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Joined 23 June 2013
You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. [If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but] in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you. - Judith Jarvis Thomson, A Defense of Abortion 1971: 48–49.
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The intellectual, the moral, the religious seem to me all naturally bound up and interlinked together in one great and harmonious whole. - Ada Lovelace, in a letter to Andrew Crosse, as quoted in Eugen Kölbing's Englische Studien, Volume 19 (1894), Leipzig; O.R. Reisland, "Byron's Daughter", p. 158.
Although it is impossible accidentally for the past not to have been, if one considers the past thing itself, as, for instance, the running of Socrates; nevertheless, if the past thing is considered as past, that it should not have been is impossible, not only in itself, but absolutely since it implies a contradiction. Thus, it is more impossible than the raising of the dead; in which there is nothing contradictory, because this is reckoned impossible in reference to some power, that is to say, some natural power; for such impossible things do come beneath the scope of divine power. - Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 25 Article 6.
The ownership of land is an odd thing when you come to think of it. How deep, after all, can it go? If a person owns a piece of land, does he own it all the way down, in ever narrowing dimensions, till it meets all other pieces at the center of the earth? Or does ownership consist only of a thin crust under which the friendly worms have never heard of trespassing? - Natalie Babbit, Tuck Everlasting
The word Nephilim is derived from the Hebrew word Naphal which literally means “fall or drop”. The commentators explain that these giants were called Nephilim since the hearts of those that saw them would “drop” as a result of seeing these awesome beings.
Of course, any mention of fallen angels who in essense became humans, begs a deeper understanding. Recall that these fallen angels are mentioned in the same context as the intense immorality which pervaded mankind. The actions of mankind have repercussions far beyond the physical world we find ourselves in. All our actions, whether positive or negative impact the spiritual worlds as well. ~ Rabbi Yoel Spotts
Feet, what do I need them for If I have wings to fly. - Frida Kahlo dated 1953, preceding a foot amputation in August of that year.
Among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. - President Barack Obama’s Speech in Hiroshima, Japan
If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.
I would also want a God who would not allow a Hell. Infinite torture can only be a punishment for infinite evil, and I don't believe that infinite evil can be said to exist even in the case of Hitler. Besides, if most human governments are civilized enough to try to eliminate torture and outlaw cruel and unusual punishments, can we expect anything less of an all-merciful God?
I feel that if there were an afterlife, punishment for evil would be reasonable and of a fixed term. And I feel that the longest and worst punishment should be reserved for those who slandered God by inventing Hell. - Isaac Asimov, Asimov: A Memoir (1994).
As long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. - Paul, Epistle to the Galatians 4:1-7 NIV
Narrated 'Aisha: I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah's Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me. (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for 'Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) ~ Aisha Sahih Bukhari 8:73:151 Sahih Bukhari.
Wealth converts a strange land into homeland and poverty turns a native place into a strange land. - Ali as quoted by Nahj al-Balagha, translations by Askari Jafri
In fact, the thickness of the Earth's atmosphere, compared with the size of the Earth, is in about the same ratio as the thickness of a coat of shellac on a schoolroom globe is to the diameter of the globe. That's the air that nurtures us and almost all other life on Earth, that protects us from deadly ultraviolet light from the sun, that through the greenhouse effect brings the surface temperature above the freezing point. (Without the greenhouse effect, the entire Earth would plunge below the freezing point of water and we'd all be dead.) Now that atmosphere, so thin and fragile, is under assault by our technology. We are pumping all kinds of stuff into it. You know about the concern that chlorofluorocarbons are depleting the ozone layer; and that carbon dioxide and methane and other greenhouse gases are producing global warming, a steady trend amidst fluctuations produced by volcanic eruptions and other sources. Who knows what other challenges we are posing to this vulnerable layer of air that we haven't been wise enough to foresee? - Carl Sagan in Wonder and Skepticism, Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
The surplus of basic knowledge of the atomic nucleus was largely used up during the war with the atomic bomb as the dividend. We must, without further delay restore this surplus in preparation for the important peacetime job for the nucleus - power production. ... Many of the proposed applications of atomic power - even for interplanetary rockets - seem to be within the realm of possibility provided the economic factor is ruled out completely, and the doubtful physical and chemical factors are weighted heavily on the optimistic side. ... The development of economic atomic power is not a simple extrapolation of knowledge gained during the bomb work. It is a new and difficult project to reach a satisfactory answer. Needless to say, it is vital that the atomic policy legislation now being considered by the congress recognizes the essential nature of this peacetime job, and that it not only permits but encourages the cooperative research-engineering effort of industrial, government and university laboratories for the task. ... We must learn how to generate the still higher energy particles of the cosmic rays - up to 1,000,000,000 volts, for they will unlock new domains in the nucleus. - Chauncey Guy Suits Addressing the American Institute of Electrical Engineering, in New York (24 Jan 1946). In Schenectady Gazette (25 Jan 1946)
Societies with a high incidence of rape . . . tolerate violence and encourage men and boys to be tough, aggressive, and competitive. Men in such cultures generally have special, politically important gathering spots off limits to women, whether they be the Mundurucu men's club or the corner tavern. Women take little or no part in public decision making or religious rituals: men mock or scorn women's practical judgment. They also demean what they consider women's work and remain aloof from childbearing and rearing. These groups usually trace their beginnings to a male supreme being. - B.L. Benderly, 1982, "Rape free or rape prone", Science 82, vol. 3, no. 8. p.42-43.
Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources they’ve had in over a decade. Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. - Barrack Obama State of the Union (Jan 12th 1016) as quoted 8 Key Quotes Last Obama's State of the Union State of the Union (Jan 12th 1016)
When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money. - Alanis Obomsawin, Who is the Chairman of This Meeting?: A Collection of Essays (1972), edited by Ralph Osborne, as quoted in “Conversations with North American Indians” by Ted Poole, Page 43, Neewin Publishing Company, Toronto.
Our planet is bigger than the reed bundles that have carried us across the seas, and yet small enough to run the same risks unless those of us still alive open our eyes and minds to the desperate need of intelligent collaboration to save ourselves and our common civilization from what we are about to convert into a sinking ship. - Thor Heyderdahl Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim
In ancient times writings and inscriptions were generally made on tablets of bamboo or on pieces of silk called chih. But silk being costly and bamboo heavy, they were not convenient to use. Tshai Lun Cai Lun then initiated the idea of making paper from the bark of trees, remnants of hemp, rags of cloth, and fishing nets. He submitted the process to the emperor in the first year of Yuan-Hsing [+105] and received praise for his ability. From this time, paper has been in use everywhere and is universally called 'the paper of Marquis Tshai'. - Tsien, Tsuen-Hsuin; Needham, Joseph (1985). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 5: Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Part 1: Paper and Printing.
A bewildering assortment of (mostly microscopic) life-forms has been found thriving in what were once thought to be uninhabitable regions of our planet. These hardy creatures have turned up in deep, hot underground rocks, around scalding volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean, in the desiccated, super-cold Dry Valleys of Antarctica, in places of high acid, alkaline, and salt content, and below many meters of polar ice. ... Some deep-dwelling, heat-loving microbes, genetic studies suggest, are among the oldest species known, hinting that not only can life thrive indefinitely in what appear to us totally alien environments, it may actually originate in such places. - David Darling, In Life Everywhere: the Maverick Science of Astrobiology (2002), xi.
Each Party undertakes not to develop, test, or deploy: (...) (c) systems for placing into Earth orbit nuclear weapons or any other kind of weapons of mass destruction, including fractional orbital missiles. - SALT II treaty
The factors governing the actual pattern of global incidence for any particular extraterrestrial invasion could be complex. If bacteria or viruses are dispersed in a diffuse cloud of small particles, the incidence of disease may well be global. On the other hand, a smaller disintegrating aggregate of infective grain clumps falling over a limited area of the Earth's surface could provide a geographically more localized invasion….Our suggestion, if correct, would have profound biological, medical and sociological implications. A continual microbiological vigil of the stratosphere may well be necessary to eliminate the havoc which will ensue from extraterrestrial invasions in the future. - "Does Epidemic Disease Come From Space?," - N. Chandra Wickramasing, November 17, 1977 issue of New Scientist
It is also our view that there are no sound reasons for treating the early-stage human embryo or cloned human embryo as anything special, or as having moral status greater than human somatic cells in tissue culture. A blastocyst (cloned or not), because it lacks any trace of a nervous system, has no capacity for suffering or conscious experience in any form – the special properties that, in our view, spell the difference between biological tissue and a human life worthy of respect and rights. Additional biological facts suggest that a blastocyst should not be identified with a unique individual person, even if the argument that it lacks sentience is set aside. A single blastocyst may, until the primitive streak is formed at around fourteen days, split into twins; conversely, two blastocysts may fuse to form a single (chimeric) organism. Moreover, most early-stage embryos that are produced naturally (that is, through the union of egg and sperm resulting from sexual intercourse) fail to implant and are therefore wasted or destroyed. - The President's Council on Bioethics Washington, D.C. July 2002.
But if the same tests, the same foods are examined by an independent scientist, then it turns out that in almost every case there are quite serious harms done to the rats, the mice or the other poor unfortunate animals, particularly internal organs like liver and kidneys and things of that sort. - Jane Goodall, "Godall Says Animals Suffer From Genetically Modified Foods" (2015-04-28)
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites ... And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males ... And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones ... And Moses was wroth with the officers ... And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. - Deuteronomy 20:10-14
Dans ses écrits, un sage Italien
Dit que le mieux est l'ennemi du bien
(In his writings, a wise Italian
says that the better is the enemy of good.). ~ Voltaire, "Art Dramatique", 1770 edition of Dictionnaire philosophique
After a series of harmless punishments, each girl was led into a large room where all the Junior and Senior girls were assembled. There she was sentenced to go through various exhibitions, supposed to be especially suitable to punish each particular girls failure to submit to discipline imposed by the upper class girl. The sophomore girls carried long sticks with which to enforce, if necessary, the stunts which the freshmen were required to preform. While the programme did not call for a series of pre-arranged physical struggles between individual girls...frequent rebellion of the freshman against the commands of their captresses and guards furnished the most exciting portion of the entertainment according to the report of a majority of the class girls. Nearly all the sophomores reported excited pleasantness of captivation emotion throughout the party. - William Moulton Marston, as quoted in Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter comics, 1941-1948 pp. 64-65 by Noah Berlatsky.
What it really means is pro-human-life. Abortion clinic bombers are not known for their veganism, nor do Roman Catholics show any particular reluctance to have their suffering pets 'put to sleep'. In the minds of many confused people, a single-celled human zygote, which has no nerves and cannot suffer, is infinitely sacred, simply because it is 'human'. No other cells enjoy this exalted status. But such 'essentialism' is deeply un-evolutionary. If there were a heaven in which all the animals who ever lived could frolic, we would find an interbreeding continuum between every species and every other. For example I could interbreed with a female who could interbreed with a male who could ... fill in a few gaps, probably not very many in this case ... who could interbreed with a chimpanzee. We could construct longer, but still unbroken chains of interbreeding individuals to connect a human with a warthog, a kangaroo, a catfish. - Richard Dawkins, Richard Dawkins Chimpanzee Hybrid? The Guardian, Jan 2009.
They (Native Americans) didn't have any rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using. What was it that they were fighting for, when they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their 'right' to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, but just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or a few caves above it. Any white person who brings the element of civilization has the right to take over this continent. - Ayn Rand, Q and A session following her address to the graduating class of The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, March 6, 1974 - found in Endgame: Resistance, by Derrick Jensen, Seven Stories Press, 2006, pg 220.
We believed that the often ridiculed mass audience is sick of this world's petty nationalism and all it ís old ways and old hatreds, and that people are not only willing but anxious to think beyond most petty beliefs that have for so long kept mankind divided. So you see that the formula, the magic ingredient that many people keep seeking and many of them keep missing is really not in Star Trek. It is in the audience. There is an intelligent life form out on the other side of that television too. Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there. - Gene Roddenberry as quoted by Socialism in One Galaxy, Socialist, [1].
The things we can do with life—have relationships, be creative, create knowledge—are what give life meaning. We don't need death to give time a purpose. We rationalize this great tragedy and convince ourselves that death is a blessing, but it's a tragedy. It's a profound loss of knowledge and skill and humanity and relationships. It is a loss of the things that give life significance. - Ray Kurzweil as quoted in "Google Engineer Ray Kurzweil Thinks We'll Cheat Death In This Lifetime. Here's Why.",
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146
Kai: I killed mothers with their babies. I've killed great philosophers, proud young warriors, and revolutionaries. I've killed the evil, the good, the intelligent, the weak, and the beautiful. I have done this in the service of His Divine Shadow and his predecessors, and I have never once shown any mercy. ~ Lex Gigeroff, Lexx, I Worship His Shadow
Man in a state of society, more especially where there is an inequality of condition and rank, is very often the creature of leisure. He finds in himself, either from internal or external impulse, a certain activity. He finds himself at one time engaged in the accomplishment of his obvious and immediate desires, and at another in a state in which these desires have for the present been fulfilled, and he has no present occasion to repeat those exertions which led to their fulfilment. This is the period of contemplation. This is the state which most eminently distinguishes us from the brutes. Here it is that the history of man, in its exclusive sense, may be considered as taking its beginning. - William Godwin Lives of the Necromancers (1834)
I don’t want to ever say that anything that I’m doing with these fantasy pictures has anything to do with real heroics. I admire those men and women in the service and I know that they risk a lot for our country and for our freedom. They have my thanks and my admiration. These are simple comic book fantasy stories, but they have their importance, too. They’re much lower level. I’m very lucky to be an American and to be able to tell these stories and live in Los Angeles protected. But that having been said, I think the value of any story of a hero is that it reminds us of the good we can do in the world. And it reminds of what we’re capable of. Like myths, or stories of old. They have us identify with characters, they show them coming upon terrible conflicts and problems, and they show these characters, if they’re heroic stories, rising above those conflicts – exhibiting qualities that they probably didn’t even think that they had. Maybe it’s a growth of responsibility, like in this film. Or maybe it’s the ability to withstand more than they thought they could for the ones they love, or to risk something for an ideal they believe in, that’s greater than themselves. And when we see these stories, and when we see these characters overcome these conflicts and grow as human beings, we’re uplifted because we’re reminded – yes, we’re capable of that. I’m capable of that goodness too. And we feel touched and stirred when it works right. And that’s the value of these heroic stories. They show us the way and remind us what we should be. ~ Sam Raimi, "Interview: Director Sam Raimi on Spider-Man 2", SuperHeroHype, (Jun 23, 2004).
The Joker: So... I see you received the free ticket I sent you. I'm glad. I did so want you to be here. You see it doesn't matter if you catch me and send me back to the asylum... Gordon's been driven mad. I've proved my point. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... Only you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! God you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that... Something like that happened to me, you know. I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! But my point is... My point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you? I mean, you're not unintelligent! You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know how many times we've come close to World War Three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last World War? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! Telegraph poles! Ha ha ha ha HA! It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing? ~ Alan Moore, Batman: The Killing Joke, (1988)
It's impossible for a white person to believe in capitalism and not believe in racism. You can't have capitalism without racism. ~ Malcolm X, Speech, May 29, 1964, The Harlem Hate-Gang-Scare, p. 69 as quoted in Malcolm X Speaks (1965)
It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down. ~ Yagyū Munenori, as quoted in Behold the Second Horseman (2005), by Joseph Lumpkin, p. 53
Art is subjective; it’s in the eye of the beholder. I think video games can be fun. They can teach eye-hand coordination and strategy and they can introduce children to computer technology. And there is no doubt they are intricate and sophisticated technologically. I’m not in any way trying to do away with video games. I’m strictly concerned with a small subset of games that are harmful to children — those that are excessively violent and sexually explicit. I want to make sure children can’t obtain these games without their parents’ consent. ~ Hillary Clinton as quoted in Senator Clinton on Violent Video Games, CBS, (Aug 2, 2005)] Youtube.
We always think of the road not taken, of something in the past. 'Wow, what would have happened if I married so and so, or took that job in San Diego…' But you rarely think that each and every second that goes by is one of those moments. Like this second that just happened. And that one. And the one that's going to happen in a second." Potentially, each of these seconds could alter a game in a profound way. Just as they can in life. The easiest thing for us to imagine is that our lives, and the story we are playing, are pre-designed, solid. But neither gaming nor life has to be like that. In both, we can alter and decide in a way that is surprising, ultimately freeing. ~ Ken Levine, "Ken Levine Bioshok Interview", The Guardian, 14 January 2014
I think girls tend to like RPGs, like Final Fantasy. Girls who play games like that seem to get more of a desire to work in this field. I usually don't think to make games strictly for a female audience, myself, but I think my RPGs attract a larger female audience. Violent, war-themed titles seem to attract an overwhelmingly male audience. I think if companies want to get more girls to play their games, they should keep this in mind. ~ Reiko Kodama "Interview Reiko Kodama",
Needless to say, adventure characters should be just one facet of videogaming. In the same way a painting allows us to gaze upon the faces and souls of people from another age, or a book permits us to linger on the thoughts of great figures from history and fiction, videogames can expand our awareness of the world as it is, was, or might be. ~ Adam West, "The Keyboard: Guest Editorials", Videogaming Illustrated July 1983, p. 6
J.D.: You probably wondered why I didn't show up before, huh? I know you wanted me to, even though you'd never admit it. Normally I would kill to get into this apartment, and you'd try and keep me out... I say "try", because at your Super-Bowl party, which I was not invited to, I was lucky enough to be able to watch the second half from right over there. I was the bearded Dominoe's employee you invited in because I said I was a fan of Jerome Bettis, whoever the hell that is. Anyway, I tried to convince myself the reason I didn't come earlier was because of you coming into work drunk; but that's not it. I was scared. I guess after all this time I still think of you as like this superhero that'll help me out of any situation I'm in. I needed that. But that's my problem, you know, and I'll deal with that. I guess I came over here to tell you... how proud of you I am. Not because you did the best you could for those patients; but because after twenty years of being a doctor, when things go badly, you still take it this hard. And I gotta tell you man, I mean... that's the kind of doctor I want to be. ~ Scrubs, My Fallen Idol, (May, 2006), Bill Lawrence (created by), Bill Callahan
Big Boss: The nightmares? They never go away, Snake. Once you've been on the battlefield, tasted the exhilaration, the tension... it all becomes part of you. Once you've awakened the warrior within... it never sleeps again. You crave ever bigger tensions, ever bigger thrills. As a mercenary, I'd think you would have realized that by now. You care nothing for power, or money, or even sex. The only thing that satisfies your cravings is war! All I've done is give you a place for it. I've given you a reason to live. ~ Hideo Kojima Metal Gear II: Solid Snake
Every culture has such myths and theories about the creation of their worlds, and it can be beneficial and entertaining to examine them in detail, for they often affect the present day social structure. ~ “The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past” Nintendo, (1992), p.3
Dune was aimed at this whole idea of the infallible leader because my view of history says mistakes made by a leader (or made in a leader's name) are amplified by the numbers who follow without question. That's how 900 people wound up in Guyana drinking poison Kool-Aid. That's how the U.S. said "Yes, sir, Mister Charismatic John Kennedy!" and found itself embroiled in Vietnam. That's how Germany said "Sieg Heil!" and murdered more than six million of our fellow human beings. ~ Frank Herbert, "Introduction", to Eye, (1987)
I imagine that as population continues to increase—and as the available resources decrease—there will be less energy and food, so we'll all enter a stage of scrounging. The average person's only concerns will be where he or she can get the next meal, the next cigarette, the next means of transportation. In such a universal scramble, the Earth will be just plain desolated, because everyone will be striving merely to survive regardless of the cost to the environment. Put it this way: If I have to choose between saving myself and saving a tree, I'm going to choose me. Terrorism will also become a way of life in a world marked by severe shortages. Finally, some government will be bound to decide that the only way to get what its people need is to destroy another nation and take its goods ... by pushing the nuclear button. And this absolute chaos is going to develop—even if nobody wants nuclear war and even if everybody sincerely wants peace and social justice—if the number of mouths to feed continues to grow. Nothing will be able to stand up against the pressure of the whole of humankind simply trying to stay alive! ~ Isaac Asimov, "Science, Technology and Space: The Isaac Asimov Interview" Pat Stone, Mother Earth News (October 1980)
Jack Harkness: There you go! I can taste it! Oestrogen. Definitely oestrogen. You take the pill, flush it away, and it enters the water cycle. Feminizes the fish. Goes all the way up into the sky then falls all the way back down onto me. Contraceptives in the rain. Love this planet. Still, at least I won't get pregnant. Never doing that again. ~ Russell T Davies, "Everything Changes", Torchwood, (22 October 2006).
The Gothic tradition concerns things lurking in the beyond and monsters that often represent ourselves. It’s traditionally looked at how big institutions like the church and state are in fact fundamentally corrupt. That idea of the evil within is a very X-Files thing. Both Gothic literature and The X-Files are about taking that walk into the dark woods and facing what we can’t define. That’s essentially what Mulder does in the show. ~ Sharon R. Yang, "Can The X-Files exist in a post-9/11 world?", Andrew Harrison, New Statesmen, (29 December 2015).
You express amazement at my statement that 'civilized' men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprize, amazes me in return. People claiming to possess superior civilization have always veneered their rapaciousness by such claims... Your friend Mussolini is a striking modern-day example. In that speech of his I heard translated he spoke feelingly of the expansion of civilization. From time to time he has announced; 'The sword and civilization go hand in hand!' 'Wherever the Italian flag waves it will be as a symbol of civilization!' 'Africa must be brought into civilization!' It is not, of course, because of any selfish motive that he has invaded a helpless country, bombing, burning and gassing both combatants and non-combatants by the thousands. Oh, no, according to his own assertions it is all in the interests of art, culture and progress, just as the German war-lords were determined to confer the advantages of Teutonic Kultur on a benighted world, by fire and lead and steel. Civilized nations never, never have selfish motives for butchering, raping and looting; only horrid barbarians have those. ~ Robert E. Howard from a letter to H. P. Lovecraft (5 December 1935)
I should regard them [the Elves interested in technical devices] as no more wicked or foolish (but in much the same peril) as Catholics engaged in certain kinds of physical research (e.g. those producing, if only as by-products, poisonous gases and explosives): things not necessarily evil, but which, things being as they are, and the nature and motives of the economic masters who provide all the means for their work being as they are, are pretty certain to serve evil ends. For which they will not necessarily be to blame, even if aware of them. ~ J. R. R. Tolkien; in a letter to Peter Hastings (Sep 1954); in Humphrey Carpenter (ed.) assisted by Christopher Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1995, 2014), 190, Letter No. 153.
They were meant to emphasize the conflict between people who felt that we've got to all work together and find a way to get along, and people who feel, 'We're not treated well, therefore we're going to strike back with force!' ~ Stan Lee
Mutants are all around us. They could be your neighbors. They could be your co-workers. They could be related to you. ~ Chris Claremont


Wikipedia Reference Desk QuestionsEdit


  • Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech to the Second National Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights – Chicago, (March 25, 1966).
  • Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality. ... What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn't earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?
  • There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong. I don't think we have to look too far to see that. I'm sure that most of you would agree with me in making that assertion. And when we stop to analyze the cause of our world's ills, many things come to mind. We begin to wonder if it is due to the fact that we don't know enough. But it can't be that. Because in terms of accumulated knowledge we know more today than men have known in any period of human history. We have the facts at our disposal. We know more about mathematics, about science, about social science, and philosophy than we've ever known in any period of the world's history. So it can't be because we don't know enough. And then we wonder if it is due to the fact that our scientific genius lags behind. That is, if we have not made enough progress scientifically. Well then, it can't be that. For our scientific progress over the past years has been amazing. Man through his scientific genius has been able to dwarf distance and place time in chains, so that today it's possible to eat breakfast in New York City and supper in London, England. Back in about 1753 it took a letter three days to go from New York City to Washington, and today you can go from here to China in less time than that. It can't be because man is stagnant in his scientific progress. Man's scientific genius has been amazing. I think we have to look much deeper than that if we are to find the real cause of man's problems and the real cause of the world's ills today. If we are to really find it I think we will have to look in the hearts and souls of men.
  • We have genuflected before the God of Science only to find that it has given us the atomic bomb, producing fears and anxieties that science can never mitigate.
    • Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963.
  • The history books, which had almost completely ignored the contribution of the Negro in American history, only served to intensify the Negroes' sense of worthlessness and to augment the anachronistic doctrine of white supremacy. All too many Negroes and whites are unaware of the fact that the first American to shed blood in the revolution which freed this country from British oppression was a black seaman named Crispus Attucks. Negroes and whites are almost totally oblivious of the fact that it was a Negro physician, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who performed the first successful operation on the heart in America. Another Negro physician, Dr. Charles Drew, was largely responsible for developing the method of separating blood plasma and storing it on a large scale, a process that saved thousands of lives in World War II and has made possible many of the important advances in postwar medicine. History books have virtually overlooked the many Negro scientists and inventors who have enriched American life. Although a few refer to George Washington Carver, whose research in agricultural products helped to revive the economy of the South when the throne of King Cotton began to totter, they ignore the contribution of Norbert Rillieuz, whose invention of an evaporating pan revolutionized the process of sugar refining. How many people know that multimillion-dollar United Shoe Machinery Company developed from the shoe-lasting machine invented in the last century by a Negro from Dutch Guiana, Jan Matzelinger; or that Granville T. Woods, an expert in electric motors, whose many patents speeded the growth and improvement of the railroads at the beginning of this century, was a Negro?
    Even the Negroes' contribution to the music of America is sometimes overlooked in astonishing ways. In 1965 my oldest son and daughter entered an integrated school in Atlanta. A few months later my wife and I were invited to attend a program entitled "Music that has made America great." As the evening unfolded, we listened to the folk songs and melodies of the various immigrant groups. We were certain that the program would end with the most original of all American music, the Negro spiritual. But we were mistaken. Instead, all the students, including our children, ended the program by singing "Dixie".
    • Martin Luther King Jr., as quoted in Carson, Clayborne. 2001. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Grand Central Publishing. Cap: Black Power.
  • The poor folk go forth to war, to fight, and die for the delights, riches, and super fluities of others, and they are falseley called lords and rulers of the habitable world in that land where they have not so much as a single inch that they may call their own.
  • The preservation of their wealth became the chief care of the ruling classes, who nearly always made common cause with the foreign invaders. During the Peloponnesian war the populace took the part of the Athenians, the rich that of the Spartans. Likewise, during the MAcedonian invasion, the rich-the "optimates" - were in favour of Philip of Macedon. Finally, later on, when the Roman legions appeared, the aristocrats again made terms with the invaders.
  • It's simply a national acknowledgement that in any kind of priority, the needs of human beings must come first. Poverty is here and now. Hunger is here and now. Racial tension is here and now. Pollution is here and now. These are the things that scream for a response. And if we don't listen to that scream - and if we don't respond to it - we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us - or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.
    • Rod Serling, Commencement Address at the University of Southern California; (March 17, 1970).
  • Nuclear weapons offer us nothing but a balance of terror, and a balance of terror is still terror.
    • George Wald from speech given at an anti-war teach-in at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (4 Mar 1969) 'A Generation in Search of a Future', as edited by Ron Dorfman for Chicago Journalism Review, (May 1969).
  • We speak erroneously of “artificial” materials, “synthetics”, and so forth. The basis for this erroneous terminology is the notion that Nature has made certain things which we call natural, and everything else is “man-made”, ergo artificial. But what one learns in chemistry is that Nature wrote all the rules of structuring; man does not invent chemical structuring rules; he only discovers the rules. All the chemist can do is find out what Nature permits, and any substances that are thus developed or discovered are inherently natural. It is very important to remember that.
    • Buckminster Fuller, "The Comprehensive Man", Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure (1963), 75-76.
  • Pollution is nothing but resources we're not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value. But if we got onto a planning planning basis, the government could trap pollutants in the stacks and spillages and get back more money than this would cost out of the stockpiled chemistries they'd be collecting.
    Margaret Mead gets cross with me when I talk like this because she says people are doing some very important things because they're worried and excited and I'm going to make them relax and stop doing those things. But we're dealing with something much bigger than we're accustomed to understanding, we're on a very large course indeed. You speak of racism, for example, and I tell you that there's no such thing as race. The point is that racism is the product of tribalism and ignorance and both are falling victim to communications and world-around literacy.
  • We have got to make sure that every qualified American in this country who wants to go to college can go to college -- regardless of income. Further, it is unacceptable that 40 million Americans are drowning in more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. It is unacceptable that millions of college graduates cannot afford to buy their first home or their first new car because of the high interest rates they are paying on student debt.
  • The stronghold of the determinist argument is the antipathy to the idea of chance...This notion of alternative possibility, this admission that any one of several things may come to pass is, after all, only a roundabout name for chance.
    • William James The Dilemma of Determinism, (1884), p. 153.
  • My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace.
    • Alfred Nobel as quoted in The Military Quotation Book (2002) by James Charlton, p. 114.
  • A heart can no more be forced to love than a stomach can be forced to digest food by persuasion.
  • "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you" is the greatest phrase ever written. If everyone followed that creed, this world would be a paradise.
  • I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly tell our children that honesty is the best policy.
  • Imagine a room awash in gasoline, and there are two implacable enemies in that room. One of them has nine thousand matches. The other has seven thousand matches. Each of them is concerned about who's ahead, who's stronger. Well that's the kind of situation we are actually in. The amount of weapons that are available to the United States and the Soviet Union are so bloated, so grossly in excess of what's needed to dissuade the other, that if it weren't so tragic, it would be laughable. What is necessary is to reduce the matches and to clean up the gasoline.
  • Carl Sagan, during a panel discussion in ABC News Viewpoint following the TV movie The Day After (20 Nov 1983). Misquoted as “The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.”
  • We have made a thing, a most terrible weapon, that has altered abruptly and profoundly the nature of the world. We have made a thing that, by all standards of the world we grew up in, is an evil thing. And by doing so, by our participation in making it possible to make these things, we have raised again the question of whether science is good for man, of whether it is good to learn about the world, to try to understand it, to try to control it, to help give to the world of men increased insight, increased power. Because we are scientists, we must say an unalterable yes to these questions; it is our faith and our commitment, seldom made explicit, even more seldom challenged, that knowledge is a good in itself, knowledge and such power as must come with it.
    • J. Robert Oppenheimer, Speech to the American Philosophical Society (Jan 1946). Atomic Weapons, printed in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 90(1), 7-10. In Deb Bennett-Woods, Nanotechnology: Ethics and Society (2008), 23. Identified as a speech to the society in Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin, American Prometheus: the Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer‎ (2005), 323
  • Science is not everything, but science is very beautiful.
    • J. Robert Oppenheimer, last published words With Oppenheimer on an Autumn Day, Look, Vol. 30, No. 26 (19 December 1966)
  • Well — yes. In modern times, of course.
    • J. Robert Oppenheimer, answer to a student at Rochester University who asked whether the bomb exploded at Alamogordo was the first one to be detonated, as quoted in Doomsday, 1999 A.D. (1982) by Charles Berlitz, p. 129
  • The aim of life is inquiry into the Truth, and not the desire for enjoyment in heaven by performing religious rites, Those who possess the knowledge of the Truth, call the knowledge of non-duality as the Truth, It is called Brahman, the Highest Self, and Bhagavan.
    • Bhagavata Purana 1.2.10-11, translated by Daniel Sheridan 1986, p. 23
  • That swarm of ants that I observed, each one following the one ahead, have every one been Indra in the world of the gods by virtue of their own past action. And now, by virtue of their deeds done in the past, they have gradually fallen to the state of ants.
    • Krsna, Indra and the Ants Indra and the Ants, Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas, by Cornelia Dimmitt, p. 321
  • I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.
    • 2 Samuel 1:26 (NIV)
  • Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die — there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!
    • (Ruth 1:16-17)
  • Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof." But they said, "Stand aside." Furthermore, they said, "This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them."
    • Genesis 19:9, New American Standard Bible
    • You are fifty years old and would worship a day old statue!
    • Abraham in Genesis Rabbah 38.13 R. Hiyya and the Idol Shop
  • In the last heaven Moses saw two angels, each five hundred parasangs in height, forged out of chains of black fire and red fire, the angels Af, "Anger," and Hemah, "Wrath," whom God created at the beginning of the world, to execute His will. Moses was disquieted when he looked upon them, but Metatron embraced him, and said, "Moses, Moses, thou favorite of God, fear not, and be not terrified," and Moses became calm. There was another angel in the seventh heaven, different in appearance from all the others, and of frightful mien. His height was so great, it would have taken five hundred years to cover a distance equal to it, and from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet he was studded with glaring eyes. "This one," said Metatron, addressing Moses, "is Samael, who takes the soul away from man." "Whither goes he now?" asked Moses, and Metatron replied, "To fetch the soul of Job the pious." Thereupon Moses prayed to God in these words, "O may it be Thy will, my God and the God of my fathers, not to let me fall into the hands of this angel."
    • Louis Ginzberg, The Ascension of Moses, Chapter IV, "Aggadah: The Legend of the Jews"
  • While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. He also created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.
  • So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
  • I have met people who have claimed to be satanists, who claimed to be involved with black magic...I warn all of you: never, never, never. You will not only lose your mind, you'll lose your soul.
  • The more we learn of the true nature of non-human animals, especially those with complex brains and corresponding complex social behavior, the more ethical concerns are raised regarding their use in the service of man — whether this be in entertainment, as "pets," for food, in research laboratories, or any of the other uses to which we subject them.
    • Frans de Waal, Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe (2000), p. 245
  • Get it understood how dangerous these damaged, sick personalities are to ourselves - and above all, to our children, whose traits are taking form and we shall find ways to put an end to them.
  • That is the great thing about our movement--that these members are uniform not only in ideas, but even, the facial expression is almost the same!
  • Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle, one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, rather thrown away, five shillings, besides.
    “Remember, that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum where a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.
    “Remember, that money is of the prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six, turned again it is seven and three pence, and so on, till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding sow, destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.”
    “Remember this saying, The good paymaster is lord of another man’s purse . He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises, may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare. This is sometimes of great use. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world than punctuality and justice in all his dealings; therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend’s purse for ever.
    “The most trifling actions that affect a man’s credit are to be regarded. The sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or eight at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at a billiard table, or hears your voice at a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day; demands it, before he can receive it, in a lump. ‘It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful as well as an honest man, and that still increases your credit.’
    “Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into. To prevent this, keep an exact account for some time both of your expenses and your income. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect: you will discover how wonderfully small, trifling expenses mount up to large sums, and will discern what might have been, and may for the future be saved, without occasioning any great inconvenience.
    “For six pounds a year you may have the use of one hundred pounds, provided you are a man of known prudence and honesty.
    “He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above six pounds a year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.
    “He that wastes idly a groat’s worth of his time per day, one day with another, wastes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each day.
    “He that idly loses five shillings’ worth of time, loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.
    “He that loses five shillings, not only loses that sum, but all the advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which by the time that a young man becomes old, will amount to a considerable sum of money.”
  • German: Arbeit macht frei"
  • English: "Work brings freedom" or "work shall set you free/will free you" or "work liberates" and, literally in English, "work makes (one) free".
  • Lorenz Diefenbach, Arbeit macht frei: Erzählung von Lorenz Diefenbach (1873). The slogan is also known for being placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps.
  • Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
  • By extending the working day, therefore, capitalist production . . . not only produces a deterioration of human labour-power by robbing it of its normal moral and physical conditions of development and activity, but also produces the premature exhaustion and death of this labour-power itself.
  • Capital is dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.
  • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales underscores that Bomis, his dot-com search engine business, was not directly involved in pornography, pointing out that its content was R-rated rather than X-rated, like Maxim magazine rather than Playboy.
    • Jonathan Zittrain (2008). The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It. Yale University Press. p. 289
  • If I take the wages of everyone here, individually it means nothing, but collectively all of the earning power or wages that you earned in one week would make me wealthy. And if I could collect it for a year, I'd be rich beyond dreams. Now, when you see this, and then you stop and consider the wages that were kept back from millions of Black people, not for one year but for 310 years, you'll see how this country got so rich so fast. And what made the economy as strong as it is today. And all that slave labor that was amassed in unpaid wages, is due someone today. And you're not giving us anything when we say that it's time to collect.
    • Malcolm X, "Twenty million black people in prison," in Malcolm X: The Last Speeches, p. 51.
  • Journalism is not a profession ... at its heart, it's just a craft. And that means that it can be practiced by anyone who is sensible and intelligent and thoughtful and curious ...
  • Everything about the games industry sends the signal: 'this is a space for men'. When players are repeatedly shown that women are sex symbols and damsels in distress, is it any surprise that players go on to treat women poorly in real life?. Gamergate feels like it owns the culture. Women and minorities are only welcomed if they keep their identity silent and don’t try to change the status quo. If I am a feminist, I am an outsider trying to steal their games – even if I am an avid gamer and a developer. I worry about becoming known to people outside the industry. As I gain experience in speaking, writing articles, publicising my game, I am increasing the risk of abuse. I stopped playing online games years ago. I couldn’t see why I was putting myself through the torrent of abuse, and sexual messages. Today, instead of them directing their abuse at a gamer tag, they will be contacting me directly, by email, Twitter, Facebook, and maybe anyone else that associates with me.
    • Briana Wu as quoted in James Batchelor, (November 10, 2014). "Games developers must fight internet abuse together". Develop. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  • For each person there is a sentence — a series of words — which has the power to destroy him … another sentence exists, another series of words, which will heal the person. If you're lucky you will get the second; but you can be certain of getting the first: that is the way it works. On their own, without training, individuals know how to deal out the lethal sentence, but training is required to deal out the second.
  • I remember some artists who said this world isn't worth anything, that it is a pigsty, that we are going nowhere, that God is dead, and all those things. Bad literature is this. To expose your navel, to tell how you drank your morning coffee amid general disgust, with everything around you rotting. While the world is dying, I drink my coffee. Or I perform my little sex acts. This is old-fashioned. One must cross this neurotic curtain.
  • The framers of our Constitution firmly believed that a republican government could not endure without intelligence and education generally diffused among the people. The Father of his Country, in his Farewell Address, uses this language: Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
  • As the primary step, therefore, to our advancement in all that has marked our progress in the past century, I suggest for your earnest consideration, and most earnestly recommend it, that a constitutional amendment be submitted to the legislatures of the several States for ratification, making it the duty of each of the several States to establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the education of all the children in the rudimentary branches within their respective limits, irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions; forbidding the teaching in said schools of religious, atheistic, or pagan tenets; and prohibiting the granting of any school funds or school taxes, or any part thereof, either by legislative, municipal, or other authority, for the benefit or in aid, directly or indirectly, of any religious sect or denomination, or in aid or for the benefit of any other object of any nature or kind whatever.
    • Ulysses S. Grant, Seventh State of the Union Address (1875)
  • War is mankind's most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men. Though you follow the trade of the warrior, you do so in the spirit of Washington -- not of Genghis Khan. For Americans, only threat to our way of life justifies resort to conflict.
  • Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
  • How does America find its way in this new, global economy? What will our place in history be? Like so much of the American story, once again, we face a choice. Once again, there are those who believe that there isn’t much we can do about this as a nation. That the best idea is to give everyone one big refund on their government—divvy it up by individual portions, in the form of tax breaks, hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society. But in our past there has been another term for it—Social Darwinism—every man or woman for him or herself. It’s a tempting idea, because it doesn’t require much thought or ingenuity. It allows us to say that those whose health care or tuition may rise faster than they can afford—tough luck. It allows us to say to the Maytag workers who have lost their job—life isn’t fair. It let’s us say to the child who was born into poverty—pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And it is especially tempting because each of us believes we will always be the winner in life’s lottery, that we’re the one who will be the next Donald Trump, or at least we won’t be the chump who Donald Trump says: “You’re fired!” But there is a problem. It won’t work. It ignores our history. It ignores the fact that it’s been government research and investment that made the railways possible and the internet possible. It’s been the creation of a massive middle class, through decent wages and benefits and public schools that allowed us all to prosper. Our economic dependence depended on individual initiative. It depended on a belief in the free market; but it has also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, the idea that everybody has a stake in the country, that we’re all in it together and everybody’s got a shot at opportunity. That’s what’s produced our unrivaled political stability.
    • Barack Obama, Knox College Commencement Address (4 June 2005)
  • Look at what happened in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast when Katrina hit. People ask me whether they thought race was the reason the response was so slow. I say, "well, no, this administration was colorblind in its incompetence." But, everyone here knows that the disaster and the poverty happened long before the hurricane hit.
  • And so God is asking us today to remember the miracle of that baby and he's asking us, he says, "Take the bullet out!" If we have more black men in prison than in our colleges and universities, then it's time to take the bullet out. If we have millions of people goin' to the emergency room for treatable illnesses like asthma, it's time to take the bullet out. If too many of our kids don't have health insurance, it's time to take that bullet out. If we keep sending our kids to crumblin' school buildings, we keep fighting this war in Iraq, a war that should've never been authorized and should've never been waged, a war that costing us 20 cents — $275 million a day, that could have been invested in rebuilding communities all across this country, then it's time to take that bullet out!
  • Now here's the thing, when 9-11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act — said, "This is too serious a problem. We can't expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you gotta put in. Well, here's ten dollars." And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, "Look at this devastation. We don't expect you to come up with y'own money, here. Here's the money to rebuild. We're not gonna wait for you to scratch it together — because you're part of the American family." What's happening down in New Orleans? "Where's your dollar? Where's your Stafford Act money?" Makes no sense! Tells me the bullet hasn't been taken out. Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don't care about as much!
  • We know that our faith sometimes has been used as a wedge to divide us, but we also know that with a big God, with a loving and forceful God, if we unite in his name, we can finish his work on Earth. In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. With a uniting faith, with a God powerful enough to empower us, we can take those bullets out.
  • There was a team that took that bullet out of the baby, 15 years ago. She's got a scar on her arm, always will, but she will survive. Just like America will survive. Just like black folks will survive. We won't forget where we came from. We won't forget what happened 19 months ago, or 15 years ago, or 300 years ago. We know who the head surgeon is, we're on the case, we're going to pull bullet after bullet out.
  • The document they produced was eventually signed, but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.
    Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution - a Constitution that had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.
    And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggles, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience, and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.
  • The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.
    And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.
    I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
    These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
  • People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don't work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve. And if you don't vote and you don't pay attention, you'll get policies that don't reflect your interest.
  • Democracy cannot be imposed on any nation from the outside. Each society must search for its own path, and no path is perfect.
  • If I become so convinced that ‘I’m always right,’ the logical conclusion of that often ends up being great cruelty and great violence.
  • Here's the advice I give everyone about marriage-is she someone you find interesting? You will spend more time with this person than anyone else for the rest of your life, and there is nothing more important than always wanting to hear what she has to say about things. Does she make you laugh? And I don’t know if you want kids, but if you do, do you think she will be a good mum? Life is long. These are the things that really matter over the long term.
    • Barack Obama, marriage advice to Dan Pfeiffer in Yes We Still Can, chapter 9, (June 19, 2018); as quoted in "Barack Obama says these are the three questions you must ask someone before you marry them", by Narjas Zatat, The Independent, (7/7/2018).
  • I probably could've done this earlier, if I was more ambitious.


  • I've added (around 4000 bytes) to Louis C.K., Martin Luther, William Jennings Bryan, Clarence Darrow, Jane Goodall, Isaac Asimov, Rod Serling, Walt Disney, Michael Badnarik, Chanakya, Martin Luther King, Pythagoras, Georges Bataille, Ishmael, Muhammad, Malcolm X, Abu Musab Zarqawi, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Osama bin Laden, Jesus, Edward Bernays, John C. Lily, Ali, Dan Savage, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Bernie Sanders (with Mdd), Thomas Jefferson, Jerusalem, Hollywood, Writing, Comics, Books, Science fiction, Internet, Video games, Film, Television, Graffiti, Fashion, Clothing, Language, Sculpture, Painting, Image, Copyright, Truth, Dreams, Reality, Fantasy, Lying, Insanity, Brain, Soul, Body, Medicine, Abortion, Birth, Babies, Mutant, Evolution, Learning, Intelligence, Memory, Education, Law, War, Prejudice, Forgiveness, Black people, Feminism, Masculinity, Weightlifting, Amazons, Women, Love, Marriage, Children, Animals, Animal rights, Arthopods, Feet, Pedophilia, Sadomasochism, Rape, Necromancy, Paranormal, Science, Chemistry, Organic chemistry, Genetics, Alien life, Space, Space Exploration, Sexuality, Prostitution, Sex, Sex offender, Heaven, Hell, God, Atheism, Anarchism, Buddhism, Buddha, Islamic law, Judaism, Christianity, Antichrist, Catholic Church, Free Masonry, Witch, Life, Death, Meaning of life, Lies, Censorship, Surveillance, Facial expression, Eating, Hunger, Darkness, Pain, Fear, Torture, Fighting, Power, Strength, Control, Mind control, Wisdom, Belief, Machine, Gun, War, Robot, Artificial Intelligence, Singularity, Freewill, Determinism, Future, Past, Small, World, Understanding, World view, World domination, World peace, Simian, Organic chemistry, Nuclear weapons, Nuclear power, Nuclear War, Botany, Wind, Volcano, Geology, Heavy metal music, Nikola Tesla, Filipino proverbs, Book of Leviticus, Eastern Orthodox Church, Misandry, Dungeons and Dragons, Benjamin Franklin, Protestantism, 14th Dalai Lama, Prayer, Moses, Homicide, Witnesses, Pornography, Envy, Theft, Sabbath, Capitalism, Vietnam War, Lyndon B. Johnson, History of Science, Technology, Mary Mother of Jesus, Sigmund Freud, John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox, Menno Simons, Thomas Cranmer, Destiny, Guns, Alexander Hamilton, Audience, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Steve Jobs, Alan Moore, Unit cohesion, Trauma trigger, Morale, IBM, Nintendo, Hip hop, Marriage, Virginity, Batman, Drugs, Illusion, Heroes, Consent, Bullying, Companionship, Friendship, Romance, Pope Francis, Circumcision, Disability, Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Education, Will Eisner, The Boondocks (comic strip), Human genome project, Pedophilia, Eleventh Doctor, Scientists, Consumerism, Globalism, Cloning, Michael Jackson, Horror, Torture, Mask.
  • I also expanded (around the 2000 byte range) Pope Alexander VI, Hakuin Ekaku, Ja'far al-Sadiq, Scheherazade, Homosexuality, Rumi, Ada Lovelace, Andrea Dwarkin, Richard Dawkins, Ayn Rand, Libertarianism, Masturbation, Dolphins, B. F. Skinner, William James, Relationship between religion and science, Intelligent Design, European colonization of the Americas (with Peter1c), Genetic engineering (with Y-S.Ko), Chemistry, Cancer, philosophy, Werner von Braun, Statue of Liberty, Hawaiian proverbs, Japan, Buckminster Fuller, Dragon, Common Place Book, Alexander the Great, Help, Talk, Sound, Weakness, Advertising, Screenwriting, White privilege, Heresy, Islam, Jihad, Black People, Apostasy, Al-Qaeda, Mankind, Richard Nixon, Antisemitism, Monuments, Greed, Vegetarianism, Fathers, Mothers, Parenting, Gene Roddenberry, Nazism, William Shatner, Astronomy, Machine, Civilization, Racism in the United States, Adam and Eve, David, Bigfoot, Acting, Schizoprehnia, Autism, LSD, Paranoia, Kawaii, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Alcoholism, Genetic engineering, Suicide, Obscenity, Blindness, Undead, Ulysses S. Grant, Duels, Sperm donation, Michael Moore, Universities, Terrorism, Journalism, Criminal justice, Robert E. Howard.
  • I've created the pages for the following: Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, Regeneration, The Vision of Escaflowne, Animation, Young Sherlock Holmes, Crowdfunding, Iron Man (comics), Lilith, The Ark of the Covenant, Justice League Gods and Monsters, Charm, Grigori Rasputin, Moe Berg, Embryo, Zoophilia, Jack Kirby, Promethea, Noah, Experiment, Osamu Tezuka, Dead Man, Drones, Tibet, 6th Dalai Lama, Sodom and Gommorah, Democratic Republic of Congo, Voodoo, Andrew Vachss, Aisha, Botany, Heavy metal music, DC Comics, The Last House on the Left, Eastern Orthodox Church, Misandry, Dungeons and Dragons, Editorial cartoon, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Gabriel, Ex Machina, The Maxx, Will Eisner, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Melvil Dewey, Dungeon, Obsolescence, Corey Feldman, Sexism, Occam's Razor, True Cross, Metatron, Scientific literacy, Eratosthenes, Black Jesus (TV series), Choir, Huldrych Zwingli, Thomas Cranmer, Samantha Bee, Unit cohesion, Pregnancy, Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics), Fantastic Four (comics), Ethnicity, Teamwork, Sexual harassment.
  • I also made more categories than I did on Wikipedia, only one of which was reverted and was nominated for deletion by me: feminism in film. There's sci-fi fantasy and crime video games; Sci-fi, fantasy, crime, horror and war comics; and films with elves, dwarves, fairies, dragons, robots, cyborgs, genetic engineering, cloning, dinosaurs, ninja's, simulated reality, altered memories, transhumanism, airplane, hijackings, rape, juvenile sexuality, wish fulfillment, Gods, personifications of death, heaven and hell, after life, authors, acting and horses. For media in general it is reincarnation, robots, time travel, post apocalyptic, biological warfare, nuclear weapons, superhero, hostage dramas, marionette films. For professions it is soldier. I also made the Births category but stopped creating categories when I started to questioning whether the lesson Wikipedia wanted me to learn from my ban was to make better categories or to stop making them entirely, no one provided much direction regarding the reasons for my ban the numerous times I contacted the arbitration committee, making it difficult to give them what they wanted to see me do.
  • I took the liberty of writing and rewriting the basic descriptions for a number of video games and television shows including Oddworld, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy IX, Spyro the Dragon, Frasier, Scrubs, Chrono Trigger, Crash Bandicoot 2:Cortex Strikes Back, Megaman, Halo, Jade Empire, Pokemon Red and Blue, Donkey Kong Country, Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Earthworm Jim, Psychonauts, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Chrono Cross, Tales of Symphonia, Doom, Castlevania, Portal, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Spyro: Year of the Dragon‎, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year-Door, Mega Man Legends, Spider-Man 2 (video game), Enter the Matrix, Ultimate Spider-Man (video game), Soul Calibur II, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, Spider-Man (2000 video game), The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Contra III: The Alien Wars, Super Metroid, Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. I've played a bit of other video games we have pages for, like Diablo, Legacy of Kain, Legend of Dragoon and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, but have not actually finished them, that or the pages for them are for the entire series which I have not seen the first installment of; I haven't actually finished The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion or Super Metroid myself but have seen others. As such, there are no other games I'm familiar with for me summarize that don't already have them, contrary to what you may have heard from the incompetently conducted sock puppet investigations on Wikipedia which have ruined my username's credibility. Trust me, I'd be stealing more glory if I could, but I can't without spoiling the plots to a bunch of games I've never played.,I'm not very good at describing the premises of games I've played all of an hour of.
  • I've also added a lot of images, though like the introductory descriptions, I really can't form a convincing argument as to how this actually helps Wikiquotes seemingly sole goal of distributing quotations about various subjects, if anything it makes it more difficult for the people in countries with heavy censorship to find this information, as the images taken from Wikipedia often contain nudity. Images can certainly be used to help educate, which is why they are in most undergraduate science textbooks, and most award winning authors do opt to have an illustrated front cover, even when it's as simple as having the title in a more ornate font. Unlike Wikipedia, we can't use images that are fair use for illustrating copyrighted works, relying on cosplayers and images that illustrate a work's general themes. I added images to the following: Weight lifting, Dragons, Homicide, Undead, Obscenity, Art, Ulysses S. Grant, Genetic engineering, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Batman villains, The Joker, Selena Kyle, Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Thor, Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles, Iron Man (comics), Sadomasochism, Duels, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Death Note, Fullmetal alchemist (anime), Cloning, Lilith, Michael Jackson, Escape from L.A., Weapon, Torture.

