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horse- and chariot-races  

Sinclair W. Bell, Jean-Paul Thuillier, and Carolyn Willekes

From the Olympian Games to the modern film Ben-Hur , horse- and chariot-races have proven a potent and enduring symbol of the agonistic culture of Classical Antiquity. Similarities did exist between Greek, Etruscan, and Roman cultures: equestrianism of all forms, due to the expense involved, had aristocratic overtones. But in contrast to the Greeks’ equal passion for mounted horse races and chariot racing, Romans strongly favored the latter, which they developed under the primary influence of the Etruscans and expanded into an empire-wide, professionalized industry.The horse was a significant status symbol in the Greek world, as in the Etruscan and Roman worlds.1 This was due in large part to the cost of purchasing and maintaining equines (see horses), as few regions in the Greek peninsula were suitable for large-scale horse breeding, with regions such as Thessaly and Macedonia being notable exceptions.2 The importance of the horse and horse breeding in Thessaly is evident from the frequent use of equine and equestrian iconography on coinage, including images of mares and foals, as well as horses in naturalistic poses (.

Article

masturbation  

Kelly L. Wrenhaven

In ancient Greece and Rome, masturbation was viewed with good-humored disdain. Although it was not apparently subject to the same kinds of scathing attacks that Greek comedy makes on male same-sex activity, it was certainly connected with a lack of sophistication. In line with sexual subjects in general, references are found primarily in Greek comedy and sympotic art of the Archaic and Classical periods, where it is typically associated with barbarians, slaves, and satyrs, all of whom fall into the category of the “Other,” or the anti-ideal. All were deemed lacking in sophrosyne (“moderation”) and enkratia (“self-control”) and were associated with uncivilized behavior. The Greeks had a varied terminology for masturbation. The most commonly found verb is dephesthai (“to soften”), but several other words and euphemisms were used (e.g. cheirourgon, “self-stimulation”).1The comedies of Aristophanes (1) provide the majority of references to masturbation and largely associate it with slaves. The lengthiest reference is a joke that occurs near the beginning of Knights, when Slave B tells Slave A to masturbate in order to give himself courage.