It’s a Small (Ancient) World After All…

'David'_by_Michelangelo_JBU0001-1.JPG

On Sunday, BosGuy wrote the following blog piece:

An article with a similar title was sent to me by a reader and friend of this blog and it made me laugh so I thought I’d share it with you for some light reading.

According to art historian Ellen Oredsson, the reason virtually every ancient statue you’ll ever see has a rather small penis is because of cultural perceptions and biases of the time. Apparently, big penises were associated with specific negative characteristics: foolishness, lust and ugliness. By contrast the ideal man was meant to be rational, intellectual and authoritative and a small penis allowed a man to remain coolly logical.

Who can say if this is true or not but the brief and colorful article (they use a bit more direct language) can be read in its entirety here.

Here is a story from history to back up Oredsson’s theory. While Marc Antony was away with Cleopatra in Egypt, Octavian and his enemies in Rome began to slander him.  One of the forms of slander was that Marc Antony was well hung. While that would not be slander in today’s world, it was slander in the ancient world. In the ancient world this meant that he was lead by his penis. Because it was so large he could not control his sexual appetite and thus had Cleopatra, who was known to have affairs with men to gain power, i.e. Julius Caesar. In Aristophanes The Clouds, he describes the perfect man:

If you follow my recommendations,
and keep them ever in mind,
you will always have a rippling chest, radiant skin,
broad shoulders, a wee tongue,
a grand rump and a petite dick.
But if you adopt current practices,
you’ll start by having
a puny chest, pasty skin,
narrow shoulders, a grand tongue,
a wee rump and a lengthy edict.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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