About sectionsEdit

  • Note: I did not create the first about section, but the value of them is often questioned. Personally I find the about sections are often of a much greater educational value than the actual pages that they are for, as unlike the actual works they are non fictitious and often explain what it means to belong to the profession that created them, whereas many of the actual works, which are never called into question, fail to actually elaborate meaningfully on themes in a unique and memorable way.
  • Live action films: 12 Monkeys, 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 300 (film), Alien, Alien 3, Alien vs Predator, The Avengers (2012 film), Back to the Future, Batman, Batman Returns, Batman & Robin (film), Batman Forever, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Battle Royale (film), Beetlejuice, Blade, Blade 2, Blade Runner, Captain America: The First Avenger, A Clockwork Orange (film), The Crow, Daredevil (film), Dark City (1998 film), The Dark Knight, Dawn of the Dead (1978), Dawn of the Dead (2004), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951 film), District 9, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Elektra (film), Escape from New York, Escape from L.A., Fantastic Four (2005 film), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fight Club, Ghost Busters, Good Will Hunting, Gravity, Grindhouse (film), Green Lantern, Harold and Kumar, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Her (film), The Hunger Games (film), The Incredible Hulk (film), Independence Day, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Interstellar, Iron Man (2008 film), Iron Man 2, E.L. James, Jurassic Park, Kill Bill, Kill Bill Volume 1, Kill Bill Volume 2, King Kong (2005 film) Man of Steel (film), Planet of the Apes (1968 film), Predator, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Red Dragon, RoboCop, The Silence of the Lambs, Sin City (film), Small Soldiers, Spider-Man (2002 film), Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Spirit (film), Starship Troopers, Star Trek II, Star Trek V, Star Trek VI, Star Wars I-VI, Superman (1978 film), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Superman Returns, Superman vs. The Elite, Suzanne Collins, Team America: World Police, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1991 film), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Terminator, Terminator 2, Thor (film), Transformers, Tron Legacy, Twilight (film), The Twilight Saga: New Moon, War of the Worlds (2005 film), Watchmen (film), Willow, Wonder Woman (film), X-Men (2000 film), X2 (film), X Men: The Last Stand.
  • Animated films: 9 (2009 film), Aladdin, Alpha and Omega, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Antz, Arthur Christmas, Brave, The Black Cauldron (film), Cinderella, Chicken Little, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Cool World, The Croods, Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Everyone's Hero, The Emperor's New Groove, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Finding Nemo, Frozen, Garfield: The Movie, Garfield: The Tale of Two Kitties, The Good Dinosaur, Happy Feet, Horton Hears a Who, Inside Out, The Lion King, The Lorax (film), Meet the Robinsons, Megamind, Princess Mononoke, Monster House, Monsters University, Monsters vs. Aliens, Open Season, The Peanuts Movie, Rango, Ratatoullie, The Road to El Dorado, The Secret of Nimh, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Strange Magic, Stuart Little, Surfs Up, Titan AE, TMNT, Toy Story, Turbo, Valiant, WALL-E, The Wild (film).
  • Live action television: Batman (TV series), Battle Star Galactica (1978), Battlestar Galactica (2003), Black Jesus (TV series), Doctor Who, Firefly, Fringe, Lexx, Lost, Mad Men, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The Prisoner, Quantum Leap, Scrubs, Star Gate SG-1, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: Voyager, The Twilight Zone (1959 series), Xena: Warrior Princess, The X-Files.
  • Animated television: Batman: The Animated Series, Card Captor Sakura, Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Dragon Ball, Full Metal Alchemist, Gargoyles, InuYasha, The Jetsons, Lupin III, Mobile Suit Gundam‎, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sailor Moon, Samurai X, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Spiderman: The Animated Series, SpongeBob SquarePants, Trigun, X-Men (TV show), Yu-Gi-Oh
  • Video Games: Bioshock, Fallout, Metal Gear, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
  • Literature: Carrie, The Dark Tower, Book of Deuteronomy, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ‎ , Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Book of Leviticus, Mass (liturgy), The Wizard of Oz, World War Z.
  • Fictional characters/disambiguation pages: Albus Dumbledore, Batman, Barbara Gordon, Captain America, Dalek, DC comics, Harry Potter, Hulk, Iron Man, James Bond, Jason Todd, Kill Bill, Lex Luthor, Pokemon, Star Trek, Star Wars, Spider-Man, Thor, Wonder Woman, X-Men.
  • Historical/mythological figures: Aisha, David, Noah, Ja'far al-Sadiq, Scheherazade, William Howard Taft, John Calvin

Usernames on other wikisEdit



  • Exiled Encyclopedist On Rationalwiki I have 8 years left on my ban: I deserved it. To go into the details why would be soap boxing, but I am ashamed of every thing that I wrote there, particularly of the one post that actually factored into the ban.
  • X-Factor Someone else can add information on human rights abuses around the world. I know when I'm not welcome, and there's no shortage of people smart enough to do this themselves, should they care to do so.
  • Irritable of Contents On Uncyclopedia I am, or was at least, an administrator; I'll have to check, and if not, try and work my way back up. It may not be as important or "high class" as Wikiquote, but I really like this wiki.

Work on WikipediaEdit

Wikipedia additionsEdit

  • Plastic, copper, bronze, lead, aluminium, black carbon, hydrocarbon, uranium, concrete, limestone, marble, wood, coal, TNT, HMX, RDX, Panda (biofuel), zebra (biofuel), racism in the united states [1] hunger, slavery, poverty, drinking water, sleep deprivation, schizophrenia, expulsion, confiscation, global warming, water pollution, birth control, abortion, rape, crush fetish, shroud of Turin, relics associated with Buddha, Todai-ji temple, ghost, zombie, cloning, Tibet, Confucius, Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, J. Edgar Hoover, Edward Teller, asteroid impact avoidance, glass (Mars rover) International Space Station (microbiological environmental hazards), Star Trek (criticisms).

Wikipedia deletionsEdit

  • Consumer electronics: Columbite-tantalite (or coltan, the colloquial African term) is the metal ore from which the element tantalum is extracted. Tantalum is used primarily for the production of tantalum capacitors, particularly for applications requiring high performance, a small compact format and high reliability, from hearing aids and pacemakers, to airbags, GPS, ignition systems and anti-lock braking systems in automobiles, through to laptop computers, mobile phones, video game consoles, video cameras and digital cameras.[2] It is largely extracted from the eastern Congo, and passed through a variety of intermediaries before being purchased by multinational electronics companies. These minerals are essential in the manufacture of a variety of devices, including consumer electronics such as mobile phones, laptops, and MP3 players.[3] A report filed with the SEC for Tulane University in New Orleans and Assent Compliance, a New York consulting firm found that about 90 percent of the 1,262 companies that filed the required conflict mineral disclosures in 2014 said they couldn’t determine whether their products were conflict-free. Two-thirds of the companies, including Google and Amazon, did not list the country of origin of their metals. Only 314 companies, less than 24 percent, complied with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act mandate. [4]
  • Iron, gold, silver, copper and zinc mycoremediation: A sample of the fungus Aspergillus niger was found growing from gold mining solution; and was found to contain cyano metal complexes; such as gold, silver, copper iron and zinc. The fungus also plays a role in the solubilization of heavy metal sulfides. [5]

Comments and questionsEdit

(Note: Other user pages include poetry or essays which would be considered soap boxing on wikipedia, though so too would be using that space for quotations containing the opinions of famous people. The following questions would be acceptable at the reference desk, helpful for finding quotations that ask or answer these. Let me know if anything here isn't acceptable and I'll delete it. It's a shame I can't name a user who returned from a ban using the 6 month offer from the arbitration committee, that information might have given me more hope.

  • Trying to select the top 1.5% of a movie is less like using a magnifying glass to inspect a particular part of a great painting and more like breaking the painting into a handful of jigsaw puzzle pieces. What's the best 1.5% of Picasso's Guernica? There's also the issue of whether wikiquote editors themselves should be deciding what is worth including as a community commonplace book or whether it would be better to include citations of who famously has quoted a line from a work, which I have not seen implemented on any page. Wikiquote:Quotability sounds more like a common place book or else it would have included an instance of someone actually citing the Matrix dialogue. Others have suggested requiring an academic source that quotes a script. There are no about sections for Citizen Kane or Casablanca (film), so it seems like a low priority.
  • I came here in the desperate attempt to be allowed back onto wikipedia and to provide an (apparently much needed) alibi, as more accounts continue to be associated with me based off of matching a so called "editing pattern" or profile, a method of statistical analysis turned profiling which I would like to see pass as science on Rational Wiki, considering actual forensics like fingerprinting and bite mark analysis have become scientifically suspect. Many innocent people have lost their accounts because of being identified falsely as me.
  • The wikipedia page for bestiality has many pictures, including one of an under aged girl receiving oral sex from a deer, the one for pedophilia has no pictures. I've asked others to petition for the removal of this image, as it would seems not be acceptable on the page for pedophilia to show this image; the two should follow the same rules and be devoid of X rated images of children, seeing as it makes those pages illegal to look at in several countries, diminishing the ability of Wikipedia to educate people from them on those topics. I've heard Jimmy Wales tried to remove similar images but was out voted by the community; would those that voted be legally collectively accountable for distributing pornography in other countries. Also, how does collective respopnsibility work legally for wikis, can administraotrs be found negligent for allowing dox to be posted for an extended period of time, and what is that period of time? Pornographic images are frowned upon including on wikiquote pages, it seems odd that the rules are that different between the two.
  • A psychological study on hentai, would be a scientific first it appears, not having done one already seems professionally negligent, I don't know what court cases that define negligence for psychologists there are.
  • Which mental illnesses have warranted the insanity defense in court, I know it's a very low number, but it does set legal precedent. Was George Remus the last case of temporary legal insanity lacking a specific diagnosis?

Notable quote collections and public domain imagesEdit


Quote of the DayEdit

I've the unique distinction of attributing the only misquote of the day, for Jane Goodall on April 3rd 2018, which is actually attributed to Frans de Waal in the same interview. I didn't mean to blemish Wikiquote's reputation with my reckless speed reading; I wonder how many mistakes were made by JFK and his staff.

Wikiquote user reviewsEdit



  • It is a commonly held view that genetically homogenous host populations are more vulnerable to infection than genetically diverse populations. The underlying idea, known as the ‘monoculture effect,' is well documented in agricultural studies. Low genetic diversity in the wild can result from bottlenecks (that is, founder effects), biparental inbreeding or self-fertilization, any of which might increase the risk of epidemics. Host genetic diversity could buffer populations against epidemics in nature, but it is not clear how much diversity is required to prevent disease spread.
  • Following bites, protective immune responses are induced, just like a conventional vaccination but with no pain and no cost. What's more, continuous exposure to bites will maintain high levels of protective immunity, through natural boosting, for a life time. So the insect shifts from being a pest to being beneficial.
  • Scientists have discovered that insects from cockroaches to caterpillars all emit the same stinky blend of fatty acids when they die, and this sinister stench sends bugs of all kinds running for their lives.
  • Miniaturization doesn't actually make sense unless you miniaturize the very atoms of which matter is composed. Otherwise a tiny brain in a man the size of an insect, composed of normal atoms, is composed of too few atoms for the miniaturized man to be any more intelligent than the ant. Also, miniaturizing atoms is impossible according to the rules of quantum mechanics.
    • Isaac Asimov Peary, D ed. (1984). Omni's Screen Flights, Screen Fantasies Doubleday
  • You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes.
  • With the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union was now high on the list of tyrannical enemies of democracy, and American nuclear weapons development and strategic theory were fashioned with that enemy foremost in mind. Oppenheimer’s sympathy for Communism, his enthusiasm for world government as the ultimate arbiter of nuclear technology, and his qualms about the proposed second generation of nuclear weapons, played a critical role in the history of the Cold War and in the precipitous course of his subsequent career. Already, in the fall of 1945, when Edward Teller was pressing for immediate development of the hydrogen bomb (the “Super,” as it was called), Oppenheimer responded coldly and tersely: “I neither can nor will do so.” Oppenheimer regarded the Super as a genocidal weapon: its only conceivable purpose would be the destruction of civilian populations by the millions — and ideally in the tens or hundreds of millions. The sole end of war with H-bombs would be annihilation. The peace that such a war would bring would be that of the mass grave; and if there were any survivors, they would likely prefer to have been among the dead. Civilization would have to be reconstituted from radioactive ash.
    And yet the undeniable perfidy of the Stalinist Soviet Union convinced even Oppenheimer that the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), created to oversee the use of atoms for peace, would be above all the instrument of war. In 1947, Oppenheimer declared that the agency’s main job was to “provide atomic weapons and good atomic weapons and many atomic weapons.” And Oppenheimer wanted to be the moving force in this work, despite his ever-deepening moral qualms.
    But Oppenheimer was never of one mind for long. The Soviets’ test of an atomic bomb in 1949 propelled him back to the internationalist position he had taken just after the war, believing that a single world organization should govern the nuclear policies of every individual nation. While Edward Teller insisted that the Super was needed now more than ever, Oppenheimer huffed, “Keep your shirt on.” He joined Enrico Fermi and other eminent physicists in lobbying Roosevelt’s former vice-president Henry Wallace to stop H-bomb development, “primarily because we should prefer defeat in war to victory obtained at the expense of the enormous human disaster that would be caused by its determined use.” To possess a weapon of incalculable potency — some theoreticians feared it could ignite the atmosphere in an explosive chain reaction and destroy the earth — would pose graver dangers than not to have one at all.
  • While Oppenheimer was making the case for tactical nuclear weapons, useful on the battlefield, the Strategic Air Command’s war plan emphasized a massive and decisive nuclear first strike in the event of a conventional Soviet attack on Western Europe. According to Bird and Sherwin, the H-bomb advocates were so obsessed with the threat of Communism that they believed “Oppenheimer’s championing of tactical nuclear weapons was a ploy to block the Super Bomb.” Teller went so far as to spread the word that in trying to block the H-bomb Oppenheimer was acting on “direct orders from Moscow.” Teller may have been out of control, the Strategic Air Command may have been defending its turf, and Strauss may have been seeking personal revenge against Oppenheimer, but all the same, the gravest matters were at stake. The Soviet Union was a real threat that needed to be confronted with sobriety; seeing the defenders of the H-bomb as fanatics and conspiracy theorists foolishly belittles the existential challenge America was then just beginning to face.
  • Machiavelli, so widely considered the founding father of modern political morality, or immorality, understood prudence, or the ability to choose among possible courses of action, as the sine qua non of the conqueror. But in the atomic age, the foremost aim of prudence among more or less decent nations is no longer to conquer but to avoid annihilation, while also avoiding the evil of annihilating the enemy — i.e., nuclear genocide. In October 1949, the General Advisory Committee to the AEC recommended that “a super bomb should never be produced” — that it “might become a weapon of genocide.” Oppenheimer was one of the signatories. To assume that the Soviet enemy would share this American scrupulousness was the committee’s fallacy; and to make such an assumption of Stalin was the depth of folly.
  • Allan Childers: Before you left the base, they gave you some codes that gave you access to the complex. You would read the code to the commander and then you would take a lighter, set the codes on fire and drop them down into a box so they would burn up and no one else could use those codes.
  • Allan Childers: We never new what our specific targets were, becatuse you didn't really want to know who you were going to destroy.
  • Allan Childers: You had to be prepared to destroy an entire civilization, and we were trained on that. As heartless as it sounds, I never had a problem with it, I was doing it for my country, I was doing it to protect my country.
  • Eric Schlosser: At one point we only thought we needed 50 to 200 nuclear weapons to annihalate the Soviet Union, and by the 1960's we had 32,000.
  • Eric Schlosser: One of the weapons in particular went through all of its arming steps to detonate, and when that weapon hit the ground, a firing signal was sent. And the only thing that prevented a full-scale detonation of a powerful hydrogen bomb in North Carolina was a single safety switch.
  • Eric Schlosser: During a fire, solder might melt on a circuit board. It created all kinds of new electrical pathways that could completely circumvent a safety device.
  • 3,000: Tons of chemical weapons in the U.S. stockpile, mostly consisting of mustard gas and various nerve agents.
1,000: Tons of chemical weapons that Syria is believed to have.
  • $500 million: Amount spent by the United States each year to assist other countries in destroying their stores of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
  • 2,150: Operational U.S. nuclear warheads assigned to land-based missiles, nuclear submarines, and bombs ready for deployment in military aircraft.
4,650: Operational nuclear warheads in Russia.
  • Alan Turing was the first to make a careful analysis of the potential capabilities of machines, inventing his famous "Turing machines" for the purpose. He argued that if any machine could perform a computation, then some Turing machine could perform it. The argument focuses on the assertion that any machine's operations could be simulated, one step at a time, by certain simple operations, and that Turing machines were capable of those simple operations. Turing's first fame resulted from applying this analysis to a problem posed earlier by Hilbert, which concerned the possibility of mechanizing mathematics. Turing showed that in a certain sense, it is impossible to mechanize mathematics: We shall never be able to build an "oracle" machine that can correctly answer all mathematical questions presented to it with a "yes" or "no" answer. In another famous paper Turing went on to consider the somewhat different question, "Can machines think?." It is a different question, because perhaps machines can think, but they might not be any better at mathematics than humans are; or perhaps they might be better at mathematics than humans are, but not by thinking, just by brute-force calculation power. These two papers of Turing lie near the roots of the subjects today known as automated deduction and artificial intelligence.
    • Michael J. Beeson, "The Mechanization of Mathematics," in Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker (2004).
  • Hannah Devlin: In your book you describe a nightmare you had involving Hitler wearing a pig mask, asking to learn more about your “amazing technology”. Do you still have anxiety dreams about where Crispr might leave the human race?
Jennifer Doudna: I had the Hitler dream and I’ve had a couple of other very scary dreams, almost like nightmares, which is quite unusual for an adult. Not so much lately, but in the first couple of years after I published my work, the field was moving so fast. I had this incredible feeling that the science was getting out way ahead of any considerations about ethics, societal implications and whether we should be worrying about random people in various parts of the world using this for nefarious purposes.
  • Hannah Devlin: In 2015, you called for a moratorium on the clinical use of gene editing. Where do you stand on using Crispr to edit embryos these days?
Jennifer Doudna: It shouldn’t be used clinically today, but in the future possibly. That’s a big change for me. At first, I just thought why would you ever do it? Then I started to hear from people with genetic diseases in their family – this is now happening every day for me. A lot of them send me pictures of their children. There was one that I can’t stop thinking about, just sent to me in the last 10 days or so. A mother who told me that her infant son was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, caused by a sporadic rare mutation. She sent me a picture of this little boy. He was this adorable little baby, he was bald, in his little carrier and so cute. I have a son and my heart just broke.
  • Poverty is an important social determinant of health and contributes to child health disparities. Children who experience poverty, particularly during early life or for an extended period, are at risk of a host of adverse health and developmental outcomes through their life course. Poverty has a profound effect on specific circumstances, such as birth weight, infant mortality, language development, chronic illness, environmental exposure, nutrition, and injury. Child poverty also influences genomic function and brain development by exposure to toxic stress, a condition characterized by “excessive or prolonged activation of the physiologic stress response systems in the absence of the buffering protection afforded by stable, responsive relationships.” Children living in poverty are at increased risk of difficulties with self-regulation and executive function, such as inattention, impulsivity, defiance, and poor peer relationships. Poverty can make parenting difficult, especially in the context of concerns about inadequate food, energy, transportation, and housing.
  • The economic cost of child poverty to society can be estimated by anticipating future lost productivity and increased social expenditure. A study compiled before 2008 projected a total cost of approximately $500 billion each year through decreased productivity and increased costs of crime and health care, nearly 4% of the gross domestic product.
  • Demographics have a profound influence on the likelihood that a family or community will experience poverty or low income. For example, African American, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native children are 3 times more likely to live in poverty than are white and Asian children. Infants and toddlers more commonly live in poverty than do older children.
  • During the recovery of the Great Recession, income inequality in the United States accelerated, with 91% of the gains going to the top 1% of families.
  • In 1935, the US Congress passed the Social Security Act and in 1965 enacted Medicare. Together, these 2 pieces of legislation have greatly reduced and nearly eliminated poverty in the elderly. It is time to enact similar reforms to eliminate child poverty.
  • On average, 24,000 children under the age of five die every day, most from preventable causes, with undernutrition contributing to about one-third of these deaths. Millions of children are denied primary education, and hundreds of millions have no access to safe drinking water or decent sanitation facilities.
  • Earth's oceans and land cover are doing us a favor. As people burn fossil fuels and clear forests, only half of the carbon dioxide released stays in the atmosphere, warming and altering Earth's climate. The other half is removed from the air by the planet's vegetation ecosystems and oceans.
    As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue their rapid, human-made rise past levels not seen for hundreds of thousands of years, NASA scientists and others are confronted with an important question for the future of our planet: How long can this balancing act continue? And if forests, other vegetation and the ocean cannot continue to absorb as much or more of our carbon emissions, what does that mean for the pace of climate change in the coming century?
  • "Today and for the past 50 to 100 years, the oceans and land biosphere have consistently taken up about half of human emissions," said Dave Schimel of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. "If that were to change, the effect of fossil emissions on climate would also change. We don't understand that number, and we don't know how it will change in the future."
  • The danger is that global warming may become self-sustaining, if it has not done so already. The melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps reduces the fraction of solar energy reflected back into space, and so increases the temperature further. Climate change may kill off the Amazon and other rain forests, and so eliminate once one of the main ways in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. The rise in sea temperature may trigger the release of large quantities of carbon dioxide, trapped as hydrides on the ocean floor. Both these phenomena would increase the greenhouse effect, and so global warming further. We have to reverse global warming urgently, if we still can.
  • To an outsider, the most significant innovation in the global warming controversy is the overt reliance that is being placed on models. Back in the days of nuclear winter, computer models were invoked to add weight to a conclusion: “These results are derived with the help of a computer model.” But now, large-scale computer models are seen as generating data in themselves. No longer are models judged by how well they reproduce data from the real world—increasingly, models provide the data. As if they were themselves a reality. And indeed they are, when we are projecting forward.
  • This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well. Richard Feynmann called it a disease. I fear he is right.
  • What is clear, however, is that on this issue [global warming], science and policy have become inextricably mixed to the point where it will be difficult, if not impossible, to separate them out.
  • Bitcoin uses about 32 terawatts of energy every year, enough to power about three million U.S. households, according to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index published by Digiconomist, a website focused on digital currencies.
    By comparison, processing the billions of Visa (V) transactions that take place each year consumes the same amount of power as just 50,000 American homes, according to Digiconomist.
  • Without a significant change in how transactions are processed, bitcoin could be consuming enough electricity to power the U.S. by the middle of 2019.
    Six months later, that demand could equal the world's power consumption.
  • Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Rising ESKD prevalence has substantially increased numbers of kidney transplants performed. Maintenance immunosuppression is long-term treatment to prevent acute rejection and deterioration of graft function. Although immunosuppressive treatment using drugs such as calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs, such as cyclosporin A (CsA) or tacrolimus) reduce acute rejection rates, long-term allograft survival rates are not significantly enhanced. CNI-related adverse effects contribute to reduced quality of life among kidney transplant recipients. Adjuvant immunosuppressive therapies that could offer a synergetic immunosuppressive effect, while minimising toxicity and reducing side effects, have been explored recently. Cordyceps sinensis, (Cordyceps) a traditional Chinese medicine, is used as an adjuvant immunosuppressive agent in maintenance treatment for kidney transplantation recipients in China, but there is no consensus about its use as an adjuvant immunosuppressive treatment for kidney transplantation recipients.
  • The Porto Ricans (sic) are the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever to inhabit this sphere… I have done my best to further the process of extermination by killing off eight and transplanting cancer into several more… All physicians take delight in the abuse and torture of the unfortunate subjects.
    • Cornelius Rhoads as quoted by Truman R. Clark. 1975. Puerto Rico and the United States, 1917-1933, pp. 151-154
  • A scorpion-venom concoction that makes tumors glow sounds almost too outlandish to be true. In fact, Olson explains, that’s what troubled the big grant-­making organizations when he came to them for funding. But when those organizations dismissed his ideas as too bizarre, Olson started accepting donations from individuals—particularly the families of current and former patients—quickly raising $5 million for his research. It was a bold and unprecedented tactic: Though patients and their families are often asked to donate to foundations with broad goals, Olson raised money for one specific, untested technology—a much riskier gamble. But thanks to his efforts, Olson’s fluorescent scorpion toxin is now in Phase I clinical trials, an impressive accomplishment for a compound with such a peculiar lineage. The University of Washington students are clearly awed by the work.
  • Currently there is no good treatment for autoimmune disorders; the challenge has been suppressing inflammatory attacks by the immune system on body tissues without generally suppressing immune function (thereby increasing risk of infections). The main treatment is antibodies that neutralize cytokines, chemical messengers produced by T cells that regulate immune function and inflammatory responses. However, antibodies are expensive, must be given intravenously and don't address the root cause of disease, simply sopping up cytokines rather than stopping their production; patients must therefore receive frequent intravenous infusions to keep inflammation in check. Powerful immune-suppressing drugs are sometimes used as a last resort, but patients are left at risk for life-threatening infections and other serious side effects.
    Through a series of experiments, the researchers show that halofuginone prevents the development of Th17 cells in both mice and humans, halts the disease process they trigger, and is selective in its effects. It also has the potential to be taken orally. "This is really the first description of a small molecule that interferes with autoimmune pathology but is not a general immune suppressant," says Mark Sundrud, PhD, of the PCMM/IDI, the study's first author.
  • Extended work shifts of twelve hours or longer are common and even popular with hospital staff nurses, but little is known about how such extended hours affect the care that patients receive or the well-being of nurses. Survey data from nurses in four states showed that more than 80 percent of the nurses were satisfied with scheduling practices at their hospital. However, as the proportion of hospital nurses working shifts of more than thirteen hours increased, patients’ dissatisfaction with care increased. Furthermore, nurses working shifts of ten hours or longer were up to two and a half times more likely than nurses working shorter shifts to experience burnout and job dissatisfaction and to intend to leave the job. Extended shifts undermine nurses’ well-being, may result in expensive job turnover, and can negatively affect patient care. Policies regulating work hours for nurses, similar to those set for resident physicians, may be warranted.
  • Traditional eight-hour shifts for hospital nurses are becoming a thing of the past: Nurses increasingly work twelve-hour shifts. This schedule gives nurses a three-day work week, potentially providing better work-life balance and flexibility. However, actual shift lengths are often unpredictable because of fluctuations in patient needs and unanticipated staffing changes. As a result, nurses often must put in unplanned overtime beyond the scheduled shift length.
  • When we examined the hospital characteristics by shift length category, we found that nurses working shifts of twelve hours or longer were more numerous in teaching and high-technology hospitals.
  • The odds of burnout and job dissatisfaction were up to two and a half times higher for nurses who worked longer shifts than for nurses who worked shifts of 8–9 hours.
  • Nurses working shifts that were twelve hours or longer were disproportionately male and nonwhite; their mean age was also lower than that of nurses in other categories of shift length.
  • One possible explanation for the findings is that nurses underestimate the impact of working long shifts because the idea of working three days a week instead of five seems appealing. Working longer but fewer shifts may also attract nurses who work a second job. However, the strain of those three long work days and the rest and recovery time needed may offset any perceived benefit, if our survey results are any indication. When a three-day week turns into more days or additional, unplanned-for overtime, nurses’ satisfaction appears to decrease.
  • I have watched the #metoo campaign as avidly as anyone. I have gone to bed each night wondering who will be outed as a sexual harasser in the morning, whether it will be another one of my political heroes or someone we all recognize from mainstream media or Hollywood. We’ve seen many of these perpetrators lose jobs, be forced to resign, and face economic difficulty because of their abhorrent behaviors.
    But I have not gone to bed a single night in all these months wondering what scientist would be sacked in the morning because of his transgressions—let alone be publicly outed—because scientist-harassers rarely lose their jobs.
  • Are people who engage in sexual misconduct actually making scientific advances that would not be made without them? I’d say it’s more likely that swifter, greater advances would have occurred if there were fewer perpetrators limiting opportunities for their victims. When part of your brain has to be occupied with workplace stress—from unwanted sexual advances to witnessing abuse between colleagues—you have less to give to your science.
    If we punish these perpetrators, especially by taking away their funding, won’t their trainees suffer? I wonder how many grad students would be better off, relieved of the pressures of working for a predator. As federal funding agencies grapple with this problem, they have begun to figure out solutions, such as assigning a new principal investigator if the original one can’t continue. It doesn’t kill the project or leave students and staff out of their jobs. Removing the perpetrator from a project also saves the pedigree of the trainees; few want their published work tainted with the name of a known sexual harasser.
    The last concern is the trickiest: Why don’t we do anything when we know about the perpetrators in our midst? So far, consequences for scientist-harassers are few and far between. In academia it’s common to get sanctions like “no more female grad students” or “no more undergraduate teaching” or “please work at home for now.” These are mild punishments at best, but departments are unsure what other options they have—and universities don’t make it easy to fire professors. The institutions know that perpetrators generally have more resources than victims and are more likely to sue if they are fired. It is a good financial decision, then, to do nothing about a perpetrator, even if they are guilty.
    So this is where we find ourselves today: In many professions sexual misconduct is now cause for dismissal. In the sciences, not so much. What’s more, many science workplaces use legal definitions of sexual harassment to set the standard for workplace conduct. If that is the bar that has to be met for a disgusting behavior to be considered actionable by a university, research institute, or field station, it is a high one. An enormous range of disrespectful and even frightening behavior can slip under that bar, even though it damages the careers of victims and bystanders, holding back scientific advancement.
  • A growing body of evidence suggests that long working hours adversely affect the health and wellbeing of workers. Studies have associated overtime and extended work schedules with an increased risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, stress, depression, musculoskeletal disorders, chronic infections, diabetes, general health complaints, and all-cause mortality. Several reviews and meta-analyses have been published summarising these research findings. Systematic reviews generally have concluded that long working hours are potentially dangerous to workers’ health. However, existing research is sparse and inconsistent in many areas.
  • This study of nationally representative data from the United States adds to the growing body of evidence indicating that work schedules involving long hours or overtime substantially increases the risk for occupational injuries and injuries. Unlike previous studies, our investigation had the advantage of covering a large variety of jobs, and controlling for the potential confounding affect of age, gender, occupation, industry, and region. We analysed nearly 100 000 job records extending over a 13 year period, and employed several statistical techniques for quantifying the extent of risk. The results of this study suggest that jobs with long working hours are not more risky merely because they are concentrated in inherently hazardous industries or occupations, or because of the demographic characteristics of employees working those schedules. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that long working hours indirectly precipitate workplace accidents through a causal process, for instance, by inducing fatigue or stress in affected workers.
  • Our study found that overtime schedules had the greatest incremental risk of injury, with overtime workers having a 61% higher injury hazard rate compared to workers in jobs without overtime, after controlling for age, gender, occupation, industry, and region. This finding is consistent with other studies that have identified overtime work as particularly hazardous.
  • In the USA, approximately 19–33% of overtime work is mandatory (also called “compulsory”, “forced”, or “involuntary”). Mandatory overtime is overtime work required by employers, often under the threat of job loss or other penalty if the worker fails to comply. Several studies have suggested that mandatory overtime is especially hazardous with respect to its affect on worker fatigue, stress, impaired performance, and the potential for accidents, especially in the nursing and healthcare professions.
  • This analysis found that, after adjusting for those factors, jobs with extended hours per day have a 37% higher injury hazard rate compared to jobs without that exposure. Similarly, working in a job with extended hours per week was associated with a 23% higher injury hazard rate, working in a job with overtime was associated with a 61% higher injury hazard rate, and working in a job with any overtime or extended hours schedule was associated with a 38% higher injury hazard rate. No association was detected between working in a job with extended commute time and the injury hazard rate.
  • From next year, workers at many of Germany's top engineering firms -- such as Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler (DDAIF) -- can opt to work 28 hours a week for up to two years, before returning to the standard 35-hour week.
  • IG Metall said the flexibility would help employees who want to care for children or relatives. Pay will be reduced to reflect the shorter working week. The deal also gives workers the option to work 40 hours to earn more.
  • World Game finds that 60 percent of all the jobs in the U.S.A. are not producing any real wealth—i.e., real life support. They are in fear-underwriting industries or are checking-on-other-checkers, etc.
  • "It's a hotly debated area, because there are still people who want to separate humans from other animals," said Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder (with primatologist Jane Goodall) of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "So if you're doing fieldwork and you see something in the animal's communication system that looks like syntax, they're going to say it isn't."
  • At the time, I was interested in reconciliation after fights, and I wanted to know how bonobos did it compared to chimpanzees. Very soon I discovered that they were much more sexual in everything they did, and that interested me—not so much for the sex part, even though that became a very hot topic, the peacemaking-through-sex thing—but much more how they have such a peaceful society, because they are much less violent than chimpanzees.


  • Whereas abandonment and personal identity trauma (e.g., sexual abuse) have direct negative effects, secondary trauma (e.g., parents' involvement in war or combat) has a positive effect on IQ. Collective identity trauma (e.g., oppression) did not have either negative or positive effects on IQ. The PTSD components re-experiencing and arousal generally mediated some of the negative effects of traumas on IQ; avoidance and emotional detachment/dissociation generally mediated positive effects. In conclusion, trauma type differentially impacts IQ.
  • War does not develop the virtues of peace. . .It is not a school that teaches respect for the person or property of others.
  • When the rules of civilized society are suspended, when killing becomes a business and a sign of valor and heroism, when the wanton destruction of peaceable women and. children becomes an act of virtue, and is praised as a service to God and country, then it seems almost useless to talk about crime in the ordinary sense.
  • [There is] an obliteration of all the religious, moral and legal habits which acted as a barrier against acts of murder or of aggression against personal inviolability.
  • There was a marked increase in juvenile delinquency and it was found to be due to the disturbance of home conditions, the absence of the father and elder brother, the employment of the mother in other than domestic pursuits and the interruption of school attendance. There was an increase in the number of women offenders, both actually and, of course, tremendously more, proportionally. There was a marked decrease in adult male offending and a corresponding falling off in prison population, traceable, of course, to the fact that a large proportion of the male population was occupied in war.
  • In the fantasies they committed to paper, the men associated the women they despised with floods of liquid and slime, and with dirt – substances that would threaten to overwhelm the defences of their ill-formed psyches. The solider male felt that he could only guarantee “his own survival, his self-preservation and self-regeneration”, through acts of violence against such women. (Another way of maintaining their fragile sense of self is by slotting themselves into enveloping external structures like the armed forces or fascist youth organisations.)
    In the soldier males’ journals we see them taking great pleasure, and building fraternal camaraderie, by murdering women, pairs of lovers and leftists of all genders. We also see that many of them cannot reconcile acts of physical love with the nature of their own desires. When it came to these men, their murderous acts and their sexual problems were not coincidental, they were interrelated.
    In explaining how, Theweleit takes exception with the left’s then-dominant explanation of fascism – that it was a result of pure irrationality, or repressed homosexuality. Some said it could be countered by the left mounting a renewed defence of progress and reason, or by beefing up alternative institutions that mirrored those of the fascists.
    For Theweleit, this misses the central dynamic that propels the fascist male towards violence. Fascism derives its power from channelling the protean, potentially liberating force of human desire towards hatred, distorting it into a desire for death and blood. All of its institutions, its rituals, and the (male) bonds it promotes are bent to this purpose. We cannot beat fascists by aping their structures, any more than we can hope to rationally persuade them. The problem goes deeper.
    On this theme, he says that classical fascism was not as distinct as we might want it to be from the culture surrounding it. It is not a departure from European history, but an intensification of some of its more pervasive traits.
    At one point he asks, “Can we not draw a straight line from the witch to the sensuous Jewish woman? Is the persecution of the sensuous woman not a permanent reality, one that is not economic in origin, but which derives from the specific social organisation of gender relations in patriarchal Europe?”
    Later, more succinctly, he comments that his soldier males are “equivalent to the tip of the patriarchal iceberg, but it’s what lies beneath the surface that really makes the water cold”.
  • Too many people have taken the incels’ explanation of their own virulent misogyny at face value, and repeated the comfortable line that these men stand apart from all others. Along with influential columnists, even economists have endorsed the idea of “sexual marketplace”, wherein women are figured as a commodity, and some men have inadequate buying power to procure. (Most have been too polite to mention many incels’ accompanying belief that the world, and women, are so corrupted that sex is beneath them.)
  • Other factors theorised to have contributed include the media and public fascination with serial murder creating a snowball effect; the development of an interstate highway system, which gave some killers a wider geography to roam and kill; and, related to the overall increase in crime, lead exposure from petrol.
    Vronsky has another hypothesis to add to the list: he believes the rise of the North American serial killer in the late 20th century can be traced to the ravages of World War Two, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, and the children of men returning from battlefields in Europe and the Pacific.
  • He said there was a less pronounced but noticeable increase in serial killings from 1935 to 1950, following World War One, and hopes sociologists and criminologists look more closely at the war experiences of the fathers of these killers, and their paternal relationships.
    Vronsky also pointed to popular culture of the post-war era as a contributing factor, specifically the pulp fiction and true crime magazines that were widely sold across North America with covers that often depicted violent sexualised imagery.
  • A report from the FBI's behavioural unit notes that "there is no single identifiable cause or factor that leads to the development of a serial killer. Rather, there are a multitude of factors that contribute to their development.
    "The most significant factor is the serial killer's personal decision in choosing to pursue their crimes".
  • Claus Lamm summarizes the findings as follows: "Based on their neural responses, stressed participants had a stronger emotional reaction to the pictures. However, this implies that they also ignored complex information about the actual situation the shown person was in. Our results thus support the hypothesis that humans show more empathy and are more prone to helping others when they are under stress, but that their perspective taking skills might deteriorate. In some circumstances, the stronger emotional response might thus result in aid that is uncalled for or inappropriate, for example when one's first impression of another's mental state does not match their actual emotion -- e.g. when someone is crying out of joy. Hence, depending on the context and situation, stress can be either beneficial or detrimental in social situations."
  • The work was done by the late Dr. Yuin Cameron and involved extensive use of potentially dangerous drugs, excessive electric shock treatment, and endless tape recorded messages to sleeping patients. Some heard the same message a quarter-of-a-million times.
  • The United States, the CIA, was doing what the Nuremberg laws say you can't do, take experiments on human beings when in fact they're not told that these are experiments. They thought they were getting treatment. They were paying for treatment.
  • MK-Ultra and its successor program, MK-SEARCH, were terminated in part because the drugs and other techniques proved "too unpredictable in their effect on human beings."
  • MK-Ultra wanted to know if the drug actually could induce loss of willpower and memory. Another documented case involves two suspected Russian CIA agents which the agency feared might have been compromised. Both agents were drugged, then hypnotized. They relived past incidents in their lives, the documents report. Interrogations were very successful.
    Among the MK-Ultra documents produced today was a 1949 letter outlining ways of killing a person without leaving evidence of murder.
  • It is one of those drugs with a rich backstory. It is said to be one of the first “truth serums”. In the early 20th century, it was administered by some doctors as a pain-relief drug – or rather a drug that led to the forgetting of pain – in childbirth until one obstetrician noticed how women who had been given it answered candidly to questions; he later wondered if it could be used when questioning people charged with crimes. It was used as evidence in some trials, but dubiously.
    Then there are stories of it being used in Nazi Germany as an interrogation tool, and also in the middle ages by witches. “The degree to which any of this stuff is true is unknown,” says Curran. “There’s a lot of myth.”
  • What action does salamander brandy have on human consciousness? Ogorevc says it definitely has hallucinogenic effects which I would compare, according to his description, more to the reactions elicited by muscimole, ibogaine or strychnine than to the effects of classic psychedelics like LSD, mescaline and psilocybin. Under its influence visual reality starts to be illuminated by colourful flashes and is contorted in a specific way. Auditory phenomena may accompany visual changes, but the subject is not sure if they are real or not.
    Above all, it has been said that it has a strong effect on the sex drive. It purportedly produces a temporary sexual disorientation, but nonetheless the sexuality of the consumer can be promoted from the commonest banality into metaphysical play. It is said to be a powerful libidinous agent that can turn everything in the environment into an erotically charged being or object. If there is any symbolism that should be ascribed to the salamander, it is not ethereal chastity but fiery passion. It is no surprise then that some consumers take the brandy in order to enhance their sexual imagination and modify their reactions to sexual stimuli.
    The consumer can fall asleep from time to time and lose his or her sense for how much time has elapsed in between as well as from the beginning of the trip. It is possible to have partial amnesia. After-effects have not been reported, yet an adept in psychedelic movement avers that salamander brandy is a bad drug, because it contains, along with psychoactive substances, also spiritually negative emanation caused by the suffering of salamanders in mortal agony.
  • It is not a case of awakening the dead, but a matter of the semblance of death induced by some drug known to a few: some secret probably brought from Africa and handed down from generation to generation. The bocors know the effect of the drug and the antidote. It is evident that it destroys that part of the brain which governs speech and willpower. The victim can move and act but cannot formulate thought.
  • APA has a long history of prohibiting torture. Since 1985, APA has issued numerous policies condemning torture, which have been reaffirmed and refined over the years. APA’s policies draw upon international human rights instruments and have expressly adopted the definitions of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. APA’s policy prohibits psychologists from participating in national security interrogations at detention settings operating in violation of the U.S. Constitution or international law. Jessen was never a member of APA. Mitchell resigned his APA membership in 2006.
  • Particularly where it is associated with the more prosperous countries, or those that see themselves as bringers of civilization, torture may wear a humane, almost kindly face. It goes under euphemisms such as 'pressure', 'shock', 'stress' and 'duress'; and the perpetrators themselves will see a distinction between what they do and what they consider to be torture. However, this is as vicious a form of torture as any: it can leave people mentally and physically disabled—indeed, the practitioners acknowledge the potential to render people psychotic, in hours or days.
    The victim is typically subjected to physical punishments that do not leave obvious scars, and this means that, should the case ever come under legal scrutiny, physical evidence of torture may be lacking. However, many ways of causing extreme pain remain possible. The subject will be tightly handcuffed and restrained, often in a way that damages nerves and muscles; he may be suspended in painful postures, or forced to assume them himself, with damage to muscles and joints; he may be subjected to electric shocks. Typically, he will be kept in a small, dark, bedless cell, with inadequate food and variable toilet facilities, so that his own filth stains the floor and dampens his clothes. He may be exposed to extreme heat or cold, and perhaps forced to stare at the sun. Beatings with rifle butts and kicking with military boots can cause lasting damage; lashing on the soles of the feet can make walking painful for years. A doctor may well be present, persuading the prisoner that he is in the wrong and that all he must do is recant. The doctor may even provide medication—as a symbol of civilization, or to keep the patient alive (deaths in custody can be inconvenient), or to cause pain or disability.
  • How can people do this to one another? In society, few people are actively sadistic or psychopathic. To impose one's will on another, particularly with brutality, is possible only if one views oneself as wiser or more valuable; and this notion is fostered by creeds that exalt certain groups and denigrate others. People torture in the name of ideals that, in their culture, would be held to be unassailable—democracy, freedom, Islam. What counts is the label, not the reality of these doctrines. Milgram demonstrated the power of labels when, in his experiment, men in white coats persuaded volunteers to deliver what they thought were lethal electric shocks to screaming individuals (who were acting the part). The quiet priestly authority of 'progress' outweighed the volunteers' own consciences.
  • Human beings, regrettably, are easily conditioned to the notion that other sorts of people are different, inferior, intrinsically dangerous. Education is no protection against such conditioning—indeed, the leaders and propagators of political violence are commonly from among the well educated. But an intrinsic feeling of superiority, or necessity, is not enough: the torturer must be placed in an appropriate role. Zimbardo demonstrated the importance of this when he placed students in a mock jail, some as prisoners, others as guards. Within a few days the experiment had to be stopped, such was the treatment meted out to the prisoners by the guards. The torturer may see himself as a defender of humanity, when all the while his conduct is dominated by brutality and corruption. In areas where torture is well established, people are swept up off the streets on a suspicion or a word; bribery secures release, and maladministration results in detention or even execution of the innocent.
  • Using a white-noise-aggression paradigm, we found that sadists, psychopaths, narcissists, and those low in empathy and perspective taking aggressed against an innocent person when aggression was easy. Of those with dark personalities, however, only sadists increased the intensity of their attack once they realized that the innocent person would not fight back. Sadists were also the only dark personalities willing to work (i.e., expend time and energy) to hurt an innocent person. Together, these results suggest that sadists possess an intrinsic appetitive motivation to inflict suffering on innocent others a motivation that is absent in other dark personalities. Inflicting suffering on the weak is so rewarding for sadists that they will aggress even at a personal cost.
    In the present research, we investigated whether every-day sadism is a viable personality construct. Two questionnaire measures of sadistic personality converged with two overtly sadistic behaviors. In Study 1, sadistic personality predicted a preference for killing bugs. In Study 2, sadistic personalities were willing to hurt innocent others, and, importantly, to incur personal costs for the opportunity. In both studies, sadism remained a unique predictor of sadistic choice when we controlled for over-lap with the Dark Triad.
    These findings support the call to incorporate sadism into a new Dark Tetrad of personality (Chabrol et al., 2009; Furnham et al., 2013). Our results advance the literature on sadism by show-ing that (a) it can be studied in a laboratory setting and (b) the Short Sadistic Impulse Scale and the Varieties of Sadistic Tendencies are valid measures of sadistic personality. To our knowledge, there is no prior behavioral evidence for the validity of these measures. Admittedly, the enjoyment of killing bugs may not extend to the enjoyment of hurting human beings. However, the same sadistic personalities went out of their way to hurt human victims in Study 2. By contrast, participants with low sadism scores would rather endure the pain of ice water than hurt another living entity.
  • In two online studies (total N = 1215), respondents completed personality inventories and a survey of their Internet commenting styles. Overall, strong positive associations emerged among online commenting frequency, trolling enjoyment, and troll identity, pointing to a common construct underlying the measures. Both studies revealed similar patterns of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality: trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, using both enjoyment ratings and identity scores. Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behavior. Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.
  • "Some players feel they can intimidate other players by getting into their heads," says Katz, who has worked with the New Jersey Nets and several college basketball teams. "But many athletes are putting time and energy into something that distracts them from playing their best. Playing well is the most intimidating factor."
    Still, sports history is filled with famous trash talkers. One well-known athlete, a young man named David, was able to use a verbal attack to his benefit in a battle with a heavily favored foe. "I will strike you down and cut off your head," David proclaims to his much larger enemy, Goliath, in the first chapter of the biblical book of Samuel. And the rest is trash-talking history.
  • Bullying at work is not only about aggressive behavior. The covert nature of workplace bullying behavior can destroy a target’s health, ability to work, emotional well-being, self-worth, and financial condition. This research is one of the first studies on workplace bullying in the United States. Workplace bullies have a serious negative impact upon the organizations for which they work (Namie & Namie, 2003; Prentice, 2005). Once the bullying atmosphere begins to pervade an organization, morale is destroyed and productivity is affected. The workplace often includes distorted personality types that seem to have just one purpose: to find somebody else to attack, to belittle, to criticize, and to destroy (Prentice). Bully behavior, whether committed by men 94 or women, should be further examined due to the long-term costs for both employees and the organizations for which they work. Many leaders and managers either fail to recognize the problem or are themselves the problem. Early studies on bullying focused on the behavior of the bully, the target, or the bully-target pairing (Olweus, 1999). Recent approaches have adopted an ecological perspective that examines the broader context in which bullying can occur and especially the many interrelated systems of the environment, such as the workplace and its leadership (Namie, 2003). This study presents methods of aggression employed by bullies that leaders must recognize and cease.
  • Bullying bosses, studies find, differ in significant ways from the Blutos of childhood. In the schoolyard, particularly among elementary school boys, bullies tend to pick on smaller or weaker children, often to assert control in an uncertain social environment in which they feel uncomfortable. But adult bullies in positions of power are already dominant, and they are just as likely to pick on a strong subordinate as a weak one, said Dr. Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, an advocacy group based in Bellingham, Wash. Women, Dr. Namie said, are at least as likely as men to be the aggressors, and they are more likely to be targets. In leadership positions that require the exercise of sheer violent will- on the football field or the battlefield- this approach can be successful: consider Vince Lombardy or George Patton. But in an office or on a factory floor, different rules apply, and bullying usually has more to do with the boss's desires than with the employee's needs.
    • Benedict Carey, New York Times journalist, in the article "Fear in the Workplace: The Bullying Boss", published June 22, 2004.
  • Definitions of bullying at work further emphasize two main features: repeated and enduring aggressive behaviours that are intended to be hostile and/or perceived as hostile by the recipient (Einarsen and Skogstad, 1996; Leymann, 1990b; Zapf et al., 1996). In other words, bullying is normally not about single and isolated events, but rather about behaviours that are repeatedly and persistently directed towards one or more employees. Leymann (1990b, 1996) suggested that to be called 'mobbing' or bullying, such events should occur at least once a week, which characterises bullying as a severe form of social stress. In many cases this criterion is difficult to apply because not all bullying behaviors are strictly episodic in nature. For example, a rumour can circulate that may be harmful or even threaten to destroy the victim's career or reputation. However, it does not have to be repeated every week. In cases we have been made aware of, victims had to work in basement rooms without windows and telephone. Here, bullying consists of a permanent state rather than a series of events. Hence, the main criterion is that the behaviours or their consequences are repeated on a regular as opposed to an occasional basis.
  • Parents who are intimidated by texting and social-networking sites view cyberbullying as a terrifying new form of bullying, but the truth is that cyberbullying is just a continuation of existing adolescent behavior, played out in a new arena. Approximately 20-25 percent of kids have been bullied online, and this is a conservative estimate. Bullies and victims can trade places at the click of a mouse, and things move so fast online that it is difficult to process information rationally before acting. For unfortunate kids who find themselves on the receiving end of massive cyberbullying attacks, the relentless barrage of cruelty can create a sensation of sinking into a black hole of pain.
    • Dr. Dorothy Espelage, in the Introduction for Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear (2012) by Carrie Goldman, p. xiii
  • How exactly does the pain of severe bullying affect the most vulnerable kids? Studies investigating the neuroscience of bullying have found that bullying victims experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, difficulty concentrating, headaches, and stomach pain as a result of being bullied. Studies of early social deprivation show that human beings are hardwired to belong, and nowhere is this more evident than in kids jockeying for social position. And the old adage- sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me? Not true. Neuroimaging studies have shown that parts of the cortical brain network are also activated when a person is socially excluded. This goes not just for adults but for children as well. The brain of a child as young as thirteen has been shown to react to pain as if the child were being physically injured. Taunting and bullying hurts, and we have the brain scans to prove it. Even worse, repeatedly being victimized by peers- which is the very nature of bullying, the repetitiveness of it- actually alters brain functioning, which increases the victim's sensitivity to future attacks, even causing the person to perceive an ambiguous situation as threatening. Years after the bullying has ceased, victims are left picking up the wreckage.
    • Dr. Dorothy Espelage, in the Introduction for Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear (2012) by Carrie Goldman, p. xiii
  • Bullying is a learned behavior. Children are not born cruel. Babies in diapers do not assess each other as too fat, too poor, too dark-skinned, to nerdy, too conceited. Born innocent, they start learning stereotypes as soon as they understand language, and we see bullying behavior in children as young as toddlers. Since preschoolers who display marked aggressiveness have a higher likelihood of being bullies in older grades, the earlier intervention begins, the better the results. It is much easier to inculcate kindness and acceptance into a five-year-old who acts like a bully than a fifteen-year-old who acts like a bully.
    • Dr. Dorothy Espelage, in the Introduction for Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear (2012) by Carrie Goldman, p. xiii-xiv
  • The problem than arises of when to define operationally the duration of bullying behaviours. Leymann (1990b, 19960=) suggested exposure for more than six months as an operational definition of bullying at work. Others have used repeated exposure to negative behaviours within a six-month period as the proposed timeframe (Einarsen and Skogstad, 1996). Leymann's strict criterion has been argued to be somewhat arbitrary, as bullying seems to exist on a continuum from occasional exposure to negative behaviours to severe victimisation resulting from frequent and long-lasting exposure to negative behaviours at work (Mattiesen et al., 1989). Yet, the criterion of about six months has been used in many studies in order to differentiate between exposure to social stress at work and victimisation from bullying (e.g. Einarsen and Skogstad, 1996; Mikkelsen and Einarsen, 2001; Niedl, 1995; Varita, 1996; Zapf et al. 1996). The reason for this criterion for Leymann (1993, 1996) was to argue that mobbing leads to severe psychiatric and psychosomatic impairment, stress effects which would not be expected to occur as a result of the normal occupational stressors such as time-pressure, role-conflicts or everyday social stressors. Hence, the period of 6 months was chosen by Leymann because it is frequently used in the assessment of various psychiatric disorders.
    • Ibid, p. 8
  • The duration of the bullying seems to be closely related to the frequency of bullying, with those bullied regularly reporting a longer duration of their experience than those bullied less frequently (Einarsen and Skogstad, 1996). This seems to be in line with a model of bullying highlighting the importance of conflict-escalation, with the conflict becoming more intense and more personalised over time (Zapf and Gross, 2001).
    The negative and unwanted nature of the behaviour involves is essential to the concept of bullying. Victims are exposed to persistent insults or offensive remarks, persistent criticism, personal or, even in some few cases, physical abuse (Einarsen, 200b). Others experience social exclusion and isolation; that is they are given the 'silent treatment' or 'sent to Coventry' (Williams, 1997). These behaviours are 'used with the aim or at least the effect of persistently humiliating, intimidating, frightening or punishing the victim' (Einarsen, 2000b, p. 8).
    • Ibid, p. 8-9
  • Based on both empirical and theoretical evidence, Zapf (1999a) categorised five main types of bullying behaviour:

