R. A. Lipsius, vol. 1 (Leipzig: Mendelssohn, 1898; repr., Hildesheim: Olms, 1972), 235-271; Acta Joannis, in Acta apostolorum apocrypha, ed. M. Bonnet, vol. 2.1 (Leipzig: Mendelssohn, 1898; repr., Hildesheim: Olms, 1972), 151-215; Acta Thomae, in Acta apostolorum apocrypha, ed. M. Bonnet, vol. 2.2 (Leipzig: Mendelssohn, 1903; repr., Hildesheim: Olms, 1972), 99-288.

41. The bibliography on early and late ancient Christian discourses of sexuality, virginity, masculinity, and femininity is immense. A few important examples include: Peter Brown, The

Body and Society, Virginia Burrus, Chastity as Autonomy: Women in the Stories of the Apocryphal Acts, Studies in Women and Religion 23 (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1987); Elizabeth Castelli, "Virginity and Its Meaning for Women's Sexuality in Early Christianity, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religions 2 (1986): 61—88; Elizabeth A. Clark, Reading Renunciation: Asceticism and Scripture in Early Christianity (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999); Kate Cooper, The Virgin and the Bride: Idealized Womanhood in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996); Susanna Elm, Virgins of God: The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994); Kathy L. Gaca, The Making of Fornication: Eros, Ethics, and Political Reform in Greek Philosophy and Early Christianity, Hellenistic Culture and Society 40 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003); Bernhard Lohse, Askese und Mönchtum in der Antike und der alten Kirche, Religion und Kultur der alten Mittelmeerwelt in ParaJlelforschungen 1 (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1969); Aline Rousselle, Porneia: On Desire and the Body in Antiquity, trans. Felicia Pheasant (London: Basil Blackwell, 1988); Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York: Crossroad, 1983); Vincent Wimbush and Richard Valantasis, eds., Asceticism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). See also the broad yet detailed survey of medieval legislation regarding sexual conduct by James A. Brundage, Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987). Brundage notes that a widespread Christian disdain for sex and veneration of sexual abstinence, rooted in the writings of the earliest Christians, transformed thinking about sex in the West and continues to inform the Western cultural landscape today.

42. Brown, Body and Society. Following an exhaustive survey of various Christian approaches to the topic, Brown remarks, "The Early Church was so creative largely because its most vocal members so frequently disagreed with each other" (429).

43. Tatian On Perfection fr. 5 = Clement Strom. 3.12, 17, in Tatian: Oratio ad Graecos and Fragments, ed. and trans. Molly Whittaker (xford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 79—80. For further discussion, see Gaca, Making ofFornication, 221—46; see also Brown, Body and Society, 90—93.

45. See esp. Tatian Or. 22, 33 and Iren. Adv. Haer. 1.6.3, 1.13.3, 5.8.2—4. These differences in approach to the question of sexual renunciation have led Kathy Gaca to posit that there were three "very different sectors of patristic thought—the sexually encratite, the proto-orthodox, and the more libertine positions," which she then discusses in detail (see Making ofFornication, esp. part 3; quotation from page 15 of the introduction).

46. For example, Matt 6:32; Rom 1:18—32; Eph 4:17; 1 Thes 4:5; 1 Peter 4:3—5.

47. For example, Phil 4:18—19; Eph 5:6—18; 2 Tim 3:1—9; Heb 6:4—8; 2 Peter 1:4—9, 2:1—22, 3:3—4; 1 John 2:18—19, 4:1—6; Jude 3—18; Rev. 2:14, 20; Ign. Eph. 7.1; 16.1; Ign. Trall. 6.1—7.1; 11.1; Ign. Phld. 2.2—3.1; Ign. Smyr. 4.1; 5.1; 6.2; Poly. Phil. 7.1—2; Herm. Mand. 4; 6; 11; Herm. Sim. 6.2; 7.5; 9.19; Justin 1 Apol. 26.

48. Justin 1 Apol. 26; Justin Dial. 35; Iren. Adv. Haer. 1.6.2; 1.13.2—7; 1.22.2—23.4; 1.24.5; 1.25.3—4; 1.26.3; 1.28.2; 2.32.2; 5.8.4; Clement Strom. 3.2.5, 1,11; 4.28; 5.42—3; 6.46, 54; 11.78; Epiph. Pan. 21.2.2—3.

49. Caroline Johnson Hodge, " 'If Sons, Then Heirs': A Study of Kinship and Ethnicity in Paul's Letters" (Ph.D. diss., Brown University, 2001), states the problem succinctly: "There is no ethnically neutral 'Christianity' in Paul; there is no 'Christianity' in Paul at all. The term 'Christians' is an anachronistic designation for Christ-followers in Paul's letters" (3).

50. On "ethnic reasoning" as an important aspect of Christian self-definition, see Denise Kimber Buell, "Rethinking the Relevance of Race for Early Christian Self-Definition," Harvard Theological Review 94, no. 4 (2001): 449—76.

