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Greek Soldiers Moon-Lighting as Shepherds?

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  • macmorrighan
    Hey guys, I ve gotten back to writing my cup-bearer article, and hit a potentially small stumbling block: Y see, I typed in a note without an accompanying
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 7, 2009
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      Hey guys, I've gotten back to writing my cup-bearer article, and hit a
      potentially small stumbling block:

      Y'see, I typed in a note without an accompanying references; and now, I can't remember where the hell I even heard about this (*groan*): I typed, "Rather than a stereotypically limp-wristed and effeminate youth (much like the depiction of the Spartan prince, Hyacinthus, so frequently imagined) Ganymedes was probably a soldier trained in the Trojan infantry by virtue of the fact that soldiers, when not in war-time, were frequently found tending flocks." I have absolutely no idea where I got it in my head that ancient soldiers, when not in war-time, would spend their days tending flocks. Yet, I know that I heard it somewhere! After all, it WOULD be unusual for a prince to be seen carrying around a shepherd's crook, IMO. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone, here, has read any material dealing with Classical soldiers moon-lighting as shepherd's when not on war-time?
    • macnacailli
      Hi MacMorrighan, RE: Rather than a stereotypically limp-wristed and effeminate youth (much like the depiction of the Spartan prince, Hyacinthus, so frequently
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 8, 2009
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        Hi MacMorrighan,

        RE: "Rather than a stereotypically limp-wristed and effeminate youth (much like the depiction of the Spartan prince, Hyacinthus, so frequently imagined) Ganymedes was probably a soldier..."

        Just as a point of clarification, Hyacinthus, was often depicted limply in later art because he was dying or dead. He was a discus thrower, an athlete - ancient Greece's answer to the American all-star college jock. Here's a depiction from an Attic red-figure cup, of a rather strapping Hyacinthus taking Zephyrus.
        http://www.theoi.com/Heros/Hyakinthos.html

        That said, Ganymede's "attributes were usually a rooster (a lover's gift), a hoop (a boy's toy), or a lyre. When portrayed as the cup-bearer of the gods he is shown pouring nectar from a jug. In sculpture and mosaic art, on the other hand, Ganymedes usually appears with shepherd's crock and a Phrygian cap."[quote from: http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Ganymedes.html ] Given the presence of both childish and adult paraphernalia, he may have been too young to be a professional soldier yet, be just on the cusp of that age.

        Good luck on your quest.

        All the best,
        Brian
      • macmorrighan
        True, that is a very good point. But, I was merely trying to draw attention to the fact that Hyacynthus, for example, would have have been the stereotypical
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 8, 2009
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          True, that is a very good point. But, I was merely trying to draw attention to the fact that Hyacynthus, for example, would have have been the stereotypical nellie queen, in reality, by virtue of the fact that he was a Spartan prince.
        • macnacailli
          RE: True, that is a very good point. Sorry, which part are you agreeing with. RE: But, I was merely trying to draw attention to the fact that Hyacynthus,
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 9, 2009
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            RE: "True, that is a very good point."

            Sorry, which part are you agreeing with.

            RE: "But, I was merely trying to draw attention to the fact that Hyacynthus, for example, would have have been the stereotypical nellie queen, in reality, by virtue of the fact that he was a Spartan prince."


            The art shows that this clearly not the case; Hyacynthus is depicted as a masculine youth. The art speaks for itself.
            Could you source why you think it would be otherwise? What makes a Spartan prince different from an Athenian or Thracian prince in an Iron Age warrior society? And, assuming they are different, why can we assume that Hyacynthus is typical or stereotypical? - I haven't looked at Sparta that closely so any insight would be appreciated.

            All the best,
            Brian
          • asvardhrafn@yahoo.ca
            I am no expert but from what I know of the Spartans homosexuality between soldiers was completely condoned. And from what I know of spartan training practice I
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 9, 2009
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              I am no expert but from what I know of the Spartans homosexuality between soldiers was completely condoned. And from what I know of spartan training practice I don't think they would qualify as nellie queens
              Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

              -----Original Message-----
              From: "macnacailli" <brianwalsh@...>

              Date: Wed, 09 Sep 2009 11:31:43
              To: <PIEreligion@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: [PIEreligion] Re: Greek Soldiers Moon-Lighting as Shepherds?


              RE: "True, that is a very good point."

              Sorry, which part are you agreeing with.

              RE: "But, I was merely trying to draw attention to the fact that Hyacynthus, for example, would have have been the stereotypical nellie queen, in reality, by virtue of the fact that he was a Spartan prince."


              The art shows that this clearly not the case; Hyacynthus is depicted as a masculine youth. The art speaks for itself.
              Could you source why you think it would be otherwise? What makes a Spartan prince different from an Athenian or Thracian prince in an Iron Age warrior society? And, assuming they are different, why can we assume that Hyacynthus is typical or stereotypical? - I haven't looked at Sparta that closely so any insight would be appreciated.

              All the best,
              Brian






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