    1 work-related bullying which may include changing the victim's work tasks in some negative way or making them difficult to perform;
    2 social isolation by not communicating with somebody or excluding someone from social events;
    3 personal attacks or attacks on someone's private life by ridicule or insulting remarks or the like;
    4 verbal threats in which somebody is criticised, yelled at or humiliated in public;and
    5 spreading rumors.
    • Ibid, p.9
  • Bullies are typically attempting to promote or assert an identity rather than defend one. Their behavior is typicvally predatory rather than dispute related. Bullies prey on vulnerable targets, usually in the presence of third parties, in order to show how tough they are (see Olweus, 1978). For the bully, dominating the victim is ana ccomplishment, a way of demonstrating power to himself and others.
    In case of jealousy, a person may intentionally harm another person who has not attacked or wronged them in any way. Both justice and self-image concerns can produce an aggressive response when someone is jealous. When people think that someone has recieved an unfair share of some reward, they may attempt to restore equity by harming the person, even when that person is not held responsible for the injustice. We have referred to this behaviour as "redistributive justice" (to distinguish it from "retributive justice"). Thus, an employee may blame the supervisor who gives a raise to someone else but attempt to produce unfavorable outcomes for the coworker who recieved a raise. Jealous people may also attempt to harm the object of jealousy for purposes of downward comparison (Wills, 1981). They may engage in aggressive behavior that lowers the standing of the target on some dimension, thereby providing a faborable comparison for the actor. They put themselves"up" by putting other "down." Wills (1981) suggested that downward comparison was an alternative explanation for the displacement effects obtained in experiments testing frustration-aggression theory. He noted that investigations of displaced aggression, scapegoating, and hostility generalization all involve some challenge to the participants' identities.
    • Ibid, pp. 20-21
  • Adult bullying at work is a shocking, frightening, and at times shattering experience, both for those targeted and for onlookers. Workplace bullying, mobbing, and emotional abuse essentially synonymous phenomena*are persistent, verbal, and nonverbal aggression at work that include personal attacks, social ostracism, and a multitude of other painful messages and hostile interactions. Because this phenomenon is perpetrated by and through communication, and because workers’ principal responses are communicative in nature, it is vital that communication scholars join the academic dialogue about this damaging feature of worklife. The harm to workers runs the gamut of human misery including ‘‘anxiety, depression, burnout, frustration, helplessness, ... difficulty concentrating, alcohol abuse (Richman, Flaherty, & Rospenda, 1996), and posttraumatic stress disorder (Leymann & Gustafsson, 1996; Mikkelsen & Einarsen, 2002). Witnessing co-workers experience increased fear, emotional exhaustion, hypervigilance, stress, and intentions to leave (Jennifer, Cowie, & Anaiadou, 2003; Vartia, 2001, 2003). Bullying also hinders group communication, cohesion, and performance by creating hostile environments marked by apprehension, distrust, anger, and suspicion (Frost, 2003; Lockhart, 1997; Vartia, 2003). What makes this communicative phenomenon especially grave is its elevated prevalence in US workplaces. From 28% to 36% of US workers report persistent abuse at work (Keashly & Neuman, 2005; Lutgen-Sandvik, Tracy, & Alberts, 2005; Neuman, 2004), and nearly 25% of US companies report some degree of bullying (Blosser, 2004). Furthermore, over 80% of workers say they have witnessed bullying sometime during their work histories (Keashly & Neuman, 2005; Lutgen-Sandvik, 2003a; Namie, 2003b). Given its prevalence and negative consequences, bullying warrants the attention of communication scholars, particularly those studying power and oppression.
  • On the other hand, witnesses were also deeply disturbed by their experiences. Similar to target-witnesses, they spoke of how the workplace experience took over their entire lives, they worried about it at and away from work, they talked about it continually to family and friends, they spent large segments of work time speaking with others or figuring out how to deal with or avoid being abused. Witnesses and targets reported that their experiences and failure of organizational authorities to stop abuse stripped away their beliefs that good prevails over evil.
    • Ibid, p. 421
  • Resistance to abuse at work is a complex, dynamic process in which workers fight to have a voice and are often punished for their efforts. If and when organizational authorities finally intervene, many have already left the organization or suffered years of abuse. The human cost is staggering and workers’ stories heartbreaking. Neither is resistance straightforward; worker dissent is easily reframed as deviant behavior by those for whom the resistance is threatening. Nonetheless, workers faced with bullying at work say they have a moral imperative to act against the injustice and in some cases actually alter their situations. Furthermore, workers often collectively organize against abusers, even in the absence of formal unions. Organizations would be well-informed to heed these voices. Resistance and the emotional communication that springs from it are warning signs that "act as signaling devices when expected appropriate norms of communication are violated" (Waldron, 2000, p.72). These should not be ignored. Organizational authorities must learn to "read the traces" of resistance to bullying, diagnose the problem early, and construct effective interventions.
    • Ibid, p. 429
  • More than 90% of adults experience workplace bullying—that is, psychological and emotional abuse—at some time during the span of their work careers (Hornstein, 1996). The supervisors who inflict psychological abuse on subordinates represent one of the most frequent and serious problems confronting employees in today’s workforce (Yamada, 2000). Although the television news is quick to report the rare but sensational incidents of disgruntled employees returning to their former workplaces seeking revenge (e.g., “Office Rampage,” 1999), rarely do we see stories of employee humiliation and psychological violence perpetrated by more powerful organizational members. Research indicates a link between workplace abuse and workplace violence as the aggressor becomes increasingly more threatening to targeted employees (Namie & Namie, 2000). In addition to increased threats of violence from abusers (Leymann, 1990), employees who feel unfairly treated may express their anger and outrage in subtle acts of retaliation against their employers, including work slowdown or covertly sabotaging the abuser (Skarlicki & Folger, 1997). As reported in a government study, “The cost to employers is untold hours and dollars in lost employee work time, increased health care costs, high turnover rates, and low productivity” (Bureau of National Affairs [BNA], 1990, p. 2). Employee emotional abuse (EEA) is a repetitive, targeted, and destructive form of communication directed by more powerful members at work at those less powerful.
  • For the purposes of this article, EEA is defined as targeted, repetitive workplace communication that is unwelcome and unsolicited, violates standards of appropriate conduct, results in emotional harm, and occurs in relationships of unequal power (Keashly, 2001). EEA has also been labeled workplace mistreatment (Price Spatlen, 1995), workplace aggression (Baron & Neuman, 1998), workplace harassment (Bjorkqvist et al., 1994), verbal abuse (Cox et al., 1991), psychological abuse (Sheenan et al., 1990), and chological violence (Institute for Workplace Trauma and Bullying, 2002).
    • Ibid, pp. 474-5
  • Emotional abusers appear to be particularly skilled at appearing to provide constructive feedback because the organization formally requires it. The extremes to which managers go to build a verbal and written case against the target suggest that this is done to “make . . . action appear justifiable and reasonable to all parties” (Fairhurst et al., 1986, p. 569). They are inclined to systematically distort these communicative processes if they want to get rid of an employee (author’s experience), and because the more powerful member creates the documenting language, they author the formal record of “what occurred.” Rather than improve performance, this form of chronic criticism more often unnerves targets (Lockhart, 1997) and results in further poor performance that substantiates the abuser’s initial claims of incompetence (Wyatt & Hare, 1997).
    • Ibid, p. 482
  • "So what was the outcome with the student who found the bullet in his locker?" With the principal's permission, he called a school meeting in their auditorium, where he boldly shared with his classmates his thoughts and feelings about finding the bullet on his book, in his locker. This morphed into a student led conscientious pro peace and anti violence movement in the school community. For a while I continued to get on his case about not revealing who he believed the culprit to be, but then I realized that with the level of awareness he had helped spread amongst his peers, knowing who his antagonist might be didn't matter. Especially since the harassment had ended. My client had found a silver lining in a dark cloud and he was now more confident and accepting of who he was as a person, with more friends.
    In the aftermath of the tragedy that unfolded this weekend here in Tucson, I have heard all sorts of responses and suggestions, from banning guns, to regulation of ammunition magazine sizes, to encouraging or scaring every citizen to begin arming themselves in public. As a US. Army veteran and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, I can vouch that simply being armed, doesn't increase anyone's safety or make a threat (real or perceived) any less likely.
  • Five years ago, while still a faculty member, I deliberately looked for provocative ways to engage students who, by age 18, seemed blasé (having already been exposed to all manner of sex, violence, and ‘depravities’ via news-stories and popular films). Not only did I regularly screen “A Clockwork Orange,” “The Rapture,” and “Girl, Interrupted,” I had been known to open my Social Problems course with “BumFights." The issues raised by each of these offerings always got my student’s attention—generating stunned silences and lively discussion—which was the intended outcome. The agenda of the protagonist in each of these offerings—and the circumstances of the ‘victims’—needs to be digested, questioned, probed, pushed, and responded to. Their content needs to be negotiated—especially if it triggers an emotional response. To my mind, it seemed irresponsible to let students come to these issues (or the films that showcase them) on their own, without the context of a classroom to support engagement with the topics.
    But today, showing such films might make me a bully—an insensitive faculty member abusing her power/authority over students. While I would hardly wish to re-traumatize a student, exempting everyone who 'self-identifies' from engaging difficult material—especially if it calls up shame—is troublesome.
  • Indeed, a review of the psychiatric literature shows no studies that link trigger warnings to either short-term or long-term mental health outcomes. As such, trigger warnings are not an evidence-based intervention and are not supported by the scientific literature.
    On the contrary, related studies indicate that avoiding phobic experiences can be detrimental to individual mental health. Avoidance can increase sadness and worry, which in turn can constrain everyday behaviour and prevent personal growth.
    In fact, evidence suggests that the best way to tackle undue fear is through exposure, rather than avoidance. Hence this is the basis for many evidence-based interventions for phobia and anxiety.
  • Associating the word "trigger" with mental health perpetuates damaging myths that people with mental illness are constantly on the verge of "snapping." Indeed a culture of trigger warnings can contribute to common misperceptions that people with mental illnesses such as PTSD are akin to Pavlovian dogs, lacking self-control and prone to emotional outbursts at the least provocation. This can contribute to the considerable stigma already experienced by people with mental illness.
    Trigger warnings can also contribute to patronizing stereotypes that emerging adults are part of a pampered "snowflake generation." They imply that young adults are overgrown fragile children who need protection from hard and cold reality. This could theoretically lead to discrimination in the job-market, with young people passed over in favor of (perceived) tougher older people.
  • Instead of giving a trigger warning, I took a more old fashioned approach. I acknowledged to the class that the session may be disturbing. I told them that I had lost friends to suicide, using these tragedies as fuel to try and help address the problem. Finally, I stated that anyone who feels disturbed at the end of the class could join my assistant and I in a local café for chat, comfort and moral support. This approach may be more meaningful than a trite one-second trigger warning.
  • Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress.
  • For example, some students have called for warnings that Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart describes racial violence and that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby portrays misogyny and physical abuse, so that students who have been previously victimized by racism or domestic violence can choose to avoid these works, which they believe might “trigger” a recurrence of past trauma.
  • These same children grew up in a culture that was (and still is) becoming more politically polarized. Republicans and Democrats have never particularly liked each other, but survey data going back to the 1970s show that on average, their mutual dislike used to be surprisingly mild. Negative feelings have grown steadily stronger, however, particularly since the early 2000s. Political scientists call this process “affective partisan polarization,” and it is a very serious problem for any democracy. As each side increasingly demonizes the other, compromise becomes more difficult. A recent study shows that implicit or unconscious biases are now at least as strong across political parties as they are across races.
  • These first true “social-media natives” may be different from members of previous generations in how they go about sharing their moral judgments and supporting one another in moral campaigns and conflicts. We find much to like about these trends; young people today are engaged with one another, with news stories, and with prosocial endeavors to a greater degree than when the dominant technology was television. But social media has also fundamentally shifted the balance of power in relationships between students and faculty; the latter increasingly fear what students might do to their reputations and careers by stirring up online mobs against them.
    We do not mean to imply simple causation, but rates of mental illness in young adults have been rising, both on campus and off, in recent decades. Some portion of the increase is surely due to better diagnosis and greater willingness to seek help, but most experts seem to agree that some portion of the trend is real. Nearly all of the campus mental-health directors surveyed in 2013 by the American College Counseling Association reported that the number of students with severe psychological problems was rising at their schools. The rate of emotional distress reported by students themselves is also high, and rising. In a 2014 survey by the American College Health Association, 54 percent of college students surveyed said that they had “felt overwhelming anxiety” in the past 12 months, up from 49 percent in the same survey just five years earlier. Students seem to be reporting more emotional crises; many seem fragile, and this has surely changed the way university faculty and administrators interact with them. The question is whether some of those changes might be doing more harm than good.
  • Individuals primarily seek social relationships to fulfill their need for belonging (Baumeister and Leary 1995; Lee and Robbins 1998). Human beings are social animals and because ‘no man (woman) is an island’ (Donne 1975), people are naturally inclined to make social connections to satisfy their need for belonging (Maslow 1954; Brewer 2005). Baumeister and Leary (1995) described belonging, the need to form and maintain interpersonal bonds, as one of the fundamental motivations behind human behavior. Most research indicates a common definition of what loneliness is – it is an aversive psychological state due to a person’s perception of lacking satisfactory social relationships. Quantity of social relationship is a contributing factor to lonely feeling: people will feel ‘lonely’ when there are too few people around them (Russell, Peplau and Cutrona 1980), as opposed to the ‘crowded’ feeling when individuals are surrounded by too many people. However, quality may be more important than quantity at times. As the sufficient number of relationships varies among individuals (Jones 1982), loneliness has also been understood as the perception that one’s existing interpersonal relationships do not meet one’s expectations (Weiss 1973; Gordon 1976; Peplau and Caldwell 1978; 4266 L.W. Lam and D.C. Lau Downloaded by [University of Macau Library] at 00:54 22 September 2012 Newcomb 1990; Green, Richardson, Lago and Schatten-Jones 2001). Other scholars describe loneliness as painful feelings and emotional distress due to insufficient or unsatisfactory social connections or relationships (Rook 1984; Cacioppo et al. 2006; Cacioppo and Patrick 2008; Rotenberg et al. 2010).
    • Lam, Long W.; Lau, Dora C. (2012-11-01). "Feeling lonely at work: investigating the consequences of unsatisfactory workplace relationships". The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 23 (200): p.4266-67
  • The most widely-accepted theory regarding supervisor–subordinate relationship quality is Leader–Member Exchange (LMX) Theory (Graen & Scandura, 1987). According to LMX theory, supervisors form different types of relationships with their various employees and these relationships vary with respect to quality (Graen, Dansereau, & Minami, 1972; Graen & Schiemann, 1978). In general, higher quality supervisor–subordinate relationships (also known as “in-group” relationships) are characterized by higher levels of mutual trust, respect and obligation among the relationship partners. In such relationships, leaders and members learn they can count on one another for support and encouragement. As a result, higher quality relationships function more as “partnerships” where “members move beyond their own self-interests to focus on larger mutual interests” (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). Leader–member relationship quality is associated with a variety of important individual and organizational outcomes. For example, employees in higher quality relationships report higher levels of job satisfaction (Graen, Novak, & Sommerkamp 1982) and commitment to the organization (Nystrom, 1990) than do employees in lower quality relationships. In addition, research indicates leader–member relationship quality is negatively related to employee turnover (Graen, Liden, & Hoel, 1982). Focusing largely on such outcomes, LMX research has given only limited attention to the communication that occurs between leaders and members (e.g., Fairhurst, 1993). This work provides some direction for speculation regarding how leader–member relationship quality might be associated with employee information experiences. High quality LMX relationships tend to be characterized by high levels of trust and self-disclosure (Duchon, Green, & Taber, 1986). As a consequence, supervisors and subordinates may communicate more openly (i.e., more frequently and about more 378 P. M. Sias issues) in high quality relationships than in low quality relationships. Thus, employees in high quality relationships likely receive more information from their supervisors, than those in low quality relationships
  • Peer relationships, also referred to as “equivalent status” relationships (Sias, Krone, & Jablin, 2002), are relationships between co-workers with no formal authority over one another. These relationships represent the bulk of workplace relationships, as employees typically have only one supervisor but several peer co-workers. Peer relationships perform a variety of important functions in the workplace. Peer co-workers are the most likely, and most important, source of emotional and instrumental support for employees, primarily because co-workers possess knowledge and understanding about the workplace experience that external sources do not (Ray, 1987). Moreover, peers act as a second “set of eyes and ears” for one another, sharing important organizational information and gossip that may otherwise be unobtainable (Rawlins, 1994). Kirby and Krone (2002) note the powerful influence peer co-workers have on one another with respect to workplace attitudes and behavior. Thus, peer relationships are of great consequence to organizational functioning. Peer relationships, like supervisor–subordinate relationships, vary with respect to quality. Kirby and Krone (2002), for instance, noted the ways in which peer co-workers cluster into sub-groups based upon the employees’ family status (e.g., married/unmarried; children/childless). They found that interaction among these groups of employees differed and had significant impact on the employees’ attitudes toward, and use of, the organization’s work–family policies. Sias and Cahill (1998) examined the ways employees form different types of relationships with their co-workers ranging from acquaintance, to friend, to very close or best friend. Interaction among these various relationship types differed in fundamental ways. Specifically, friends engaged in much more frequent, intimate, and open communication than did acquaintances. In addition, communication between co-workers became increasingly broad and intimate as their friendships grew closer.
    • Ibid, p. 379.
  • When I hear the word “rape,” especially when it is used out of context, it makes me extremely uncomfortable. Often, it can be a trigger, causing fragments of my assaults to come flooding back. The stale cigarette breath, the smeared Halloween makeup, or the sickly sweet White Russians will become so visceral, I am transported back. It can make me feel unsafe — either physically or emotionally — in the company of the people who’ve said it. It is painful; it makes me feel ashamed, used, and violated all over again.
    Now, when I read stories about women who try to report their rape and get laughed at and forced to clean up the blood dripping from them because of said rape, I seethe with rage. It boils up from my gut and my face gets hot. I want to scream out for these women, for myself, and for everyone who has had to go through the experience of being violated.
    To feel solidarity, compassion, and rage for these fellow survivors so strongly and then hear the word “rape” thrown around in a casual, joking, or completely unrelated manner is just something I can no longer reconcile. It is not okay. Rape is not something you get to laugh about. Rape is not something that can describe any other thing but sexual violence. To continue to do so is to dishonor these women (and men) who have already had so much taken away from them. Their agency. Their innocence. Their natural sexual desire.
    Many people who say things like this don’t have bad intentions. I’m not here to shame these people and make them feel bad. I’m here to educate them. Misuse of this word comes from either ignorance or cruelty. Most people who use the word out of context are not cruel. I think ignorance is completely surmountable. So let’s move forward. Let’s elevate our language. Let’s stop minimizing the suffering of so many people.
  • As long as you want to keep playing whack-a-mole from hell, it is my solemn promise that I will keep picking up the metaphorical hammer to slam you back down and remind you that you have not yet done anything to earn our forgiveness. So take your millions of dollars and pay a therapist to care about how tough it’s been to get caught being an abuser because honestly, I don’t give a shit.
  • Stop telling those fucking jokes! You’re a hack and everybody knows it. But here’s the good news: Lots of things are funny that aren’t rape!
  • Another recent survey from Pew Research Center revealed that divisions along party lines have reached record levels since Trump became president (after already reaching all-time highs during the Obama years). “Across 10 measures that Pew Research Center has tracked on the same surveys since 1994,” the authors write, “the average partisan gap has increased from 15 percentage points to 36 points.” On issues like immigration, the environment and racial discrimination, partisan disagreement has only gotten sharper over the past 25 years, while antipathy between the two parties has grown even more intense. It is not surprising, then, that a record high 77 percent of Americans perceive the nation as divided, according to a Gallup survey taken shortly after last year’s election.
    Perhaps no issue captures our hyper-partisan age better than gun control, which was once again thrust into the national spotlight after last week’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. Shortly after the massacre, the polling company Survey Monkey published two maps based on 2016 exit polls that reveal just how much of a partisan issue guns have become in 2017. Gun ownership is now one of the best indicators of whether one will vote Democratic or Republican, and in 2016, gun-owning households voted overwhelmingly for Trump, while the majority of non-gun owning households voted for Hillary Clinton.
  • “The analogy here is infectious disease,” says Barry Krisberg, a UC-Berkeley criminologist who has advised Boggan. For years, crime fighters had combated epidemics of violence by quarantining criminals in prison. Boggan took what he’d seen in other cities and adopted a new course of treatment: By inoculating the carriers of violence, perhaps you can protect an entire community.
  • You know, the interesting thing is the FBI did a very intensive study of 160 mass shootings over the period from 2000 to 2013. And what they found was that over that period, in the 160 cases, there was only one incidence of a private citizen who was not security personnel or a police officer who effectively intervened in the mass shooting, and that individual was an active duty Marine. On the other hand, 22 unarmed citizens intervened to stop those mass shootings, typically when the individual was reloading. And so it gives you a sense of the relative effectiveness of relying on someone with a gun to intervene in an active shooting scenario.
  • One area in which political beliefs do have an impact is the kinds of scientists that liberals and conservatives are likely to trust. A 2013 study of 798 participants found that conservatives put more faith in scientists involved in economic production – food scientists, industrial chemists and petroleum geologists, for instance – than in scientists involved in areas associated with regulation, such as public health and environmental science. The opposite was true for liberals. Again, this suggests that it’s not simply a matter of conservatives being skeptical of science in general; there’s a much more nuanced relationship between political leanings and trust in scientific expertise.
  • Isolate: Therapists spend a large portion of their day hidden under a legally mandated shroud of secrecy. The answer to a simple “How was your day?” must omit any detail from the hours you spent in session. The hard work you spend maintaining a functional relationship with clients, including all the challenges and victories, remains unknown. Unless you have supervision, a consultation group, or your own therapy, that is. Also, if all your friends and hobbies outside of work are therapy related, you will become a jargon-filled, myopic mess mumbling quotes from In Treatment to yourself.
  • "Some people have become so cynical that they don't believe in anything any more. In them, healthy scepticism has been replaced by a total breakdown in trust, the belief that everybody lies.
  • Only the severe end was even considered. There was no sense of spectrum. Paranoia was very much seen as inexplicable, un-understandable, if anything some kind of biological system that had gone wrong. I remember thinking that seemed very reductionalist, that there must be some kind of psychology to it. Once I started looking at it as a spectrum, once you make the connection to things such as depression and anxiety, it really opens it up. People with depression have higher levels of paranoia because of a sense of vulnerability and low self-esteem.
    Anxiety is linked too. But whereas anxiety may lead to fearing harm from a spider, or of being humiliated in a social situation, it doesn't lead to a belief that the spider or others intend to humiliate or hurt us. It's the attribution of intent that distinguishes paranoia.
  • This is another main reason why I believe paranoia is on the increase. Because we are constantly reminded, in the press, of threats from other people, we overestimate the chances of these events happening to us. There is a lot of research on this. It is what is known as the 'availability heuristic'. We make an estimate of the likelihood of a particular event simply by how easily we bring it to mind. Our children are getting fat because we aren't letting them out to play enough. We're scared they will be run over or abducted by strangers. In fact, the risks to the health from obesity are much higher than the risks of either of those events.
  • The London Sperm Bank recently came under public scrutiny for rejecting a prospective sperm donor because he’s dyslexic. Aside from dyslexia, this repository also screens out men seeking to donate sperm if they have ADHD, dyspraxia, Asperger’s and other neurological conditions, many of which have a demonstrated genetic link. On the company’s website, these traits were listed as “neurological diseases,” along with Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Tourette Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Screening policies in the human gamete industry reflect larger cultural assumptions that pathologize difference. In my research on both sperm donation in the 1990s up to my current work on egg donation, I have discovered there are a number of reasons a prospective sperm or egg provider may be rejected: too short, too tall, overweight “socially inappropriate,” not having the “right motivations,” not attractive enough, a variety of “health reasons,” possibly even religion or ethnicity, and so on. The reasons for rejecting a potential donor are often unspoken.
  • Are there genetic predispositions to coffee drinking? Highly unlikely.
    I referred to this kind of donor selection process as grass roots eugenics—where people select donors based upon fuzzy interpretations of genetics, imagining a prototype perfect donor whose desired traits will be passed down to their child. People choose donors with whom they feel they have a connection. If they plan to tell the child how they were conceived, they also want to be able to say good things about the donor who helped create them.
  • Our standards for beauty are not arbitrary. The presence of genes that impact health and viability makes itself known by impairing symmetry of face and figure. An extreme genetic impediment, such as those that cause mental retardation, may present with gross facial stigmata, such as eyes that are too close or too far apart, or skulls that are misshapen—pointy or enlarged, or too small. When such children are born, their features are not always diagnostic of a particular genetic syndrome. They are referred to sometimes in their medical charts, cruelly, as FLK—“funny looking kids”—in the way that doctors and other medical personnel are often inclined to make light of conditions that are otherwise too terrible to contemplate. It is not known what particular genetic defects cause the more familiar minor physical irregularities, such as a too-long nose, or protuberant ears, or a crooked smile; but it is thought that these too are an indication of a subtle deficiency of some sort.
  • An interesting experiment has been conducted numerous times in which the faces of a number of women picked arbitrarily are averaged by means of a computer program. The resultant portrait is of a beautiful woman. She never appears as some sort of bland composite. She seems real and distinctive—and beautiful. So, in a very real sense, being physically attractive is to approach as closely as possible an average appearance: a nose that is straight and of average length, eyes and mouth that are not unusual in any particular way, and other features that are unobtrusive. This conflicts with our usual understanding of beauty—namely, an appearance that is special in some way. But the particular attractiveness of a movie star, for example—however, distinctive and extraordinary she may appear to be—is only a subtle variation of average.
  • It is difficult to overestimate the importance of determinism in the behavioral sciences. Discovering the determinants of socialization, learning, group dynamics, abnormality, and effective management is the goal in most behavioral science disciplines. What if, for example, the determinants of depression were discovered? Although some behavioral scientists might claim that they already know what determines depression, current knowledge is more an educated guess than an exact understanding. What if we knew precisely the determinants of depression? Knowledge of this sort would surely provide a clear-cut comprehension of the phenomenon as well as suggest a surefire treatment of its harmful effects. In other words, we would know the cause of depression.
    • Brent D. Slife & Richard N. Williams, (1995). What’s behind the research? Discovering hidden assumptions in the behavioral sciences, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, ch.4, p.94.

William Moulton MarstonEdit

  • Not even the church is so powerfully equipped to serve the public psychologically as is the motion picture company.
    • William Moulton Marston, Henry W. Levy, "Professor to Cure Scenarios with Wrong Emotional Content: Dabbled in Movies While at Harvard; Now Sought By Hollywood with Offer of Favorable Contract", New York University News January 1929; in Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014), p. 137.
  • A motion picture must be true to life. If a picture portrays a false emotion a false emotion it trains people seeing it to react abnormally.
    • Jill Lepore, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014), p. 136.
  • There are one or two rules of thumb which are useful in distinguishing sadism from exciting adventure in the comics. Threat of torture is harmless, but when the torture it’s self is shown it becomes sadism. When a lovely heroine is show bound to the stake, comics followers are sure that the rescue will arrive just in the nick of time. The readers wish is to save the girl, not to see her suffer. A bound or chained person does not suffer even embarrassment in the comics, and the reader, therefore is not being taught to enjoy suffering.
    • As quoted in Olive Richard Bryne's, "Don't laugh at the comics", Family Circle, (Oct 25, 1940).
  • I have the good Sergeant’s letter in which he expresses his enthusiasm over chains for women—so what? Some day I’ll make you a list of all the items about women that different people have been known to get passionate over—women’s hair, boots, belts, silk worn by women, gloves, stockings, garters, panties, bare backs. You can’t have a real woman character in any form of fiction without touching off a great many readers’ erotic fancies. Which is swell, I say.
  • The picture story fantasy cuts loose the hampering debris of art and artifice and touches the tender spots of universal human desires and aspirations. Comics speak, without qualm or sophistication to the innermost ears of the wishful self.
    • "Why 100,000,000 Americans Read Comics", The American Scholar, 13.1 (1943): pp 35-44. as quoted in The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times, edited by Joeph J Darowski, p.9; in the essay "William Marston's Feminist Agenda" by Michelle R. Finn
  • If you conclude, as I do, that the only hope of a permanent peace and happiness for humanity on this planet is an increased expression of love, and that women are the primary carriers of this great force, one of the problems we face is to provide women with more opportunity for using their love powers. The last six thousand years have demonstrated quite conclusively, I believe, that woman under the domination of man can increase but meagerly the world's total love supply. Our obvious goal, than must be to devise social mechanisms whereby man is brought under the love domination of woman.
    • Women: Servants for Civilization, p.44, as quoted in The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times, edited by Joeph J Darowski, p.9; in the essay "William Marston's Feminist Agenda" by Michelle R. Finn,
  • If children will read comics [...] isn't it advisable t o give them some constructive comics to read? [...] The wish to be super strong is a healthy wish, a vital compelling, power-producing desire. The more the Superman-Wonder Woman picture stories build this innner compulsion by stimulating the child's natural longing to battle and overcome obstacles, particularly evil ones, the better the better chance your child has for self-advancement in the world. Certainly there can be no arguement about the advisability of strengthening the fundamental human desire, too often buried beneath stultifying divertissments and disguises, to see god overcome evil.
    • "Why 100,000,000 Americans Read Comics", The American Scholar, 13.1 (1943): p 40, as quoted in The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times, edited by Joeph J Darowski, pp. 9-10; in the essay "William Marston's Feminist Agenda" by Michelle R. Finn, as quoted in The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times, edited by Joeph J Darowski, p.9; in the essay "William Marston's Feminist Agenda" by Michelle R. Finn.
  • The creation of children is not justifiable in a majority of unions between the sexes; but when the creation responses are justifiably undertaken, there is sound psychological ground for advising the woman to provide, beforehand, sufficient funds of her own to carry both herself and the child through the period of her physical incapacity for appetitive work. There is sound psychological ground, also, for requiring the male to share equally at least, in the home work and the care of children.
    • The Emotions of Normal People, 395 as quoted in The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times, edited by Joeph J Darowski, p.18 in the essay "William Marston's Feminist Agenda" by Michelle R. Finn.
  • Nearly all the sophomores reported excited pleasantness of captivation emotion throughout the party. The pleasantness of captivation response appeared to increase when they were obliged to overcome rebellious freshmen physically, or to preform the actions from which the captive girls strove to escape....
Female behavior also contains still more evidence than male behavior that captivation emotion is not limited to inter-sex relationships. The person of another girls seems to evoke from female subjects, under appropriate circumstances, filly as strong captivation response as does that of a male.
  • The Emotions of Normal People as quoted in Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter comics, 1941-1948 pp. 64-65 by Noah Berlatsky.
  • In the majority of cases which are brought to me as a consulting psychologist for love and marital adjustment, there are self-deceptions to be uncovered as well as attempts to deceive other people. Beneath such love conflicts there is almost always a festering psychological core of dishonesty.
    • Lie Detector Test, p. 119.
  • The only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity.
    • "Noted Psychologist Revealed as Author of Best-Selling "Wonder Woman, Children's Comic," press release, typescript [June 1942], WW Letters, Smithsonian
  • Give men an alluring woman stronger than themselves to submit to and they'll be proud to become her willing slaves.
    • Are Comics Fascist?, as quoted in The Ages of Wonder Woman: Essays on the Amazon Princess in Changing Times, edited by Joeph J Darowski, p.7 in the essay "William Marston's Feminist Agenda" by Michelle R. Finn, p.14.
  • The next 100 years will see the beginning of an American matriarchy—a nation of amazons in the psychological rather than the physical sense. In 500 years there will be a serious sex battle. And in 1000 years women will definitely rule this country.
    • "Neglected Amazons to Rule Men in 1000 yrs., Says Psychologist"; Washington Post, November 11, 1937.
  • Tolerant people are the happiest, so why not get rid of prejudices that hold you back?
    • Your Life What are your prejudices? (1939).
  • This noted scientist is the most genuine human being I’ve met. He isn’t fat—that is, in the ordinary way. He’s just enormous all over. We walked through the garden and about the grounds. The doctor asked me about my work and myself, and I told him more in 15 minutes than I’d tell my most intimate friend in a week. He’s the kind of person to whom you confide things about yourself you scarcely realize.
    • Olive Richard Bryne, Family Circle 1935 as quoted in "Last Amazon" New Yorker, (09/22/2014).
  • If, as psychologists, we follow the analogy of the other biological sciences, we must expect to find normalcy synonymous with maximal efficiency of function. Survival of the fittest means survival of those members of a species whose organisms most successfully resist the encroachments of environmental antagonists, and continue to function with the greatest internal harmony. In the field of emotions, then, why would we alter this expectation? Why should we seek the spectacularly disharmonious emotions, the feelings that reveal a crushing of ourselves by environment, and consider these affective responses as our normal emotions? If a jungle beast is torn and wounded during the course of an ultimately victorious battle, it would be a spurious logic indeed that attributed its victory to its wounds. If a human being be emotionally torn and mentally disorganized by fear or rage during a business battle from which, ultimately, he emerges victorious, it seems equally nonsensical to ascribe his conquering strength to those emotions symptomatic of his temporary weakness and defeat. Victory comes in proportion as fear is banished. Perhaps the battle may be won with some fear still handicapping the victor, but that only means that the winner's maximal strength was not required.
    • The Emotions of Normal People, (1928), p.2