51. James B. Rives, "Roman Religion Revisited," Phoenix 52 (1998): 353. See the excellent set of essays in Simon Goldhill, ed., Being Greek Under Rome: Cultural Identity, the Second Sophistic, and the Development of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001); the helpful treatment of Greek identity by Simon Swain, Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and

Power in the Greek World, A.D. 50—250 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996); and the important work by Jonathan M. Hall, Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); and Hellenicity: Between Ethnicity and Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).

52. See esp. Tim Whitmarsh, Greek Literature and the Roman Empire: The Politics of Imitation (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).

53. See Shaye J. D. Cohen, The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999); and Seth Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 B.C.E to 640 C.E. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001). Hence, as Seth Schwartz has shown, one could investigate just what sort of category "Jew" has been, asking whether "the Jews constituted a group in antiquity and, if they did, of the character of that group." The limitations of the evidence make such an inquiry difficult, Schwartz acknowledges, but the alternative—simply assuming the "groupness" or nationhood of the Jews—is unacceptable (5).

54. Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power, ed. J. B. Thompson, trans. Gino Raymond and Matthew Adamson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 105.

55. Plato Rep. 427c-434d, 543c-580a.

57. For example, Diodorus Siculus described the Egyptian kings of old as illustrative of the sort of virtue expected from good rulers, especially self-control, justice, and magnanimity Dio. Sic. 1.70.6-12. Elsewhere, Diodorus records with approval their exceedingly strict laws regarding women, 78.4-5. Stylianou observes, "moralizing judgements on individuals in the form of set epainoi or psogoi are characteristic" of much of Diodorus' lengthy history, a practice he took over from his sources. See P. J. Stylianou, A Historical Commentary on Diodorus Siculus Book 15, Oxford Classical Monographs (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), 3-8. Similarly, Arrian related the (supposedly) exceptional sophrosyne of Alexander who chose not to violate the wife or daughters of the kings he defeated, though as the victor he had the opportunity to do so, Arr. Anab. 4.19.4-6, 20.1-3. In response, Darius, king of Persia, stretched his hands to heaven and prayed that his empire would be restored to him but, if not, then that both he and Persia would be ruled by the moderate, just Alexander (20.3). According to Arrian, Alexander was a model of physical stamina, liberality, fearlessness, piety, and sexual temperance. See discussion in A. B. Bosworth, From Arrian to Alexander: Studies in Historical Interpretation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 135-56. Plutarch also praised Alexander's exceptional awfpoauvh, a characteristic evident from his youth. Though Alexander may have been "impetuous and violent in other matters, the pleasures of the body had little hold upon him, and he indulged in them with great moderation," Plut. Alex. 4.4-5.

58. See, for example, the descriptions of Nero found in Suetonius, Tacitus, and Dio and discussed in Jas Elsner and Jamie Masters, ed. Reflections of Nero: Culture, History, and Representation (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994).

59. On the significance of the title "Augustus," see Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price, Religions of Rome, vol. 1, A History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 182-84.

60. Zanker, The Power of Images, 101-39; Syme, Roman Revolution, 150. On the religious reforms of Augustus, see Beard, North, and Price, Religions of Rome, 186-210; on actions against foreign cults, see 228-35.

61. RG 34.2: "For this service of mine I was named Augustus by decree of the senate, and the door-posts of my house were publicly wreathed with bay leaves and a civic crown was fixed over my door and a golden shield was set in the Curia Julia, which, as attested by the inscription thereon, was given me by the senate and people of Rome on account of my courage, clemency, justice, and piety." For discussion, see J. Rufus Fears, "The Cult of the Virtues and Roman Imperial Ideology," ANRW2.17.2 (1981), 885-6; Brian Bosworth, "Augustus, the Res Gestae, and the Hellenistic Theories of Apotheosis," JRS 89 (1999): 1-18. Bosworth argues that Augustus purposefully adopted the language of Hellenistic kingship to describe his accomplishments.

62. See Helen North, "Canons and Hierarchies of the Cardinal Virtues in Greek and Latin Literature," in The Classical Tradition: Literary and Historical Studies in Honor of Harry Caplan, ed. Luitpold Wallach (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1966), 177-78. For one interesting example, see Philo Leg. 143—61.

63. On Nero, see Sen. Clem. 1.1.6. On Trajan, see Plin. Pan. 22—28, 42.

64. Fears, "The Cult of the Virtues," 938.

65. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Suetonius: The Scholar and His Caesars (London: Duckworth, 1983), 147.

