IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1331: Byzantine Pleasures: From Friendship to Sex

Wednesday 3 July 2013, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:Cardiff Centre for Late Antique Religion & Culture, Cardiff University
Organiser:Shaun Tougher, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Moderator/Chair:Shaun Tougher, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Paper 1331-aFriendship and Its Pleasures in Byzantine Love Romances
(Language: English)
Stavroula Constantinou, Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies, University of Cyprus, Nicosia
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Greek, Sexuality
Paper 1331-bPhysical Beauty as a Source of Pleasure in Byzantium
(Language: English)
Myrto Hatzaki, A. G. Leventis Foundation, Athens
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Greek, Sexuality
Paper 1331-cGetting It On in Late Antiquity: Varieties of Sexual Behaviour in Greek Society
(Language: English)
Frank Trombley, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Language and Literature - Greek, Sexuality, Social History
Abstract

Byzantium is a culture not usually associated with pleasure. This session seeks to challenge this view by shining a light on earthly pleasures in Byzantium. In her paper Stavroula Constantinou examines friendship, its (pleasant) character and function in two love tales, Livistros and Rodame and Florios and Platziaflore. Myrto Hatzaki’s paper considers descriptions of physical beauty in Byzantine writing, and asks if the pleasure of beauty could also have had erotic connotations. Finally, Frank Trombley invesitgates the norms of Byzantine sexual behaviour established in canon law, but also considers cases of ‘deviance’ found in Byzantine texts.