  • The study of human personality or ‘character’ (from the Greek charaktêr, the mark impressed upon a coin) dates back at least to antiquity. In his Characters, Tyrtamus (371-287 bc)—nicknamed Theophrastus or ‘divinely speaking’ by his contemporary Aristotle— divided the people of the Athens of the 4th century BC into thirty different personality types, including 'arrogance', 'irony', and 'boastfulness'. The Characters exerted a strong influence on subsequent studies of human personality such as those of Thomas Overbury (1581-1613) in England and Jean de la Bruyère (1645-1696) in France.
  • While personality disorders may differ from mental disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, they do, by definition, lead to significant impairment. They are estimated to affect about 10 per cent of people, although this figure ultimately depends on where clinicians draw the line between a ‘normal’ personality and one that leads to significant impairment. Characterizing the ten personality disorders is difficult, but diagnosing them reliably is even more so. For instance, how far from the norm must personality traits deviate before they can be counted as disordered? How significant is ‘significant impairment’? And how is ‘impairment’ to be defined?
  • Patients who have been diagnosed with DID tend to possess extreme sensitivity to interpersonal trust and rejection issues, and this makes brief treatment in a managed care setting difficult.14 Therapists who commonly treat patients with DID see them as outpatients weekly or biweekly for years, with the goal of fusion of the personality states while retaining the entire range of experiences contained in all of the alters.
    Patients tend to switch personality states when there is a perceived psychosocial threat. This switching allows a distressed alter to retreat while an alter who is more competent to handle the situation emerges. The alter system may replicate the DID patient’s experience of the relationships and circumstances that prevailed in the family of origin.3 In Kluft’s view,3 alternate identities or personality states are the core phenomena of DID. Kluft does not view the alters as obstacles, distractions, or artifacts to be bypassed or suppressed. In fact, he argues that he has found no evidence of improvement if the therapist does not work with these alternate personality states.
  • Although previously the monoamine systems were considered to be responsible for the development of major depressive disorder (MDD), the available evidence to date does not support a direct causal relationship with MDD. There is no simple direct correlation of serotonin or norepinephrine levels in the brain and mood. In other words, after a half-century of research, the chemical-imbalance hypothesis as promulgated by the drug companies that manufacture SSRIs and other antidepressants is not only without clear and consistent support, but has been disproved by experimental evidence.
    • Irving Kirsch (2010). The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth. p. 92.
  • Three-phase drug studies with FDA approval will also have to be completed before these types of drugs can be removed from the list of substances with no medical purpose. Safety and quality control are always important and will also need much more research.
    The problem is that pharmaceutical companies are not interested in researching an inexpensive substance that has been around for a long time. There is no money to be made with a non-patentable drug that is given only once or twice in a lifetime.
  • Did you know that of the 14 states with the highest number of painkiller prescriptions per person, they all went for Trump?
  • Bill Maher Real Time with Bill Maher, January 20th 2017
  • Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid naturally occurring in the West African shrub iboga. While ibogaine is a mild stimulant in small doses, in larger doses it induces a profound psychedelic state. Historically, it has been used in healing ceremonies and initiations by members of the Bwiti religion in various parts of West Africa. People with problem substance use have found that larger doses of ibogaine can significantly reduce withdrawal from opiates and temporarily eliminate substance-related cravings.
  • People with PTSD are afflicted with three primary types of symptoms.
    The first type of symptoms involves all manner of intrusive memories of the event that often come with startling clarity via flashbacks and nightmares. Along with anything else that reminds a person of the trauma, these intrusive memories produce profound psychological distress and physical symptoms, such as a pounding heart.
    The second type of symptoms revolves around avoidance and emotional numbing.
    Bedeviled as they are by unwanted memories, images, nightmares and flashbacks that keep the terrifying reality of their experience emotionally alive for them, people with PTSD often go to heroic lengths to avoid anything in the personal or physical environment that reminds them of the trauma.
    They often also report feeling emotionally deadened, unable to love and disinterested in things others find pleasurable. Often they feel like they will die young or have less of a future than other people.
    The third and final symptom domain of PTSD is known as hyperarousal. Hyperarousal symptoms include difficulty falling or staying asleep, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, being hypervigilant and finally, demonstrating an exaggerated startle response.
    These PTSD symptoms usually don't travel alone, unfortunately, but are frequently accompanied by depression and difficulties with drugs and alcohol.
  • There is another symptom of acute trauma that can be easily missed if you are not on the lookout for it that strongly predicts the development of later PTSD. In layman's parlance, we might call it "being spaced out." More technically, we call it dissociation.
    When people dissociate, things come apart in a variety of ways.
    Often they feel separated from themselves, as if they are watching themselves from some outside vantage point. Frequently they feel that there is some type of invisible wall between themselves and the rest of the world. Sometimes they will feel that everything in the world, including themselves, is somehow unreal.
    I've heard patients describe this experience as being like looking at the world through the wrong end of a telescope, so that everything seems smaller and distorted. In extreme instances, people so thoroughly lose track of things that they develop amnesia.
  • People with mood disorders, including those who are unresponsive to conventional therapies, might be able to ditch their antidepressants and antianxiety medications. Those with terminal illness could enjoy their remaining days without the fear of death looming over them, while people with PTSD could return to a normal life unobstructed by paralyzing flashbacks. And rehab centers for substance use and eating disorders could empty out as more people turn to psychedelics.
  • In 2016, for instance, a Johns Hopkins study and a concurrent New York University study found that about 80 percent of cancer patients showed clinically significant decreases in depressed mood and anxiety even six months after receiving one to two psilocybin treatments.
    Psilocybin also appears to be an effective treatment for addiction. Echoing past research with LSD, scientists recently showed decreased cravings for and increased abstinence from alcohol after psilocybin treatment in a proof-of-concept study — and the benefits were still in evidence nine months later.
    Psilocybin seems especially promising as a tool for smoking cessation.
    In a preliminary study of smokers conducted in 2014, 80 percent of participants remained nicotine-free six months after receiving three psilocybin sessions. And 60 percent of the participants remained nicotine-free an average of 30 months after treatment.
  • "Normally, when someone [with PTSD] would be instructed to relive the traumatic experience, they would be overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, and despair," Grob says. "But while under the influence of the MDMA, it's as if they can navigate the experience more safely."
    In recent clinical trials, 61 percent of 107 participants no longer had PTSD symptoms two months after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Sixty-eight percent were still PTSD-free a year later. In light of findings like these, the FDA recently deemed MDMA a "breakthrough therapy," putting it on the fast track for approval.
  • In a release, Green commented that CBD could provide direct neurological support for a range of conditions affecting the brain, from schizophrenia to dementia. “From this review, we found that CBD will not improve learning and memory in healthy brains, but may improve aspects of learning and memory in illnesses associated with cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as neurological and neuro-inflammatory disorders," including hepatic encephalopathy, meningitis, sepsis, and cerebral malaria.
  • “We found that CBD was able to restore recognition and working memory, as well as social behavior, to normal levels,” Osborne said in a release. "These findings are interesting because they suggest that CBD may be able to treat some of the symptoms of schizophrenia that are seemingly resistant to existing medications. In addition, CBD treatment did not alter body weight or food intake, which are common side effects of antipsychotic drug treatment.”
    Osborne also explained to ABC News Australia, "This is really important because current antipsychotic drugs don't address the cognitive deficits, which approximately 80% of patients with schizophrenia experience."
  • A preliminary study published this year provided a retrospective evaluation of cannabis' effectiveness and tolerability in treating adults with Tourette Syndrome. Conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto with support from the Tourette Association of America, the study found that 18 of 19 participants were at least "much improved" after a regimen of inhaled cannabis, while tics scores for the whole group decreased by 60%.
  • In a study 36 children in the 8-10 year age group were selected for a double blind, randomized trial. Nineteen were given 50 mg of Bacopa twice daily, 17 others received placebo. After 12 weeks of treatment, the children were subjected to a battery of specialized tests. The data revealed a significant improvement in the areas of sentence repetition, logical memory and pair associative learning (matching things that go together; e.g. “test” and “grade”) in all 19 ADHD children who took Bacopa.
    Also demonstrated a significant memory promoting effect in animal models of Alzheimer's disease.
  • In a study, 61 subjects of both sex with an age range of 62-75 years were selected. Twenty-eight aged had cognitive deficits particularly the memory loss. Whereas 33 were normal aged. The subject of both group were treated with organic extract of BM in effective doses continuously for 6 months and evaluated on various neuropsychological parameters. The results obtained at the end of 6 months revealed beneficial effect in improving memory and attention span and also associated behavioral problems among demented elderly people. The neurochemical loss was checked and enhanced in senile dementia cases. The test drug has potentiality to improve memory and other cognitive deficits among the aged suffering from dementia and associated behavioral problems.
  • In an experimental study, daily administration of Ashwagandha root extract (50,100 and 200 mg/kg orally) for 6 days significantly improved memory-consolidation in mice receiving chronic electroconvulsive shock (ECS) treatment. Ashwagandha administered on day 7, also attenuated the disruption of memory consolidation, produced by chronic treatment with ECS. On the elevated plus maze Ashwagandha reversed the scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg) induced delay in transfer latency on day 1. On the basis of these findings it is suggested that Ashwagandha exhibits a nootropic-like effect in naive and amnesic mice
  • Drugs mentioned as Medhya (intellect promoting) and those indicated to improve cognitive functions can be used successfully in cases of dyslexia.
    The review indicates the Ayurvedic drugs like Brahmi, Mandookaparni, Shankhapushpi, Jyotishmati, Ashwagandha, Jatamansi, Madhuyashti and Guduchi have the potential to provide a significant improvement in children suffering from dyslexia. All these drugs improve the brain functions and also the sensory and motor systems as a result of their medhya properties and thereby can help in management of various areas of dyslexic child's malfunctioning.
    This is only a conceptual study, but the information provided can be utilized in clinical researches.
  • “In the past 20 years, I’ve not seen anything like this,” says Dr. Cristina Cusin, a clinician and researcher who runs the ketamine clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. Studies have shown that 60% to 70% of people with treatment-resistant depression respond to ketamine.
  • Marital status was a consistently significant correlate of MDE. Being separated was associated with increased risk of MDE in twelve countries, with odds ratios varying from < 4.0 in five countries to > 8.0 in India (OR = 8.2), Japan (OR = 10.8) and Lebanon (OR = 19.3). Being divorced was associated with MDE in seven of the ten developed and four of the eight developing countries, with unusually high ORs in Japan (OR = 5.1), China (OR = 6.2) and Ukraine (OR = 4.2). Being widowed was less consistently and more modestly associated with MDE with the exception of Ukraine, where widows were eight times as likely as married men and women to have MDE. In the high-income countries, there was a significantly increased OR of MDE among the never married. However, India and South Africa were the only two low- to middle-income samples with significant ORs, and in these countries never being married was associated with low risk. Overall, the association between marital status and MDE differed significantly between high and low- to middle-income countries (χ2 3 = 124.4, P < 0.001), due to stronger associations of being separated and never married with depression in high-income countries, and stronger associations of being divorced and widowed with depression in low- to middle-income countries.
  • The poorest respondents in France, Germany, New Zealand and the USA had an approximately twofold increased odds of MDE compared with those in the highest income group. In the low- to middle-income countries, in comparison, income was not significantly related to MDE. This stronger association between income and MDE in higher-income countries was significant overall (χ2 3 = 19.3, P < 0.001). Similarly, among the non-Asian countries, low education was significantly associated with MDE only in Israel, the USA, Mexico and Ukraine. The findings for the Asian countries were more complex. In India, respondents with the lowest education were 14 times as likely to have MDE as those with the highest education. In Japan and China, the reverse pattern was found, with the least educated having the lowest risk of MDE.
  • On one level, it seems counterintuitive that people in high-income countries should experience more stress than those in low- to middle-income countries. However, it has been suggested that depression is to some extent an illness of affluence. A related argument is that income inequality, which is for the most part greater in high than low- to middle-income countries, promotes a wide variety of chronic conditions that includes depression.
  • “Cross-national epidemiology of DSM-IV major depressive episode”, Evelyn Bromet, Laura Helena Andrade, Irving Hwang, Nancy A Sampson, Jordi Alonso,Giovanni de Girolamo, Ron de Graaf, Koen Demyttenaere, Chiyi Hu, Noboru Iwata, Aimee N Karam, Jagdish Kaur, Stanislav Kostyuchenko, Jean-Pierre Lépine, Daphna Levinson, Herbert Matschinger, Maria Elena Medina Mora, Mark Oakley Browne, Jose Posada-Villa, Maria Carmen Viana, David R Williams and Ronald C Kessler, BMC Medicine, June 2011
  • Even suicidal behavior might serve a design function. A small minority of researchers believe that we may have evolved to, under the right conditions, try to kill ourselves. Edward Hagen, an anthropologist at Washington State University, is one of the most vocal supporters of this idea, and he presented fresh support for it in the May 2016 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior. He and two WSU collaborators, Kristen Syme and Zachary Garfield, set out to find evidence for two models of suicidal behavior, each of which cast suicide as a strategic behavior.
    The first model is called inclusive fitness, and it relies on the notion of the “selfish gene”: The most basic unit of reproduction in natural selection is not the individual organism but the gene. Your genes don’t care if you survive to reproduce, as long as they do, and they exist in more people than just you. So they might lead you, their host organism, to sacrifice yourself if it sufficiently benefits your family members, who share many of your genes. Hence, people seek to maximize not only their own fitness but, inclusively, that of their kin too. Most parents would decide in an instant to jump in front of a bus to save their children. And in studies of suicidal thinking, people frequently speak about not wanting to be a burden.
    The second strategic model of suicidality is the bargaining model, which relies on the notion of “costly signaling.”6 A colorful example of costly signaling is the peacock. Managing a big, eye-catching tail is costly, in that it wastes energy and draws predators. But the fitter a peacock, the less costly a big tail, and so big tails have evolved to signal genetic fitness to peahens. They are attractive not despite their costliness but because of it. In addition to communicating fitness, costly signals can also communicate need. Consider baby birds. They don’t need to chirp for food if their mother is right there, and chirping attracts predators, making it costly. But the more hungry or sickly a chick is, the less it has to lose by being eaten, and the more it has to gain by being fed. So chirping louder is an honest signal of greater need for food, and the mother responds. (Anthropologists and psychiatrists have long framed suicide attempts as cries for help, but considered them pathological forms of pleading rather than the results of context-sensitive and evolved cost-benefit analyses.) Whereas the goal of suicidality in the inclusive fitness model is death, the goal in the bargaining model is help. Crucially, the vast majority of suicide attempts are not fatal.
  • So what could be so useful about depression? Depressed people often think intensely about their problems. These thoughts are called ruminations; they are persistent and depressed people have difficulty thinking about anything else. Numerous studies have also shown that this thinking style is often highly analytical. They dwell on a complex problem, breaking it down into smaller components, which are considered one at a time.
  • Analysis requires a lot of uninterrupted thought, and depression coordinates many changes in the body to help people analyze their problems without getting distracted.
  • But depression is nature’s way of telling you that you’ve got complex social problems that the mind is intent on solving. Therapies should try to encourage depressive rumination rather than try to stop it, and they should focus on trying to help people solve the problems that trigger their bouts of depression. (There are several effective therapies that focus on just this.) It is also essential, in instances where there is resistance to discussing ruminations, that the therapist try to identify and dismantle those barriers.
  • My profession of psychiatry still views depression purely as an illness. Insurance limitations have pushed many psychiatrists away from talk therapy and toward the more efficient prescription pad. So “there’s a lot of institutional and scientific investment in the exclusively disease model of depression. I’m basically telling colleagues they’re medicating people when they shouldn’t be. That’s not going to be welcome news.
  • The Centers for Disease Control first attempted to tally ADHD cases in 1997 and found that about 3 percent of American schoolchildren had received the diagnosis, a number that seemed roughly in line with past estimates. But after that year, the number of diagnosed cases began to increase by at least 3 percent every year. Then, between 2003 and 2007, cases increased at a rate of 5.5 percent each year. In 2013, the CDC released data revealing that 11 percent of American schoolchildren had been diagnosed with ADHD, which amounts to 6.4 million children between the ages of four and seventeen—a 16 percent increase since 2007 and a 42 percent increase since 2003. Boys are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed as girls—15.1 percent to 6.7 percent.
  • The United States government first collected information on mental disorders in 1840, when the national census listed two generally accepted conditions: idiocy and insanity.
  • One of the most shocking studies of the rise in ADHD diagnoses was published in 2012 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It was called "Influence of Relative Age on Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children." Nearly one million children between the ages of six and twelve took part, making it the largest study of its kind ever. The researchers found that "boys who were born in December"—typically the youngest students in their class—"were 30 percent more likely to receive a diagnosis of ADHD than boys born in January," who were a full year older. And "boys were 41 percent more likely to be given a prescription for a medication to treat ADHD if they were born in December than if they were born in January."
  • Children with ADHD often get more time to take tests, and in some school districts, tests taken by ADHD kids do not even have to be included in the overall average.
  • Researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany randomly assigned 19 children with ADHD either to yoga for children or traditional exercise. The researchers found that the yoga group had significant improvement in ADHD symptoms including attention problems, compared to the exercise group. Furthermore, yoga was effective for children undergoing drug treatment.
  • Women with eating disorders often report a lack of sexual interest during the course of their eating disorder. Several solid studies, including one, which assessed 242 women, found that issues with physical intimacy, libido, sexual anxiety, and difficulty in romantic relationships are present among this population.
    The results found that: Intercourse (55.3%), having a partner (52.7%), decreased sexual desire (66.9%), and increased sexual anxiety (59.2%) were common. Women with restricting and purging anorexia nervosa had a higher prevalence of loss of libido than women with bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified (75%, 74.6%, 39%, and 45.4%, respectively). Absence of sexual relationships was associated with lower minimum lifetime body mass index (BMI) and earlier age of onset; loss of libido with lower lifetime BMI, higher interoceptive awareness and trait anxiety; and sexual anxiety with lower lifetime BMI, higher harm avoidance and ineffectiveness. Sexual dysfunction in eating disorders was higher than in the normative sample.
  • Only 25 percent of women are consistently orgasmic during vaginal intercourse. Orgasm for female patients with eating disorders is significantly reduced due to medical and psychological factors.
  • Food, like sex, is a pleasure. Helping patients work toward emotional and physical intimacy in relationships is an important and life sustaining goal. Usually, when a patient is well on her way toward recovery and trust is deeply established and maintained with the therapist opportunities for frank conversations about sex can occur.
  • Fifty percent of both our anorectic and bulimic patients reported a history of sexual abuse while only 28% of a non-anorexic, non-bulimic control population reported similar problems (p less than 0.01).
  • Forty six percent of the bulimic women seen in our study exhibited some promiscuous behavior, using sex either as a gauge of their own self worth or as a means of punishing men. It is essential that sexual issues be addressed early in the treatment of patients with eating disorders.
  • A 2012 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that women suffering from eating disorders are four times more likely to be vegetarian than women without eating disorders. More than half (52 percent) of women with a history of eating disorders had been vegetarians at one point in their lives.
  • In Project EAT, an ongoing study that assessed eating and weight-related behaviors in adolescents from 31 Minneapolis schools, about 6 percent of students reported being vegetarians. Of those, 35 percent did so to lose weight. Vegetarians also were more likely to be involved in unhealthy weight control behaviors, such as binge eating, vomiting, and using laxatives or diet pills.
  • Vegetarian adolescents in both Turkey and Australia show greater concern over their appearance and engage in more extreme eating behaviors than meat-eaters.
    Finnish vegetarian women have higher levels of depression and lower levels of self-esteem than non-vegetarians.
    College students who avoid meat are more obsessed with their weight and diet more often than meat eaters. They are also more inclined to agree with the statement, "If given the opportunity to eliminate all my nutritional needs safely and cheaply by taking a pill, I would."
  • According to the Humane Research Council, there are twice as many female than male vegetarians. Several years ago, I reviewed the scientific literature on sex differences in the treatment of animals. You will not be surprised to find that, as a rule, women are more concerned about animal suffering than men. I am sure most female vegetarians give up meat out of concern for animals and the environment, not from a pathological desire to lose weight.
  • However, there is no denying that meat-avoidance can be associated with eating problems, especially in women. (Rory and Kim even allude to the dangers of the Skinny Bitch diet, telling readers, "Don't be a fat pig anymore...But don't go anorexic on us, either.") The fact is that women are much more susceptible to eating disorders than men. Indeed, one recent study reported a female to male ratio of 9 to 1 for anorexia nervosa and 30 to 1 for bulimia nervosa.
  • These findings help to clarify the mechanisms through which hormone treatment might be able to improve eating disorder symptoms in this population. They suggest that hormones primarily improves body dissatisfaction, which in turn reduces levels of perfectionism and symptoms of anxiety, and increases self-esteem. In combination, these factors then appear to alleviate eating disorder symptoms.
    This is the first study with transgender people that has been able to indicate how cross-sex hormones alleviate eating disorder symptoms, although this finding needs to be replicated with more longitudinal research.
  • For a long time, eating disorders were considered as culture-bound syndromes, specific to Western countries. This theory has been refuted for anorexia, but few transcultural studies have been carried out on bulimia nervosa. As a result, knowledge concerning this disorder is limited.
  • In phase 2 clinical trials sponsored by MAPS, 61 percent of the 107 participants with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD no longer had the disorder after two months of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment. At a 12-month follow up, 68 percent no longer had PTSD.
  • This group of boys showed considerable: and consistent effects from medication with UML or LSD daily for two to eleven months. Their behavior, ward management, school-room adjustment and progress at home changed favorably with less acting out and less disturbed behavior. They not only needed no other tranquilizing, sedative, or antidepressant medication, but furthermore, unlike the tranquilizers which made them sleepy and groggy, they were generally cheerful and alert. Personnel and families noted the difference. Repeated psychiatric inter-views revealed a change in fantasy material which was loss bizarre, personalized or disturbing. Depressive, anxious and paranoid attitudes were focused on real objective problems. Insight was impressive. Intellectual changes, as seen in psychometric tests, indicated improved maturity, better organization and motivation with a rise in IQ which was reflected in improved school work. The Rorschach and drawing tests also showed increased maturity and control with clearer thinking. Studies of the autonomic functions were not made.
  • It was hoped that these drugs might prove effective in breaking through autistic defenses, improving autonomic nervous system functioning, and modifying distorted perceptual experiences.
    There were some differences in results in the various groups. In general, the younger autistic children became less anxious, less autistic and plastic, more aware and responsive, with some changes in verbalization and qualitative improvement, on the Vineland Social Maturity Scale. The girls and older autistic boys showed similar results, but much less marked and persistent. Verbal children showed improvement in general behavior, with marked changes in fantasy and bizarre ideation to more insightful, reality-oriented, though often anxious and depressive attitudes, and improved maturity and organization.
    There were no major side effects, though a few patients on UML had muscular spasms and vasomotor changes in the legs, generally of a temporary nature. It is significant to note that while most of these patients had required tranquilizing or, other medications, they could all now be maintained only on the LSD or UML. A few patients received reserpine to control excessive activity, aggression, or biting.
  • We do not use it as a psychoanalytic tool. Our idea was to give it as a daily drug. It is our general experience that frequently the children respond to many drugs that affect the central nervous system differently than adults. This is common knowledge; at least, to those of us using drugs with children. So we were not surprised to find, in our early initial studies, that if the children were near puberty or in puberty they responded to the first dose with anxiety and disturbance, just as the adolescent boys did. But even these children could be maintained on high doses of the drug, just as the adolescent boys were, so that the drugs can be given to these children in continuing doses. What tolerance means, I don't know. Tolerance may be established in our patients. The chemical studies suggest this, and even our psychological studies indicate a slight change later on, a leveling off of response as compared to initial reaction, but the long-term reaction is still the most valuable reaction to the drug.
  • With regard to the purpose of these studies, all were to some extent exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs rather than their psychotomimetic properties. This was least true of Freedman and his coworkers (1962) who viewed LSD primarily as a means of studying the schizophrenic process by "intensifying pre-existing symptomology." This orientation contrasted sharply with Bender's view. Noting that withdrawn children became more emotionally responsive while aggressive children became less so, she hypothesized that psychedelic drugs "tend to 'normalize' behavior rather than subdue or stimulate it." This basic difference in expectations seems at least partially responsible for Bender's extremely favorable outcomes and Freedman's rather poor results. Regarding all forms of psychotherapy, it has become a truism that " where there is no therapeutic intent, there is no therapeutic result" (Charles Savage in Abramson, 1960, p. 193).
  • Consistent with their explicit therapeutic intent, Bender, Fisher, and Simmons each offer essentially the same hypothesis based on a psychological interpretation of childhood schizophrenia: " The working hypothesis of this study is that the psychosis is a massive defensive structure in the service of protecting and defending the patient against his feelings and affectual states" (Fisher & Castile, 1963). Psychedelic drugs were viewed as a powerful means of undermining an intractable defense system and thereby making the patient more receptive to contact and communication with others.
  • Although Freedman was prompted to use LSD primarily as an experimental device to study psychosis, he did mention that he was influenced to some extent by the dramatic improvement in autistic children reported by Peck and Murphy (in Abramson, 1960) and by the apparent success of Cholden, Kurland, and Savage (1955) in their work with adult mute catatonic patients. As will become apparent in the discussion of results, a partial and often transient alleviation of mutism by LSD treatment has been one of the most consistent effects reported in the children studies.
  • "...the vocabularies of several of the children increased after LSD or UML; several seemed to be attempting to form words or watched adults carefully as they spoke; many seemed to comprehend speech for the first time or were able to communicate their needs... Very few of these changes in communication had been noted previously in such a large number of children, and at such a relatively rapid rate" (1963, p. 91).
  • "They appeared flushed, bright eyed, and unusually interested in the environment... They participated with increasing eagerness in motility play with adults and other children. . . They seek positive contacts with adults, approaching them with face uplifted and bright eyes, and responding to fondling, affection, etc." (1962, pp. 172- 3). "There is less stereotyped whirling and rhythmic behavior. . . They became gay, happy, laughing frequently... Some showed changes in facial expression in appropriate reactions to situations for the first time" (1963, pp. 90-91).
  • "Schizophrenic children receiving d-lysergic acid or a derivative in daily adequate doses are without toxicity, side effects or gross emotional reactions. They show alterations in mood, appearance of physical well being, responsiveness, habit patterning, soft neurological signs, sympathetic nervous system stability, integrated perception, reality testing, thought processes, fantasy content and intellectual and personality maturity.
    "There are concurrent biochemical changes in the binding of serotonin and freeing of epinephrine. Some of these alterations occur in the first few days, others in the first few weeks and tend to level off, others continue for many months and are integrated into a more healthy and mature level in the development of the child."
  • Comparatively large doses of LSD-25 and Sansert may be safely administered to autistic schizophrenic children for extended periods of time. Brain damage was not observed. Rather, improvement is reported.
  • Compared with non psychiatric subjects and neurotic subjects, the psychopath is responsive to "fewer cues which have the capacity to elicit the autonomic components of fear and anxiety." In their sensory responsiveness, these individuals are found to evidence higher detection thresholds for stimuli in general, this is that is hyposensitivity to low intensity stimulation. In a subgroup of primary psychopaths this hyposensitivity was found to be correlated significantly with a minimal tolerance for pain stimulation; in secondary psycopaths the correlation was reversed.
  • Kast has suggested several effects of LSD on the experience of pain: (1) it temporarily interferes with a patient's concentration on one specific sensory input; (2) minor sensations make a claim on the patient's attention: (3) it diminished cortical control of thoughts, concepts, or ideas and thus reduces their significance in relation to vegetative function; and (4) it diffuses body boundaries and this diffuses painful sensations in the body. In two large scale clinical studies of terminal patients, Kast reported significant reductions in their experienced intensity of pain for a ten-day period. Parallel to this change, sleep patterns improved for approximately 12 to 14 days and a definite lifting of mood also was noted during the same period.
  • We then gave LSD in the same doses to non-autistic schizophrenic boys 6 to 12 years osocif age. They were intelligent and verbal and could be tested psychologically and in psychiatric interviews (Bender et al., 1963). They were selected because they had typical schizophrenic psychosis, with flying fantasies and identification and body image difficulties, loose ego boundaries, introjected objects and voices and bizarre ideologies. They had obvious anxiety and labile vaso-vegetative functions. After administering LSD to these children we found results contrary to those reported in adults. These children became more insightful, more objective, more realistic; and in a short time they became frankly depressed for reality reasons. They noted they were in the hospital, that they were away from their family, and that they had had "crazy" ideas before.
  • Treatment naïve and treatment resistant patients showed improved clinical symptoms following scopolamine, while those who were treatment naïve showed greater improvement. Scopolamine rapidly reduces symptoms in both treatment history groups, and demonstrates sustained improvement even in treatment resistant patients.
  • Two double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover trials with intravenous scopolamine 4.0 μg/kg infusions showed a significant improvement in depressive symptoms seen as soon as 3 days after the first treatment. Further data analyses showed a greater antidepressant effect in women, significant improvements in bipolar depression, and 85% success rates predicting who will respond to treatment.
  • Compulsions are defined as repetitive acts, behaviors, or thoughts that are designed to counteract the anxiety associated with an obsession. The key characteristic of a compulsion is that it reduces the anxiety associated with the obsession. Many compulsions are acts associated with specific obsessions, such as hand washing to counteract thoughts of contamination. Compulsions can also manifest as thoughts. Obsessions and compulsions must cause an individual marked distress, consume at least 1 hour/day of time, or interfere with functioning to be considered as OCD. During at least some point in the illness, adult patients must recognize symptoms of OCD as unreasonable, although there is great variability in the degree to which this is true, both across individuals and in a given individual over time. DSM-IV-TR recognizes a poor insight subtype of OCD in which individuals fail to recognize the irrational or unreasonable nature of their obsessions. OCD frequently co-occurs with other disorders such as major depression, panic disorder, phobias, attention –deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), eating disorders, and Tourette,s syndrome.
    ICD-10 emphasizes that a compulsive act must not be pleasurable. ICD-10 also stipulates that obsessions or compulsions must be present on most days for 2 weeks.
    Inflated responsibility is increasingly regarded a pathogenetic mechanism in obsessive– compulsive disorder. In seeming contrast, there is mounting evidence that latent aggression is also elevated in OCD. Building upon psychodynamic theories that an altruistic facade including exaggerated concerns for others is partly a defense against latent aggression. Evidence was recently obtained for high interpersonal ambivalence in (OCD) patients relative to psychiatric and healthy controls. Psychotic symptoms often lead to obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.
  • GAD is characterized by a pattern of frequent, persistent worry and anxiety that is disproportionate to the impact of the events or circumstances on which the worry focuses. These patients must be bothered by their degree of worry. This pattern must occur “more days than not” for at least 6 months. They find it difficult to control their worry and must report three or more of six somatic or cognitive symptoms, which include: feelings of restlessness, fatigue, muscle tension, or insomnia. Worry is a common characteristic of a variety of anxiety disorders: patients with panic disorder worry about panic attacks, patients with OCD worry about their obsessions. The worries in GAD must exceed in breath or scope the worries that characterize these other anxiety disorders. Children with marked and persistent worry can also be diagnosed with GAD; unlike adults, however, they must only meet one of the six somatic/ cognitive symptom criteria.
  • Anti-anxiety medications including popular benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) , clonazepam (klonopin), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan) are meant for shortterm use. However, many people take anti-anxiety drugs for long periods of time. This is risky because, when taken regularly, benzodiazepines quickly lead to physical dependence. Drug tolerance is also common, with increasingly larger doses needed to get the same anxiety relief as before. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, benzodiazepines lose their therapeutic anti-anxiety effect after 4 to 6 months of regular use.
  • Sexual satisfaction can be jeopardized by dysfunction that occurs at any stage of the sexual response cycle: excitement (desire and arousal), plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Such problems occur in 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men. The most common dysfunction for women is sexual arousal disorder (10–20 percent), and for men it is premature ejaculation (about 30 percent).
  • Interestingly, anxiety affects sexual arousal in different ways for different people. Researchers have found very different results between people with a history of sexual dysfunction and people with no history of sexual dysfunction. For those with no history of dysfunction, anxiety sometimes actually increases arousal. People with otherwise good autonomic nervous functioning can experience a sexual arousal response to threat. The study that tested this administered an electric shock to participants while they were viewing pornographic material. The researchers found that those who were threatened with or received the shock experienced greater physiological arousal than those who were left to watch pornography in peace.
  • Having an anxiety disorder can cause people to develop sexual dysfunction. The reverse is also true that people with sexual disorders become more anxious. Men who experience premature ejaculation or inhibited sexual enjoyment are up to 2.5 times more likely to have an anxiety disorder that those who do not have these problems. Women with anxiety have an increased likelihood of arousal or orgasmic dysfunction up to 3.5 times more than non-anxious women. Looking at both men and women, anxiety is linked to a 2.6 times greater risk of orgasmic dysfunction, a 2.1 times greater risk for inhibited sexual excitement, and a 3.3 times greater risk of decreased sexual desire.
  • Carlo and his colleagues found that, on average, those individuals who carried the genotype associated with higher social anxiety were less likely to engage in prosocial behavior.
    "Previous research has shown that the brain's serotonin neurotransmitter system plays an important role in regulating emotions," said study co-author Scott Stoltenberg, an associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "Our findings suggest that individual differences in social anxiety levels are influenced by this serotonin system gene and that these differences help to partially explain why some people are more likely than others to behave prosocially. Studies like this one show that biological factors are critical influences on how people interact with one another."
  • Three reports have surfaced in the literature of individuals with long-standing OCD who experienced significant alleviation of their disorder after what was initially a “recreational” use of LSD, peyote, or Psilocybe mushrooms. The most recent of these relates that a 34-year-old man who had suffered from OCD since the age of 6 found that both peyote and Psilocybe mushrooms moderated his symptoms (which included incapacitating and compulsive counting, showering, and ritualistic washing of his clothes, hands, and body). He began a 4-year course of daily Psilocybemushroom ingestion, which resulted in improvement of his OCD symptoms, unaccompanied by any hallucinogenic effects because of his acquired tolerance. During a subsequent 2-year period, his OCD remained in control without the need for him to ingest Psilocybe, but then the symptoms gradually returned to their initial levels.
    Some beginnings have been made in studying the effects of psychedelic drugs for alleviating OCD. The potential benefits of these drugs in anorexia nervosa, a devastating and not infrequently life-threatening disorder with few or no fully successful treatment options, should likewise be studied.
  • In a paper published this summer, Dr. Rafael dos Santos from the University of São Paulo in Brazil, along with his colleagues, sought to analyze and compile the research done on these drugs. Given the legal restrictions still placed on them, one difficulty in this area of research is identifying clinical trials conducted with the proper experimental methods and controls. Thus, of the 144 studies that the researcher found, only 6 made the cut for their analyses. Despite their small number, these studies reported consistent positive effects among their participants. For instance, psilocybin was found to improve symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression among terminally ill cancer patients, and decrease both alcohol and tobacco dependence among addicts. Likewise, LSD was reported to decrease anxiety symptoms associated with life-threatening diseases as well as help in the treatment of alcoholism. Crucially, the reported improvements lasted over the course of several days and, in some cases, months.
  • Scientific studies have looked at how individuals with autism spectrum disorder, childhood antisocial behaviors, schizophrenia, and other extreme social disorders affect how they perceive emotions. The failure to properly recognize and categorize emotions (i.e., recognize a smile as happy) is believed to be a root cause of many behaviors associated with these social disorders. When we discuss people not reading emotional facial expressions, we tend to assume that one of these social disorders is at work — most likely autism spectrum disorder. However, anxiety, anxiety disorders, and other mood disorders such as major depression also influence how we read emotional faces. Specifically, people who have high levels of anxiety or depression often categorize faces as fearful or angry.
  • Women have a higher incidence of stress related disorders including depression and generalized anxiety disorder, and epigenetic mechanisms likely contribute to this sex difference. Evidence from preclinical research suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are responsible for both sexual dimorphism of brain regions and sensitivity of the stress response. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and histone modifications can occur transgenerationally, developmentally, or in response to environmental stimuli such as stress exposure.
  • Stress-related disorders such as major depression and generalized anxiety affect over 20% of the American population within their lifetime, and have an annual prevalence approaching 10%. Currently available treatments for these disorders produce remission in only 40-60% of patients. Therefore, a clear need exists for novel therapeutic strategies that target the underlying biology involved with vulnerability to depression and anxiety. Within the clinical populations presenting for stress-related disorders, there is a higher incidence in women compared to men. One factor that may contribute to the low response to treatment has been the continued reliance on using male animals in preclinical research. A recent meta-analysis of publications indicated that 65% of studies in pharmacology and 55% of neuroscience papers used male subjects exclusively.
  • But what if you are constantly on the receiving end of threats like the ones above? Feelings of wanting to help soon turn to anger and resentment. Being constantly bombarded by comments from another person threatening to kill themselves is emotional blackmail. You never know what will come next, and as a result, feelings of anger, resentment, and fear all build up. It may feel like you have no choice but to do exactly what the person says in order to avoid a tragedy, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and potentially save the other person’s life as well.
  • The existence of alarm pheromones—chemosensory stress cues communicated between members of the same species—is well established in non-human mammals; when animals inhale odors secreted by acutely stressed conspecifics, they express neurobiological and behavioral changes consistent with heightened threat assessment ( Fanselow, 1985 ; Zalaquett and Thiessen, 1991 ; Dielenberg and McGregor, 2001 ; Dielenberg et al ., 2001 ; Kikusui et al ., 2001 ). In our fMRI experiment and its subsequent replication, we showed that humans also activate the amygdala during inhalation of sweat taken from an independent sample of emotionally stressed individuals, with exercise sweat as a control ( Mujica-Parodi et al ., 2009 ). Importantly, participants were unable to perceptually differentiate between the sweat odors, suggesting that the amygdala response was specific to emotional, rather than olfactory, discrimination. Psychophysiological and behavioral research have additionally demonstrated that inhalation of human stress sweat augments the defensive startle reflex ( Prehn et al ., 2006 ; Pause et al ., 2009 ) as well as enhancing perception and discrimination of fearful ( Zhou and Chen, 2009 ) and angry (Mujica-Parodi et al ., 2009 ) faces.
  • Frequent fear of nuclear war in adolescents seems to be an indicator for an increased risk for common mental disorders and deserves serious attention.
  • Risks of war and terrorism are threatening our health, both directly in actual life and also indirectly by the increasingly violent content of video games and other forms of entertainment. How does this affect mental health? Earlier during the cold war period, fear of war was found to be common among adolescents, and more prevalent among girls than boys. Little is known about the influence of fear of war on mental health of adolescents. On one hand, it has been argued that worrying about nuclear war is related to positive aspects of mental health. On the other, fear of nuclear war has been found to associate with several measures of psychological distress in cross-sectional studies. To our knowledge, no follow-up studies have been published.
  • Of the 400 women, 27.5% reported having feared nuclear war once a week or more often in 1990. The respective figures for men were 226 and 13.7%.
  • The degree of perceived threat of nuclear war may depend on several factors, such as (i) actual presence and size of the nuclear weapon arsenal, (ii) actual political tensions and threats, (iii) media coverage of the former, (iv) mental, conscious and unconscious processing of information, and (v) psychological developmental influences specific to adolescence.
    Part of the fear may be based on realistic evaluation of the threat. Our baseline examination was carried out within two months before the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War in January 1991 and before the reductions in nuclear weapon arsenals in the United States and in Russia started. A quote from a novel describing the life experience of one teen-age girl during the pre-detente period may be illustrative:
  • Widespread media coverage on any potential danger may bring about considerable increase in perceived fear.
  • Anxiety was a philosophical concept before it taken up by psychology and psychiatry. The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard (1813-1855) argued that anxiety is part of human nature. Anxiety arises where possibility and actuality come into contact and the present touches the future. Anxiety is a product of having the freedom to make choices and act, and by doing so make a commitment to one’s identity, ways of being in the world, and standing in relation to other people. For Kierkegaard, anxiety can be an avenue to stand in relation to God. This is why he wrote, “Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate.”
    One can bracket out the God dimensions and still learn something valuable from Kierkegaard, namely that anxiety can cause inaction, which is, in its most basic sense, a loss of freedom. What is possible may never actualize and one may lose the present by tending to an imagined future. One becomes immobilized and unable to meet needs and realize goals and aspirations.
  • The first time Faith-Ann Bishop cut herself, she was in eighth grade. It was 2 in the morning, and as her parents slept, she sat on the edge of the tub at her home outside Bangor, Maine, with a metal clip from a pen in her hand. Then she sliced into the soft skin near her ribs. There was blood–and a sense of deep relief. “It makes the world very quiet for a few seconds,” says Faith-Ann. “For a while I didn’t want to stop, because it was my only coping mechanism. I hadn’t learned any other way.”
    The pain of the superficial wound was a momentary escape from the anxiety she was fighting constantly, about grades, about her future, about relationships, about everything. Many days she felt ill before school. Sometimes she’d throw up, other times she’d stay home. “It was like asking me to climb Mount Everest in high heels,” she says.
  • “The competitiveness, the lack of clarity about where things are going [economically] have all created a sense of real stress,” says Victor Schwartz of the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that works with colleges and universities on mental-health programs and services. “Ten years ago, the most prominent thing kids talked about was feeling depressed. And now anxiety has overtaken that in the last couple of years.”
  • Male passersby were contacted either on a fear-arousing suspension bridge or a non-fear-arousing bridge by an attractive female interviewer who asked them to fill out questionnaires containing Thematic Apperception Test pictures. Sexual content of stories written by subjects on the fear-arousing bridge and tendency of these subjects to attempt post experimental contact with the interviewer were both significantly greater. No significant differences between bridges were obtained on either measure for subjects contacted by a male interviewer. A third study manipulated anticipated shock to male subjects and an attractive female confederate independently. Anticipation of own shock but not anticipation of shock to confederate increased sexual imagery scores on the Thematic Apperception Test and attraction to the confederate.
  • Some evidence for the mechanics of the anxiety-sexual arousal link in the current research may be obtained from the fear ratings made by subjects in Experiment 3. When subjects anticipated receiving a strong shock and the female confederate was present during the anxiety manipulation, subjects re-ported significantly less fear than when no potential sexual object was present (t —2.17, d} = 19, p < .025). Since the questionnaires were filled out in private in both groups, it is unlikely that subjects' reporting merely reflects appropriate behavior in the presence of the opposite or same sex. One possible explanation for this result is that, having relabeled anxiety as sexual arousal, the subject is less likely to feel anxious. A more conclusive explanation of the mechanics of the anxiety-sexual arousal link must await the conclusion of present laboratory studies designed specifically to investigate this prob-lem. However, regardless of the interpretation of the mechanics of this link, the present re-search presents the clearest demonstration to date of its existence


  • It was initially assumed that Cheddar Man had pale skin and fair hair, but his DNA paints a different picture, strongly suggesting he had blue eyes, a very dark brown to black complexion and dark curly hair.
    The discovery shows that the genes for lighter skin became widespread in European populations far later than originally thought – and that skin colour was not always a proxy for geographic origin in the way it is often seen to be today.
  • Women prostitutes who had intercourse with male worshipers were attached to the sanctuaries and temples of ancient Mesompotamia, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Corinth, Carthage, Sicily, Israel, Egypt, Libya, and West Africa, as well as ancient and modern India.
  • Male homosexual prostitution having religious significance was an institutionalized feature of the archaic civilizations of the Mediterranean. Most authorities think it was practiced in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, as well as in the worship of neighboring peoples. Yet a few scholars have expressed skepticism.
  • Ibid, p.94
  • In Akkadian, qadishtum was a holy priestess (who may or may not have been a prostitute). Ugaritic temple personnel included qdshm. At Memphis, a monument to Qudshu, aSyrian goddess associated with love and fertility, refers to her as "the prostitute." A Phoenician inscription on Cryprus dating from the fourth century B.C., referring to a category of temple personnel who played a role in the sacred service of Astarte, identifies the kelev as a religious functionary of some kind. The Sumerogram for assinu a male-homosexual cult prostitute (see below), joins the symbols for "dog" and "woman." Revelation 22:15 excludes dogs along with sorcerers, whoremongers, and idolaters from the holy city; surely it is referencing not to canines, but to men who plaed a sexual-sacramental role in religion. Deuteronomy prohibits cult prostitution because the Hebrews were adopting the practice from their neighbors. It does not follow from the identification of qdeshim as male cult prostitutes that their partners were men: Patai points out that they could have served barren women who hoped to conceive by having intercourse with a holy man. In some Hindu cults, wives have intercourse with priests who represent the god. There is no direct evidence for this custom from the ancient Near East, though it has been reported in the recent past for Morocco, Egypt, and Syria. It does seem incompatible with the restrictions Hebrew men placed on female sexuality, but the story of Elisha and the barren widow could be a garbled version of it.
  • Ibid, pp.95-96
  • Some of the evidence for homosexual cult practices in surrounding cultures is ambiguous, but clearly rules out male heterosexual prostitution. For example, Hittite texts document the existence of male transvestite eunuch temple priests but do not state clearly that they has sexual relations with worshipers. Babylonian and Assyrian texts refer to asinu and kurgarru, religious functionaries particularly associated with the goddess Ishtar, who danced, played musical instruments, wore masks, and were considered effeminate. They were often depicted carrying a spindle for weaving - a symbol of women's work.
  • Prayers and treaty curses attributed the power to turn men into women to the goddess Ishtar, and explained that she had turned the assinu and and kurgarru into women to demonstrate her awesome powers. They were clearly transvestites. References to them as "neither male nor female," "incomplete", "half-men," and as "lacking something" point to castration. Surely their responsibilities did not include fertilizing women.
    • Ibid, p.96
  • Roman writers tell; of the Cybele cult practices. Every March, Cybeles followers mourned the death of her androgynous lover Attis (her son in some versions of the myth) by holding ecstatic dances and striking themselves with swords and whips. At the height of frenzy, initiates severed their genitals with a sharp stone or shard of broken pottery (metal instruments were forbidden) and assumed women's clothing.
    When the veneration of Cybele was first introduced to Rome during the Second Punic War, the Roman's disdained her emasculated priests, and forbade citizens from undergoing initiation. But the cult spread as the orientalization of the Empire progressed. Bands of Galli roamed the countryside dressed as women, scourging themselves, dancing and begging. IN the Metamorphoses, also known as The Golden Ass, Apuleius portrays the galli as passive homosexuals who seek out virile young peasant lads to satisfy their cravings; Lucian paints a similar picture in Lucius, or the ass. However, none of the Hellenistic sources mentions ritual homosexuality. In The Life of Constantine, the church historian Eusebius Pamphili, bishop of Caesarea (260?-340), implies, without being too explicit, that the effeminate priests of the goddess worshipped on Mount Lebanon still engaged in homosexual cult practices in his own time, however, as a Christian, Eusebius could have been trying to smear goddess worshipers by imputing to them practices long since abandoned. Without corroboration from contemporaneous pagan sources it is hard to be sure.
    • Ibid, p.98
  • Taking all the sources together, - a procedure justified by the prolonged and extensive contacts among the various civilizations of the Mediterranean - it can be safely concluded that anal intercourse formed a part of goddess worship from very early times throughout the Near East, with the possible exception of pharonic Egypt. If Eusebius is to be believed, it was still going on Mount Lebanon until Constantine had the shrine of the moon goddess destroyed in the early fourth century..
    The Hebrews were part of this world. They interacted extensively with Cannanites, Phoenicians, and Mesopotamians, and adopted some of their religious practices. The evidence presented her points to homosexual intercourse with qdeshim, who "did according to all the abominations of the nations, which Yahweh drove out before the children of Israel," as one of the practices they adopted. There is no evidence for analogous lesbian cult prostitution, though female transvestism appears in Canaanite mythology, and the Roman writer Juvenal - not a particularly trustworthy source - contended that women participating in an annual ceremony in honor of the Bona Dea engaged in lesbian acts.
    Scholars have noted the resemblance of Sakti (goddess) worship on the Indian subcontinent to the West Asian cults. Until the practice became illegal in 1948, when India received independence, some of the Hindu temples in many parts of the country had women and boy prostitutes. Communities of hijraspre- and post operative transexual devotees of the Mother Goddess (Parvati, Bahuchara Mata), who dress as women, sing and dance, and beg for alms, can still be found in a number of cities, especially in the north. They perform when the male children are born, and reputedly kidnap and castrate young boys. Many engage in homosexual prostitution, though not in a cultic context.
    • Ibid, pp.99-100
  • Goddess cults of South India and Sri Lanka also involve male transvestism (but not prostitution at present), ritualized gashing of the head (symbolic castration) impotence anxiety, and fear of heterosexual intercourse. The consort of the virginal Sri Lankan goddess Pattini is killed and castrated or disemboweled (symbolically castrated). Some of these cults may have been brought to Southern India by Syrian traders in the first few centuries A.D. and adopted by indigenous Buddhist and Jain merchants who married foreigners.
    Receptivity to the new cults can be explained by psychological predisposition (discussed below) and already existing goddess worship in Dravidian folk religion, which involved berdachelike male transvestism. This worship was almost certainly quite archaic. Archeological and linguistic evidence polints to goddess worship and the veneration of the generative organs as prominent features of the Indus Valley civilization that flourished in Western India c. 2700-1700 B.C. The figure of a naked dancing girl, possibly a temple prostitute, has been found in the ruins. Cultural dissemination of these institutions from Sumeria, which traded extensively with the Harrapan civilization, is quite likely. The indigenous tribes of Southern India are thought to be descendants of the pre-Aryan Harrapan civilization.
    Hindu religious and legal texts frown on homosexual cult practices. Male prostitution was probably not a aprt of early Indo-European religion. Hence later cult transvestism and homosexuality are unlikely to have originated with the Aryan invasions; most likely they were indigenous, and survived because the invaders co-opted local cults rather than destroy them.
    • Ibid, p.100
  • The male cult prostitution of the ancient Near East bear more than a casual resemblance to the American Indian berdaches described in the previous chapter. Just as the Near East cults linked gender transformation to the service of a goddess, some berdaches took up cross-dressing at the command of a female spirit or goddess. The explorer W.H. Keating reported that the Winnebago considered the moon,
    to be inhabited by an adverse female deity, whose delight it is to cross men in all his pursuits. If during their sleep this deity should present herself to them in their dreams, the Indians consider it enjoined on them by duty to become Cinaedi [receptive homosexuals]; and they ever after assume female garb.
    On the other hand, there are differences. Although the dreams were sometimes taken as omens in the ancient Near East, there is no evidence that they figured in the decisions to undergo castration in the service of the goddess. Intercourse with berdaches does not seem to have had religious significance, adn the healing rituals of those who became shamans did not involve sex. Berdaches were not eunuchs; and they were not attached to temples, or part of a religious hierarchy.
    As I've already argued in the preceding chapter, the geographical distribution of the transvestite shaman role is too great to be due to cultural diffusion in historical times. More plausibly, the assinu and galli evolved from an indigenous berachelike shamanism in the prehistoric Near East. Their special features (affiliation with a temple, castration) developed in the transition from a kinship order to a class differentiated society.
    • Ibid, p.101
  • We do not know the family histories of the galli or other transvestite priests, but what we know of the goddess cults favors the second of these two models. The goddess's destructive rage at mortal men who reject her overtures is readily interpreted as a reflection of the child's fear of incest and the threat of his ego boundaries that it represents. The castrated, effeminate, dying son-consort represents the male child who identifies with his mother, loves her, and is punished for it. Flagellation and castration not only administer this punishment to the mother-fixated son, but also induce bleeding, a simulation of menstruation. Whereas Stone Age goddesses are visibly pregnant, those of the archaic civilizations are virginal - a denial of the mother's threatening sexuality. It is consistent with the dynamics proposed that men of ancient Mesopotamia were troubled by impotence, and sought a magical cure for it.
    Spratt considers the family prrocess postulated in the second model to be typical of traditional Indian families, and links this process with the prevalence of male transvestism in village rituals for the goddess. Obeyeskere notes that a number of Indian family practices, some of them dating back at least 1500 years, would tend to produce mother fixation in male children. Fathers indulge their little girls, but then they marry them at a young age to men they may not know. Overnight they become subservient strangers in households dominated by in-laws. Husbands are often emotionally distant, sexually inhibited by Brahmanic traditions holding intercourse to be polluting and dangerous. Failing to find emotional gratification from their husbands, mothers become strongly attached to their infant sons, kiss their penises, and act seductively toward them. IN Sri Lanka, sons sleep next to their mothers until age four or five, sometimes almost until puberty. The father sleeps elsewhere, but comes in to have intercourse, in the child's presence, with his wife.
    • Ibid, p.103
  • Slater thought that subordinated mothers were especially characteristic of classical Greece, and found much evidence in Greek mythology for the themes expected on the basis of the family dynamics postulated in our second model. Yet Greeks of the classical age were repelled by the ritual castration. The practice was found primarily in Asia Minor.
    The difference can be laid to the role of the father. If he isa salient figure in the family, he can provide a basis for male identification despite the child's intense attachment to his mother. His presence should instigate oedipal conflict and fear of castration by others - themes one finds in Greek, Indiana nd Sri Lankan mythology - but not self-castration, which will be greeted with horror. Where the father is absent, on the other hand, identification with the mother is potentially stronger and may lead to transvestism without castration anxiety, and self-castration to deny one's masculinity.
    Greek fathers were not ordinarily absent from home for long periods, nor are contemporary Indian fathers; hence the rarity of institutionalized transvestism and self-castration. However, merchants of West Asia engaged in long-distance commerce were probably away from home for months at a time, as were professional soldiers of the standing armies of the monarchies. By contrast, the citizen-soldiers of the Greek city-states were not professionals and lived at home. Terms of service in the Roman army, on the other hand, grew to great length: the general and political leader Marius (d. 86 B.C.) permitted plebes to enlist for as long as twenty years, just about the time that self-castration began to make inroads.
    • Ibid, p.104
  • Slater thought that subordinated mothers were especially characteristic of classical Greece, and found much evidence in Greek mythology for the themes expected on the basis of the family dynamics postulated in our second model. Yet Greeks of the classical age were repelled by the ritual castration. The practice was found primarily in Asia Minor.
    The difference can be laid to the role of the father. If he isa salient figure in the family, he can provide a basis for male identification despite the child's intense attachment to his mother. His presence should instigate oedipal conflict and fear of castration by others - themes one finds in Greek, Indiana nd Sri Lankan mythology - but not self-castration, which will be greeted with horror. Where the father is absent, on the other hand, identification with the mother is potentially stronger and may lead to transvestism without castration anxiety, and self-castration to deny one's masculinity.
    Greek fathers were not ordinarily absent from home for long periods, nor are contemporary Indian fathers; hence the rarity of institutionalized transvestism and self-castration. However, merchants of West Asia engaged in long-distance commerce were probably away from home for months at a time, as were professional soldiers of the standing armies of the monarchies. By contrast, the citizen-soldiers of the Greek city-states were not professionals and lived at home. Terms of service in the Roman army, on the other hand, grew to great length: the general and political leader Marius (d. 86 B.C.) permitted plebes to enlist for as long as twenty years, just about the time that self-castration began to make inroads.
  • Of course we have no direct proof that eunuch priests were children of absent soldiers or merchants. Moreover, it is probable that most male children raised in such families did not castrate themselves. Men of the matrilineal Mayars of the Malabar coast of South India did not traditionally live with their wives; often they were away from home for long periods serving in the armies of the rajahs. Yet most became neither transvestite nor transexual. In most families, other males would have been present, and mothers were no so seductive and hostile to their son's heterosexuality as to produce an outcome so extreme as self-mutilation. However, if the family configuration described here was common in antiquity, gender ambivalence would have been common enough to create awe and fascination with eunuchs on the part of the populace.
    This awe and fascination made it possible for individual acts of castration to evolve into an institutionalized part of priestly initiation. Perhaps an individual eunuch attracted veneration, founded a local cult and established a sanctuary or temple, or took up residence in a preexisting temple. Such an individual could certainly have been a berdache or a transvestite shaman. Alternately, castration could have evolved from tribal rituals involving mild cutting. 1 Kings 18:26-28 describes the prophets of Baal cutting themselves with swords and lances while dancing in a leaping manner around the altar of Mount Carmel. Lucian of Antioch, a Christian theologian of the third century, reports that gashing with knives was part of the Syrian ceremony of mourning for Adonis. The prophets of the goddess Kali also cut themselves with swords when performing an annual rite in Kerala, India. Paleolithic cave art showing dancers in animal skins leaping testifies to the antiquity of such rites.
    Worshipers of the goddess who castrated themselves would undoubtedly have invented the myths to explain their actions. These myths would inevitably embody residues of the psychological process that gave rise to the castration, while disguising them from the initiates themselves by attributing responsibility to the goddess. Being composed from the raw materials made available by the surrounding culture, these myths would necessarily incorporate prominent themes of that culture, such as the annual vegetation cycle. Provided there were enough young men who responded to their anxieties by amputating their genitals, it would not have taken long for self-castration to become established in the annual rituals. Evidently there were enough. Once established, the prestige of the role might have made it attractive even to young men not especially plagued by maternal separation anxiety.
    • Ibid, pp.105-106
  • The attractiveness of intercourse with a euncuh priest remains to be explained. By castrating himself and putting on female garb, the priest was not becoming just any woman. Unconsciously, he may have been identifying with his mother, but in terms of his own culture, he identified himself with a goddess, and presumably acquired some of her powers. Anal intercourse was her method. Although Ishtar was the goddess of love and had many lovers, she was childless. The female hierodules who consecrated themselves to her were called naditu, barren, because their sexual practices could not result in pregnancy. It was in imitation of the goddess and her divine partners that and their male counterparts in the priesthood submitted to anal sex. The male worshipers who had intercourse with the priests and priestess were uniting with the goddess herself. As the cuneiform text quoted earlier indicates, this union was propitious: the goddess must have looked favorably on a gift of precious semen. It brought good fortune to the worshiper and his household, just as the sacred marriage of the king to the high priestess each spring did for the entire kingdom.
    • Ibid, p.106
  • One would hardly expect to see instituionalized male transgenerational homosexuality of the Melanesian variety (described in chapter 2) in the archaic civilizations. The conditions that seem to give rise to it in Melanesia do not exist in the early civilizations. WIth the pacification of an extended territory, wives are no longer taken from enemy villages, and amrriage is not aranged through sister exchange between cross-cousings.
    Yet ritualized, transgenerational male homosexuality was a part of early Greek culture. Dominated from the time of the Dorian invasion (c. 1200 B.C.) by powerful, culturally conservative noble families, the eastern part of Crete kept up ancient customs well into historical times. One of these customs was an initation rite for aristocratic youths that bears remarkable resemblance to tribal rituals. Boys were taken from their mothers by kouretes (armed male dancers). Under the auspices of the pre-Olympian Mother Goddess cult of Rhea and Zeus, the boys were cleansed of maternal contamination and reborn as men. A men'shouse figured in the ceremonies, and bull roarers (devices widely used in tribal rituals to simulate the sound of bulls or thunder) were used to terrify the initiates.
    • Ibid, pp.106-107
  • As described by Ephoros, a historian of the fourth century B.C., and repeated almost verbatim by Strabo, the initiation had a homosexual component. The boy, chosen for his character and manliness, was abducted in a prearranged mock kidnapping and taken to the country for several months of hunting, feasting, adn homosexual sex. When released he was given a military outfit, an ox for sacrifice to Zeus, and a drinking cup. It was considered shameful not to be chosen. Those who participated were honored throughout their lives.
    Sparta, too, institutionalized relations between mature men and adolescent boys, as well as between adult women and girls, and gave them a pedagogical focus. The few accounts we have, all written by foreigners, do not claim that the relationships were aprt of initiation rites, but the Spartans were secretive about their instiutions, and strangers would not necessarily have learned the details. However, many aspects of Spartan homosexuality and amrriage customs point to tribal origins. Participation was mandatory for all youths of good character. There were ordeals - a common feature of tribal initiation. At their conclusion, all boys in the same-age grade had to marry - as in many tribes. Even after marriage, men lived in men's houses, not with their wives. Wives and male lovers were shared with age-mates. Like Crete, from whom the Greeks believed Spartan instiutions were borrowed, Sparta preserved ancient customs that had disappeared in other city-states.
    • Ibid, p.107
  • The notion that Greek homosexuality had its origin in Dorian tribal initiations goes back to Muller, who suggested - without knowing anything of Melanesian life - that its purpose was the mechanical implantation of character via the semen. Bethe and other scholars find support for this thesis in the graffiti with homosexual themes found near a temple of Apollo on the island of Thera, a Spartan colony; they interpret the inscriptions as a record of an initiation. Others, though, consider the graffiti to be nothing mroe than frivilous obscene scribbling.
    The early history of Greek tribal cults remains obscure, but mythology points to the existence of male initiatino rites with a homosexual component. In many myths, including the foundation myths of a number of the city-states, a young man performs heroic feats of hunting under the supervision of an older initiation master with whom he sometimes has a homosexual relationship. On completion of the ordeal he is recognized as an adult and amrries, sometimes to a wife provided by his master. Even though our sources for the myths are late, cultural details of the stories place them in the Dark Ages or earlier, when hunting was still important to the economy - not only as a source of food, but to protect crops and domestic animals from lions and wild boars. The names of some of the ehroes and gods in the stories appear in Mycenean linear B tablets, suggesting that the myths and associated rituals could date back to c. 1500 B.C., if not earlier. They were probably not Minoan, but rather Indo-European.
    • Ibid, p.108
  • There are hints in the ethnographic literature suggesting that in the transition from an egalitarian to a stratified social order, pederastic relations come to be restricted to an elite. In Hawaii and the Caroline Island of Micronesia, male homosexual relations (probably transgenerational, definitely not transgenderal) were institutionalized among the aristocrats of the Areoi Society, but not among the population at large. THis restriction often has an economic as well as normative dimension. Mossi chiefs have their young male sorones, while the less affluent commoners do not. Big Namba chiefs of New Gunea have many boy lvoers, commoners only one.
    • Ibid, p.110
  • Male homosexual relations in the archaic civilizations also occured in military settings. The early civilizations were often at war, and for muc longer stretches than in the materially impoverished primitive societies. Wars were fought almost exclusively by men, and boys education stressed the martial arts and virtues.
    As in many kinship-structured societies, soldiers were often barred from any contact with women, lest they lose their masculine strengths or be polluted. According to Gilbert Murray, the Archeans who fought at Troy were votaries who had sworn an oath to abstain from intercourse with women until they had captured the city. Extended periods of separation from women would have been conducive to homosexuality, especially under conditions of warfare, whose participants share the intense emotions associated with the risks of combat.
    Many of the early civilizations passed through a stage in which political leadership was monopolized by the military aristocracy. Warfare took the form of armed champions fighting at close quarters as individuals or in small clusters, accompanied by squires. Centralized cordination was virtually nonexistent and warriors were highly competitive. While a cultural emphasis on personal valor and bravery would have made a champion erotically attractive to other men, rivalry would also have stood in the way of an egalitarian relationship. Though some sexual relations could have developed among some aristocratic warriors who fought together as equals, most would have had to involve partners who could not be considered competitors.
    • Ibid, pp.110-111
  • Aristocratic warrior societies do seem have had extensive male homosexuality, which was completely accepted. Archeological evidence shows that c. 500 B.C., when they were founding the La Tene culture in France and the northern part of Switzerland, large numbers of Celts were armed for military raids of looting. Their political organization took the form of decentralized chiefdoms, with patron-client relationships linking aristocrats and commoners. According to Artistotle, the Celts esteemed homosexuality. Writing in the first century B.C., Diodorus Siculus found Celtic women charming, and every indicator of their social status suggests that it was quite high. Nevertheless, he adder, Mbr? The men are much keener on their own sex; they lie around on animal skins and enjoy themselves, with a lover one each side. The extraordinary thing is they haven’t the smallest regard for their personal dignity or self-respect; they offer themselves to other men without the least compunction. Furthermore, this isn’t looked down on, or regarded as in any way disgraceful: on the contrary, if one of them is rejected by another to whom he has offered himself, he takes offence.
    Evidence that the Celtic love of warriors may have extended to the British Isles (which the Celts invaded c. 200 B.C.) can be found in the Irish saga Tain Bo Caulinge. The hero Cuchulain explains that he does not want to fight his foster0brother and former comrade in arms Ferdia:
    • Ibid, p.111
  • The Babylonian ‘’Epic of Gilgamesh’’ describes an intimate relationship between Gigamesh, king of the city-state of Uruk and Enkidu, a totally uncivilized, virile wild man sent by the gods in response to complaints from the nobles that Gilgamesh was sexually exploiting their sons and daughters. After a belligerent confrontation in which Gilgamesh emerges victorious, the two become close friends and embarked ona series od dangerous adventures together.
    Explicit homosexual reference are lacking, but there are hints that the relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu was sexual.
    • Ibid, p.112
  • The conditions of warfare, we may conclude, seem to have encouraged homosexual bonding between male warriors in some of the early civilizations. This was especially true when weak military organization left military leadership to individual heroes and their followers. The relationships that ensued typically involved males of discrepant ages or social statues. Where armies were organized more bureaucratically, relationships of this kind would have been less common.
  • Lesbian relationships were rare among adult women in most kinship structures societies. The extent to which that was also true in the archaic civilizations probably varies somewhat. Early Greek civilization may have had ritualized lesbian initiations for young women – in the case of Sparta, continuing into the classical age – but if comparable rites were performed in early civilizations, evidence of them has been lost. The restriction of women’s religious and political roles that accompanies the rise of early civilizations may have entailed the suppression of female initiations and inattention to myths with lesbians themes.
    These restrictions encourages lesbian relations by depriving women of amle compansionship, and by fostering close relationships with other women. Prince and wealthy men of the Azande in southern Sudan have large numbers of wives, all of whom must necessarily do without their husband most of the time. The risk of death for adultery discourages extramarital heterosexual affairs. Instead, women turn to other women. The ease of disguising a lesbian affair as a simple friendship makes it difficult for husbands to interfere, even though most of them dislike lesbianism and fear that it could magically injure them.
    Most Athenian women of the classical age were confined to the home much of the time, and had little opportunity to meet women of their own social status. However, if they were at all affluent, they spent that time in the women’s section of the house, where men did not enter, alone with female slaves. What they did with one another is anyone’s guess; Greek men did not write about that sort of thing. In the case of Egypt, paintings show women being dressed or coiffed by female servants. The scenes are sensuous, but not sexual. Whether lesbian relationships commonly developed between mistresses and their servants us unknown.
    • Ibid, pp.116-117
  • Wherever harems existed, as in India and the Near East, they became known for lesbianism. Harem women were deprived of men (except for eunuch guards) and spent most of their time with one another. Inevitably, their emotional and sexual involvements centered on co-wives. Jealous husbands might threaten severe punishments, but the seculusion of women must have made detection very difficult.
  • Class-structured homosexuality appears with the dawn of economic stratification. Here the two partners are drawn from different economic strata or classes, the wealthier partner purchasing or commanding the sexual services of the poorer. The partners may differ in age, gender, or preference for particular types of contact, but these differences do not define the relationship. What does is the preference of the wealthier partner. Thus Captain Blight, visiting Tahiti in the late eighteenth century, observed a chief sucking the penis of his attendant. By the usual conventions linking rank and sex role, this transaction should not have occurred. The attendant should have been sucking the chief. However, the chief occupied a social position that enabled him to gratify his personal preference irrespective of conventions about homosexual roles. In societies were social relations are commercialized wealth bestows sexual power.
    ‘’’Two forms of homosexuality are particularly common in antiquity: prostitution and intercourse with slaves.’’’ After examining each we will turn to the related topic of castration in nonreligious contexts.
    • Ibid, p.117
  • The demand for prostitutes in antiquity came from merchants and sailors far from home, and from men who had difficulty gaining sexual access to partners who did not have to be paid (because patriarchal restrictions made it difficult to obtain respectable women and boys). The supply developed in response to the growth of economic inequality. With the disintegration of the redistributive channels of clan society and the privatization of the means of production, the dispossessed sometimes turned to prostitution to support themselves. But not all prostitutes were poor. Tahitian and Rwandan chiefs used their wealth to attract men who were not impoverished to their court, and made them available to guests. In the absence of taboos or legal restrictions against homosexuality (see chapter 4), male homosexual prostitution developed alongside female heterosexual prostitution.
    Even when the kinship order is intact, economic inequality can lead to homosexual prostitution. Transgenerational male homosexuality was universal in the Big Namba chiefdoms of Malekula Island in the New Hebrides, the boy’s lover being his sister’s true or possibly classificatory sisters’ husband. Though he had exclusive sexual rights, he could sell these rights to other men. Since the boy worked in his partner’s garden, an element of economic exploitation entered the relationship. Similarly, in the Libyan oases of Siwah and El Garah fifty years ago, parents prostituted their sons to the wealthier men. No comparable pecuniary elements are mentioned in the ethnographies of the more egalitarian New Guinea cultures.
    With the emergence of well defined classes, prostitution became ubiquitous, and freed from it cultic trappings. It was a feature of everyday life in ancient Mesopotamia; there was even a guild for practitioners. A hint of exploitations appears in an Assyrian tablet dated at 716 B.C. that refers to them:
    When a male prostitute (sinnisanu = effeminate man) entered the brothel, as he raised his hands in prayer, he said, “My hire goes to the promoter. You [Ishtar] are wealth, I am half.
    • Ibid, pp.117-118
  • Athens and other Greek harbor towns had male brothels from an early date, but it was considered shameful for a free citizen to prostitute himself for money. A law attributed to Solon, himself a pederast, provided that an Athenian citizen who did so was barred from certain religious functions and public affairs, and could not speak before of the Assembly or Council on pain of death. If a father or guardian prostituted his minor ward for money, the ward was absolved of traditional responsibilities toward elderly parents or guardians. It was contrary to the egalitarian ethos of citizenship for a free man to place himself at the service of someone else for money. ‘’’Someone who would sell his body, it was said, might as readily sell the interests of the state. The use of legislation to enforce this ethos reflects the recognition that economic pressures associated with the commercialization of the Greek economy were eroding the social basis of citizenship to a potentially dangerous degree. It was Salon who prohibited indebted Athenian citizen from being sold abroad into slavery.
    Foreigners were not covered by Solon’s legislation, and for this reason it is thought that many of Athen’s male prostitutes were aliens. While some may have become prostitutes from economic necessity, others were prisoners of war who had been sold into brothel slavery. Plato’s Phaedrus is named for a citizen of Elis who had been captured by the Spartans and sold to an Athenian house of prostitution.
    Although the Athenians stigmatized prostitutes, they did not deprive them of all legal rights; according to Aiskhines, prostitutes could go to court to collect from nonpaying customers. Patronizing prostitutes was considered perfectly acceptable, not shameful or illegal. Each year, the Athenian Council confirmed special tax on male prostitutes, suggesting that they were numerous enough to warrant attention as a source of revenue.
    By all accounts, prostitution flourished in Rome after the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.), when wealth poured into the city, and the large-scale displacement of free farm laborers by slaves created massive unemployment. Brothels opened not only in Rome, but also in large and medium-sized towns throughout Italy. A reference in a public speech of the elder Cato to the high price of male prostitutes makes clear that only the affluent could indulge.
    Most male prostitutes were slaves owned by a procurer, however, some prostitutes were freedmen or even free. Under Augustus the government began taxing male prostitutes, and also granted them a legal holiday.
    • Ibid, pp.118-119
  • The Douleq papyrus (c.1400 B.C.) suggests that female temple prostitutes may have served the cat goddess (Carlton, 1977:109), and Breasted (1906:4.74-75, 5.132) concludes from para. 128 of the Papyrus Harris (twelfth century B.C.) that women captured in war were made to serve as temple prostitutes, but the papyrus does not actually state the nature of their services. That is true of many of the references to female temple slaves or personnel mentioned by Hogarth (1914). The Egyptians seem to have regarded sexual intercourse as ritually defiling and prohibited it inside their temples (Quibell, 1907: 12-14; Manniche, 1977). By the Ptolemaic period the situation may have changed. The Greek geographer Strabo, who visited Egypt just after it had been conquered by Rome, reports that one of the most beautiful girls of an illustrious family was dedicated to Amun, became a prostitute, and had intercourse with men until she menstruated; then she was married (17.1 46). This practice may have been borrowed from Babylonia, where a similar custom was noticed by Herodotus some hundreds of years earlier (1.199).
    • Ibid, p.128
  • Cult prostitution may have failed to take root in Egypt because of the way the kingdom was unified. Some scholars think unification was achieved when nomadic, sun-worshiping desert tribes from Upper Egypt (in the south) conquered the sedentary cultivators of the delta (lower Egypt). The defeated farmers may have engaged in ritual sex to promote fertility, but the victorious nomads almost certainly did not. Though the goddesses of the indigenous farming culture survived, their cults were presumably abolished or transformed by conquerors. ‘’’One suspects that once irrigation was established, ceremonial interest would have shifted from the promotion of crop growth to the control of the flooding of the Nile, for which sexual rites would not have provided a magical analogue.’’’ The absence of maternal destructiveness toward men in myth suggests that Egyptian family arrangements did not give rise to the psychodynamics associated with religious self-castration, as they seem to have done in Asia Minor.
    The coronation ceremony for a new king looks very much like it evolved from an earlier tribal ritual that transferred charismatic powers homosexually, but in the historical period the transmission was symbolic, not sexual. Unlike kinship-structured societies that ritually sodomize all male youths, or the aristocratic societies that do it only to young nobles, the Egyptian ceremony was performed for the king alone. His was a charisma not shared by ordinary mortals, even aristocrats.
    • Ibid, pp.128-129
  • Even in the absence of ritual performance, Egyptian culture retained the belief that homosexual intercourse with a god was auspicious. In one coffin text, the deceased vows, “I will swallow for myself the phallus of Re…;” another, referring to the earth god Geb says, “his phallus is between the buttocks of his son and heir.”
    Two fragmentary manuscripts attest to the existence of homosexuality outside a cult context toward the end of the Sixth Dynasty (c. 2272-2178 B.C.). The texts begin by describing a conspiracy to obstruct a judicial hearing, but the outcome is unknown because part of the manuscript is missing. The narration resumes by telling of a commoner who discovers King Neferkare (pepe II) was making regular secret nocturnal visits to the home of General Sisene, a top royal administrator, who was unmarried or living without a wife. A homosexual relationship between Neferkare and his general is clearly implied. Because of a gap in the manuscript, the connection (if any) between the conspiracy and the affair is unclear.
    The published translation of the manuscript is neutral in tone and non judgemental in its treatment of the affair, but in a letter to me, the Egyptologist. Gwyn Griffiths insists that “the whole piece conveys an atmosphere of royal corruption.” Posener, the translator, points out that Neferkare’s ninety-year reign was a period of political decline in which the monarchy came under the sway of the nobility. Both episodes, he suggests, can be seen as manifestations of decay. ‘’’Yet this interpretation is speculative.’’’ Even if it is valid, it does not necessarily follow that Egyptians of the time viewed homosexuality negatively. Someone who had no prejudice against heterosexuality might nevertheless raise an eyebrow upon learning that the president of the United States was paying secret nocturnal visits to the home of a female cabinet officer. The Egyptians might have considered it undignified for the king, who was considered the incarnation of divinity, to have an affair with a mere mortal. Pharaoh was considered so sacred that most people were not even permitted to touch him.
    • Ibid, pp.129-130
  • The existence of a tomb for two manicurists and hairdressers of King Niuserre of the Fifth Dynasty (c. 2600 B.C.) suggests that in this early period homosexuality may not have been stigmatized. Bas-reliefs on the walls of the tomb depict the two men in intimate poses, holding hands, embracing, noses touching. Egyptian art rarely depicts men and women embracing; scenes of two men doing so are virtually unknown. None of the drawings is sexually explicit, but Egyptian art rarely was. If the men were lovers, it would be reasonable to conclude that male homosexuality was fully accepted. Both men were wealthy, and their position at court prestigious. Their tomb was a gift from the king (as indeed all tombs theoretically were).
    An unusual degree of intimacy is also shown in depictions of King Ikhnaton (1379-1362 B.C.) and his son-in-law and probable co-regent Smenkhare. They are shown together nude – a convention quite rare in Egyptian representations of royalty. On a stele, Ikhnaton strokes Smenkhare under the chin. Smenkhare is given titles of endearment that had been used previously for Ikhnaton’s concubines and queen. Ikhnaton is depicted with a swollen belly, a generally feminine physique, and without genitals. <br? Several texts indicate that the Egyptians stigmatized the receptive role in anal intercourse between men just as the Mesopotamians did. Ina coffin text in the Heracleopolitan Period (Ninth and Tenth Dynasties), consisting of magical passages to be recited after death to gain immortality, the deceased boasts, “Atum [a god] has no power over me, for I copulate between his buttocks.” The formula equates interpersonal power with sexual role performances: he who can force a god to submit to him sexually has nothing to fear from him.
    • Ibid, p.130
  • A connection between homosexual role differentiation and gender stereotyping is evident in the mythological conflict between two gods, Horus and Seth. The story of their enmity is very old, probably dating back to the predynastic conflict between Upper and Lower Egypt, which is represents metaphorically. Ina version of the myth dating from the reign of Rameses V in the Twentieth Dynasty, c. 1160 B.C., the gods held a trial to adjudicate the conflicting claims of Horus and his older brother to succeed Osiris as ruler of Egypt. When the trial recessed for the night,
    Seth made his penis erect, and put it between Horus’ buttocks, and Horus put his hands between his buttocks, and received Seth’s semen. Then Horus went to tell his mother Isis: “Help me, Isis my mother! Come, see what Seth has done to me.” And he opened his hand and let her see Seth’s semen. With a scream she took her weapon and cut off his hand and threw it in the water, and conjured for him a hand to make up for it.
    When the trial resumed, Seth pleaded:
    Give me the office of Ruler, L.P.H., because as for Horus here, I have played the male role with him.” Then the Ennead [the nine gods judging the trial] screamed aloud and belched and spay in Horus’ face.
    Isis’s reaction to the episode – cutting off Horus’s hand – suggests that Seth’s semen was so contaminating that it could not be washed or wiped off: it had to be cut off, along with the hand it had polluted. Westendorf points out that the Egyptians believed semen had the effect of poison when introduced into the body – presumably in the “wrong” spot. Given this ideological manifestation of antipathy to most forms of nonprocreative sex, Seth’s aggression was a particularly grave transgression. Since gender roles are defined only by contrast, Seth’s announcement that he played the “male role” implies Horus’s role was “female.” Although both Seth and Horus are morphologically male, the myth defines their gender not by their anatomy but by the roles they played. To penetrate is to be male, to be penetrated, female.
    • Ibid, pp.130-131
  • It is often suggested that religious borrowing continued under the first monarchs, possibly to win the loyalty of the indigenous population; but the evidence for syncretism under Saul and David is not great. However, Solomon employed Phoenician architects in the construction of his temple, and they borrowed their design from that of the Syrian, Shechemite, and Hazorite temples. TO accommodate his many foreign wives, Solomon built temples to their gods and offered them sacrifices.
    Even in the premonarchical times, devout Yahwists may have been offended by the fertility cults’ use of “magical” techniques to control the gods. The Jewish view that humans cannot force God to do anything may have been present even at this early date. Later, sharpening gender stereotypes and restrictions on women would have intensified hostility to cult prostitution; under the monarchy, the prophets rallied against female promiscuity and prostitution. However, there is no evidence of conflict between the worshippers of Yahweh and the followers of other gods during the early monarchy.
    Open resistance to the fertility cults first appeared under Ahab, ruler of the northern kingdom of Israel (874-853 B.C.). Under the influence of Jezebel, a Phoenician princess, he sponsored the public worship of Baal, built him an altar and also built and Asherah. This marriage, like many of Solomon’s, was a device for cementing an alliance with a foreign power. Zeitlin argues that the cult had little popular support and aroused determined opposition from faithful Yahwists. However, Elijah complained to Yahweh that “the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword…” Wheb he asked the assembled Israelites to choose between Baal and Yahweh, they remained silent. To the extent that popular opposition did exist, it probably centered on the execution of Yahwist priests and the destruction of Yahweh’s altars.
    • Ibid, pp.138-139
  • The later kings of Judaea continued to follow the political winds in their patronage of foreign cults. When Ahaz (died c. 720 B.C.) was besieged by the Aramean and Israelite armies, he asked the Assyrians for aid. When they responded favorably, he paid them tribute and also set up a copy of the Assyrian altar in the Temple of Yahweh. Later, when the Edomites and Philistines attacked, Ahaz shut the Temple and sacrificed to the Aramean gods, who HAd shown their greater power by defeating him some time before. A century later, Manasseh erected altars for Baal and Ashoreth in the Temple courtyards and introduced an image of Asherah into the Temple itself. Assyrian annals portray Manaasseh as a vassal-king, of Assyria. Undoubtedly, he was trying to accommodate the religious practices of his sponsors.
    A policy of accommodating foreign cults or synthesizing them with the worship of Yahweh was presumably favored by the priests of the various cults, as well as by foreign residents, court circles favorable to the neighboring powers, and farmers, for whom the fertility cults would have had great significance. ‘’’Women were especially devoted to the polytheistic cults, possibly because of their greater concern with fertility, possibly because they could identify more readily with a religion that featured goddesses and priestesses than with one that had neither. Yahweh was depicted largely in male terms and was served exclusively by male priests. Opposition would have come from the priests of Yahweh, whose jealousy they projected onto their god, and his adherents among the laity. This might have included herders, who had little reason to be interested in rites connected with agricultural fertility, and most certainly the prophets, who associated foreign worship with class inequalities and royal grandiosity that violated the ideals of egalitarianism associated with the tribal period.’’’
    Those Judean kings who sponsored campaigns against the foreign cults did so in a spirit of nationalistic self-assertion. As a destroyed the idols after winning a decisive military victory against an Ethiopian army. His successor Jehosephat, who continued Asa’s religious reforms, allied with Israel and won major victories, preserving Judeas political independence.
    • Ibid, pp.139-140
  • Hezekiah, who destroyed the Asherim, purified the Temple, and restored the worship of Yahweh in its earlier form, did so in the context of his successful defiance of Assyrian rule. His attempt to centralize the observance of Passover in Jerusalem can be seen as a tactic to strengthen royal power and prepare for the political recovery of Israel. Josiah’s reforms, which involved burning the Asherah that had been placed in the Temple, destroying places of worship, and killing priests throughout the land, were undertaken at a time when Assyrian power had been seriously weakened by an Egyptian revolt. Indeed, the Assyrian Empire was overthrown by the Medes and Persians during Josiah’s reign.
    In each case, the repression of foreign cults entailed the suppression fo the homosexual prostitution that went with them. Asa “put away the qdeshim out of the land.” Jehosephat “put away out of the land…the remnantof the qdeshim that remained int eh days of his father Asa.” Josiah “broke down the houses of the qdeshim, that were in the house of Yahweh, where the women were weaving coverings for the Asherah.” ‘’’It was during his reign that a book of the Law, thought by most scholars to have been Deuteronomy, was conveniently discovered in th Temple.’’’ Although some of the manuscript may have been written earlier, many scholars think it was forged during Josiah’s reign in order to legitimate his reforms. It is in Deuteronomy that the prohibition of cult prostitution appears.
    The extend of popular support for these efforts is hard to gauge, but may not have been great. The worshipers whose religious sanctuaries and paraphernalia were destroyed could only have been antagonized. When Jeremiah prophesied to the Judaens in exile in Egypt, a “great assembly” of men and women gathered to complain:
    “But since we let off to offer to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.”
    • Ibid, p.140
  • Others may have reasoned that political and military contests showed how strong a nation’s gods were. If Judaea defied Assyria with impunity, if Yahweh worshipers were able to destroy their opponent’s temples and altars, it could only mean that Yahweh was stronger than Baal or Ashtoreth, and that his rituals, rather than theirs, should be performed.
    ‘’’It cannot be stressed too strongly that none of the campaigns against cult prostitution was directed at homosexuality in the population at large.’’’ The targets were religious cults associated with foreign powers. Nationalistic rulers suppressed these cults when they strove for independence from rival powers. In so doing, they tried to abolish the ritual practices associated with these cults, including homosexual prostitution.
    ‘’’None of the biblical passages we have examined thus far suggests that the Hebrews viewed homosexuality any different than the way other peoples of the ancient Near East viewed it. There are passages in Leviticus that might suggest a very different conclusion, but we defer a discussion of them to the next chapter, where it will be argued that they represent a fairly late development. Provisionally, we conclude that at least until the Babylonian exile in 586 B.C., the Hebrews had no prohibition against homosexuality.’’’ Some of them engaged in it as part of their polytheistic religious practices on and off from the time of the conquest of Canaan to the exile.
    • Ibid, p.141
  • Contacts with the East beginning in the late Neolithic (end of the fourth millennium B.C. to 2800 B.C.) gave Crete its goddess worship. Minoan depictions of men wearing women’s clothing in cult scenes suggest that that worship included homosexual cult prostitution, as it did in West Asian goddess worship. Later Greek myths of gods changing men into women (e.g., Tiresias, Kaineus) may derive from garbled recollections of transvestism ion the pre-Olympian cults. By the time the Greeks emerged from the Dark Age and produced the writings that tell us of life in the classical age, they considered these cult practices to be alien.
    By that time, the homosexual component of tribal initiation rites had also disappeared in most of Greece.
    • Ibid, p.141
  • Still later, Lucian, a satirist of the second century A.D., expressed this catholicity of taste in the short story “The Ship or the Wishes.” One of the characters Timolaus, wishes he owned a set of magic rings that would fulfill his desires. The ring he wants most will
    make the pretty boys and women and whole peoples fall in love with me – no one will fail to love me and think me desirable: I shall be on every tongue. Many women will hang themselves in despair, boys will be made for me and think themselves blessed if I but glance at one of them, and pine away for grief if I ignore them.
    This interchangeability of boys and women was taken for granted. Thus Xenophon remarks that when prisoners of war were ordered released, “the soldiers yielded in obedience, except where some smuggler, prompted by desire ofa good-looking boy or woman, managed to make off with his prinze.” Similarly, when Plato argues in the ‘’Laws’’ that it was possible for people top exercise sexual restraint, he recalls that the renowned athlete Ikkos of Taras “never had any connection with a woman or a youth during the whole time of his training.”
    To be sure, it was recognized that some men preferred women, and others, male partners. Atheneus, for example, remarked that Alexander the Great was indifferent to women but passionate for males. In Euripide’s play ‘’The Cyclops’’, Cyclops proclaims, “I prefer boys to girls.” Plato was never married. The philosopher Bion (third century B.C.) advised against marriage and restricted his attention to his (male) pupils. The Stoic philosopher Zeno (late fourth and early third centuries B.C.) was also known for his exclusive interest in boys.
    Aristophanes’ speech in Plato’s ‘’Symposium’’ explains these preferences by fantasizing that the ancestors of the human race had two pairs of arms and legs, two heads, and two sets of sexual organs. Some were double males, some were double females and some half maale and half female. After the gods split the twins, their descendants sought, and continue to seek, reunion with the “missing half,” whether of the same or opposite sex. Since humans who preferred same-sex partners would still have had to reproduce heterosexually for the myth to explain same-sex preferences in the next generation, it is not so clear that Aristophanes’ explanation implies exclusive sexual choices. Still it does presume specialized preferences.
    • Ibid, pp.145-146
  • Hellenistic writers even imagined debates about the relative merits of male and female partners. Some argues that is made little difference. One of the characters in Plutarch’s ‘’Erotikos’’, or ‘’Dialogue on Love’’, argues that “the noble lover of beauty engages in love whether he sees excellence and splendid natural endowment without regard for any difference in physiological detail.” He will be “fairly and equably disposed toward both sexes, instead of supposing that males and females are as different in the matter of love as they are in their clothes.” His interlocuters, however, have more definite tastes. So do the protagonists in ‘’Love’’, a sophistical treatise attributed to Lucian. Even here, though, the arguments in favor of boys or women largely concern the practical advantages of each. Moral considerations are never raised, and boy lovers win the debates as often as those who prefer women.
    In this sense, homosexuality and heterosexuality are treated as having equal status. Thus Athanaeus remarked that “Sophocles liked his young lads in the same way that Euripides liked his women.” As long as they were exercised in moderation, sexual preferences for boys or women did not become the basis for imputations of moral character or competence in other spheres of life.
    ‘’’Note that in most of these passages it is boys, not men, who are placed on an equal footing with women. This preference for youths stemmed from the intensely competitive individualism of Greek male culture.’’’ Male competitiveness developed as clan structures broke down and property became privatized. It dominated aristocratic life everywhere except Sparta, where kingship was hereditary, the senate of elders elected for life (minimizing rivalry for political office), and wealth distributed equally. Greek men were sensitive to status distinctions, and since status among the greeborn was not fixed, men view for position.
    • Ibid, p.146
  • Preoccupation with status pervaded sexual culture to the point where the Greeks could not easily conceive of a relationship based on equality. Sex always involved superiority. Though ‘’The Interpretation of Dreams’’ by Artemidorus Daldianus dates from the second century A.D., it reflects earlier attitudes on this score quite accurately. The section on sexual dreams indicates that
    Having sexual intercourse with one’s servant, whether male or female, is good; for slaves are possessions of the dreamer, so that they signify, quite naturally, that the dreamer will derive pleasure from his possessions….If a man is possessed by a richer, older man, it is good. For it is usual to receive things from such people. But to be possessed by someone who is either younger than oneself or destitute is unlucky. For it is usual to give things to such people. The same also holds true if the possessor is older but a beggar…. Possessing a brother, whether he is older or younger is auspicious for the dreamer. For he will be on top of his brother and disdainful of him. And whoever possesses his friend will become his enemy, since he will have injured his friend without provocation.
    Submission was evidentially not dishonorable when it was to someone whose social status was clearly superior, e.g.,a rich older man. But when the aprtners were of similar social status (brother, friends), possession implied status derogation, and this was an insult. The Persian soldier who, on a red-figure vase painting, presents his behind to a sexually aroused Greek man as being humiliated by his captor.
    Most men accommodated these status considerations by choosingan status inferior (a slave or prostitute), or a free younger partner, whose youth made him ineligible for military service or political office-hence someone who was not a rival. The idealized homosexual relationship thus involved an adult lover, usually between the ages of twenty and thirty (‘’the erastes’’), and an ‘’eromenos’’ or ‘’paidika’’, a prepubescent adolescent who beard had not begun to grow. The relationship was ordinarily temporary, ending or becoming a nonsexual friendship when the youth reached maturity.
    Affairs between two adult men were less common, and were somewhat stigmatized, though not severely. Plato thought highly of those who
    love boys only when they begin to acquire some mind – a growth associated with that of down on their chins. For…those who begin to love them at this age are prepared to be always with them and share all with them as long as life shall last.
    • Ibid, p.147
  • The relationships between Agathon and Euripides, Parmenides and Zeno, and Crates and Polemo all continued into adulthood, apparently without creating any serious problems for them.
    Ideally, the older partner in a pederastic relationship strove to win the admiration and love of the younger through exemplary conduct, while the younger sought to emulate the older. Sex thus served to prepare young men for adulthood. In Sparta this pedagogic function was heavily militarized, while in Athens it involved preparation for the more varied life of an Athenian adult. Its importance in the Hellenistic era may be inferred from Plutarchs remarks about boys’ upbringing:
    the nurse rules the infant, the teacher the schoolboy, the gymnasiarch, the athlete, his lover (‘’erastes’’) the youth, who, in the course of age is then ruled by law and his commanding general.
    He does not even mention the boys’ parents!
    Plato makes clear in the ‘’Symposium’’ that it was perfectly acceptable to court a lad, and admirable to win him. The youth, on the other hand, was not to appear too eager to be seduced, nor was he to initiate a courtship. On the contrary, he was supposed to be coy, to resist, to rest the sincerity and worthiness of his lover, Their reputations ahnfing in the balance, youths had to be careful not to cross the line between honorable and discriminatory acquiescence and shameful over eagerness or manipulability. Aristophanes’ defense of homosexually active youths in the ‘’Symposium’’:
    Some say they are shameless creatures, but falsely: for their behavior is due not to shamelessness but to daring, manliness, and virility, since they are quick to welcome their like. Sure evidence of this is the fact that on reaching maturity these alone prove in a public career to be men.
    Shows how thin and ambiguously placed that line was. It had significance for a young man’s later career, for to be able to say no to an enticing but inappropriate liaison was to demonstrate self-mastery and invulnerability to manipulation. These were important character traits in a political leader. With so much at stake, fathers tried to shield their sons from importunate suitors much the way Victorian fathers who themselves sought out young girls tried to safeguard their daugher’s virility.
  • Ibid, p.148
  • Because the subordination of the young is a seemingly natural, and for any individual temporary feature of a patriarchal social order (to some extent, of any social order), it was possible for an adolescent to allow himself to be seduced by an older man without opprobrium. His behavior reflected only temporary, not permanent submission and was therefore not stigmatizing, Despite this dispensation for youth, and even though most men preferred handsome, muscular youths as partners, youths could not entirely escape suspicion of effeminacy. Plato wonders in the ‘’Laws’’, “who will not blame the effeminacy of him who yields to pleasures and is unable to hold out against them? Will not all men censure as womanly him who imitates the woman?” Treating a lad like a woman could hardly be expected to masculinize him.
    To avoid the threatening gender implications of anal penetration, intercourse was often face-to face and intercrural – though inevitably there were exceptions. Ideally, the ‘’eromenos’’ was not supposed to consent to sex out of gratitude or admiration, not lust. Again we know that there were exceptions, possibly many. Nevertheless, suspicions that a boy enjoyed his experience or had playeda female role were often raised and not easily allayed, particularly if the relationship continued after the boy reached maturity.
  • Ibid, p.150-151
  • Attitudes toward prostitution also figured in the ambivalent response to the eromenos. Though it was not illegal, it was considered shameful for a citizen to become a prostitute. Ina relationship between an ‘’erastes’’ and an ‘’eromenos’’, both parties were ideally supposed to act from the loftiest of motives. But if an eromenos asked his lover for an expensive gift, was he prostituting himself? As with gender boundaries, distinctions between prostitution and romantic love proved to be difficult to draw in practice. As a result, boys’ motives were often suspect.
    It would be a gross error to suppose that the Athenians thought less of homosexuality because they belittled male effeminacy or sometimes suspected teenage lovers of unbecoming motives. Pederasty did not lurk in the shadows of Greek life; it was out in the open. The gods practices it, and it had its own patron god – Eros. In legend, it exemplified the noblest qualities of devotion and sacrifice. Lyric poets celebrated their youthful flames. In Plato’s ‘’Phaedrus’’, homosexual love inspired by male beauty had the potential to develop into the most exalted love for ideal beauty and truth. By comparison, the object of heterosexual love lacked the special qualities that could inspire a spiritual or philosophical quest. Even those who deplored some of its ramifications never questioned that all men were capable of powerful homosexual attraction.
    Nonetheless, as Focault rightly suggests, homosexuality was problematic to the Athenians. Their extreme democratic individualism and competitive status-seeking, channeled largely into political affairs, placed an enormous burden on personal character. Sexual comportmen was a field on which character was revealed. It was not only one – behavior in battle counted for much – but it was an important one; important because male supremacy was such an integral element of Athenian life. So integral that the culture of male supremacy colored all social relations.
    • Ibid, p.151
  • The Etruscans were a people who lived in what is now Italy during the first millennium B.C. The precise extent to which Etruscan culture was influenced by contributions from Lydia in Asia Minor (where Herodotus said the Etruscans originated), Greek and Phoenician settlers (whose presence in Sicily and Sardinia is attested as early as the eighth century B.C.), and the indigenous Villanovans remains controversial; there is evidence for all three. From the Phoenicians they took their Astarte-worship; whether cult prostitution came with it is unknown but not unlikely.
    Leaving aside the question of sacral homosexuality, the Etruscans’ sybaritic way of life, and the liberties their women enjoyed shocked their less affluent neighbors and earned them a reputation for loose morals. According to Theopompus, a Greek historian of the mid-fourth century B.C., after a gathering of family or friends,
    the servants bring in sometimes courtesans sometimes handsome boys, sometimes their own wives. When they have taken their pleasure of the women or the men, they make strapping young fellows lie with the later….They certainly have commerce with women, but they always enjoy themselves much better with the boys and young men. The latter are in his country quite beautiful to behold, for they live lives of ease and their bodies are hairless.
    Parallel observations, all derived from Theopompus, can be found in the writings of Aristotle and other Greeks. Unfortunately, Theopompus is not considered a wholly reliable source. Still, there is no reason for thinking him wrong about the prevalence of pederasty among the Etruscans.
    The extent to which the less affluent Roman peasants shared Etruscan sexual mores is not known. Late Romans often idealized their past and consciously rewrote history to serve patriotic ends. While one would not expect Etryscan-style orgies from a community of poor farmers, male homosexuality is far from unknown in peasant societies. Romans took much from the Etruscans, including religion, art, and architecture.
    • Ibid, pp.152-153
  • There are the barest of hints the Romans who shared with the Greeks a common Indo-European heritage, also shared their tribal homosexual initiation rites. Mars, the principal Roman god in ancient times was associated with Indo-European expansion. His sons, Romulus and Remus, nursed by a she-wolf, founded Rome. Wolves were sacred to Mars. Seemingly there sis nothing here to suggest homosexuality. However, drawings on a box discovered the ancient Latin city of Palestrina-Praeneste depict a naked Mars with several youths. This could have been an initation scene. According to Livy, Romulus led abachelors or ‘’iuvenes’’ in hunting, brigandage, warfare, and abduction of women. Some of these activities were associated with male initiation classes among other Indo-European peoples, including the Spartans. The she-wolf of the legend may actually have been a male initiator wearing a wolf skin. Norse and Teutonic warriors wore wolf and bear skins to absorb the ferocity of the carnivore, and the wolf and bear had special significance for initiates in Greece. When we recall that the Sambia of New Guinea, who prepare male youth for adulthood by sodomizing them, equate the penis with abreast, and semen with mother’s milk, it does not seem farfetched to suppose that the legend of Romulus and Remus derives from an almost-forgotten homosexual initiation ceremony.
    Those ceremonies could have been part of the Bacchic mysteries. We do not know just when the mysteries first entered Italy, but they may have done so at an early time. The worship of Dionysos-Bacchus was probably imported to Greece from West Asia, perhaps in Minoan or Mycenean times; it could have come to Italy directly from Asia Minor, or directly, via the Greeks. By the sixth century B.C., Bacchus was associated with the cthonian goddesses at Tarentum. The Greeks in Campania had a Bacchus cult of their own in the first half of the fifth century B.C., Bacchus cult of their own in the first half of these fifth century B.C. The wide extend of Bacchic worship in the second century B.C., when a scandal broke out in connection with its orgiastic worship, suggests that that the cult had never died outm despite its exclusion from the state religion. Perhaps it had survived in the Italian countryside all along unknown to city-dwellers. In Greek myth, Dionysus was the eromenes of Polumnos (and the ‘’erastes’’ of Adonis), and the Dionysian mysteries were connected with male-homosexual initiation rites at Megara and Argos.
  • Ibid, pp.153-154
  • Though he is considered an unreliable source, Valerius Maximus, a Roman historian of the first century A.D., reported an incident involving male homosexuality as early as the fourth century B.C., suggesting that it was known in very early times, but there is little to indicate that it was common. Romans of the early Repunblic seem to have been more prudish than the Greeks. They never felt comfortable with public nudity (statues of men, for example, are clothed, unlike those of the Greeks) and did not value sensuality or male beauty as highly. Roman institutions such as the family and educational system were not as favorable to an institutionalized male erotic interest in other males, and this seems to have been the Roman view of the matter as well. Cicero and Plutarch both traced the origin of Greek pederasty to the gymnasium. In fact, much of the Roman vocabulary of homosexuality consisted of Greek loan words.
    Though it may have been less institutionalized a feature of Roman life than of Greek, homosexuality was by no means uncommon. Polybius, a Greek historian who visited Rome in the second century B.C., reported that ‘’most’’ young men male lovers. Many of the leading figures in Roman literary life in the late Republic – Catullus, Tibullus, Vergil and Horace – wrote homophile poetry. From at least 160 B.C., eromenoi were a conspicuous feature of Roman life – as were ‘’hetaerai’’. Sextus Propertius, a poet of the first century B.C., prayed that his enemies would fall in love with women, and his friends with boys. Juvenal, a satirist of the first and second centuries A.D., wrote of young Armenian lads being corrupted when they came to Rome. Roman homosexual tasted were so taken for granted that when Anthony asked Herod to send his young brother-in-law Aristobulus to the Roman court, Herod refused, because
    he did not think it safe for him to send one so handsome as was Aristobulus, in the prime of life, for he was sixteen years of age, and of no noble a family; and particularly not to Anthony, the principal man of the Romans, and that would abuse him in his armours, and besides, one that freely indulged himself in such pleasures as his power allowed him without control.
  • Ibid, pp.154-155
  • Even after making allowances for malicious gossip, we can conclude that many of the Roman emperors had homosexual tastes, often not exclusive. Male prostitution flourished throughout northern Italy.
    As in Greece, sexual preferences were frequently not exclusive. The poet Martial, writing in the first century A.D., took ambisexuality for granted in one of his ‘’Satires’’:
    And when your lust is hot, surely
    if a maid or pageboy’s handy, to attack
    instanter, you won’t choose to grin and bear it?
    I won’t! I like a cheap and easy love!
    Indifference to the sex of a sexual partner is equally manifest in other literary sources, including Catullus, Philostratus, Horace, Platus, and Tibullus. The poet Meleager wrote love verses to women and men alike. The “rake’s progress” traced by Dio Chrysostom took him from women to male partners:
    Bored with harlots, he seduces well-bred girls and married women and when this becomes too tedious, because it is easy, he turn in his last state of degeneracy to seducing boys.
  • Ibid, p.155
  • According to Cato, Julius Caesar was “every woman’s husband and every man’s wife.”In speeches denouncing his opponents Verres and Gabinius, Cicero characterized both of them as bisexual. Pathic males were often accused of adulterous affairs with women.
    Lesbianism was also known to the Roman’s but it is difficult from the few references to it in literature to get a sense of its prevalence, the customs surrounding it, or the meanings it had and the responses it evoked.
    Historians have often asserted that the Romans must have had a negative view of male homosexuality because it was illegal under the Lex Scantina, in later centuries, often for political reasons, but it is uncertain that the charges had anything to do with homosexuality, and the penalties do not appear to have been serious. Even when Cicero mentions homosexuality in denouncing his opponents, he never suggests that is was illegal. Moreover, a trial is reported in which a man found in the bedroom of a married woman gained acquittal on adultery charges after testifying that he was there for an assignment with a male slave. This casts grave doubt on the illegality of homosexuality.
    To many Romans of the late Republic, oral sex and anal intercourse were highly aggressive acts. One of Catullus’s poems threatens his critics:
    I will bugger you and I will fuck your mouths
    Aurilus, you pathic, and you queer, Furius,
    who have thought me, from my little versus,
    because they are a little delicate, to be not quite straight.
  • Ibid, pp.156-157
  • Statues of the god Priapus stood erect in Roman gardens to threaten intruders with sexual assault, and according to Valerius Maximus, convicted adulterers were sometimes handed over to the servants or slaves of cuckolded husbands to be raped (or killed, fined, flogged, or mutilated.)
    The perception of homosexual acts as aggressive led to strenyous efforts to protect freeborn youths from seduction. Quintilian’s ‘’Institutes of Oratory’’ advised parents to have their children educated at home rather than at school, and then to make sure a trustworthy chaperone is present. To rape, seduce, or proposition a freeborn youth (or maiden), or for an official to pressure his subordinate to submit to him, was beyond the pale. The shame such acts incurred can be inferred from the suicide of Laetorius Mergus, a tribune of the early third century B.C., when summoned by the comitia on charges of trying to seduce an underling during the Third Samnite War. In later centuries, a charge of seducing a free youth could discredit the testimony of a witness in a court case.
    To some Roman, even sex with slaves or prostitutes was dishonorable, but that was not the prevalent view. For most Romans, it was the social status of the partner that made a homosexual act unacceptable. Male prostitution was lawful; it was taxed, and the prostitutes had a legal holiday of their own. Many a young man had a ‘’’concubinus’’’ – a male slave to use sexually before marriage. As possessions, slaves were expected to be passive and subordinate; they had no honor that could be compromised by their compliance. To Plautus, they were perfectly acceptable as sexual partners: “as long as you hold off from a bride, a single woman, a virgin, young men and free boys, love anybody you please.” In the ‘’Satyricon’’ of Pertonius, the slave Trimalchio confesses, “For fourteen years I pleasured him; it is no disgrave to do what a master commands. I also gave my mistress satisfaction.” Much of the homophile verse written in Latin may have been dedicated to slaves.
  • Ibid, pp.157-158
  • In a political system that relied heavily on patronage, the hierarchy of subordination included freedmen who remained dependent on their former masters. According to a lawyer quoted in Seneca the Elder, “sexual service is an offense for the free born, a necessity for the slave, and a duty for the freedman.” Even when it was considered socially inappropriate, homosexual desire was not considered abnormal as long as it took the active form. Lucretius thought erotic interest in “a lad with womanish limbs” to be entirely normal. Quintilian, who advices parents to guard their sons, added that much of the problem in raising children to a high moral standard is that they see our mistresses, our male objects of affection.” The Pompeiian graffiti referring to homosexuality, mostly written after the city was destroyed by a volcano in A.D. 62, treat it with good humor. As in Greece, the Romans tended to consider the passive or receptive role incompatible with the honor and dignity of a free citizen, especially when it continued into adulthood. Sexual submission to a powerful patron was, seemingly, a familiar way of building a career, but it left the client vulnerable potentially ruinous denunciations. A man’s failure to live up to the standard of masculinity expected of someone in his rank was especially disturbing in a society that was attempting the systematic subjugation of the entire known world.
    The growth of empire and long periods of peace intensified Roman concerns about effeminacy. As wealth from the conquered territories flowed into Rome, a life of conspicuous luxury became possible for a minority. Under Greek influence, the rich filled their days and nights with banquets, drinking, gambling, and theatergoing, wore perfumes and jewelry, and carried on extramarital affairs, both heterosexual and homosexual. Effeminacy was not as stigmatized in this circle as it had been among the yeoman farmers or soldiers. The homoerotic poetry of the late Republic reflects this devotion to the pursuit of carefree, self-indulgent pleasure.
  • Ibid, pp.158-159
  • Some considered this new life-style dissolute and debauched and feared that it would weaken the empire militarily. Flagrant effeminate homosexuality within this leisure class was seen as part of this life-style and was sometimes condemns in the name of rustic simplicity. Cassius Dio’s history of Rome imagines Queen Boudicca of Britain deprecating the Romans for bathing in warm water, eating dainties, and sleeping of soft couches with boys.
    The extra marital heterosexual r of this circle were no less a subject for complaint. Sallust, lamenting the moral decline that began with the plunderer of foreign wealth and culminated in the Catiline conspiracy, deplored
    the passion which arose for lewdness, gluttony, and other attendants of luxury…men played with the women, women offered their chastity for sale; and to gratify their palates they scoured land and sea; they slept before they needed sleep; they did not await the coming of hunger and thirst, or cold or of weariness, but all these things their self-indulgence anticipated. Such were the vices that incited the young men to crime, as soon as they had run through their property.
    Horace, too, linked the civil war with vice and immorality.
    It was in this atmosphere that the Emperor Augustus issued the Lex Julia, de adulteriis coercendis sometime between 18 and 16 B.C. Like so many later revolutionaries, Augustus worried that the new generation, which had not known the devastation of the war that brought him to the throne, took peace and prosperity for granted and lacked firm moral character. He wanted to ensure that enough boys were born to meet future military needs, but men were declining to marry to have children, so as not to tie themselves down with responsibilities that would interfere with having a good time.
  • Ibid, pp.159-160
  • The Lex Julia was Augustus’s response to these concerns. The punishment of adultery, formerly a totally private matter, became a state function. Incentives were provided for marriage and childbearing. Because very little of the text has survived, its details are not known. Jurists of the early third century held that it prohibited the statutory rape of a male minor, but it is not clear, whether this was part of the original statute or whether they were extending its scope by interpretation. In any event, since resources were not allocated to enforcement, the legislation, which was bitterly resented, had little impact, and homosexual relations continued during the first two centuries of the Empire, often by the emperors themselves. When accused of plotting against the Emperor Domitian toward the end of the first century A.D., Julius Calvaster claimed that he and his co-conspirator had met for homosexual purposes, suggesting that it was then neither illegal nor seriously stigmatized. Writing in the second half of the second century, Aulus Gellius, a judge, observed that the Augustinian laws on having children were an “ancient history” and hermaphrodites, “instruments of pleasure.”
  • Ibid, p.160
  • The earliest Chinese references to male homosexuality appear during the Han dynasty. Van Gulik concludes that male homosexuality was quite fashionable in this period, and it may have been - the first three emperors of the dynasty all kept "powdered and rogued boys" as well as wives. So did the later Han emperors. Han sources also mention that some princes kept young boys as catamites. These relationships appear to have been entirely secular; if there had been cult prostitution or ritualized homosexual initiation rites, no evidence of them has survived.
    Homosexuality is attested outside court circles only at later dates. The poet Li-Po (d. A.D. 762) wrote love poetry to his young male lover, and in the Five Dynasties Period (A.D. 907-960), transgenerational male-homosexual relationships were generally accepted. When the older ch'i hsung called at the home of the younger ch'i ti, he was welcomed by the entire family as i he had been a prospective bridegroom. If the ch'i later married, it was customary for the ch'i hsung to pay the expenses.
    Patriarchal power was too strong for a lesbian equivalent to emerge in ancient China; only when foreign trade and investment made it possible for women to subsist independently of fathers or husbands did lesbian marriages - not necessarily transgenerational - formalized by contracts and gifts emerge.
  • Ibid, p.161
  • Although a law against male prostitution called for heavy penalties during the brief Cheng-hoperiod (A.D. 111-17), it thrived during the Northern Sung and Southern Sung dynasties (1127 - 1279). The prostitutes had a guild of their own and appeared in public rouged and adorned as women. At some point, they acquired their own god, Tcheou-Wang. This was a period of economic expansion, the spread of a cash economy, and growing inequality. The larger cities brought together poor males who had to rent their bodies to support themselves and middle - and upper - income men with the money to pay for them. This conjunction persisted, and so did prostitution. When the Jesuit Matteo Ricci visited Peking in 1583 and again in 1609-10, he found male prostitution to be altogether lawful, and practiced openly: there are public streets full of boys got up like prostitutes. And there are people who buy these boys and teach them to play music, sing and dance. And then, gallantly dressed and made up with rogue like women these miserable men are initiated into this terrible vice. *Government officers appeared in public with their fourteen-to-eighteen-year-old pipe-bearers, and male brothels operated in Canton and other cities. * References to eunuchs appear in oracle bones of the Shang dynasty, c. 1300 B.C. Evidently the Shang castrated captured soldiers of the Chiang, a Tibetan people they conquered, presumably to prevent them from procreating, but it is not known what they did with them. Probably they were enslaved. The castration of Chinese men began early in the Chou dynasty as a punishment for crime. Some men were sentenced to execution, others had the option of choosing it to avoid execution. As in other ancient civilizations that castrated criminals, the Chou period was one of great social differences between lords and serfs.
  • Ibid, p.162
  • During the Chou dynasty, the imperial palace began to use eunuchs to guard the royal wives and concubines, and as domestic servants. The number allocated each member of the royal family came to be fixed by law; for the emperor it was 3,000.
    During the second half of the Chou dynasty they served as political advisers and heads of armies and figured prominently in government in the Han and alter dynasties. When the demand for palace eunuchs exceeded the supply of men castrated involuntarily, volunteers were sought. As officials were often in a position to extort bribes, some eunuchs became quite wealthy. To obtain these positions, men castrated themselves or were castrated by parents who hoped to achieve upward social mobility for the entire family.
    Although it is unlikely that all eunuchs were implicated in homosexual relationships, a number of them did become sexual partners and/or lovers of the emperors they served.
  • Ibid, p.163
  • At the time of the Spanish Conquest in the early sixteenth century, berdaches were present in many of the kinship-based Indian groups of Central and South America. There were also hereditary chieftainships, characterized by marked inequalities of wealth, in which chiefs kept transvestite men for their own sexual purposes.
    The more complex civilizations of the Yucatan, the Pacific Coast and the valley of Mexico were all based on agriculture, arts and crafts and state sponsored polytheistic religions administered by full-time priests.
    • Ibid, p.163
  • One of the Spanish sources, Bartolome de las Casas, writing in 1542, reported that Mayan parents supplied their adolescent sons with boys to use as sexual outlets before marriage, but that if someone else sodomized them, the penalty was equal to that for rape. Since de las Casas denied the existence of homosexuality in some other Indian groups, his attribution of homosexuality to the Mayans cannot be attributed to a blanket prejudiceagainst Indians. Other missionaries also reported widespread male homosexuality among the Mayans. Young Mayan men lived in men's houses until they married at about age twenty.
  • Father Pierre de Gand, also known as de Mura, found sodomy to be virtually universal among the Aztecs, involving even children as young as six. Cortez also found sodomy to be widespread among the Aztec's, and admonished them to give it up-along with human sacrifices and cannibalism.
  • Ibid, p.164
  • Some of the people who made up the Inca empire also had institutionalized homosexuality. This includes the Yauyos, who had "public houses filled with men who dressed as women and painted their faces," the Liysacas of Lake Chucuito, and Indians in the vicinity of Puerto Viejo in the north (now Ecuador) and on the island of Puna. In some parts of the empire, boys were dedicated to the temple, where they were raised as girls; chiefs and headmen had ritual intercourse with them on special holidays. The Inca princes themselves, however, did not engage in these practices.
    • Ibid, p.165
  • That the harshness of Inca and Aztec legislation toward homosexuality involved more than a reaction to indigenous berdaches is suggested by the equally severe penalties imposed on other violations of morals legislation. The Incas punished pimps and prostitutes severely, by death if the offense was repeated. Incest and adultery were capital offenses in both empires. Drunkeness was illegal under the Incas and a capital offense under the Aztecs. Abortion was also a capital offense under the Aztecs. Aztec youths lost their rights to land if they did not marry by a certain age. Inca men were also forced to marry.
    • Ibid, p.167
  • When Balboa came to Panama, he killed forty transvestites by feeding them to his dogs.
    • Ibid, p.168
  • The Aryans entered India as pastoral warrior-nomads contemptuous of the sedentary cultivators they conquered. Female deities played a relatively modest role in their religion. Religious leaders were conventionally gendered priests (Brahmins), not transvestites or transexuals. They married women. Their authority, which rested on knowledge of written sculpture, formulaic prayer, and performance of the sacrifices, was incompatible with orgiastic worship. Like the Aztec, Hebrew, and Egyptian priests, they recoiled from indigenous fertility-cult practices associated with planting and prohibited them in the law books they prepared.
    Sustained by a very ancient tradition that sexual abstinence magically bestows power and immortality, the Brahmins defined a wide range of sexual practices as polluting. Homosexual acts were forbidden along with some heterosexual practices and solo performances.
    This rejection of homosexuality did not result in much repression. The Laws of Manu imposes only a mildpenance forhomosexual contact-ritual immersion with clothes on.
    • Ibid, p.169
  • Custom was often far from ascetic or antihomosexual. Pre-Aryan sex worship was accommodated rather than suppressed. Though Siva was not a full-fledged god in the Vedic literature, he later became the focus of a phallus cult. Some eroticism appears in the Brahmanas written down c. 300 B.C. or later. In an atmosphere of extreme tolerance, Sakti worship and heterodox tantric cults based on sacramental intercourse persisted - unmolested by practitioners of extreme asceticism and self-denial. Notwithstanding the statement in the Mahabarata that oral sex is a crime, it is depicted in the erotic temple sculptures, as are lesbian scenes and bestiality.
    Nor does eroticism appear to have been confined to religious settings. The Silippadhikaram, a Tamil epic of the second century A.D., states that the city of Puhar reserved a seperate quarter for prostitutes. Eunuchs, some of them dressed as women, were part of court life and enriched its sexual opportunities as early as 400 B.C.; they remained a part of the royal households until Independence.
  • Ibid, p.170
  • It can be safely assumed that the deterioration in the status of Indian women which occurred in historical times led to a devaluation of male effeminacy, but not to the point where temple prostitution or eunichism was prohibited. They became illegal only after India gained Independence.
  • Ibid, pp.170-171
  • In Jainism, liberation from material existence is achieved through extreme bodily mortifications. Monks forswear all sexual contact; the laity may marry, but must remain fauthful to their spouses. This doctrine could hardly have favored homosexuality, but it was so unsympathetic toall kinds of sexual expression that it did not especially single out homosexuality for special repression. The severity of its demands has limited its appeal; there are only a couple millions Jains int eh entire world.
    Buddhism, founded a generation later, eschewed extremesof asceticism in favor of a "Middle Way" in which liberation is achieved by suppressing all desire. As in Jainism, this entailed chastity for monks and nuns. Buddhism, too, could hardly favor homosexuality. As it evolved, though, it developed heterodox tantric rituals that permitted intercourse, primarily heterosexual. In practice, homosexuality didn't do too badly in Buddhist lands.
  • Ibid, p.171
  • This condemnation must be placed in the broader context of a generally restrictive, though not ascetic, sexual morality in the Koran. The wine-driunking and pursuit of women of which the bedouins were enamored were frowned on by the town merchants of Mecca, who included Mohammed's own tribe, the Quraysh. Still, his placing eternally youthful male and female virgins in Paradise to serve believers suggests that this repudiation of hedonism was not unambivalent.
    Over time, Moslem religious writings becamemore punitive toward homosexuality. A number of hadith (sayings attributed to Homammed and collected or forged after his death) call for the death penalty. Converts from Judaism and Christianity ma have been responsible for this punitiveness. Most converts were members of the upper classes who had a classical Hellenistic education that exposed them to Roman, Jewish, and Sassanian law, as well as to the ecclesiastical law of the Eastern churches.
    These influences are quite apparent. Most of the hadith favor stoning sodomites to death. In one exception, Ali, Mohammed's son-in-law and the fourth caliph, wanted to burn them in imitation of the destruction of Sodom. Abu-Bakr, Mohammed's father-in-law and the first caliph, is reported to have had a man burned for passive anal homosexuality. Stoning was the traditional Jewish penalty; and though the matter is not certain, Byzantine law may have provided for burning since the end of the fourth century A.D., as we discuss in chapter 5.
  • Ibid, p.173
  • Within decades of Mohammed's death, Arab armies conquered Palestine and Syria, then Mesopotamia, Iran, Egypt, and North Africa. Soon after, Moslem armies captured Sicily and India. Male homosexuality was already common and accepted in some of these regions. Christianity and Zoroastrianism had probably not altogether eradicated this acceptance by the time of the Arab conquest. Nevertheless, literary conservatism stood in the way of any poetic treatment of homosexuality for a century. Only with the advent of the Abbasid caliphate in the middle of the eighth century do we find poets writing homoerotic verse to beautiful youths.
  • Ibid, p.174
  • Ever since the sixteenth century, Western visitors have commented on the pervasiveness of Turkish pederasty. Large numbers of boys were captured or purchased for personal use, placed in brothels, or resold; the demand for them struck all observers as remarkable.
  • Ibid, p.179
  • Burton found the cities of Afghan to be "saturated with the Persian vice" at the end of the ninteenth century. Afghan merchants were invariably, "accompanied by a number of boys and lads almost in woman's attire with kohl'd eyes and rouged cheeks, log tresses and henna's fingers and toes, riding luxuriously in Kajawas or camelpanniers. They are called Kuch-i safari or traveling wives, and the husbands tridge patiently by their sides.
    Male homosexuality remains common in Afghanistan, as does harem lesbianism.
  • Ibid, p.180
  • The Moslem rulers of India often maintained youthful male lovers, and male brothels flourished. Burton visited a number of them in 1845.
    At first glance, the early Mongols appear to have been an exception to the broad pattern. The Great Yassa, a law code issued by Ghenghiz Khan or at his death for the still-pagan Mongol tribes around 1219, to supplement Mongolian customary law, mandated the death penalty for both sodomites and adulterers. This is not what one would expect in a tribe of nomadic pastoralists with a shamanistic religion. It seems likely that this severe penalty reflects the influence of Christians, Jews, or Moslems, to whom Ghengiz extended hospitality. Ghenghiz was himself illiterate, and might well have called on a literate foreigner to prepare a code of laws.
    • Ibid, p.181
  • Zoroastrianism, founded in Iran at an unknown date by the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathura) who reformed the old Aryan religion on, took a far harsher view of homosexuality. The subject is not mentioned in the Gathas (the earliest known Zoroastrian scriptures), which are attributed directly to Zoroaster. However, the later Vendidad, or Code Against the Devas, which contains much of the Zoroastrian moral teaching, places sodomites among the ranks of those who may be killed on the spot, along with brigands, burners of carrion in a fire, and criminals taken in the act. Later texts, from the ninth century A.D., continue to regard homosexuality as heinous.
    • Ibid, p.186
  • Indeed, in the sixth and seventh centuries, when the penitentials were first issued, the church had great difficulty in persuading sinners to confess and submit to penance. Many waited until they were about to die to confess. Only in 1215 did the Fourth Lateran Council require confession at least once a year.
    • Ibid, p.264
  • Perhaps more to the point, the severe penances for homosexual offenses are matched in a number of the penitentials by equally severe penances for heterosexual sins. Thus the Irish Penitential of Cummean calls for seven years' penance for men guilty of habitual homosexual practices (less for a first offense) and seven years' penance for heterosexual adultery. The book of ecclesiastical discipline issued by Region of Prum specifies a penalty of three years for anal intercourse whether the anus is that of a male or a female and also three years for heterosexual fornication. Similarly, the Book of David (c. 500-525) states that those who have committed fornication with a woman who hass been vowed to Christ or a husband, or with a beast or a male "for the remainder of their lived dead to the world shall live unto God" - presumably in perpetual encloisterment. The Penitential of Theodore requires three years' penance if a woman practices vice with another woman - or with herself and also demands equal maximum penalties of fifteen years in cases of heterosexual or homosexual fornication.
    • Ibid, p.264-265
  • There are other penitentials in which harsher penances are imposed on those guilty of sodomitical fornication than on those who commit the conventional kind, but these references to sodomy do not necessarily concern homosexuality alone. In the eighth century, the Venerable Bede referred to anal intercourse with a wife as a sodomitical crime, and later church authorities also adopted thisusage. Many of the references to sodomy or to oral sex in the penitentials suggest that the authors had heterosexual contacts in mind. The penalties for these heterosexual offenses are no less severe than those for homosexual ones. For example, the Penitential of Theodore demands fifteen years of penance in the worse cases of unnatural intercourse with a wife ("si in ntergo nupersit"). As in the early church, homosexuality was not the primary category for distinguishing acceptable sex from unacceptable; the principal distinction had to do with the potential for conception.
  • The attitudes of individual churchmen varied quite widely. Some were quite puntitive. We have already mentioned Benedict Levita, who in the mid-ninth century forged a Carolingian capitularly calling for "sodomites" to be incinerated. However, this was exceptional for its time.
  • Ibid, p.265
  • On the whole, though, less repressive views prevailed. Alcuin, an Anglo Saxon scholar at the court of Charlemagne (and later abbot of Tours) deplored adultery and incest in his writings, but said nothing about homosexuality. Although his silence may have reflected only his own romantic feelings towards his male students, Peter Lombard, the twelfth century Italian theologian and bishop of Paris, who is not similarly suspected, also said virtually nothing about homosexuality though he discusses other sexual sins in his writings. Saint Anslem, the twelfth century archbishop of Canterbury, urged that the ecclesiastical penances for homosexuality adopted at te Council of London in 1102 be moderated because "this sin has been so public that hardly anyone has blushed for it, and many, therefore, have plunged into it without realizing its gravity."
    The homophilic poetry of the tenth and eleventh centuries strongly suggests that the moderate position articulated by Anslem was the dominant one. Latin poets, many of them monks, wrote unselfconsciously of their romantic feelings toward men or boys. Two examples are particularly noteworthy because they were written by men who either were or were about to become bishops.
  • Ibid, p.266
  • Evidently, Baudri was being reproached for his youthful indiscretions; probably they were considered imappropriate for someone who had become an abbot. He does not even hint that his homosexual interests were considered more objectionable than his heterosexual ones. Neither potet shows fear of being punished for confessing to past homosexual interests or intimates that it was wrong to have had them. Some of the homophile poetry of their day circulated widely, and there is no evidence that its authors suffered from the publicity.
  • Ibid, p. 267
  • Beginning in the mid-thirteenth century, French secular legislation adopted stiff new measures against homosexual relations. Li livres de jostice et de Plet, probably written around 1260 in Orleans, called for the amputation of the testicles of first-time offenders, the removal of the penis for a second offense, and burning of third-time offenders. Women were to be mutilated for the first two offenses and burned for a third.
  • In addition to this body of national legislation, starting in the mid-twelfth century, the self governing towns of northern Italy, northern France, Flanders, and the Rhine Valley began to enact municipal statutes dealing with sodomy. Many of the laws, such as that adopted in Perugia in 1342, provided fines for first and second offenses and execution by burning for third-timers. Amputation of hands or feet, exile and confiscation of goods were common provisions.
    With time, penalties began to escalate. In a law of 1250, the first statute known to deal with homosexuality, Bologna permitted men banished from the city because of a sodomy conviction to pay a fine and return, but in 1259, banishment was made permanent. Later that year, sodomy was made a capital offense.
  • Ibid, p.272
  • Court records show that no one was convicted, much less executed, for sodomy in the secular courts during the reigns of Louis IX (1226-70) and Philip IV (1285-1314).
    • Ibid p.274
  • Contrary to Mugabe’s and other Afrocentrists’ assertions, analysis of the colonial court cases shows that the rate of prosecution for homosexual behaviors was highest among the more indigenous peoples (Shona, 17% and Ndebele, 16%), and least among the “industrialized migrants” from elsewhere (about 3% each for Xhosa, Basotho and Zulu). Presumably the latter had simply learned better how to avoid the white man’s justice.
  • There were exceptions, of course, to the celebration of Two-Spirits, such as the Pimas of Arizona, but in most cases, Native American tribes, particularly the tribes of the Great Plains and the Southwest, were greatly admiring of their Two-Spirits. Among the Hopi and the Zuni of Arizona and New Mexico, these Two-Spirits held a special status. They were keepers of the ancient traditional stories of creation, healing and growth. But more than that, they were the keepers of the spiritual traditions, recognized for their special gift of being “between genders.”
  • Cicero, one of the greatest of Roman jurists, speaks endlessly of Roman law, including in detail those statutes dealing with sexual relations, but nowhere does he mention homosexuality. Cicero ridicules many prominent citizens for having been male prostitutes during their youth, but nowhere does he indicate that it was illegal. In fact, in one case, in defending one Cnaeus Plancius from the charge that he had taken a male lover into the country to have sex with him, he states categorically that “this is not a crime.”
  • In Augustinian Rome, not only was male prostitution allowed, it was even taxed. A Roman historian of the era, Martial, not only mentions many prominent citizens and their male lovers by name, but admits to having engaged in such activities himself, and comments on it without the least evidence of shame.
    While the general theory is that tolerance of homosexuality increased as Rome began its decline, the fact is that the opposite is true. During the period of the Roman republic, when Rome was genuinely governed by the Senate, there was far greater tolerance of homosexuality, with the result that it was generally ignored in official documents. Because persecution began under the empire, more and more official references to it began to appear in legal documents, hence the belief by some historians, that it became more common. When one examines civil, secular documents, however, one sees that the opposite trend is the case.
    The reality is that there is no evidence whatever during the republican era, up through the beginning of the empire, of any recognition in Roman law for any difference between homosexual or heterosexual sex, or for that matter, even marriage.
    That all began to change, however, with the “conversion” of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity.
  • Thus began a campaign against homosexuality by certain church fathers, among them Augustine (a rather nasty piece of work himself, the first known zealous advocate of forced conversions), and Clement, a man who mistakenly associated homosexuality with a form of child slavery in which male children were often sold into slavery as prostitutes. These two men and others like them began to associate homosexuality not just with unsavory animal practices, but with other practices they didn’t happen to like, such as paganism, or pederastry, etc.
    The man who took this ball and ran with it was “Saint” John Chrysostom, who was the first church father who can clearly be shown to object to homosexuality based on the gender of its participants, not based just on procreative intent, or based on the ages of those involved, or whether the participants were pagans. Yet his theology was so thoroughly inconsistent that he did not have much direct influence on subsequent theology.
    While the theology of homosexuality of these men was insistent, it wasn’t to become influential for a long time. The reason is simple – homosexuality was so common in this period, and practiced so openly, that the public at large regarded these doctrines as a bit extreme, just like the call to celibacy outside of strictly procreative sex as was advocated by many of these same church fathers.
  • Homosexuality continued to be practiced openly and without much restraint up through the 11th century. Throughout the middle ages, not only did the open practice of homosexuality continue, but it flourished in the monasteries of the time. Many of the priests and abbots not only left us literature celebrating their gay lovers, but some of the poetry they left us was baldy erotic. Consider this poem from Marbod, Bishop of Rennes (d. 1123 C.E.)
    The Unyielding Youth
    Horace composed an ode about a certain boy
    Whose face was so lovely he could easily have been a girl,
    Whose hair fell in waves against his ivory neck,
    Whose forehead was white as snow and his eyes black as pitch,
    Whose soft cheeks were full of delicious sweetness
    When they bloomed in the brightness of a blush of beauty,
    His nose was perfect, his lips flame red, lovely his teeth–
    An exterior formed in measure to match his mind.
    Of course, the good bishop was far from alone in his same-sex attractions. We have literally thousands of poems from this period, many of them from other monastics, who celebrated their love for their gay lovers.
    Among these monastics were St. Aelred, St. Anselm, St. Bernard and many others. Among these, the literature left us by St. Aelred offers the clearest and most detailed literature celebrating gay love in this period. That homosexual sex was condemned by Leviticus did not seem to matter to the clerics of this period. They considered the Levitical proscription to fall in the same category as the rest of the vast corpus of Levitical proscriptions: they were abolished, along with the requirement for animal sacrifice, by the atonement of Jesus.
    As for Paul’s references in Romans, it was felt that Paul had simply been a bit overboard in this regard the same as he was in telling women to not speak in church and in his proffering advice to not marry.
    As in most times, most of the records we have of this period are from either the clerics, the most commonly literate or from the upper classes, for whom they labored. We therefore have a good picture of homosexuality from this period among the clerics and upper classes, but less so from the poor and working classes.
  • Peter Cantor (d. 1197) was the first to argue that Romans 1:26-27 referred specifically to gay people. The term “sodomy” came, for the first time and against all theological precedent, to refer exclusively to homosexual sex.
    At Cantor’s urging, the Lateran III Council of 1179 became the first to rule specifically on homosexual acts, along with moneylending, heresy, as well as the arch-heresies of Judaism and Islam. Even though the wording of the regulations on sex meant to punish all non-procreative sex, it was eventually construed, particularly in later centuries, as referring to homosexual sex specifically. It passed into the permanent collections of canon law in the following century, and became the basis of the Catholic ban on homosexuality.
  • The debate about the theological validity of free will is very important. To say that man kind possesses no free will is to say that he cannot be liable for his actions as he is doing whatever has been determined for him by God. Hence it is Pre-determined. The confusion became about because the Quran contains verses in support of free will as well as predetermination. Therefore one source of the argument came from the dual traditions of the Quran itself. Another source of the argument is the political scenario of the time of the Umayyad dynasty. During their rule, these debates lead to the formation of two major sects, Qadariyyah and the Jabriyyah (Taib, MIM, 2000). The people following the Qadariyyah teachings believed in the free will aspect of the argument and the Jabriyyah people believed that God had determined their fate and nothing could be done to alter that fate. Umayyad dynasty supported and gave preference to predetermination side of the argument, which in affect absolved mankind of any wrongdoing as he had no control over his actions. They killed people who were their political rivals or held the beliefs other than their own. They even justified their actions by saying that God had determined these actions beforehand and nothing could be said and done to avert them (Taib, MIM, 2000). The predestination supporters draw no difference between God’s determinations of the physical events of the universe and within this world against the actions take mankind undertakes with his own choice. These theologists state everything is determined. A mans actions have been determined by God and not matter what he does, he cannot change the outcome. An evil man is so because God made him to be one. They symbiosis of the belief in God being the controller of al things in this world and this universe with the notion of predetermination is not a difficult feat. Both ideas reinforce each other. The Quran makes a lot of references in support of this theory and the scholars of the Umayyad dynasty used this to their benefit. The debate of free will and predestination also has its roots in the Christian beliefs as well. Saint Augustine is said to have pondered over the same debate.
  • In article 48 of what is believed to be the world’s first constitution, Genghis Khan banned homosexuality. It stated that “men committing sodomy shall be put to death,” according to experts with Inner Mongolia’s research institute of ancient Mongolian laws.
  • The code stipulated that the death penalty was applied to those found guilty of damaging grassland with unauthorized excavations or fire. It also prohibited hand washing or drowning people in rivers.
  • Both tribes (Korongo and Mesakin) feel strongly that marriage and sex life are inimical to physical strength. ... Young married men ... will spend four or five nights with their wives in the village and then return for a fortnight or month to the cattle camp.... They would tell you that they "dislike living in the village". I have even met men of forty and fifty who spent most of their nights with the young folk in the cattle camps rather that at home in the village. ... Behind this grudging submission to marital and adult life in general, behind the secondary sentiments of fondness of camp life and male company, we discover the primary, and quite open, fear of sex as the destroyer of virility. Not sex in the ephemeral, physical sense - the adolescent incontinence of these tribes precludes this - but sex transformed into a permanent fetter, spiritual (as love) and social (as marriage). We will not probe the psychological depth of this antagonism. Let me only point out two things: first, that it occurs in a matrilineal society, that is, a society in which the fruits of procreation are not the man's. And, secondly, that it is accompanied, not only on the strong emphasis on male companionship, but also, in the domain of the abnormal, by widespread homosexuality and transvesticism.
    • The Nuba: An Anthropological Study of the Hill Tribes in Kordofan, Siegfried Frederick Nadel, Oxford University Press, London, 1947, :pages: 299–300
  • European participation in African enslavement can only be partially explained by the needs for labor, profit, and religious motives. At the end of the medieval period, slavery was not widespread in Europe. It was mostly isolated in the southern fringes of the Mediterranean. Iberian Christians mostly enslaved Muslims, Jews, Gypsies, and Slavs. When the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Africans began in 1441, most Africans were placed in a new and different category of enslaveable peoples in terms that flowed from an understanding in the European world view of Africans as inferior human beings (Gomes 1936 in Sweet 2003:5). The policies and ideas that flowed from understandings of the African as inferior served to crystallize racial hierarchies across Europe (Sweet 2003:6). The first transnational, institutional endorsement of African slavery occurred in 1452 when the Pope granted King Alphonso V of Portugal the right to reduce all the non-Christians in West Africa to perpetual slavery (Saunders 1982:37–38 in Sweet 2003:6). According to Sweet, by the second half of the 15th century, the term “Negro” had become essentially synonymous with “slave” across the Iberian Peninsula and had literally come to represent a race of people, most often associated with black Africans and considered to be inferior (Sweet 2003:7). Race-based ideas of European superiority and religious beliefs in the need to Christianize “heathen” peoples contributed to a culture in which enslavement of Africans could be rationalized and justified. However, these explanations do not answer the question of why some Africans were complicity in the enslavement of other Africans in the transatlantic slave trade?
  • As a concomitant of the rise and fall of various African rulers and ruling parties, their political opponents, people of high social status, and their families were sold to promote internal political stability. Poor people were sold to reconcile debts owed by themselves or their families. Chiefs sold people as punishment for crimes. Gangs of Africans and a few marauding Europeans captured free Africans who were also sold into slavery. Domestic slaves were resold and prisoners of war were sold. However, Boahen, an African scholar, asserts, “The greatest sources to supply slaves were raids conducted for the sole purpose of catching men for sale and above all, inter-tribal and inter-state wars which produced thousands of war captives, most of whom found their way to the New World (Boahen 1966:110).”
    All of these African people were bartered for European trade goods. A slave purchased for 100 gallons of rum worth only £10 could be sold for £20 to £50 in 17th century America. England regarded the slave trade with such importance that as part of the 1713 peace of Utrecht, England insisted she be awarded thirty years exclusive rights to transport Africans to Spanish colonies in America. This was before the slave trade was fully developed in the 18th century (Brawley 1981:8–9).
    The slave trade was greatly encouraged by the low cost of slaves. Even though the price of slaves rose three- or four-fold during the 18th century, many Europeans were convinced that it was “cheaper to buy than to breed.” Between the 16th and mid-18th centuries, it was cheaper to import a slave from Africa than to raise a child to the age of 14. During the late 17th century, merchants in the Senegambia region of West Africa paid as little as one pound sterling for young males, which they sold to European traders for the equivalent of three-and-a-half pounds sterling, or 11 muskets, 31 gallons of brandy, or 93 pounds of wrought iron. Initially, many slaves were acquired from regions within fifty or a hundred miles of the West African coast. During the 18th century, however, rising prices led slavers to search for captives in interior regions, 500 to 1,000 miles inland (Mintz, Stephen 2003b).
  • Winners and losers in the African wars came to rely upon European trade goods more and more. Eventually the European monetized system replaced cowrie shells as a medium of exchange. European trade goods supplanted former African reliance on indigenous material goods, natural resources and products as the economic basis of their society. At the same time Europeans increasingly required people in exchange for trade goods. Once this stage was reached an African society had little choice but to trade human lives for European goods and guns; guns that had become necessary to wage wars for further captives in order to trade for goods upon which an African society was now dependent (Birmingham 1981: 38).
  • Such shrill rhetoric plunged Germany into an acute crisis in the 1520s. On the one hand, Luther had drawn too sharp a contrast between spiritual freedom and disciplined orthodoxy within the church. New Lutheran churches, clerics and congregants were treating their new freedom as licence for all manner of spiritual experimentation and laxness. Widespread confusion reigned over preaching, prayers, sacraments, funerals, holidays and pastoral duties. Church attendance, tithe payments and charitable offerings declined abruptly among many who took Luther’s new teachings of free grace literally.
    On the other hand, Luther had driven too deep a wedge between the laws of church and state. Many subjects traditionally governed by the church’s canon law now remained without effective governance. Local magistrates were quick to take over church properties and institutions, but they offered few new laws and services in place of them.
    Prostitution, concubinage, gambling, drunkenness and usury thus reached new heights. Crime, delinquency, truancy and vagabondage soared. Schools, charities, hospitals and other welfare institutions fell into massive disarray. Requirements for family life, inheritance, banking and commerce became hopelessly confused. The crisis was made worse by the Peasants’ War of 1524–26, which was fought in the name of Christian freedom but harshly repressed in the name of Christian order.
    In response, the Lutheran reformation of theology and the church quickly broadened into a reformation of law and the state as well. From the late 1520s, Lutheran theologians cast their theological doctrines into catechisms, confessions and creeds and paid much closer attention to their legal, political and social implications. Lutheran jurists, in turn, joined the theologians in crafting hundreds of ambitious new reformation ordinances for the German cities and territories. By 1570, every major Lutheran land had comprehensive new state laws in place, governing public and private matters spiritual and temporal life alike.
  • Anne Marie Jordan, for instance, has a fine chapter on slaves in the Lisbon court of Queen Catherine of Austria, where mainly women and children of different ethnic origins were used as musicians, cooks, pastry chefs, housekeepers, pages, or servants in royal apothecaries, kitchens, gardens, and stables. Jordan points out how white Moorish slaves were favoured because of skin colour prejudices, but black slaves were considered trustworthy for religious reasons. The black slaves were a sign of social prestige and distinction in a cosmopolitan court: this feature explains why Catherine spent so much money clothing and offering them as exotic gifts to her favourite ladies and relatives in other European courts. The representation of small black slaves in the portraits of Iberian princesses, as in the painting of Juana de Austria by Cristóvão de Morais, reinforced their image as symbols of empire building.
  • Aurelia Marín Casares, who has written a very good book on slavery in Granada, presents here part of her enquiry into free and freed black Africans in the region. She has identified most of their occupations: men were stable workers, esparto workers, smelters and casters in foundries, carriers and vendors of water or firewood, bakers, butchers, hod carriers, builders, diggers, pavers; women were housewives, farmers, embroiders, maids, taverns and inns employees, sorceresses. The author details the confraternities created by blacks and mulattos in Granada. The notion of blackness and the different types of black people do not become clear in this article, however, since in many cases Moriscos were considered black by the Christian population.
  • John Brakett suggests that Alessandro de’ Medici, the first duke of Florence (1529–1537) was of mixed race, an illegitimate son of Lorenzo de’ Medici, duke of Nemours and ruler of Urbino (and a direct descendent of Lorenzo ‘il Magnifico’ and Cosimo ‘il Vecchio’) and a peasant woman, a freed slave, generally considered as a ‘Moor’, but now depicted as a Black African. The argument is based not on new documents but on the analysis of the set of images of Alessandro de’ Medici. The problem lies in the final conclusion: the author considers that there was no intellectual racism in the sixteenth century, since the duke was murdered under the accusation of being a tyrant, but his racial status was not used in political debate or in denigration of his memory, which proves the supremacy of the innate quality of princes. This is an open issue: as the author mentions in his text, the duke was nicknamed ‘the Moor’ and ‘the mule’ of the Medici in his lifetime, which suggests a more complicated picture.
  • Rediker says history has conveniently left out that there were many black pirates. His research of 15 pirate ships shows almost one-third of the pirates were, quote, "negroes or mulattoes." Some black pirates were runaway slaves. Some were sailors whose merchant ships were captured. And many blacks ended up on pirate ships when pirates grabbed slave ships as they traveled from West Africa through the middle passage. Rediker says pirates loved slave ships, and not necessarily for the human cargo.
  • Much of the credit for European military success in the New World can be handed to the superiority of their weapons, their literary heritage, even the fact they had unique load-bearing mammals, like horses. These factors combined, gave the conquistadors a massive advantage over the sophisticated civilisations of the Aztec and Inca empires.
    But weapons alone can't account for the breathtaking speed with which the indigenous population of the New World were completely wiped out.
    Within just a few generations, the continents of the Americas were virtually emptied of their native inhabitants – some academics estimate that approximately 20 million people may have died in the years following the European invasion – up to 95% of the population of the Americas.