66. Compare Lincoln, Authority, 6, 45, 48, 71, 78—79, 93. Lincoln challenges the notion that any one person or group can be said to be "in authority" where authority is conceived as "authority over." To Lincoln, authority is "not so much an entity as it is 1) an effect; 2) the capacity for producing that effect; and 3) the commonly shared opinion that a given actor has the capacity for producing that effect" (10). This effect is produced, in part, by hiding the individual behind the office and the ideals associated with that office. Attacking the individual behind the office by means of "corrosive discourse" (slander, invective, insult, gossip, curses, mockery, heckling, jokes, rumor) challenges the "fig leaf of legitimacy" worn by those "in authority" by restoring "to the level of the human those frail and fallible individuals who would prefer to represent themselves as the embodiment of some incontestable office or some transcendent ideal." The Christians, I argue, go further, implying that the office itself is corrupt, even demonic, so long as the officeholder refuses to embrace Christ.

67. Hor. Carm. 4.5. Along similar lines, a third-century treatise on rhetoric recommends that emperors be praised for setting a good example. Thanks to the emperor, "marriages are chaste, fathers have legitimate offspring, spectacles, festival and competitions are conducted with proper splendor and due moderation" (Men. Rhet. 376.5).

68. Romans 6:15—23. For further discussion, see chapter 2.

69. 1 Tim 3:1—7. The similarities between the "household codes" found in the Deutero-Pauline and Pastoral Epistles and Greco-Roman moralistic discourse is well-known. See esp. Margaret Y. MacDonald, The Pauline Churches: A Socio-Historical Study of Institutionalization in the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline Churches, SNTS Monograph Series 60 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988).

71. See Bourdieu, Language, 94—105; Foucault, History of Sexuality, 1:101. Foucault suggests that nineteenth-century discourses that defined "homosexuality" as a domain susceptible to social control allowed demands for legitimacy to be framed in the very terms that had been invented to control it. Thus, "perversity" could be said to be "natural" and therefore legitimate. Similarly, Bourdieu has noted that the transgression of discursive, linguistic norms (esp. "slang") is based upon the very existence of such norms. Therefore, resistance occurs within the language and symbology that has already defined what tack the transgression will take. A transgression of the status quo in the name of resistance does not necessarily imply that the status quo has been challenged. Rather, the status quo suggests the very form of the resistance and, whatever its intention, the resistance works to partially reinscribe the status quo.

72. Rosamond C. Rodman, "Who's On Third? Reading Acts of Andrew as a Rhetoric of Resistance," in "Rhetorics of Resistance: A Colloquy on Early Christianity as Rhetorical Formation," ed. Vincent L. Wimbush, Semeia 79 (1997), 43.

73. Averil Cameron, Christianity and the Rhetoric of Empire, Sather Classical Lectures 55 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 5.

74. For the sake of clarity, I have organized this book according to a basic but problematic scheme of background (chapter 1), critique of outsiders (chapters 2 and 3), and insider debate (chapters 4 and 5). Such an organizational strategy could, I fear, serve to obfuscate the complex interrelationships of culture and rhetoric I am exploring. For example, treating Greek and Roman invective in one chapter and biblical sources in another could serve to blur one of my basic premises: that Christian rhetoric could be "Greek," "Roman," and "Jewish" too. Still, I do not intend to treat the material discussed in the first chapter as simply "background" to what follows. Indeed, I would argue that those discourses labeled "Greek," "Roman," "biblical," "Hellenistic," "Jewish," and "Christian" with some inaccuracy ought to be read as deeply interconnected. The Christian sources I discuss in later chapters could potentially be read as "background" to many of the non-Christian sources I discuss earlier in the book. Moreover, many of the texts I have chosen to include under a rubric of outsider-focused Christian resistance literature could also be read as insider-focused polemic and vice versa. For example, Paul's warning to the Cornithian Christians that they ought to avoid sexual immorality, discussed in chapter 2, can be read as an attempt to establish an insider ethic capable of excluding or eliminating fellow Christians, the topic of chapter 4. Still, I placed my consideration of Paul's warning among other examples of his denunciations of (alleged) gentile depravity. Sexual slander, as we shall see, cuts both ways. It can never be wholly insider or outsider directed. It is always both. I have divided the sources I examine according to emphasis only, signaling insider/outsider dynamics throughout this project.

75. Elizabeth Clark, "Sex, Shame, and Rhetoric: Engendering Early Christian Ethics," JAAR 59, no. 2 (1991): 221. See also Virginia Burrus, "Reading Agnes: the Rhetoric of Gender in Ambrose and Prudentius," JECS 3 (1995): 25-46. On the totalizing aspects of Christian discourse (indeed, of all the "world religions"), see Robert W. Hefner, "The Rationality of Conversion," in Conversion to Christianity: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives on a Great Transformation, ed. Robert W. Hefner (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 3-44, esp. 29: "Whatever their relationship to official power, the world religions arrive with the most remarkable of appeals. They proclaim a Truth that stands above others and assert that its recognition is essential for a meaningful life... . The message may be used to justify attacks on received social values and their elite custodians. . In so doing the message may also create new opportunities for social mobility and prestige." Thus, according to Hefner, marginalized groups find new sources of prestige through the claim that they, and they alone, possess access to the Truth that stands above all others. Christian assertions of moral superiority—we alone possess self-control—may be read along these lines.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment