giovedì, gennaio 08, 2009

The Lemnian women and international fuckery

So to recap from yesterday: every change of civilisation, nationality, or whatever it is that we watch as separate episodes on the History Channel now, was actually military age men going to new places, killing or displacing the military age men already there, and being incorporated well or less well into the pre-existing society of women and children.

Men knew, in a warlike society, they were always going to be in danger of being displaced. They couldn't guarantee a woman's chastity by actually being around and sharing their resources all the time - by following the marriage contract, in short - because they couldn't guarantee they would win or survive their military encounters. So they told a bunch of folk stories about how awesome women who were raped and then killed themselves were, and how fucking dreadful women who wanted to fuck invaders were. It worked fantastically, as now we have this legacy of helpless guilt and weirdo sexuality on both sides of the gender split, but not fantastically enough to keep history from marching on.

Men being displaced by new men because of a failure to live up to the marriage contract didn't always work by the displacers winning a military encounter and the displaced dying or running away, though, and there are two interesting examples of this from Greek history or story-telling. The more famous and less convincing one is of the pre-Hellenic Lemnian women, who murdered all of the Lemnian men as they slept, in retaliation for being displaced by Thracian slave-girls. The women then managed to bear the next generation, and make their appearance on what would be an episode of something on the History Channel about the Myceneans, by fucking Jason and the Argonauts.

It's an interesting story, but just a story. Robert Graves* reckons that Lemnos was a gynocracy supported by an armed female religious class that visiting Myceneans - rather violent and male chauvinist - could only understand in terms of the men all having been murdered. What is rather more than just a story are the stories about the Epizephyrian Locrians, which I promised you yesterday but unfortunately you're not going to get today, as I have to go to work now. But I will say that in their case, the Locrian men broke the marriage contract not by being killed or defeated in battle, and not by rejecting their wives for slave girls, but by being rather too good at battle. It's a ripping yarn. Stay tuned.

* Who I adore but whose POV on the pre-classical and classical world was strongly influenced by hallucinogenic mushrooms.

2 commenti:

Baywatch ha detto...

"*" you say that as though it's a bad thing

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Just a caveat.