    No medieval force, no matter how bloodthirsty, could have achieved such enormous levels of genocide. Instead, Europeans were aided by a deadly secret weapon they weren't even aware they were carrying: Smallpox.
  • Yet the people of the New World had no history of prior exposure to these germs. They farmed only one large mammal – the llama – and even this was geographically isolated. The llama was never kept indoors, it wasn't milked and only occasionally eaten – so the people of the New World were not troubled by cross-species viral infection.
    When the Europeans arrived, carrying germs which thrived in dense, semi-urban populations, the indigenous people of the Americas were effectively doomed. They had never experienced smallpox, measles or flu before, and the viruses tore through the continent, killing an estimated 90% of Native Americans.
    Smallpox is believed to have arrived in the Americas in 1520 on a Spanish ship sailing from Cuba, carried by an infected African slave. As soon as the party landed in Mexico, the infection began its deadly voyage through the continent. Even before the arrival of Pizarro, smallpox had already devastated the Inca Empire, killing the Emperor Huayna Capac and unleashing a bitter civil war that distracted and weakened his successor, Atahuallpa.
    In the era of global conquest which followed, European colonizers were assisted around the world by the germs which they carried. A 1713 smallpox epidemic in the Cape of Good Hope decimated the South African Khoi San people, rendering them incapable of resisting the process of colonization. European germs also wreaked devastation on the aboriginal communities of Australia and New Zealand.
  • “When the Spaniards conquered the isthmus, they encountered indigenous Kuna people who didn’t share their prejudices against homosexuals. Now after more than 500 years of Hispanic influence the Kunas have efforted to keep to themselves and have continued a culture that not only tolerates gay men and lesbians, but considers them to have special sensitivities that are good for a society to have.”
    Kuna Yala is an autonomous territory included in the Comarca, mentioned above, that’s inhabited by the Kuna indigenous people. The name means “Kuna-land” or “Kuna mountain” in the Kuna language. The Kuna have four gender classifications: male, female, omekit (woman-like male), and macharetkit (man-like woman). Male gender-crossing among Kuna is characterized by a choice of productive labor and demeanor and only secondarily by sexual orientation.
  • No one represented the imperial typology better than Captain Cook, whose men exchanged nails for sex with Tahitian women, but who never, as far as anyone knows, engaged in sexual relations with the Polynesian women he encountered.
    • Ibid, p.373
  • In Tahiti, the story goes, women readily understood their roles as diplomats and cultural brokers through sex. In New Zealand, the more reserved Maori women (who were also less good looking), according to tradition, were prostituted by then male relatives.
    • Ibid, p.375
  • Individuals of both sexes were expected to initiate and participate in coitus at puberty, although sexual activity, play, instruction, and so forth occurred much earlier. For instance, as part of exploratory play, the young investigated each other’s genitals, and young males and females might masturbate each other heterosexually or homosexually. This activity occurred without adult disapproval, and it was considered to be an introduction to adulthood. Casual intercourse before adolescence was not an uncommon experience both for males (Handy and Pukui, 1958, p.95) and females (Pukui, Haertig, and Lee, 1972, p. 78)
  • The time considered “right” to start coitus was not so much based on chronological age as on ability or maturity (Pukui, Haertig, and Lee, 1972, p. 78). A male doing adult work or holding adult responsibilities was considered to be “old enough.” A young male who could grow taro or catch many fish was considered mature. A female’s first menses usually signaled she was ready for coitus if she had not already experienced it. Kamehameha the Great, who unified all the Hawai‘ian Islands, took his first “wife”, Ka‘ahu-manu, when she was 13 (Pukui, Haertig, and Lee, 1972, p. 78); he probably was several years older than she (Judd, 1976, p. 71). As physical signs of maturity appeared. the young Hawai‘ian received more formal sex education. Among commoners, this education was traditionally and usually the responsibility of the tūtū wahine for the females and the tūtū kane (“grandfather”) for the males. Suggs (1966) elaborated on the early sexual experiences of pubertal males with married females in their 30s and 40s in the Marquesas Islands, who “take special pains to be pleasing and patient with them ... a source of enjoyment for many Marquesan women” (p. 61). For young females of the Marquesas Islands, the first coital experience reportedly is earlier than it is for young males before menarche —and occurs unplanned with an adult male (Suggs, 1966, p. 63).
    Among ali‘i, an experienced chiefess, usually a blood “aunt,” instructed and trained the young males. Similarly, young females were trained by their “aunt,” by another experienced woman, or by a tutu kane. The training concerned not only what to expect and what to do but also how to increase or maximize pleasure. Less formal but similar training was afforded to commoners. There was practice as well as theory. A young male was taught “timing” and how to please a female in order to help her attain orgasm (Pukui, Haertig, and Lee, 1972, p. 79). A young female was taught how to touch and caress a male and move her body to please them both. She was taught how to constrict and rhythmically contract her vaginal muscles (Pukui, Haertig, and Lee, 1972, p. 79). Several of the informants who were interviewed remember being so instructed. One adult female told of being instructed on how to get her vagina to “wink.”.
    These adult/nonadult sexual interactions were socially approved behaviors. Kamehameha the Great, again can be used as an example. Before he aligned himself with Ka‘ahu-manu, he had an infant, while “still a beardless youth,” by Chiefess Kanekapoli, a wife of Kalaniopu‘u (Judd, 1976, p. 71). The infant was welcome and was accepted without stigma, as was any pregnancy resulting from such unions (Handy and Pukui, 1958, p. 110). For adults not to have given such practical education would have been unthinkable - a dereliction of duty.
  • As long as the individuals involved were of the appropriate social class, just about any type of sexual behavior between them was sanctioned. If a pregnancy resulted, it was welcome. If a socially inferior male had sex with a female of royalty, however, her family might demand his death or exile, and if a baby was born, it might be killed immediately (Malo, 1951, p. 70). A higher class male’s having sex with a lower class female was seen as being good, on the other hand, in that it added to her status. However, if the two participants were too far apart in class, any offspring was killed or sent into exile (Handy and Pukui, 1958, p. 79).
  • Peripubertal females, in many cultures of Oceania, were noted to often be publicly sexually active with adults (Oliver, 1974, p. 362). Cook (1773, Vol. 1, p. 128) reported copulation in public in Hawai‘i between an adult male and a female estimated to be 11 or 12 “without the least sense of it being indecent or improper.” The disapproval implicit in Cook’s report probably was caused as much by the public nature of the activity as by the age-related aspects. In Tahiti, one missionary noted in his diary that the High Priest Manimani, “though nearly blind with age, is as libidinous now as when thirty years younger; …[he] has frequently upwards of a dozen females with him, some of them apparently not above twelve or thirteen years of age” (cited in Danielsson, 1986, P. 57).Gauguin credited the inspiration for his famous painting “Manao tupapau” (“The Specter Watches Over Her”), completed in 1892, to his 13-year-old Tahitian “wife” Teha‘amana (Hobhouse, 1988).
    Suggs (1966, pp. 51-53) cited many cases of full heterosexual intercourse in public between adults and prepubertal individuals in Polynesia. The crews of the visiting ships showed no compunction against the activities, and the natives assisted in the efforts. Cunnilingus with young females was recorded without accompanying remarks that this kind of behavior was unusual or disapproved of for the participants. Occasions were recorded of elders assisting youngsters in having sex with other elders. Among the Marquesas Islanders in particular, Suggs (1966, p. 119) reported, extramarital relations were frequent and often involved older males with young virginal females and older females with young virginal males.
    Until fairly recently, the birth of an infant to an unmarried female in Hawai‘i, as elsewhere in Polynesia, was not a problem for her or society. Her fertility was proven, and the infant was wanted and taken care of by the extended ‘ohana (family). illegitimacy, in the Western sense, is inapplicable in regard to traditional Hawai‘i (Pukui, Haertig, and Lee, 1972, p. 96).
  • A “pairing” ceremony among commoners was even more rare (Sahlins, 1985, P. 23). Couples that wanted to sleep and live together just did so (Sahlins, 1985, p. 23). Typically, no contract was expressed openly, although there probably was a vague set of expectations that linked the couple. Sahlins (1985, p. 23) expressed the situation thus: “For the people as for the chiefs, the effect of sex was society: a shifting set of liaisons that gradually became sorted out and weighted down by the practical considerations attached to them.”
    Monogamy, polygyny, and polyandry coexisted among ali‘i and among commoners. Often, polygamy involved siblings (Morgan, 1964, p. 361).10 Taking another sexual partner usually was acceptable if the first mate knew about the relationship and sanctioned it. Secret relationships were not approved of, however, although the discovery of such a relationship usually was disruptive only temporarily. Such sexual license greatly disturbed the early Christian missionaries. The “crimes” most commonly reported by the haole (foreigner, now refers to Caucasians) to occur among the Hawai‘ians, recorded as being 4-5times more common than theft or property crimes, were fornication and adultery (Sahlins, 1985, p. 24); these terms, of course, had no meaning to the Hawai‘ians.
  • Invitations to or direct acceptance of sex from the right strangers. on the part of males and females, were seen by the Hawai‘ians as good fun, good politics, good “mana” and cross- fertilization, or just good socialization (Pukui, Haertig and Lee, 1972. p. 98). For a male or a female to be “propositioned” was considered a compliment, not an insult.
    To have sex at the request of another was seen more as being passion than compassion. To want sex with another was seen as being natural. As one respondent put it: Women didn’t say no because it would have been considered “bad form”, a rudeness. Also, they took the invitation as a compliment and often also wanted the sex themselves.
    Prostitution, as it now would be defined, was nonexistent in pre-Western contact Hawai‘i, because sexual partners were readily available for mutual enjoyment. After Western contact occurred, the females continued to want sex openly, now with the mana-loaded sailors and traders. These males advocated bartering for sex, and with no religious or social restrictions against prostitution, the natives had no hesitancy about profiting from the newcomers’ desires.
    Females in traditional Hawai‘i did experience intercourse that was imposed upon them. While Westerners would interpret the forcing of intercourse on an individual as being criminal rape, the Hawai‘ians supposedly saw a romantic abduction or passionate lust (Johnson. 1983). There also were practices known as “wife-capture” and “husband-capture” (Sahlins, 1985. p. 10). Abductions and imposed sex supposedly were more commonly practiced by the ali‘i. In one well-known instance, a chief who forced himself sexually upon an unwilling “married” female rewarded her by offering to make an ali‘i of any possible male offspring, and this arrangement, it was said, was satisfactory to her and her “husband” (Malo, 1951, pp. 25 8-259).
    There are tales of love that was unrequited for any number of reasons: because one individual was promised to another, because one partner was jealous, because of feuds, for example. Also, sex was rejected if the other was thought to be extremely unattractive, if one was promised to another. if it was solicited in an inappropriate place or with an inappropriate partner. Suicide because of unrequited love was known (Johnson, 1983).
  • Wide range of intimate relationships. Socially acceptable intimate relationships included plural mating (and shared responsibility for children of these unions), aikane (same sex) relationships, kane o ka po and wahine o ka po spirit lovers, and the non-sexual but emotionally tender kane ho’okane and wahine ho’owahine (Pukui, 1999). The Kanaka Maoli even had a social framework for people who shared a mate or long-term lover - the punalua relationship - which created the emotional and practical equivalent of familial ties (Pukui, 1999).
    Pleasure skills. Children and youth observed and were taught sexual and interpersonal skills to prepare them for intimate relationships (Pukui, 1999). Skillful lovers were admired, and lazy or inconsiderate lovers were ridiculed (Jensen and Jensen, 2005). The ma’i (genitals) were considered sacred due to their role in creating new life, however other fragments of language, dance, chants, and legends also indicate possible evidence of a sophisticated tradition of sacred sexual practices (Marsh 2010, Jensen and Jensen, 2005). Such practices may have been reserved for the rulers (ali’i) and priesthood, or they may have been available to the common people (maka’ainana) as well. The existence of a sacred sexual tradition in Hawai’i is tantalizing, but speculative.
  • Social sexual maturity and sexual maturity usually were in alignment. Adults would observe the development of young people, including their abilities to perform adult work. As young people were given plenty of instruction about sexual and sociosexual matters, they did not have to “wait” to become sexually active once their bodies and psyches seemed ready. A boy could take a mate as soon as he could work in an adult manner with other men (Pukui, Haertig and Lee, 1972).
  • American prostitution was rare and clandestine and practiced mostly on a casual basis through the mid-18th century. Occasionally, tavern owners were prosecuted for operating "disorderly houses," but such cases were rare, and the penalty was a small fine or a few lashes—a slap on the wrist by Colonial standards. In the early 1700s, Boston minister Cotton Mather attempted to form a group to oppose brothels but met widespread public indifference due to the relative invisibility of the problem in America.
    Sex workers multiplied dramatically by the mid-1700s. American cities began to grow along with maritime trade. That brought increasing numbers of sailors, and brothels opened to suit them.
    Colonial-era brothels did not hang out shingles or post flyers, but a would-be patron could learn about their services in a tavern or from his shipmates. Despite Mather's early efforts, there was no systematic attempt to close the urban brothels. Men were almost never prosecuted for soliciting a prostitute, and the prostitutes themselves were only occasionally brought before a judge. When government officials did order a raid, the police didn't always cooperate. Many police officers protected the brothels in exchange for money, food, or other payments. Working-class neighbors, irritated by official inaction, would periodically riot and burn down a brothel.
  • Newspapers at the time were factionalized and expressed very distinct viewpoints. Editors were constantly being challenged and were known to carry sidearms at all times—even in the office—in case an irate reader should wish to dispute an editorial.
    By the time of the Broderick-Terry duel of 1859, slavery had become the new reason for dueling. Dueling had lost favor in the early 1800s in the North, but still remained the dispute-solving method of choice in the South, where social standing was a touchier subject.
  • The rationale for choosing cultural rather than physical genocide was often economic. Carl Schurz concluded that it would cost a million dollars to kill an Indian in warfare, whereas it cost only $1,200 to school an Indian child for eight years. Likewise, the Secretary of the Interior, Henry Teller, argued that it would cost $22 million to wage war against Indians over a ten-year period, but would cost less than a quarter of that amount to educate 30,000 children for a year.14 Consequently, these schools were administered as inexpensively as possible. Children were given inadequate food and medical care, and conditions were overcrowded in these schools. According to the Boarding School Healing Project (BSHP) Native children in South Dakota schools were often fed only one sandwich for a whole day. As a result, children routinely died in mass numbers of starvation and disease. Other children died from common medical ailments because of medical neglect.15 In addition, children were often forced to do grueling work in order to raise monies for the schools and salaries for the teachers and administrators. Some Boarding School survivors have reported children being killed because they were forced to operate dangerous machinery. Children were never compensated for their labor.
  • Many survivors report being sexually abused by multiple perpetrators in these schools. However, boarding school officials refused to investigate, even when teachers were publicly accused by their students.
    • Ibid, p.7
  • Full scale efforts to ‘civilize’ aboriginal peoples did not begin until British hegemony was established in 1812 because military alliances were often needed by competing European powers. In 1846, the government resolved at a meeting in Orilla, Ontario, to fully commit to Indian residential schools. The state and the churches collaborated in the efforts to ‘civilize’ Indians in order to solve the Indian problem. The major denominations began carving the country among themselves. In 1889, the Indian Affairs Department was created and Indian agents were dispatched to aboriginal communities. These agents would threaten to withhold money from aboriginal parents if they did not send their children to school. Parents were even imprisoned if they resisted schooling their children. Indian agents prepared lists of children to be taken from reserves and organized fall round ups (at the commencement of the school year).
    • Ibid p.8
  • Because so little time was spent on academic preparation, the schools were not successful. According to the Indian Affairs own statistics, by 1938, 75 percent of aboriginal children were below grade three level, and only 3 in a 100 made it past grade six level. By comparison to other schools, half of the children in school were past grade three level, and one third were past grade six level.30 By 1986, nearly half of all aboriginal peoples on reserve had less than a grade nine education, and less than one quarter had obtained a high school diploma. Educational achievement is increasing for aboriginal peoples, but it is still substantially lower than the general population.
    Residential schooling reached its peak in 1931 with over eighty schools in Canada. From the mid-1800s to the 1970s, about one third of aboriginal children were confined to schools for the majority of their childhoods. The last school closed in 1984.
    • Ibid, p.10
  • Mexico’s education policy in the 1800s and early 1900s focused on assimilation of indigenous peoples and teaching them to speak Spanish. However, some reformers advocated for bilingual education as a means to more effectively assimilate indigenous peoples. In the 1970s, calls for resistance to assimilation began to emerge, but Mexico’s education policy was still slanted towards assimilation.
    • Ibid, 12
  • Until the 1970s, Colombia funded nine different Catholic orders to educate indigenous groups. These Catholic groups set up missions where they separated children from their families from the age of five.
    • Ibid, 13
  • In New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory many children of mixed descent were totally separated from their families when young and placed in segregated ‘training’ institutions before being sent out to work. Between 1910-1970, between 1 in 3 to 1 in 10 indigenous children were removed from their families. By the mid 1930s, more than half of the so called “half-caste” children in the Northern Territory were housed in institutions administered by the state.44 Christian churches were at the forefront of this practice. In the late 1940s, some 50 missions operated throughout Australia. Similar patterns emerged: education focused on Christianization and manual labor rather than preparation for higher education. Abuse was prevalent, and schools were poorly maintained.45 Conditions were deplorable in these missions and settlements with death rates often exceeding birthrates. Disease, malnutrition and sexual violence were commonplace. Children were often forced to work in white homes where they were routinely sexually abused. In Victoria, between 1881-1925, one third of indigenous children died.
    • Ibid, p.15
  • The purpose of the Maori denominational boarding schools was to take Maori students that seemed to have the highest potential for assimilation, inculcate European values and customs, and then send the ‘assimilated’ Maori students back home to uplift their communities. The goal was thus to create a class structure within Maori communities whereby the more ‘assimilated elite’ could manage those parts of the community deemed “savage” by Europeans. Maori girls received particular attention because, since they were seen as the primary caretakers of children, they were in the best position to inculcate European values to the next generation.
    Comparable to USA boarding schools, Maori girls were educated along the lines of an English middle-class Victorian girls’ school. They were to dress and behave like middleclass women. However, unlike their English counterparts, Maori girls were also subjected to hard labor, responsible for all the cleaning, meal preparation, laundry, and gardening of the school.
    • Ibid, 17
  • In Norway, children were not allowed to speak the Sami language in the schools until 1959.
    • Ibid, 20
  • In the 1920s, schools were established among the 26 indigenous peoples’ groups in the North that included indigenous languages. Thirteen alphabets were created using the Roman alphabet for indigenous languages. By 1926, eighteen residential schools were in place across Siberia, and five day-schools had been established. However, in 1937, Northern alphabets were outlawed. After World War II, the USSR began the process of Russification. Northern groups were forcibly settled into mix areas in order to assimilate and foster Russian unity. From the age of 2 years, Northern indigenous children were forced to attend boarding schools where they were prohibited from speaking their languages. By 1970, no indigenous languages were being taught in schools.
    • Ibid, p.22
  • Many countries in Asia send indigenous children who live in remote areas to boarding schools. In 1996, the Department of Social, Home Affairs, Education and Culture of Indonesia, as well as the Religion Ministries decided to provide financial aid and transportation for children living in remote areas or so that they could attend boardingschools.65 In West Kalimantan, for instance, the majority of secondary school children attended boarding schools in the capital of Lanjak, and only returned home for weekends or holidays.66 Vietnam also utilizes boarding schools for indigenous children. The 1946 Constitution of Vietnam supports the instruction of indigenous children in their own languages. However, national educational policies mandate the use of Vietnamese as the language of instruction. In addition, over half of the teachers in indigenous areas, are not properly trained. As a result, illiteracy rates run as high as 93 percent among indigenous children in some areas.
    • Ibid, pp.22-23
  • In the 1950s Xinjiang, Inner-Mongolia, Tibet, Ningxia, and Guangxi -- five provinces in China with large minority populations – were designated as autonomous minority nationality regions. They were granted increased local control over the administration of resources, taxes, birth planning, education, legal, jurisdiction and religious expression. Between 1949 - 1980s, schools in these regions were oriented towards assimilation rather than cultural preservation. D
    • Ibid, p. 23
  • In India indigenous or tribal peoples generally did not have access to education for many reasons. Many tribal communities are geographically dispersed and did not have sufficient population density for the Indian government to build schools in their communities. Tribal communities also lacked the financial resources to send children to school. Before 1980, literacy rates were often around 8 percent in many communities. Within this context, residential schools or Ashram schools were developed for tribal children. The first experimental schools were developed by followers of Gandhi in Gujarat during pre-independence days. After Independence, various voluntary organizations began Ashram schools in Maharastra, Gujarat, and Orissa. These schools also shared some of the ‘civilization’ assumptions of other boarding schools in which it was assumed that these schools could provide an environment to develop a child’s personality better than its own community
    • Ibid, p.24
  • In Malaysia, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (JHEOA) became responsible for administering the affairs of indigenous peoples in 1961. In 1961, Government policy advocated the integration of indigenous peoples into the larger society, while also advocating the teaching of indigenous languages and public education designed to eradicate racism against indigenous peoples. These latter policies were not implemented. As part of the assimilation policies, JHEOA began working with Islam missionary societies to encourage the Islamization of indigenous peoples through various measures, including Islamic residential schools. In general, JHEOA provides education for indigenous children between grades 1-3 after which they must go to boarding school to receive further education.
    • Ibid, pp.24-25
  • During the British Mandate, a Boarding school was set up for the Palestinian Bedouin boys. The school was attended by the sons of the elite for the purpose of providing skills for future tribal leaders to be able to negotiate with colonial officials. A girls’ school was opened in 1934. Many of the graduates of these schools became shaykhs and other prominent peoples. The boys at the school were encouraged to retain their traditional tribal dress and were permitted to visit their family encampments regularly.
  • Similar types of makeshift boarding schools where children live by themselves and care for themselves exist among the Al Murrah peoples in Saudi Arabia. Students stay in a one room schoolhouse while their families leave with their herds after the summer harvest. They are taught by a Palestinian teacher sent by the Saudi Arabian government. In another school house, boys share a wooden shelter while their families travel with their herds. Other tribal groups are developing similar spontaneous settlements.
    • Ibid, p.25
  • In Oman, the government, in conjunction with the United Nations, began to sponsor development programs for the Harasiis as oil companies began their operations. This development project included the establishment of a boarding school for boys (girls could attend on a day basis), as well as other service programs.
  • Another issue is that the Oman government presumed that the Harasiis would not want their girls to board, and insisted on a gender segregation that the Harasiis do not particularly support. Hence, the community built its own makeshift dormitory for girls so that they could also attend boarding school.
    • Ibid, p.25-26
  • In Iran, there are special boarding schools offered between grades 9 to 12 for children from tribal backgrounds who live far from the cities. Girls and boys attend different schools. These schools have strict entrance examinations and only admit exemplary students.
    • Ibid, p.26
  • Several countries in East Africa have set up special boarding schools, some specifically targeting girls. In Kenya, the Christian denominations controlled 75 percent of schools as late as 1955.
    • Ibid, p.26
  • There are also ten boarding schools in Djibouti, although only a few are operating. Generally, nomadic groups are reluctant to send their children to schools. In addition, they are often reluctant to send girls because of concerns for the girls’ safety.
  • In Eritrea, during the post-liberation period, the Eritrean Liberation Front involved communities in decision-making processes, including education. In recent years, higher priority has been given to expanding the provision of education in nomadic areas, including the development of boarding schools. But while they help build skills and manage their operation, communities are not currently involved in curricula development.
    • Ibid, 27
  • In Botswana, the San/Basarwa people are moved to schools with hostels. To address the problems of geographic isolation, the government transports children to these schools every school term. Thus, they do get basic schooling, but not in their languages. These Remote Area Dweller Hostels tend be very unsympathetic places for San students. The idea of separating parents and children are foreign to San culture and the pain and alienation that San students feel at boarding schools can be acute. In Botswana, in 1999, 120 primary school children walked several kilometers to run away from the abuse they were suffering at the hostel. One of the children, age 8, died from exhaustion.
    • Ibid, 27-28
  • In Sierra Leone after the demise of legal slave trading, the London-based Church Missionary Society joined with the government to create separate villages where children could be trained in trades, farming and, for the most promising, teaching or mission work. Through separating children from their “uncivilized” parents, mission boarding schools were seen as a key strategy for inculcating European and Christian values into children ‘untainted’ by the influence of their parents.
    Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, introduced a policy of mass education and established dozens more secondary boarding schools throughout the country. In reports by the mainstream media, these schools are credited with helping to narrow ethnic cleavages that plague many other countries in the region. Others, however, have complained that this system is under funded, there are problems with sexual abuse of girls in these schools, parents cannot often afford school fees and education is based on the colonial model.
    In Africa, schools are often looked upon with suspicion as an attempt to sedentize nomadic groups, although there are some nomadic groups that may seek expanded economic opportunities and have a desire to become more integrated into the dominant society, particularly in North and Northeast Kenya. Some feel that schooling alienates children from their communities and does not allow them to learn the skills they need to function in their own context. A saying is “Children go to schools empty and come out empty.”
    • Ibid, p.28
  • As the preceding section indicates, the experiences of indigenous children varies depending on their particular experiences. For some children, as seen in the cases particularly in Canada, Australia, and the United States, boarding school experiences are particularly brutal.
  • In the Middle East, unlike many other regions, boarding schools were targeted towards exemplary students in order to provide professional opportunities for them. Nevertheless, in general these schools have not closed gaps in educational attainment between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. First, as demonstrated in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, these schools prepared indigenous children for menial labor and domestic service rather than provide quality education. Thus children coming from these schools would be on the one hand, less culturally adept and hence less able to succeed in their home context, while on the other hand insufficiently skilled to be successful in the dominant society. At the same time, the trauma suffered from attending boarding schools often created a negative reaction towards education within these communities.
    • Ibid, p.30
  • It is also clear that the major problem with these schools is that they were often mandatory and were established without the input of the impacted indigenous communities.
    • Ibid, p.32
  • In the last twenty-five years, Latin American countries have also begun to move in a similar direction as regards to the right to use indigenous languages. In March 1975, Peru officially recognized Quechua as an official language of the country, allowing legal proceedings to be conducted in that language. The Ministry of Education was mandated to provide ‘all necessary support for institutions engaged in the teaching and promotion of the language in question’. The teaching of Quechua is declared to be compulsory at all levels of education. In 1992, Bolivia in began implementing a bilingual education program in Guarani, Aymara and Quechan communities. In the same year, Paraguay started mandating the teaching of Spanish and Guarani at the elementary, secondary and university levels. In Nicaragua, the Atlantic Coast Autonomy Law recognized the right of the Atlantic Coast communities to preserve their cultural identity and their languages. It dictates that members of these indigenous communities are entitled to be educated in their own languages, through programs which take into account their historical heritage, their traditions and the characteristics of their environment, all within the framework of the national education system.
    • Ibid, p.40-41
  • American Catholic priests were shown to have a distinct pattern of sexual abuse, with 64 percent of all allegations of abuse made against a priest by a male only, according to a detailed report by the John Jay Institute investigating child abuse in the Catholic Church from 1950 to 2002. Those males were young: more than 85 percent of them were 8 to 10 years old.
  • Some experts believe sexual abuse by nuns may be underreported as is sexual abuse by women in secular society - and unrecognized even by those children who are its victims. In fact, Kenneth Lanning, the FBI's expert on child sexual abuse, who attended Catholic schools as a child, wonders if some nuns' notorious penchant for physical discipline may betray a degree of sexual sadism. 'When somebody takes a ruler and bends you over the desk and whacks you with the ruler, is it discipline?" Lanning asks. "Is it physical abuse? Or is it sexual abuse? My opinion is it could be any of the three."
  • I would draw the following broad conclusion: at a fairly early stage of the Great Famine the government's abject failure to stop or even slow down the clearances (evictions) contributed in a major way to enshrining the idea of English state-sponsored genocide in Irish popular mind. Or perhaps one should say in the Irish mind, for this was a notion that appealed to many educated and discriminating men and women, and not only to the revolutionary minority ... And it is also my contention that while genocide was not in fact committed, what happened during and as a result of the clearances had the look of genocide to a great many Irish.
    • Donnelly, James S (2005), The Great Irish Potato Famine, Sutton Publishing, ISBN 0-7509-2632-5
  • Although old laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Immigration Act of 1924 are no longer on the books, some commentators claim that the plenary power doctrine is still good law. If this is correct, then Congress may, without fear of judicial review, discriminate based on race, religion or any other ground that it deems appropriate when it determines who may, or may not, immigrate to, or become a citizen of, the United States.
  • This patchwork of largely fictional works makes the Protocols an incoherent text that easily reveals its fabricated origins. It is hardly credible, if not in a roman feuilleton or in a grand opera, that the “bad guys” should express their evil plans in such a frank and unashamed manner, that they should declare, as the Elders of Zion do, that they have “boundless ambition, a ravenous greed, a merciless desire for revenge and an intended hatred.” If at first the Protocols was taken seriously, it is because it was presented as a shocking revelation, and by sources all in all trustworthy. But what seems incredible is how this fake arose from its own ashes each time someone proved that it was, beyond all doubt, a fake. This is when the “novel of the Protocols” truly starts to sound like fiction. Following the article that appeared in 1921 in the Times of London revealing that the Protocols was plagiarized, as well as every other time some authoritative source confirmed the spurious nature of the Protocols, there was someone else who published it again claiming its authenticity. And the story continues unabated on the Internet today. It is as if, after Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler, one were to continue publishing textbooks claiming that the sun travels around the earth.
    How can one explain resilience against all evidence, and the perverse appeal that this book continues to exercise? The answer can be found in the works of Nesta Webster, an antisemetic author who spent her life supporting this account of the Jewish plot. In her Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, she seems well informed and knows the whole story as Eisner narrates it here, but this is her conclusion:
    The only opinion I have committed myself is that, whether genuine or not, the Protocols represent the programme of a world revolution, and that in view of their prophetic nature and of their extraordinary resemblance to the protocols of certain secret societies of the past, they were either the work of some such society or of someone profoundly versed in the lore of secret society who was able to reproduce their ideas and phraseology.
    Her reasoning is flawless: “since the Protocols say what I said in my story, they confirm it,” or: “the Protocols confirm the story that I derived from them, and are therefore authentic.” Better still: “the Protocols could be fake, but they say exactly what the Jews think, and must therefore be considered authentic.” In other words, it is not the Protocols that produce antisemetism, it is people’s profound need to single out an Enemy that leads them to believe in the Protocols.
    I believe that-in spite of this courageous, not comic but tragic book by Will Eisner- the story is hardly over. Yet is is a story very much worth telling, for one must fight the Big Lie and the hatred it spawns.
    • Umberto Eco, Milan Italy, (December 2004) translated by Allesandra Bastagli; in The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (10/2/2005), p. vi-vii
  • At first, the Nazis were just a terrorist group. Hitler assembled a large group of unemployed young men and former soldiers, known as the storm troopers (the SA), which attacked other political groups.
  • Hitler had a huge army of storm troopers, but he knew he would lose control of them if he did not give them something to do.
  • Rape rates increased dramatically (more than 27 percent) in US civil society during World War II compared to prewar rates, even while rates of murder and non-negligent manslaughter decreased. A similar pattern of formidable increases in domestic violence, rape and sexual assault occurred in US civil society since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began, while every other surveyed crime declined except for a small increase in simple assault.
  • Gail Horalek, the mother of a 7th-grade child in Michigan in the US, has made international headlines by complaining that the unabridged version of Anne Frank's diary is pornographic and should not be taught at her daughter's school. At issue for Horalek is a section detailing Anne's exploration of her own genitalia, material originally omitted by Anne's father, Otto Frank, when he prepared the manuscript for publication in the late 40s
    I had to look up what age kids are in the 7th grade. They're 12 to 13! They're only about a year younger than Anne was when she wrote of her vagina: "There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can't imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!" There cannot be a 13-year-old girl on the planet who hasn't had a root around and arrived at this exact stage of bafflement.
  • Horalek is, of course, wrong to call the passages pornographic. Pornography is material intended to arouse sexual excitement, and I very much doubt that was Anne's intention when she wrote to her imaginary confidant Kitty about her journeys of self-discovery.
  • Anne is going through puberty, and she describes her changed vagina in honest detail, saying, "until I was 11 or 12, I didn't realise there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn't see them. What's even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris." (Oh Anne, we've all been there.) She continues: "In the upper part, between the outer labia, there's a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That's the clitoris." It's beautiful, visceral writing, and it's describing something that most young women experience.
    And yet I can understand that the junior Ms Horalek would have squirmed and wished herself elsewhere when this was read in class. We live in a society in which young women are taught to be ashamed of the changes that their bodies undergo at puberty – to be secretive about them, and even to pretend that they don't exist. Breasts, the minute they bud, are strapped into harnesses, and the nipples disguised from view. Period paraphernalia must be discreet, with advertisers routinely boasting that their tampons look enough like sweets to circumvent the social horror of discovery.
    For my generation, removal of post-pubescent hair on the legs and underarms was mandatory. For Ms Horalek's generation, it is mandatory for pubic hair too. Anne writes: "When you're standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you're standing, so you can't see what's inside." How must reading this feel for pubescent girls who've already internalised the message that they must spend the rest of their lives maintaining the illusion that their body hair doesn't exist.
  • Dealing with this discomfort only involves censoring Anne Frank's diary if you're quite, quite odd. For the rest of us, the answer might be a little more free-flowing boob, some brazen Mooncup sterilisation, hairy legs sprinting through the summer grasses and, to use a pun that is intended as the highest compliment, Frankness about masturbation, sexuality and our bodies. Because it isn't just the Horaleks of this world who teach girls to be shameful rather than celebratory.
  • R&R is an abbreviation for "rest and relaxation," a phrase first used by the military. English sailors in the 18th and 19th centuries under captains Benjamin Wallis, William Bligh, and James Cook in Polynesia and elsewhere, along with scientists and writers such as Scottish writer and poet Robert Louis Stevenson, enjoyed exotic and seemingly easily erotic stays among "other people" in lands of good climates. During World War II,iun Hawaii naive young servicemen paid $3 for three minutes of R&R, or morale uplift in the face of tedium and loengthy sea voyages.
  • Tens of thousands of American servicemen enjoyed their first exotic port of call, too, this time at Olongapo City. The 20 or so R&R sites in the late 1950's had swelled to 1,567 in Olongapo and another 615 in Angeles city by the late 1980's.
    Hawaii and the Philippines were only two of the many places where military sexism found its logical expression. Soldiers viewed girls and women there through lenses of compliant Asian femininity but referred to them derogatorily as “slant eyes”. The “little brown sex machines” referred to T-shirts in Okinawa, Japan, morphed quickly into “little brown fucking machines powered by rice” in displays of militarized misogyny. Following six months of service, soldiers tired of drinking and playing billiards and video games could fly cheaply to Thailand, Hong Kong, Okinawa, or South Korea for more of the same, where structurally similar R&R venues had been set up for them. The 500,000 American soldiers in and near Saigon during the Vietnam war were matched in number by women and girls in prostitution, many in a kind of licensing system approved by the U.S. military.
  • At least four historical developments enabled the growth of R&R. By name and institution, it originated in the Mutual Defense Treaty signed in the late 1950s by U.S. and Korean authorities that granted American servicemen sexual access to Korean females at a 3-to-1 ratio. Second, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, Korea, and Okinawa included the sexual enslavement, to the Japanese Imperial Army, of 200,000 women and girls (comfort women) in state-sponsored brothels known as Comfort Stations. Third, near the end of World War II, the Battle of Okinawa occurred, during which far more civilians died than soldiers. Surviving Okinawan women were given by retreating or surrendering Japanese soldiers to the American occupation forces. Fourth, sex tourism got a huge boost in Bangkok and Pattaya, Thailand, during the 1960s and 1970s because of the Vietnam War, when American participants were flown to R&R sites not formally attached to military bases. In 1966, the Thai government passed the Entertainment Places Act, which codified the practice of police tolrance of military prostitution. The following year, an agreement allowing American soldiers to travel to Pattaya for R&R was signed, and spending in Pattaya grew from US$5 million in 1967 to US$20 million in 1970. Venues created to cater to American GIs expanded and today accommodate international tourists.
    As in Hawaii, Okinawa, and Olongapo, Bangkok's central role in military prostitution promoted severe abuse of women, distortion of local economies, flaunting of traditional values, abandonment of biracial children, and penicillin-resistant strains of gonorrhea. At the end of the first Persian Guld War in Iraq, the U.S. military once again sent troops on sex vacations to Thailand.
    • Ibid, 376-377
  • At midnight on August 13, all troops involved in the construction of the Wall are alerted. The action begins, it is supported in the hinterland by the Soviet armed forces stationed in the GDR. At 0.30 o'clock, tanks roll over the street Unter den Linden. Shortly after 1 o'clock the lights go out at the Brandenburg Gate. Armed GDR border police and members of the combat groups are positioning themselves at the demarcation border. Ghostly scenes take place: pavement is torn open in the spotlight of the military vehicles. Piles are rammed into the ground, barbed wire rolled out, tank barriers erected.
    The "Melodies for the Night" are running on Berliner Rundfunk. At 1:11, they are interrupted. The news anchor reads out a special message: "The Governments of the Warsaw Pact States are addressing the People's Chamber and the government of the GDR with the proposal to introduce such an order on the West Berlin border, which reliably shunts the activity of rioting against the countries of the socialist camp and around the whole area of West Berlin a reliable watch is ensured. " This informs the citizens of the GDR about what has already been going on for 71 minutes: the building of the Wall.
  • The 1968 My Lai massacre, during the Vietnam war, and its aftermath can be conceptualized as a struggle over outrage. Examination of the events reveals that the perpetrators and their commanders took various actions that inhibited outrage from the unprovoked killing of civilians. These actions can be classified into five methods: covering up evidence; devaluing the victims; reinterpreting the episode as a military victory; setting up superficial investigations that gave the appearance of justice; and intimidating those who might speak out. These are the same five methods regularly used by perpetrators to inhibit outrage from other types of injustices. This case gives guidance on the sorts of techniques needed to raise concern about human rights violations during wartime.
  • The military's belated efforts to find out the truth about My Lai were internal, and did not alert the public to the seriousness of what had happened. Months later, Ridenhour, having had no feedback about the investigation, contacted a literary agent to promote the story, but major newspapers and television networks were not interested. Ridenhour himself approached the Arizona Star, but it also was not interested.
    The person who broke the story was Seymour Hersh, a young investigative journalist. Hearing a little about My Lai and the military investigations from various sources, Hersh dug deeper and soon had researched a major story. However, the mainstream media also were initially not interested. The magazines Life and Look declined Hersh's story, so he turned to a newly formed independent news agency, Dispatch News Service, whose general manager personally contacted 50 editors of newspapers around the country, many of which published Hersh's story on 13 November 1969.
    Nevertheless, more was needed to produce a truly major impact. One of the soldiers at My Lai, Ronald Haeberle, had taken black-and-white photos of the scene and the assault with his army camera; with his own camera, he had taken color photos of the massacre. After My Lai entered the news, Haeberle revealed to a reporter that he had photos, and before long, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published his photographs, subsequently seen across the world. Hersh contacted another soldier who had been at My Lai, Paul Meadlo, and convinced him to tell his story on CBS television, interviewed by Mike Wallace. Meadlo admitted his role in the executions. The interview had an enormous impact.
  • The key processes in devaluation of the My Lai victims were racism and stereotyping. Racism was apparent in the language used by U.S. soldiers, who frequently referred to the Vietnamese as "gooks," "dinks," and "slopes." In this regard, reflecting on numerous interviews with soldiers during his inquiry, General Peers commented,
    "The most disturbing factor we encountered was the low regard in which some of the men held the Vietnamese, especially rural or farming people. This attitude appeared to have been particularly strong in Charlie Company, some of whose men viewed the Vietnamese with contempt, considering them subhuman, on the level of dogs."
  • The first night we got back and were sitting in the bunker smoking dope. One of my buddies started shaking - it really freaked him out. He kept saying something like "What are we turning into?" It was truly the first time I ever thought about that - I can remember. But it didn't really matter that much; they were just gooks. The next day we were out flying again and killing again ...
    Although the Vietnamese were the primary targets of devaluation, attempts were also made to discredit those who exposed the massacre, in the familiar process of "shooting the messenger." President Richard Nixon asked his aides to undertake a secret investigation of Ridenhour in order to find dirt that could damage his credibility. One of the investigations of the massacre, by a Congressional subcommittee chaired by H. Edward Hébert, "seemed more interested in discrediting those who had exposed the war crimes committed at My Lai than in ensuring that those responsible for them were punished." The subcommittee criticized photographer Ronald Haeberle for not reporting the massacre and questioned him about how much money he had made from his photos. The subcommittee grilled helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson about ordering his crew to be prepared to shoot U.S. soldiers. Peers later commented that he could not understand the subcommittee's treatment of Thompson, which seemed to him "to be more of an inquisition than an investigation" and gave no recognition for Thompson's heroism.
  • NARRATOR: In 1986, in what was the Soviet Republic of Ukraine, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded, releasing 400 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima Bomb. Thirty workers died; 50,000 people fled the nearest city, and the radioactive fallout spread over Europe. It was the world's worst nuclear accident.
    Thirty years later, its hastily built enclosure is crumbling. In a race against time, engineers are struggling to prevent another catastrophic release of deadly radioactive debris into the environment.
  • NARRATOR: In the vicinity of the reactor, the radioactive fallout forced a third-of-a-million people to evacuate, never to return.
    It remains the world's worst-ever nuclear power plant disaster. It left the Soviet authorities with a monumental problem: around 200 tons of shattered uranium fuel rods and other radioactive debris remained inside the damaged reactor building. Left uncovered, it would continually release radioactive dust into the air, a poisonous cloud to threaten the surrounding area.
    Over the next six months, workers braved extreme radiation to seal the reactor inside a 300,000-ton shelter, made from steel and concrete. It came to be called the "sarcophagus."
    But it was flawed from the start. The extreme radiation prevented the workers from completing the welds needed to seal the prefabricated sections of the sarcophagus together.
  • The story of what happened in that room, and when, has never been fully told, but is arguably more important in terms of understanding America's military capabilities that day than anything happening simultaneously on Air Force One or in the Pentagon, the White House, or norad's impregnable headquarters, deep within Cheyenne Mountain, in Colorado. It's a story that was intentionally obscured, some members of the 9/11 commission believe, by military higher-ups and members of the Bush administration who spoke to the press, and later the commission itself, in order to downplay the extent of the confusion and miscommunication flying through the ranks of the government.
  • For the neads crew, 9/11 was not a story of four hijacked airplanes, but one of a heated chase after more than a dozen potential hijackings—some real, some phantom—that emerged from the turbulence of misinformation that spiked in the first 100 minutes of the attack and continued well into the afternoon and evening. At one point, in the span of a single mad minute, one hears Nasypany struggling to parse reports of four separate hijackings at once. What emerges from the barrage of what Nasypany dubs "bad poop" flying at his troops from all directions is a picture of remarkable composure. Snap decisions more often than not turn out to be the right ones as commanders kick-start the dormant military machine. It is the fog and friction of war live—the authentic military history of 9/11.
  • Powell's question—"Is this real-world or exercise?"—is heard nearly verbatim over and over on the tapes as troops funnel onto the ops floor and are briefed about the hijacking. Powell, like almost everyone in the room, first assumes the phone call is from the simulations team on hand to send "inputs"—simulated scenarios—into play for the day's training exercise.
    Boston's request for fighter jets is not as prescient as it might seem. Standard hijack protocol calls for fighters to be launched—"scrambled"—merely to establish a presence in the air. The pilots are trained to trail the hijacked plane at a distance of about five miles, out of sight, following it until, presumably, it lands. If necessary, they can show themselves, flying up close to establish visual contact, and, if the situation demands, maneuver to force the plane to land.
    At this point, certainly, the notion of actually firing anything at a passenger jet hasn't crossed anyone's mind.
  • Incredibly, Marr has only four armed fighters at his disposal to defend about a quarter of the continental United States. Massive cutbacks at the close of the Cold War reduced norad's arsenal of fighters from some 60 battle-ready jets to just 14 across the entire country. (Under different commands, the military generally maintains several hundred unarmed fighter jets for training in the continental U.S.) Only four of norad's planes belong to neads and are thus anywhere close to Manhattan—the two from Otis, now circling above the ocean off Long Island, and the two in Virginia at Langley.
    Nasypany starts walking up and down the floor, asking all his section heads and weapons techs if they are prepared to shoot down a civilian airliner if need be, but he's jumping the gun: he doesn't have the authority to order a shootdown, nor does Marr or Arnold, or Vice President Cheney, for that matter. The order will need to come from President Bush, who has only just learned of the attack at a photo op in Florida.
  • It was the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, 2003, and the hearing room in the Hart Senate Office Building, in Washington, was half empty as the group of mostly retired military brass arranged themselves at the witness table before the 9/11 commission. The story the norad officers had come to tell before the commission was a relatively humbling one, a point underscored by the questions commission chairman Thomas Kean introduced during his opening remarks: How did the hijackers defeat the system, and why couldn't we stop them? These were important questions. Nearly two years after the attack, the Internet was rife with questions and conspiracy theories about 9/11—in particular, where were the fighters? Could they have physically gotten to any of the hijacked planes? And did they shoot down the final flight, United 93, which ended up in a Pennsylvania field?
  • A former senior executive at the F.A.A., speaking to me on the condition that I not identify him by name, tried to explain. "Our whole procedures prior to 9/11 were that you turned everything [regarding a hijacking] over to the F.B.I.," he said, reiterating that hijackers had never actually flown airplanes; it was expected that they'd land and make demands. "There were absolutely no shootdown protocols at all. The F.A.A. had nothing to do with whether they were going to shoot anybody down. We had no protocols or rules of engagement."
  • Cheney echoed, "The significance of saying to a pilot that you are authorized to shoot down a plane full of Americans is, a, you know, it's an order that had never been given before." And it wasn't on 9/11, either.
    President Bush would finally grant commanders the authority to give that order at 10:18, which—though no one knew it at the time—was 15 minutes after the attack was over.
  • Knowing that he was close to death at the age of 34, he asked that an autopsy be performed after his death to determine whether his pulmonary fibrosis was a result of his time at the World Trade Center site.
    Detective Zadroga’s autopsy revealed that his lungs were full of ground glass and noxious chemicals. The WTC dust that he breathed in contained asbestos, benzene, jet fuel and other carcinogens. Detective Zadroga’s death was the first to be officially linked to the toxins present at the World Trade Center.
    New York City firefighters and police officers who responded that day, and/or worked on the debris pile afterwards, lost an average of 12 year’s lung capacity. They were not the only ones breathing in that air. Residents, office workers, construction workers removing the debris, and students and teachers were all exposed to the same toxins.
  • I fear that this is only the tip of the iceberg. There were approximately 400,000 students, teachers, residents, office workers, responders and volunteers in Lower Manhattan on 9/11, and during the eight months following the attacks, when the air was thick with carcinogens.
    Unfortunately, only 80,000 have registered with the WTC Health Program, which provides free annual medical screenings and health care to those certified with 9/11-related illnesses. Should these screenings detect cancers or other illnesses, survivors are eligible for compensation and long-term health care.
  • To keep filling the ranks, the Army has had to keep lowering its expectations. Diluting educational, aptitude and medical standards has not been enough. Nor have larger enlistment bonuses plugged the gap. So the Army has found itself recklessly expanding the granting of “moral waivers,” which let people convicted of serious misdemeanors and even some felonies enlist in its ranks.
  • Last year, such waivers were granted to 8,129 men and women — or more than one out of every 10 new Army recruits. That number is up 65 percent since 2003, the year President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. In the last three years, more than 125,000 moral waivers have been granted by America’s four military services.
  • Most of last year’s Army waivers were for serious misdemeanors, like aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and vehicular homicide. But around 900 — double the number in 2003 — were for felonies. Worse, the Army does no systematic tracking of recruits with waivers once it signs them up, and it does not always pay enough attention to any adjustment problems. Without adequate monitoring and counseling, handing out guns to people who have already committed crimes poses a danger to the other soldiers they serve with and to the innocent civilians they are supposed to protect.
  • The fastest way to drop the rate of moral waivers would be for the Army to rebuild its recently tarnished reputation among less problematic young Americans. That will require an end to involuntarily extended tours of duty and accelerated, multiple redeployments into combat. The military is America’s face to much of the world. It ought to present the best face of American youth.

