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Comment
Tainn88
Registered User
(10/24/06 9:21 pm)

Monogamy in Greek Mythology What "is" and what &qu
My friends and I were talking about Penelope. I said that Penelope was so faithful to Odysseus. But Odysseus had affairs with Circe and Calypso.

My friend shrugged it off saying because they were gods (or god-like) that it didn't count as adultery on his part.

What do you think? I felt he was being unfaithful, god-likie or not.

Veronica Schanoes
Registered User
(10/25/06 11:55 am)


Re: Monogamy in Greek Mythology What "is" and what
Well, there are different versions of the myth. The best known, and the one that made it into The Odyssey, is the one wherein Odysseus sleeps around and Penelope remains staunchly faithful. In other versions, Penelope sleeps with one of the suitors, the one she likes best, and in others, she sleeps with all of them and gives birth to the god Pan as a result.

Like many, if not most, patriarchal cultures, fidelity within marriage was expected of Greek women, but not Greek men. The only female Greek goddesses/mortals in mythology who slept with men other than their husbands were Helen of Troy and Aphrodite. I could be forgetting someone, though.

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(10/26/06 12:46 am)

Re: Monogamy in Greek Mythology What "is" and what
Some of the old moral rules seem to shake down to, "Don't do something that could bring a bastard into another man's family." Hm, that could almost stretch to the requirement that a woman be a virgin when she marries; even if she were not pregnant at the marriage, there might be a child already born to turn up later.

KathieRose
Registered User
(11/11/06 10:49 pm)

Re: Monogamy in Greek Mythology What "is" and what
<<<The only female Greek goddesses/mortals in mythology who slept with men other than their husbands were Helen of Troy and Aphrodite. I could be forgetting someone, though.>>>

Well, though not technically 'married', Demeter had Persephone by Zeus but also chose a mortal lover, Iasion, and was raped by Poseidon, though I suppose one shouldn't count rape as infidelity...... Demeter is so often seen as anti-male/sex/husband but I thought the point was that she CHOSE Iasion especially, rather than being kidnapped and forced like Persephone. I'm intrigued by the Greek goddesses who were 'virginal' and did NOT partner with men-- Hestia, Artemis, Athena are the ones who come to mind offhand.
And there was also the annual ritual bath under Hera, by which both goddesses and mortal women could 'renew' their 'virginity'.......an idea suggesting that virginity was an intactness that could always be had again, a decidedly UNpatriarchal version!

Not exactly to the subject; sorry. I think it's hard to apply our ideas of 'fidelity' to the gods-- I wonder if the male gods 'sleeping around' was perhaps a political reflection of the influence of patriarchy on an originally more female-centered religion........But perhaps I am thinking of Graves' and Campbell's perspectives here........

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