Diffusionist theoriesEdit

  • Freeman said the new study suggests the process of societies creating connections and becoming interdependent, known as globalization, also played out among human society millennia ago.
    "If every culture was unique, you would expect to see no synchrony, or harmony, across human records of energy consumption," Freeman said.
  • "The more tightly connected and interdependent we become, the more vulnerable we are to a major social or ecological crisis in another country spreading to our country," he said. 'The more we are synced, the more we put all our eggs in one basket, the less adaptive to unforeseen changes we become."
  • The trapdoor spider, Moggridgea rainbow, is only found on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. All of the other species in the genus are located in South Africa.
  • And yet, the research suggests they made the journey across an ocean a few thousand miles across.
  • At first thought, this does seem incredible," Andrew Austin, a professor at the University of Adelaide, said in a news release. "But there are precedents of such ocean travel. Moggridgea are also found on the Comoros volcanic islands, 340 km from mainland Africa, however this is a relatively short distance compared with the 10,000 km from South Africa to Kangaroo Island."
    Scientists hypothesize that a colony of trapdoor spiders likely drifted across the ocean when a large chunk of land and vegetation broke away from the coast and drifted to sea.
    "The burrows they live in are quite stable and they would have been quite secure in their silk-lined tubes with their trapdoors closed -- it was probably quite a safe way to travel," said Sophie Harrison, PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide and lead author of the new study.
  • After 101 days at sea the Kon-Tiki ran aground on a coral reef by the Raroia atoll in Polynesia. The expedition had been an unconditional success, and Thor Heyerdahl and his crew had demonstrated that South American peoples could in fact have journeyed to the islands of the South Pacific by balsa raft.
  • "Kon-Tiki" The Kon-Tiki Museum
  • Heyerdahl returned to the ocean element when he in 1969 led the first Ra expedition, whose objective was very similar to that of the Kon-Tiki. In the reed boat Ra, named after the Egyptian sun god, the expedition left Safi in Morocco in an attempt to cross the Atlantic, and thereby prove that the papyrus vessels of the ancient Egyptians had been capable of crossing the Atlantic.
    However, after a journey of 5,000 kilometres, the Ra started to break up due to faulty construction. The voyage had to be abandoned. The Ra II expedition, a repetition mounted one year later, was a success, reaching Barbados after a two-month voyage of 6,100 kilometres. The Ra II proved that boats such as the Ra could have sailed with the Canaries current across the Atlantic in prehistoric times.
    In 1977 Heyerdahl undertook yet another voyage with a reed boat, this time too to test theories concerning the ocean routes of antiquity. The purpose of the Tigris expedition was to throw light on ocean trade routes and cultural contacts from about 3000 BC between Sumer in Mesopotamia and a number of other cultural centres in the Middle East, northeast Africa and the present Pakistan.
  • His hypothesis was coolly received, so Heyerdahl decided to demonstrate personally what he believed to be the truth of his contentions. The vessel he made for the voyage was a balsawood raft, an exact reproduction of the Indian rafts made in South America since prehistoric times. In 1947, Heyerdahl set off from Callao in Peru with a six-man crew, sailing to the Tuamotu islands of Polynesia on the now world-renowned voyage of the Kon-Tiki.
    The hazardous three-month voyage was not only a daring enterprise, it was also a scholarly achievement.
  • Heyderdahl believed that sun worshippers from the ancient Indus Balley arrived in the Maldives via India and Sri Lanka in the first century BC, based on the discovery of a Roman coin from about 90 BC. The Maldives are mentioned in written sources from the Roman era - which is proof that the islands were known to exist and had been visited by people from the ancient world. Heyderdahl's theory of contact with the Indus Valley civilizzation did not gain general acceptance.
  • In addition to the many beautiful objects that were found, the team also discovered some double-bladed ceremonial oars that were identical in shape to those known from Easter Island. This discovery, not to mention the temple wall of the birdmen, provided new evidence supporting Hererdahl's theory that Indians from South America had also visited this legendary island.
  • Back in Ecuador, Heyerdahl and his colleagues, conducted experiments on an Inca navigational instrument: the guara, a centerboard. Theyproved that the rafts using the guara could alter course and saila gainst the wind. For Heyerdahl, this confirmed his theory that Pre-Columbian peoples could not only sail across the Pacific ocean - they could also returjn home again.
  • Heyerdahl and his research team ecavated the statues and found, under the heads, that colossal torsos existed.
  • In 1971 and 2008 he collected blood samples from Easter Islanders whose ancestors had not interbred with Europeans and other visitors to the island.
    Prof Thorsby looked at the genes, which vary greatly from person to person.
    Most of the islanders' genes were Polynesian, but a few of them also carried genes only previously found in indigenous American populations.
    Prof Thorsby found that in some cases the Polynesian and American genes were shuffled together, the result of a process known "recombination".
    This means the American genes would need to be around for a certain amount of time for it to happen.
    Prof Thorsby can't put a precise date on it, but says it is likely that Americans reached Easter Island before it was "discovered" by Europeans in 1722.
    Prof Thorsby believes there may have been a Kon-Tiki-style voyage from South America to Polynesia.
    Alternatively, Polynesians may have travelled east to South America, and then returned.
    However, Prof Thorsby said that his new evidence does not confirm Heyerdahl's theory that the islanders were originally all from South America.
    The first settlers to Polynesia came from Asia, and they made the biggest contribution to the population, he said.
    Heyerdahl was wrong but not completely," he said.
  • Abubakari II ruled what was arguably the richest and largest empire on earth - covering nearly all of West Africa.
    According to a Malian scholar, Gaoussou Diawara in his book, 'The Saga of Abubakari II...he left with 2000 boats', the emperor gave up all power and gold to pursue knowledge and discovery.
    Abubakari's ambition was to explore whether the Atlantic Ocean - like the great River Niger that swept through Mali - had another 'bank'.
    In 1311, he handed the throne over to his brother, Kankou Moussa, and set off on an expedition into the unknown.
  • The researchers claim that Abubakari's fleet of pirogues, loaded with men and women, livestock, food and drinking water, departed from what is the coast of present-day Gambia.
    They are gathering evidence that in 1312 Abubakari II landed on the coast of Brazil in the place known today as Recife.
  • One may or may not agree with Gavin Menzies that the Chinese circumnavigated and discovered the world - including the Americas, Australia and the Antarctica - in the year 1421, seventy year before Columbus. One may or may not agree with some (Islamic) scholars who locate the "discovery if America" in, say, the claim of the Muslim historian and geographer Abul-Hassan Ali inb Al-Hussain al-Nassudi (871-957) that during the rule of Abdullah ibn Mumammad in Spain, a navigator, Khashkhash inb Saeed ibn Aswad of Cordoba, crossed the Atlantic and reached an unknown territory ("Ard Mahhoola"). One might or might not accept the evidence that Leo Weiner offers in Africa and the Discovery of America or Van Sertina in They Come Before Colombus to suggest that Africans had sailed - among others, via the Moorish connection - and settled on the continent long before Colombus "discovered" it.
  • In 1808 the Portuguese Crown declared “Just War” (Bellum iustum) against all Indian tribes that did not accept European laws. The fierce Botocudo were targeted in such wars and, in consequence, became virtually extinct by the end of the 19th century (24).
  • Another imaginable pre-Columbian scenario involves opportunities for more recent direct contact between Polynesia and South America before the European arrival. Such possibility of a direct movement from Oceania across the Pacific Ocean to the Americas was raised by Cann (43) on a discussion of the origin of the Amerindian B haplogroup. This finding prompted Bonatto et al. to evaluate the likelihood of a Polynesian-Amerindian contact having occurred and conclude against it, although they could rule out neither minor contact events nor nonmaternal genetic exchange. New evidence from human and nonhuman material has become available since then. For example, there were archeological findings of Polynesian chicken bones in the Arauco Peninsula, in Chile (45) and evidence has been found in Easter Island of pre-Columbian presence of sweet potato and bottle gourd, both typical of South America. Independent of the plausibility or implausibility of the pre-Columbian arrival of Polynesians to the South American Pacific coast, there still would remain the need to explain how these migrants crossed the Andes and ended up in Minas Gerais, Brazil. We feel that such a scenario is too unlikely to be seriously entertained.
  • The last scenario that we wish to assess is the possible arrival of Polynesian haplogroups to Brazil in modern times through the African slave trade from Madagascar, where 20% of the mtDNA lineages belong to the B4a1a1a haplogroup (29). In 1807 Britain outlawed the Atlantic slave trade, making it illegal for British ships to transport slaves. The Royal Navy then began to patrol the waters off West Africa to enforce the so-called “Blockade of Africa.” British cruisers actually succeeded in capturing 169 Brazilian ships in that region in the period 1815–1850
  • Another possibility would be that female slaves from Madagascar living in these regions might have been kidnapped by Botocudo Indians or had run away and find refuge among them, thus creating conditions for introgression of their mtDNA in the Amerindian population. In fact, the kidnapping of a female by Botocudo Indians (Aimores) is a central theme of an 1870 Brazilian opera (“Il Guarany,” composed by Carlos Gomes). Although fanciful, this is perhaps the most likely scenario among those that can be entertained.
    In conclusion, we found evidence of Polynesian mtDNA haplogroups in 2 of 14 Botocudo skulls that were studied , with independent confirmation of the findings in two separate laboratories. As indicated previously, these findings have bona fide scientific status. We have entertained several possible models to try to explain how these Polynesian sequences were found in individuals from an Amerindian population living in a region in the interior of Brazil. At present, our results do not allow us to accept or definitely reject any of these scenarios. We hope that further molecular studies will settle the question and will clarify the relevance of our findings for a more complete understanding of pre-Columbian migratory routes of people into the Americas.
  • Genetic studies have consistently indicated a single common origin of Native American groups from Central and South America. However, some morphological studies have suggested a more complex picture, whereby the northeast Asian affinities of present-day Native Americans contrast with a distinctive morphology seen in some of the earliest American skeletons, which share traits with present-day Australasians (indigenous groups in Australia, Melanesia, and island Southeast Asia). Here we analyse genome-wide data to show that some Amazonian Native Americans descend partly from a Native American founding population that carried ancestry more closely related to indigenous Australians, New Guineans and Andaman Islanders than to any present-day Eurasians or Native Americans. This signature is not present to the same extent, or at all, in present-day Northern and Central Americans or in a ∼12,600-year-old Clovis-associated genome, suggesting a more diverse set of founding populations of the Americas than previously accepted.
  • “This is not a surprise based on oral history and other archaeological finds, and it was just a matter of time before we had a good example of Eurasian metal that had been traded,” said H. Kory Cooper, an associate professor of anthropology, who led the artifacts’ metallurgical analysis. “We believe these smelted alloys were made somewhere in Eurasia and traded to Siberia and then traded across the Bering Strait to ancestral Inuits people, also known as Thule culture, in Alaska. Locally available metal in parts of the Arctic, such as native metal, copper and meteoritic and telluric iron were used by ancient Inuit people for tools and to sometimes indicate status. Two of the Cape Espenberg items that were found – a bead and a buckle — are heavily leaded bronze artifacts. Both are from a house at the site dating to the Late Prehistoric Period, around 1100-1300 AD, which is before sustained European contact in the late 18th century.”
  • “The belt buckle also is considered an industrial product and is an unprecedented find for this time,” Cooper said. “It resembles a buckle used as part of a horse harness that would have been used in north-central China during the first six centuries before the Common Era.”
  • Hwui Shan’s voyage from China, five hundred years before Lei I Eric son and a thousand before Columbus, lias been almost totally ignored by modern American historians, yet a rather considerable number of learned papers, articles, and even books were once written about him by Western scholars who believed that he crossed the Pacific: and landed on the west coast of this continent—which he described as the wonderful Land of Fusang—in the year 458. The great Alexander von Humboldt called him the Leif Ericson of China, and the Land of Fusang the Vinland of the West. The French sinologues de Guignes and Paravey believed that he reached California. The German Karl Friedrich Neumann identified the Land of Fusang as Mexico. One American, Charles G. Leland, wrote a monograph called Fusang (London, 1875). Another, Edward P. Vining, compiled an 8oo-page encyclopaedic volume about the man he regarded as An Inglorious Columbus (New York, 1885). Dr. Charles E. Chapman, in his History of California: The Spanish Period (New York, 1921), devoted a chapter to him entitled “The Chinese Along the Pacific Coast in Ancient Times.”
    Hwui Shan, whose name (also written as “Hoei Shin”) means “very intelligent” in Chinese, was a cha-men , or mendicant Buddhist priest, from Afghanistan who first came to China as a very young missionary about the year 450. The period was one of great expansion for Buddhism, and extraordinary journeys made by cha-men on land and sea were not at all uncommon. This one seems to have left China almost immediately, in the company of four fellow priests, on a missionary journey to evangeli/e new lands. His report indicates that they sailed northeast of Japan to the Land of Ta-Han (the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia) and from there travelled 20,000 Ii (about 6,600 miles) east to the Land of Fusang. This distance and direction suggest that they went by a coasting, islandhopping route across the North Pacific, past the Aleutian Islands to Alaska, and down the west coast of America as far as Mexico. There, apparently, they remained for forty years, observing the country, its people, its customs, crafts, plants, and animals—and diffusing Buddhism among the inhabitants.
    At that period in Europe the Roman Empire was still in existence, and Fiance and Germany, still known as Gaul, were peopled by tribes of Goths. No one, as far as is known, had ever attempted—at least deliberately—to cross the mysterious ocean named for Atlantis, whose ancient civili/.ation and disappearance had been related by Egyptian priests. Old myths and legends have given rise, of course, to the idea that there were prehistoric or very early crossings of the Atlantic. The Greeks believed that there were Isles of the Blest far out in the Western Sea inhabited by men to whom the gods had given the gift of immortality. A strangely similar paradise was known in Welsh mythology as Avalon, the abode of deathless heroes like King Arthur. Seafaring tales of great antiquity, which may or may not have been true, intermixed with fables, also contribute to the speculation that the New World may have often been found. Diodorus of Sicily said that the Phoenicians (expert seamen 1,500 years before Christ) venturing out beyond the Pillars of Hercules on their circumnavigation of Africa were blown by a storm to a large, fertile, prosperous land in the west, whose citizens enjoyed much leisure time. The historian Plutarch also recorded the yarn of certain sailors who landed in Spain circa 60 u.c. after visiting, so they said, two large Atlantic islands 10,000 stadia (about 1,200 miles) west of the African coast. The Portuguese, too, had their Antilia (a name that was later applied to the West Indies), which appears as an island or a large land mass on many medieval charts and globes with cartographical exactitude midway between Lisbon and Japan. In addition there was Saint Brendan (484-577), an Irish monk believed by many writers to have discovered America. There seems no doubt that he and his crew of forty other religious seafarers in their specially constructed skin-covered kayak made it to Iceland; a colony of Irish monks was found there by the Vikings when they first arrived. But even if Saint Brendan did push on for forty clays and nights to the Land of the Gods, as his legend-encrusted narrative maintains, and even if it was America, Hwui Shan still preceded him by a century, for the Irishman’s alleged discovery did not occur until the year 545.
  • It was by no means the first time the Emperor had heard of this wondrous country. Long before Hwui Slum’s time Fusang was already well known to the Chinese, in poetry and fairy tale, as a kind of earthly paradise across the Pacific: where everything grew to supernatural si/e: trees a mile high, silkworms seven feet long, birds with three legs, etcetera. In China “Fusang” is still synonymous (at least it was in preCommunist days) with “fabulous” or “super” or “colossal.” Hangchow merchants, for example, used to advertise “Fusang silk” or “Fusang porcelain,” meaning something out of this world.
  • Behind the fiction may have been the fact of earlier discoveries and exploration. The Chinese are thought to be the first people to have developed the arts of boatbuilding and navigation. The tall trees of the fairy tale may have been, originally, California redwoods seen by some ancient mariner from the East. Although specific evidence of a conclusive kind is lacking and no dramatic, scientifically confirmed archaeological finds have yet been made on our Pacific coast, there have been some interesting amateur discoveries. In 1882 a cache of Chinese brass coins, said to have been dated 1200 B.C., was dug up by miners at a place called Cassiar in British Columbia, along with a bronze fan bearing Chinese characters. Strange implements, believed to be Oriental, have also been unearthed in the Northwest, while Indian legends all along that coast tell of men and ships that arrived there long before the Europeans. There is, moreover, a great deal of cultural evidence of a general kind supporting the probability of ancient human contacts between Asia and America. Many arts and customs and religious beliefs of the early civilizations in Middle and South America—pictographic: writing, pyramid architecture, massiveness and grotesquerie in sculpture, the belief in reincarnation, monasticism in Mexico—have definitely Oriental echoes. In an article entitled “Did Hindu Sailors Get There Before Columbus?” in The Asia Magazine of March 11, 1962, the modern Indian Buddhist priest Cha-men LaI presents an impressive illustrated summary of these similarities with special reference to Hinduism, the mother religion of Buddhism. “Deep in the forests of Copan in Honduras,” he writes, “one may see Indra, the god of paradise in Hindu mythology, riding an elephant. Triloknath, the Hindu ruler of the three worlds, was known to the Mexicans by the same name. In a temple in Guatemala there is a statue of an incarnation of Vishnu as Kurma, the tortoise. At Copán I found no fewer than three images of Hamiman, the monkeyfaced god celebrated in the Ramayana epic. How does one explain the undoubted affinity between Hinduism and the religions of South and Central America? I believe that the ancestors of the people who practised these forms of worship ventured across the Pacific Ocean as did the Malayans and the Polynesians in the fifth century, using boats much like the junks known to the Chinese.”
  • There seems to be no doubt that Hwui Shan was a real person who was thought by his contemporaries to have made a most unusual voyage east of China. On his return to King-chow he was ordered by the Emperor to tell his tale to the courtier Prince Yu Kie, who entered it in the imperial archives as one of the noteworthy happenings of the year 499. It was later published, about the year 600, by the historian Li Yan Chu, whose Records of the Liang Dynasty form part of the great annals of ancient China known as The Twenty-two Historians . Additional passages, taken from the original court archives, were published in the thirteenth century by the reputable scholar Ma Twan Lin. The story also appears or is referred to in other works of Chinese scholarship—being everywhere treated as history, not as fable—including Volume 231 of the eighteenth-century encyclopaedia Tu-Shu-Tsi-Chin (the Chinese invented encyclopaedias and have had them since the tenth century, one famous example, compiled in the days of the Ming Dynasty, having remained in manuscript because it was too large to print: it consisted of 22,937 books).
  • The second remarkable feature in Hwui Shan’s story is the almost incredible accuracy of the distance and direction he gave for a journey from Asia to America, and the plausibility of his route. “Fusang is located,” he said, “20,000 Ii east of the country of Ta Han.” If you take a pair of dividers and step off this distance on a globe, figuring the Chinese Ii at about one-third of a mile, and follow a course along the coasts and islands from Kamchatka (Ta Han) past the Komandorskies and the Aleutians, then along the coast of Canada and the United States, you will end with astonishing accuracy in the neighborhood of Acapidco, the principal western seaport of Mexico.
  • Asia and North America are practically joined together at Hering Strait (the classic theory regarding the origin of the American Indians is that they migrated from Asia across the land bridge that actually existed there in prehistoric times), and the sea route along the Aleutian chain is such that even a small, slow, primitive type of vessel can follow it without ever being long out oi sight of land. At only one point—between the Komandorskies and the Aleutians—there is a stretch of some 200 miles of open ocean, and even there land can sometimes be seen: it has been reported that on exceptionally clear days Attu has been sighted from Siberia. At no other place in the entire archipelago are the numerous islands otit of sight of each other or as much as one hundred miles apart. Frequently stormy and’ with few convenient landing places, this route must yet have been irresistible to ancient Asiatic mariners. A strong warm current, known as the Japan Current, or Black Stream, (lows eastward along it all the way to Lower California. As it leaves Japan and passes the Kurile Islands toward Kamchatka the current reaches a speed of from seventy-five to a hundred miles a day, providing a very effective first-stage thrust for a trans-Pacific voyage. Many ships have been driven to America by the Japan Current; during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the first Europeans were starting to settle our west coast and write its history, records were made of sixty Oriental sailing vessels that h;id dossed the Pacific Ocean in this way. In 1774, for instance, the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, marching overland from Arizona to what he called “the Philippine Ocean,” saw the wreck of an exotic-looking ship of non-European construction on the rocks near the Mission of Carmel. In 1815 a Japanese junk appeared oil Santa Karbara with fourteen dead and three survivors on board. She had started on a simple voyage from Osaka to Tokyo, had been blown oil course by a storm, and had drifted—solely by means of the current, without sail or mast or rudder—for over a year before reaching America.
  • As pointed out by Ignacio Bernai in his recent Mexico Before Cortez , the period of Hwui Shan’s voyage—458-499 A.D.—coincided with a golden age in Mexico now called by archaeologists the Classic Period. The Mexicans of that age possessed a system of hieroglyphic writing undeciphered to this day; a calendar more accurate than our own; and a knowledge of mathematics that included a symbol for zero centuries before the concept was known in Europe. They also built great metropolitan cities, particularly one named Teotihuacân in the ruins of which, twentyfive miles from Mexico City, may be seen the gigantic Pyramid of the Sun. These extraordinary metropolises (not to be confused with the Aztec cities that were there at the time of the Spanish conquest) are unique in the history of ancient cultures, for they had no city walls or fortifications. Their inhabitants appear to have had no enemies—and hence no need to defend themselves—and to have known nothing about war. They worshipped peaceful gods like the sun and the moon and the rain and the gentle Quetzalcoatl, the winged serpent, to whom butterflies were offered in sacrifice. It was not until the Toltec period (and much later still, in the time of the relatively modern Aztecs) that bloodthirsty warriors who practiced human sacrifice conquered and ruled the country. Another unusual thing about the Mexicans of the Classic Period is that they cremated their dead, a practice unheard of at any other time in Mexican history and one pertinent to the question of Buddhist influence.
  • Iron, of course, existed in Mexico but its use was unknown before the time of the Spaniards, who were the first to mine it. “Metals never had a great importance in American cultures,” writes Dr. Bernai. “Metals were for luxury rather than for their practical usefulness. Nevertheless, especially among the Tarascos, copper was abundantly used to make needles, pliers, awls, hatchets, and the cutting edges of farm tools.” The Tarascos, incidentally, were a tribe who lived in western Mexico, the region where Hwui Shan would have landed. His reference to the Mexicans’ indifference toward gold and silver is also borne out by eyewitness accounts of the Spaniards. Bernai Diaz, one of Cortes’ lieutenants, describing the market place of Mexico City (in his Discovery and Conquest of Mexico ), stated that gold and silver, far from being used as money, were bought and sold like other commodities and paid for with the regular currency of the country, which was cocoa.
  • There are also some serious inconsistencies and problems in Hwui Shan’s story. The century plant does not bear reddish, pear-shaped fruit; moreover, objectors say that any convincing description of the plant should have included a reference to pulque , the well-known Mexican liquor made from its juice. A particularly difficult problem also appears in one excerpt which has been said to prove that the Land of Fusang was not in America: “They have large cattle horns which they use as containers, the biggest ones holding about five gallons. They have carts drawn by horses, cattle, and deer. The people of that country raise deer as the Chinese raise cattle and from their milk make a fermented liquor. …” It is well known, of course, that American Indians, in spite of the high degree of civilization they reached in Mexico and other places, never domesticated animals or, strange to say, discovered the use of the wheel, except as they used it in toys. Cattle and horses and carts—not to mention trained deer!—were unknown among them until the Spaniards introduced them.
    There is also another difficult problem involved in Hwui Shan’s account—his mention of a Land of Women. This, he said, was located 1,000 Ii beyond the Land of Fusang. Its female inhabitants were completely covered with hair, walked erect, and chattered a lot among themselves but were shy when they saw ordinary human beings. They gave birth to their young after six or seven months of pregnancy and nursed them on their backs. The babies were able to walk within 100 days and were fully grown in three or four years. “Believe it or not,” he concluded, “this is truel”
    Problems like these may cause some readers to dismiss the entire story of Hwui Shan as nothing more than a fifth-century addition to the old Chinese fairy tale of Fusang. It ought to be remembered, however, that very few ancient travellers who visited foreign countries for the first time were accurate in everything they reported, nor were their accounts lacking in fantastic touches. Take, for example, the Icelandic sagas that tell of the colony of Vinland. They not only mention monopeds—one-legged men—but recount such bloodcurdling Viking exploits as that of Freydis, Leif Ericson’s half sister, who on one expedition to the New World allegedly murdered all the other women in her party with a battle axe in order to retain supreme command. For centuries, such tall tales as these caused the sagas to be regarded as entirely fictitious. Marco Polo, the first Westerner to see the Far East, lived for twenty years at the court of Kubla Khan and travelled widely in Asia. He came back to Venice with Paul Bunyan-like tales of a bird that could lift an elephant (the roc of the Arabian Nights , which he had heard about and accepted as factual), oxen as large as elephants, dogs as big as donkeys, and men with tails. Christopher Columbus, besides being a superb navigator, was a geographer and a cartographer of distinction, one of the first mariners to use the compass, and the very first to note that the North Star moves around the celestial pole. Yet even this sophisticated man repeated, like Hwui Shan, the story of an Island of Amazons. As a matter of fact, the legend of a Land of Women plays a considerable role in American history. California was long believed by the Spaniards to be an island rich in pearls and gold, populated by black-skinned ladies “without a single man among them” and ruled by a beautiful queen “of majestic proportions” named Calaffa. Such was the description of our as-yet-undiscovered Golden State in Amadis of Gaul , that infamous five-volume, fifteenth-century best seller (with sequels) which, more than any other book, was responsible for the madness of Don Quixote. The legend inspired the equipping of expeditions and persisted as late as the seventeenth century. So, too, did the belief of brave, strong men in the Fountain of Youth, the Earthly Paradise, and the fabulous Golden Kingdom of Quivira.
  • Inasmuch as Menzies believes that he has collected a veritable mountain of evidence, he is not disheartened by skepticism about some of his astonishing assertions. As he told People Magazine (24 February 2003) after 1421 hit the New York Times bestseller list, "[t]here's not one chance in a hundred million that I'm wrong!" He regards his investigation as an ongoing project: a website ( provides yet more evidence, further revelations will appear in the forthcoming paperback edition, and a team of researchers currently is assisting him in combing medieval Spanish and Portuguese documents for added proof of his contentions. 1421, he informs the reader, will be published in more than sixteen countries, a PBS series is in production, and television rights have been sold around the world.
    Menzies is contemptuous of professional historians who ignore evidence of Chinese influence in the Americas, "presumably because it contradicts the accepted wisdom on which not a few careers have been based" (p. 232). He explains that he has uncovered information that has eluded many eminent historians of China, even though it was right before their eyes, "only because I knew how to interpret the extraordinary maps and charts that reveal the course and the extent of the voyages of the great Chinese fleets between 1421 and 1423" (pp. n-12). A former submarine commander in the British Royal Navy, he has sailed in the wake of Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and James Cook, hence he recognizes that those mariners, who navigated with copies of Chinese maps in hand, were themselves merely sailing in the backwash of Zheng He's fleets (pp. 9, 12).
  • The good news conveyed by 1421 is that there are big bucks in world history: Menzies received an advance of $500,000 ($825,000)from his British publisher, whose initial printing runs to 100,000 copies. The bad news is that reaping such largesse evidently requires producing a book as outrageous as 1421. Menzies flouts the basic rules of both historical study and elementary logic. He misrepresents the scholarship of others, and he frequently fails to cite those from whom he borrows. He misconstrues Chinese imperial policy, especially as seen in the expeditions of Zheng He, and his extensive discussion of Western cartography reads like a parody of scholarship. His allegations regard ing Nicol? di Conti (c. 1385-1469), the only figure in 1421 who links the Ming voyages with European events, are the stuff of historical fiction, the product of an obstinate misrepresentation of sources. The author's misunderstanding of the technology of Zheng He's ships impels him to depict voyages no captain would attempt and no mariner could survive, including a 4,000-mile excursion along the Arctic circle and circumnavigation of the Pacific after having already sailed more than 42,000 miles from China to West Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines (pp. 199-209, 311).
    • Ibid p.231
  • Portraying himself as an innocent abroad, forthrightly seeking truths the academic establishment has disregarded or suppressed, Menzies in fact is less an "unlettered Ishmael" than a Captain Ahab, gripped by a mania to bend everything to his purposes. His White Whale is Eurocentric historiography, which celebrates Columbus (a thief and fraud, pp. 382-383) and Vasco da Gama (a terrorist, p. 406) without realizing they merely aped the epic deeds of the Chinese. More gener ally, Menzies, in an unacknowledged echo of Joseph Needham, laments that China did not become "mistress of the world," with Confucian harmony and Buddhist benevolence uniting humankind. Instead, the cruel, barbaric West, secretly and fraudulently capitalizing on Chinese achievements, imposed its dominion around the globe (pp. 405-406).
    The wounded leviathan of Eurocentricism no doubt deservesanother harpoon, but 1421 is too leaky a vessel to deliver it. Exami nation of the book's central claims reveals they are uniformly without substance: first, that the 1421-1423 voyages Menzies describes could not have taken place; second, that Conti played no role in transmitting knowledge of Chinese exploration to European cartographers; and third, that all Menzies exploration to European cartographers; and third, that all Menzies's evidence for the presence of the Chinese fleetsabroad is baseless.
  • 1421 concentrates on what Menzies terms "the missing years" of the sixth voyage of Zheng He, that is, the two and a half years between March 1421 and October 1423, during which the fleets of Zheng He supposedly roamed the globe. Menzies is not interested in the well known, much-studied voyages of Zheng He, and he ignores the extensive literature on them. He dispenses with six of the seven expeditions (between 1405 and 1433) in one page (pp. 54-55). He singles out the sixth voyage because it was the only one in which Zheng He returned to China early, leaving his subordinate eunuch-captains to carry out their mission of returning tribute envoys to their kingdoms. This circumstance offers Menzies a window of opportunity to imagine that the armada left the Indian Ocean to seek new lands in the Atlantic and Pacific. Since he claims that the mariners sailed about 40,000 miles in their world-girdling Odysseys, two and a half years is just barely enough time for them to journey such a vast distance while also charting coasts, mining ore, meeting alien peoples, and founding colonies.
  • Throughout 1421, Menzies places great emphasis on imperial officials in 1477 destroying many of the documents regarding the Ming expeditions in order to prevent a renewal of the project.
  • Ibid 231-233
  • There are plentiful surviving documents on the expeditions, however, that prove there were no "missing years." The sources indicate that an imperial order for the sixth voyage was issuedin March 1421, although the flotilla did not leave China until the turn of the year. It reached Sumatra around July 1422, after many stops in Southeast Asia; Zheng He returned home to Nanjing by September 1422, leaving his subordinates to sail on to thirty-six ports in Ceylon, India (both Bengal and the Malabar coast), the Persian Gulf, and East Africa. The last of the squadrons returned to China on 8 October 1423, having completed their journey of some 11,000 miles in the expected time, about one year and three months after departing Sumatra.6 Thus there are no "missing years" for the Ming fleets, no time for even a portion of the extraordinary exploits narrated in 1421.
  • Even taking Menzies's account at face value, however, it is farfetched. The author asserts that Zheng He arrived home in November 1421 and that his captains completed their errands in the Indian Ocean in July of the same year, a mere three months after departing Sumatra. After rendezvousing at Sofala (across from Mozambique on the East African coast), they doubled the Cape of Good Hope in August and headed north to the Cape Verde Islands, reaching them in late September; a month later, they made landfall off the Orinoco River in Brazil, and by November they were approaching Cape Horn in the South Atlantic (pp. 83, 99-100, 113-116). In other words, Menzies proposes that Zheng He's captains completed a voyage of some 17,000 miles in mainly unknown seas in seven months, including dozens of stops in the Indian Ocean, while Zheng He took the same amount of time to journey about 3,500 miles from Sumatra to Nanjing.
    • Ibid, 234
  • The hazards involved in such voyages were never the less so great that it would be wrong to picture a flotilla of Bristol fishing doggers heading straight for Labrador and Newfoundland every year after 1481. Knowledge obtained up to that point had been gradual, and it must have come at untold cost in ships and human lives.
  • It was only after John Cabot's successful 1497 voyage to the "Island of the Seven Cities" that the location of the teeming Newfoundland Banks became common knowledge. Cabot's mostly English crew said there was so much fish in the new land that Iceland would no longer be needed.
  • Late in 1497 or early in 1498, the English merchant John Day (also known as Hugh say) wrote to Christopher Colombus about Cabot's discoveries. He told Columbus that the cape Cabot had found "was found and discovered in the past [en otros tiempos] by the men from Bristol who found 'Brasil' as your Lordship knows. It was called the Island of Brasil, and it is assumed believed to be the mainland that the men from Bristol found.
  • Scandanavian peoples had, in fact, experienced visits from the seal people at least as early as the thirteenth century, and were as puzzled as the Orcadians. In the 1420s the Danish cartographer Clavys Swart noted he had seen "the little oygmises...after they had been caught at sea in a skin boat which now hangs in [the] Cathedral [at Trondheim]. In the cathedral there is also a long boat of skin which was taken with the same kind of pygmies in it." On his maps, Swart placed a large island halfway between Norway and Greenland, which he thought must be the home of the owners of the skin boats. The Trondheim cathedral records indivate that a kayak and an umiak were indeed among its museum pieces in the fifteenth century, and the cathedrals inventory descriptions of the time make it clear they were Greenland-style boats.
  • The "escaping-captive" theory gained considerable support and is still being championed. There is no question that while some arctic inhabitants were willing passengers to Europe, considerable numbers were taken forcibly from their homes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In addition tot he Labrador womana dn child kidnapped in 1566 by French fishermenfor exhibition in several German cities in 1567, and the four people taken from southeast Baffin Island by Martin Frobisher's 1576 and 1577 expeditions, at least thirty Greenlanders were kidnapped by Danish, Norwegian and Dutch ships, and taken to Europe between 1805 and 1660.
  • Historians and archaeologists talk of immigrants moving north into the newly exposed rich northern Tundra both in Europe and North America. But it was not until Guthorm Gjessing, Norwegian archaeologist and ardent diffusionist, noticed a striking similarity between the cultural remains in Norway and the Maritime Archaic or red paint people of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes that the Atlantic rim connection was made. Style and technique of worked stone and the use of skin boats for deep-sea fishing and red ochre in burials were common. Impossible some say, but others–usually those with salt in their blood–think otherwise and see the fish-laden pack ice as a bridge not a barrier to traveling around the North Atlantic rim.
  • Betty Meggers found 6,000 year old Japenese Jomon pottery techniques replicated in Ecuador, Steve Jett, southeast Asian beaten bark cloth techniques. Carl Johannessen found America Maize carved on Stupa's of the Punjab, while George Carter demonstrated the Mexicans were betting blue eggs from Chinese Chickens. Nancy Yaw Davis found enimatic traits in the Zunis and proposed that they derived from 16th century Japan, once more demonstrating that the Pacific Ocean was a bridge not a barrier across the Pacific.
  • Few thought it likely that any people could have in­habited Iceland before the Irish in the eighth century, nor had they found man-made evidence or confirmation of earlier human contact. Throughout Europe and America, evidence has been found of Neolithic people in earlier cultural levels. Whether on islands or else­where, research certainly shows that savages had lived in Northern Europe, Iceland had, no doubt, been severed from the continent long before Northern Europe had been settled by human clans during the Stone Age and long after. Using small boats poorly suited for the open ocean, they were not able to endure heavy seas; they followed the coasts, and did not risk the open ocean. Later, even the Phoenicians were lost if they could not see land, and dared not venture far from the coast.
  • But it was 925 AD before Dicuil, an Irish monk records that his brethren had been visiting Thule for many years. He gives a description of that barren land that leaves little doubt that he is referring to Iceland.
  • By 874 Iceland had been “discovered and the adventurous Norse ranges farther west to Greenland and the illusive Vinland around 1000 AD.
  • The North Atlantic voyager who should be considered the discoverer of the New World was Gunbjorn, who fell afoul of Iceland and emerged from the fog on the rocky skerries off the east coast of Greenland sometime in the late ninth century. North American settlement, for Greenland is certainly geologically and geographically part of North America, began with the arrival of the outlawed Eric the red, with his band of settlers in 985 in the fjords of the west coast of Greenland. This settlement, known as the “Eastern Settlement” spawned another outpost three hundred miles to the north which was known as the “Western Settlement”. The two settlements struggled to survive until the Western Settlement was abandoned around 1340 and the “east” settlement disappeared during the little ice age of the mid-16th century. The fate of Vinland the Good is not so clearly documented.

Art History/Art CriticismEdit

  • Popularly called "Venus figures," these tiny statues were crafted by human ancestors living in locations across Europe and Asia starting around 35,000 years ago. Most often, the pieces have been interpreted by academics and journalists as fertility figures that could be used ritually, or as what essentially amounts to hand-held pornography, produced by men for other men — the logic here being that sexual images supposedly arouse males more than females.
  • Science-oriented media, in fact, according to Nowell and Chang, do often echo the academic, sexualized discourse. Do these figurines represent early pornography? Science asked. Nature dragged out phrases like "prehistoric pinup" in referring to the object's "almost aggressively sexual nature." In Discovery magazine in 2011, the more general claim was made that the objectification of women can be traced "deep into the mists of prehistory."
    Nowell and Chang report, though: that the figures of this time period are far too variable in form to be reduced female anatomy; that there's no evidence these small statues were made by men for men; and that, in any case, it's poor practice to assume that our ancestors would have responded to hyperfemale figurines in any certain way. "The assumption that Paleolithic people would have responded to images of female nudity in the same manner as modern people — or, rather, a sample of modern people drawn from a single Western culture group at a specific point in time — is untenable," they write. Response to art "is highly culturally mediated," they say, and thus likely to differ across time.
  • AN: I guess the answer is both yes and no. Yes, it surprises because as an archaeologist when I look at the tremendous diversity represented by these figurines I can't believe we reduce them to a pair of breasts. Because most people, including archaeologists outside my field, normally see images of the same 3 or 4 figurines repeatedly, they are unaware of this variation in style, material and context.
    Some figurines are male, some are female; some are human, some are animals and some are fantastical creatures (i.e., they exist only in our imagination); some wear items of clothing, others do not; some are found in ritualized contexts while others are found in refuse heaps; some have perforations suggesting they were made to be worn while at least one figurine has a hollowed out back suggesting that it was perhaps mounted on a pole. So to interpret all of these figurines as sexual objects and in particular to use the term "pornographic" as some of the academic and non-academic writers do when that is such a culturally specific term and we are talking about a period of 25,000-35,000 years ago is not only surprising, it is disheartening.
  • Olga Soffer's research with her colleagues James Adovasio and David Hyland has been instrumental in providing a more holistic understanding of the past by, as we say in archaeology, making the invisible visible. Their work has shed light on the existence of a complex textile technology thousands of years before we thought possible. By extension, their research on textiles, in conjunction with research on ceramic technology (also Olga's work!), and on the production of beads, flutes, sculptures and cave paintings all of which date back 25,000 to 35,0000 or even 40,000 years ago illuminate the lives of all Ice Age peoples.
    I always tell my students that life in Ice Age Europe would have been demanding and you couldn't have afforded to have 50% of the population not contributing to the economic, political and social well-being of their communities. This isn't a politically correct revisionist view of prehistory but rather an attempt to be more scientific.
  • AN: It is important because when highly respected journals such as Nature use terms such as "Prehistoric Pin-up" and "35,000 year old sex object" and archaeologists from prestigious universities describe the figurine as "sexually exaggerated to the point of being pornographic" their voices carry weight and authority. This allows journalists and other researchers — particularly evolutionary psychologists — to use this interpretation of archaeological evidence to legitimize and naturalize contemporary western values and behaviors by tracing them back into the "mists of prehistory."
    In other words, we look at the way gender and gender relations are constructed today in our own (Western) society and we believe that good, bad or otherwise this is the way they have always been and will always be — that this particular way of organizing ourselves makes "evolutionary sense" and here is the scientific evidence to prove that — instead of allowing ourselves to imagine and to investigate whether there have been other ways of organizing ourselves as people and to recognize that the present is very much the result of particular historical and social circumstances.
  • A considerable diversity of opinion exists in the archeological and paleoanthropological literature regarding the possible functions and significance of these objects. Some of the different theories put forward include: fertility symbols, self-portraits, Stone Age dolls, realistic depictions of actual women, ideal representations of female beauty, religious icons, representations of a mother goddess, or even the equivalent of pornographic imagery.
    According to Soffer, Adovasio, and Hyland (2000), the garments that many of the Venus figures have been found wearing, including basket hats, netted snoods, bandeaux, string skirts, and belts, were not typical Paleolithic day wear. The authors suggest that the garments are more likely ritual wear, real or imagined, which served as a signifier of distinct social categories. <br? Dixson and Dixson (2011) argue that it is unlikely that the figures were realistic representations of women. At the time the statuettes were made, Europe was in the grip of a severe ice age and it is unlikely that obesity was a common feature. Instead, the authors proposed that the figures may have symbolized abundance and hope for survival and longevity, and for well-nourished and reproductively successful communities, during the harshest period of the major glaciation in Europe.
  • Petroglyphs are found world-wide and usually are prehistoric; the term refers to a rock surface that is incised, carved or abraded. Picotgraphs are images drawn or painted on a rock face and both types fall into the category of rock art with many examples found in New England.
  • The oldest known rock art in the world was discovered at the El Castillo cave in Spain, where hand stencils have been dated as more than 40,000 years old.
    Professor Barker says the Territory find is unequivocally the oldest dated rock art in Australia and also one of the earliest proven occupation sites
    He says the artwork documents the importance of animals as a food source for the people who made them.
    "They draw the picture of, say, a fish, and they include the internal organs ... the backbone and swim bladder and all those kinds of things," he said.
    "They are called X-ray figures because you can actually see the internal organs of the animals.
  • Dating back 11,000 years - with a coded message left by ancient man from the Mesolithic Age - the Shigir Idol is almost three times as old as the Egyptian pyramids.
    New scientific findings suggest that images and hieroglyphics on the wooden statue were carved with the jaw of a beaver, its teeth intact.
    Originally dug out of a peat bog by gold miners in the Ural Mountains in 1890, the remarkable seven-faced Idol is now on display in a glass sarcophagus in a museum in Yekaterinburg.
  • As might be expected, tripping on ‘shrooms’ isn’t a recent phenomenon. For thousands of years they have been widely used in Central America for religious ceremonies. The Aztecs called them teonanacatl, or “flesh of the gods”. There is a theory that several Mesolithic rock paintings at Tassili n’Ajjer in Algeria depict the ritual use of mushrooms. Some of these pictures reportedly show mushrooms actually growing out of people, so presumably the painter had been vigorously engaging with the proceedings.
    Anthropologist John Rush thinks magic mushrooms gave us Father Christmas. Apparently, Siberian shamans would hand out the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria to the region’s tribesmen every December. Often the snow was so heavy they couldn’t use the door, so would climb down the chimney. Where does that particular type of mushroom grow? In coniferous woodland (i.e. pines, firs etc…). It’s red with white spots. Father Christmas wears red and white. The spirit animal of these shamans? Reindeer… it all makes sense now.
  • R. Gordon Wasson observed, "Reindeer have a passion for mushrooms and specifically fly agaric..." When reindeer eat the red with white-flecked mushrooms or drink the urine of humans or other reindeer that have consumed the A. muscaria mushroom, they act unusual, at least for reindeer. It's suggested the story that reindeer pull Santa's sleigh comes from the reindeers’ fondness of browsing on these hallucinogenic mushrooms and their behavior after partaking of this hallucinogen. Indeed, reindeer dance, prance, "fly around" and act strange after eating the A. muscaria mushroom.
  • Santa's eight reindeer may symbolize the pagan stag god and eight is the number for a new beginning. Thor, the Norse god, rode through the sky in a magic chariot pulled by reindeer. The names of the reindeer mirror reindeer behavior post mushroom eating, and suggest pagan gods and nature. That may just be coincidental, but then again ...
    Donner and Blitzen, are Dutch for thunder and lightning (actually Donner was changed from Dunder) and Cupid is a messenger of Eros, an ancient pagan god of love. This might reflect the use of the Shamanistic mushroom to enhance the ecstasy of sexual orgasm. Dance and Prance are what reindeer do after eating the mushroom. Comet is a celestial body in flight. Vixen may just be there for poetry or may represent witches' (a vixen) magic.
    This line of thinking traces the origin of our contemporary flying Santa Claus and his sleigh to the hallucination of flight caused when humans ingest the colorful red and white topped A. muscaria mushroom. Expositions of this thesis continue that the Santa flying myth relates to the experience of Koryak shamans of Siberia. To the Koryak people, A. muscaria was a spirit they called "wapaq." They believed these spirits would tell any person who ate them, even a layman, what ailed him if he was sick, explain a dream, foretell the future or show the person the upper or lower world.
  • In Mesopotamia, sex was just another aspect of life and there was no shyness, or taboo involved in it. While sex was a part of one’s personal life there were also a couple of, what we would consider, odd customs observed. For example, there was the marriage market, where women were auctioned off as brides, and a particular form of sacred prostitution. Each woman had to perform this type of prostitution at least once in her life and it involved sitting outside the temple of Ishtar (Inanna) and agreeing to have sex with the person who chose her. Herodotus explains this particular custom was meant to ensure the fertility and continued prosperity of the community although his interpretation, and whether this practice even existed as he described it, have been challenged.
  • In ancient Israel, the temple prostitutes were called qedeshot, i.e., holy women. Originally, the Hebrew word 1-d-sh meant something like isolated- specifically from the profane sphere, and belonging to a sacral one.
    Orgiastic ceremonies often took place in the service of Ishtar. Herodotus reports that in Babylon every maiden had to give herself once in her life to a strange and sacrifice her virginity in return for a sum of money. However, this was in no way considered to be prostitution, because the stranger obviously represented the god. As the stranger slept with her, this consummation became a hieros gamos (sacred wedding), in which the maiden was symbolically consecrated as the god's wife. Another prostitute related to Ishtar is Aphrodite Parakyptusa, worshipped on Cyprus in particular, who whistles from her window in order to attract lovers. Such representations of the woman at the window are widespread throughout the entire Orient.
  • Humbling huge mountains as if they were piles of litter, she immobilises ....... She brings about the destruction of the mountain lands from east to west. Inana ...... wall ...... gulgul stones, she obtains victory. She ...... the kalaga stone ...... as if it were an earthenware bowl, she makes it like sheep's fat. The proud mistress holds a dagger in her hand, a radiance which covers the Land; her suspended net piles up fish in the deep, ....... As if she were a clever fowler no bird escapes the mesh of her suspended net. The place she has pulverised ......., ...... the divine plans of heaven and earth. The intention of her word does not ...... to An. The context of her confusing advice in the great gods' assembly is not known.
  • The uniform darkness, fount of the gods,
    The place from which the birds come...
    Open to the Duat [Underworld] that is on her northern side
    With her rear in the east and her head in the west.
    • Inscription addressed to the goddess Nut under a representation on the ceiling of the temple of Seti; reported in Rose Hammond, Islands in the Sky: The Four-Dimensional Journey of Odysseus through Space and Time (2013), p. 118.
  • In art, sex is not usually explicitly detailed, though since much artwork was either in tombs or temples it can be argued that their sexual acts were not depicted so as to avoid their desecration. That is not to say that the ancient Egyptians never drew graphic pictures; often, at least one party was drawn as an animal to censor the act as the Egyptians had a certain prudishness towards illustrations of sex between two humans. Beyond this, the Ancient Egyptians did not seem to be terribly shy about sex. Their mythology relies heavily on sexual themes, and there are many (possible) coded messages and euphemisms about sex riddled within the art itself. For example, King Tutankhamen is shown on a chest using a bow while his wife stands by his feet with an arrow at the ready; the verb “to shoot” in the Ancient Egyptian language also means “to ejaculate.” This is symbolic of the need to have sex in order to be reborn after death. Moreover, their religion itself was stepped in sexual themes, including the ithyphallic god Min.
  • One creation myth details how the first god (Atum or Ra), who created himself, fathered the next generation of deities through masturbation. There was supposedly an event in which the Pharaoh would ceremoniously ejaculate into the Nile to mimic Atum/Ra’s creation of Shu and Tefnut; that is, it was to encourage the fertility of the Nile. (I say this in a skeptical manner as I cannot find a corroborating article, merely one’s that reference this claim.) On the Turin Erotic Papyrus one can see a woman seated on a vase to pleasure herself while it is believed that Cleopatra may have created a vibrator for herself using bees.
  • The Ancient Egyptians have a history of using birth control; different methods can be found in the Kahun Gynecological Papyrus. One form of contraception included the use of acacia gum, about which it has since been learned that when compounded it essentially becomes spermicide. Various other substances were used inside of the vagina, including pessary made of crocodile dung.
  • Seth and Horus have had a long history of one-upsmanship and some pretty awkward sexual tension. Seth, who has long wanted to be the chief god of the pantheon, tries to assert his dominance over Horus by having sex with him, planning to have penetrative or intercrural sex with Horus. By putting Horus in the “womanly” or passive position, Seth would have elicited the anger of the other gods towards Horus. This does not come to pass, however, thanks to aid of Isis who helps her son keep Seth’s semen off his body and plots to turn the tables around, making Seth appear to be the receptive partner by tricking him into eating Horus’s semen. (Though, some sources say that both men were equals in the sense that they were able to penetrate one another.) What can be gleaned from this story is that it was not homosexual relations themselves that were looked upon negatively but, like in Ancient Greece, the partner in the “passive” role who was disdained.
  • In Egyptian mythology, Seth murdered and dismembered Osiris, necessitating Isis and Nephthys to collect the pieces. They were able to recover every part of Osiris except for his penis, so Isis created a new phallus for him. Restored, Isis has sex with her husband and thus conceives Horus. This helped to create the belief that even after death a person still had sexual power, which if unspent could wreak havoc. Herodotus wrote that some corpses would not be delivered to the embalmers for several days to prevent them from copulating with the deceased.
  • The Turin Erotic Papyrus is obviously a satire on human manners and desires, as the animal vignettes on the first third of the papyrus suggest. Another papyrus from the Ramesside period, the so-called Satirical Papyrus, now in the British Museum, shows animals performing activities often represented in the "high" art of Egyptian tombs; a lion, for example, is shown mummifying a corpse. The Satirical Papyrus appears to be a parody of "high" themes in "low" style. The graphic, vulgar Turin papyrus probably also pokes fun at the upper classes. The erotic vignettes, I believe, were appreciated as ironic commentary on the love poetry enjoyed by the Ramesside elite. These poems use sensuously and erotically charged imagery to celebrate emotional and sexual relationships between beautiful young elite women and their handsome male peers.
  • “Eros in Egypt” David O'Connor, David O'Connor: Archaeology Odyssey, September-October, 2001
  • Forests and mountains compose a masculine landscape from which the woman/wife is radically absentl so too, are excluded the socio-political values that define the proper use of the female body. In the space where social rules are silent, deviance is articulate, and transgressions come to pass,... As a result of its position between war and marriage, the hunter's terrain gains its capacity for becoming the privileged place in myth for marginal sexual behavior, whether it be masculine or feminine denial of marriage or, inversely, experimentation with censured sexual behavior. As a liminal place where socially dominant sexual relations are as if suspended, the land of the hunt is open to the subversion of amorous pursuits, whatever their process or modality.
  • And so Herakles attacks the breast of Hera, where another tradition tells us he was nursed. Although Homer never mentions this other story, many historians of religion have made the link between them. In order to do this, they emphasize a detail that I have not mentioned thus far: the baby Herakles, already in infancy excessively strong or energetic, seems to have pulled on the gosdess' breast so powerfully that she pushed him away in pain. The ancients, however, had already (though long after Homer) established the link between this agressive hunger and the arrow with three barbs that Herakles shot at Hera. For the poet Lykophron, the two episodes combine in the life of the hero by way of a significant recapitulation: Herakles is designated as the one "who struck in the breast with a painful arrow the goddess who has given him birth for the second time. the invulnerable one" (Alexandra 38-39)
    • Ibid 44-45
  • Many religious practices were celebrated by citizens in their home and household shrine known as the Lararium. Larariums have been found and excavated all over Pompeii and Herculaneum, by modern archaeologists such as Guiseppe Fiorelli. Household Gods sought to save the family from any misfortune or negativity that may enter the door; a spiritual place of the home that needed to be protected by the guardian spirits (Lares) of the households, from incoming evils that may try and enter the home.
    A lararium excavated in the House of the Vetti, containing a wall painting of the lares (household Gods), a genius (the god of the male line of decent), the Mercury God of commerce and the Dionysus God of wine, depicts and reveals aspects and facts of such household Gods and their importance to an individual and their family. The lararium was found in the atrium, at the entrance of the house. This source is structured and built depicting the front of a temple with columns. This observation revealed to archaeologists that the source has a religious meaning. A wall painting within the infrastructure depicting a temple is an image of the spirit family of genius, Lares, household Gods and other deities. The figure on the furthest left of the image is the genius. The genius wears a toga, in purple symbolising its high ranking and importance, as it's the line of male decent to the paterfamilias of the household; prospering fertility for the families continuation. On either side, the Lares of the household are holding a drinking horn in one hand and a wine bucket in the other.
    The drinking horns and wine buckets symbolise the offerings of worship and praise towards the Mercury God of commerce (right) and the Dionysus God of Wine (centre).The depiction of drinking horns and wine buckets also symbolise the household prayers and worship that were led by and was a responsibility of the paterfamilias and the offerings of fruit, incense and special cakes were made at the shrine.
    Source four, a fresco found in Herculaneum depicts and reveals the ceremonies that took place for the cult of Isis. The fresco shows the high priest standing at the entrance of the temple, looking down on the ceremony beneath. One priest tends to the sacred fire and another priest leads the followers of worship in two rows. In the foreground of the source there are two ibises, sacred to Isis. This source also reveals that women in Pompeii were drawn to this cult, as most worshippers in the fresco appear to be women.
  • In rebuilding the temples Augustus was also very careful and active. For instance, he reconstructed the temple of the Magna Mater. But in contrast with other temples built by him, this one was made not in marble but in the traditional coarse stone, rufa like most of the early Roman temples.
    Then, not far from this temple of the Magna Mater and at the same time not far from his own apartments the emperor Augustus erected the temple of Apollo. The land it was built on was administratively his own belonging. In 36 BC this place was struck by the lightening. It was successfully interpreted as a good sign of god's will for some sacral building. Augustus announced it the public property and dedicated to Apollo. The temple finally became one of the most impressive in the city. It was decorated plentifully by sculptures of Danaus and fifty Danaids, his daughters, placed between the columns in the front gallery of the temple. The door was carved with ivy and bared the picture of Diana and Apollo killing the Niobe's children. The other side was decorated with the scene of the Gauls expulsed from Delphi. The best sculptors from Greece made the figures of Apollo, Diana and their mother Latona for the interior. The place quickly received a very high religious status, and even the old Sibylline Books were taken here from the temple of Jupiter as Sibyl got her gift of prophesy directly from Apollo.
  • Cornelius Nepos, a writer of the first century BC, remarks that the main contrast between Greek and Roman women is that the former sit secluded in the interior parts of the house, while the latter accompany their husbands to dinner-parties. It is important tonote that these gathering, in spite of some heavy drinking, had now become dinner-parties rather than drinking-parties.
  • On the contrary, a Roman dinner-party at which both sexes mixed and conversed, as they did at its Etruscan forerunner, may seem more civilised to many modern tastes than the male-club atmosphere of the Athenian symposium, however fine the intellectual level of the latter may have been at its very best. It is easy to see that the male-dominated culture of great Victorian Britain experienced in this, as in so many other things, a fellow-feeling with the Greeks and a certain discomfort in the presence of the Romans.
    • Ibid, p.121
  • This paper challenges the simple dichotomy that sees women either as degraded sex objects (on everyday symposium cups) or as powerful threats to males (in mythological scenes) on Athenian vases of the classical period. A continuity of female desire connects these two categories of vase paintings when attention is drawn to the eye-to-eye contact between men and women.
  • The lady, meanwhile, is turning sideways to face the viewer which also has the effect of fully exposing her breasts as well as her penetration process to the viewer, as well, which was uncommon on especially the first count as breasts were frequently covered in ancient Roman erotic art, even in scenes explicitly depicting penetration. Between the unusual aspects of both the lady being on top and in her comfortably expressing herself fully nude, this confident lady would have stood out as an unusually in-charge and potentially brazen figure in her day and the piece could reasonably have been interpreted as a femdom piece of its time.
  • Typically, statues are nude and sometimes they have erections or reveal their vaginas, but they are usually stand alone pieces whereas explicit penetration scenes are typically limited to 2D depictions such as frescos.
  • With the exception of graffiti, the pottery may be one of the best windows remaining that crossed a wide social stratum. This stood in contrast to the literature that came from predominately the upper classes of Greek society. A small number of erotic images suggest that historians, when they use the pottery with erotic illustrations, are only speaking about an individual or sub-population’s mores and not the mores of the whole of ancient Athens.
  • While other pre-Columbian art collections also display sexual scenes, Moche erotic pottery is the world’s most renowned. The reason is simple. According to Northwestern professor of anthropology and sexuality studies Mary Weismantel, “Moche sex pottery is the largest and most graphic and explicit.”
    The scenes of intercourse, oral sex, and masturbation on the pots could be ripped from the pages of an erotica novel written today, but, instead, they’re depicted on traditional ceramics sculpted over 1,500 years ago—in Peru, now one of the most conservative Catholic places on the planet. The Moche, who lived from 100 to 800 AD—pre-dating the more celebrated Inca— sculpted tens of thousands of ceramics, an estimated 100,000 of which remain. Of those, at least 500 are pots depicting sexual acts.
    To the Spanish colonizers who uncovered Moche sex pots in indigenous spiritual temples and royal tombs scattered up and down Peru’s North Coast, the pieces were manifestations of something sinful. The Spanish were scandalized by the ceramics’ graphic detailing of sex between humans, skeletons, and animals—with infants also sometimes present as non-participants. Shaken to their Catholic core, they smashed the pottery to pieces and criminalized the premarital and non-reproductive sex acts depicted on their surfaces.
  • The Moche were a mysterious civilization who ruled the northern coast of Peru beginning two thousand years ago. They built huge pyramids made of millions of mud bricks and created an extensive network of aqueducts. They were also pioneers of metal working techniques like gilding and soldering, which enabled them to created extraordinarily intricate jewellery and artifacts. Due to the lack of a written language, little was known about the Moche civilization until the 1980s when archaeologists began uncovering monuments and tombs containing detailed murals, and incredible ceramics that depicted detailed scenes of hunting, fighting, sacrifice, ceremonies, and explicit sexual encounters.
  • Paul Mathieu, in his book ‘Sex Pots: Eroticism in Ceramics’ reports that “a wide variety of sexual acts are represented: female to male fellatio is quite common; kissing and fondling; male masturbation (but never female masturbation); intercourse between heterosexual couples, in various positions; birthing scenes; also, intercourse between animals (copulating frogs, mice, dogs, llamas, monkeys, at times on corn or other food crops); and intercourse between human females and mythical animals (such as the bat and the jaguar who both had special religious connotations in Moche culture).”
  • According to Turner (2013) in his dissertation, Sex, Myth, and Metaphor in Moche Pottery, previous scholarly works have approached Moche erotic vessels as a representational catalog of the sexual practices of the Moche people, didactic objects intended to demonstrate methods of contraception, conveyors of moralizing content, reflections of Moche humor, or as portrayals of ritual or ceremonial acts.
    The latter theory has received the most support to date, particularly given that the sex pots have been found almost exclusively in high-status burials, irrespective of the age or gender of the deceased; are often accompanied by other religious artifacts; were found to be produced at huaca (temple) centers rather than in domestic contexts, and occasional depict sexual acts involving skeletons, deities, or religiously-significant animals.
  • A few blocks away, working in the huge native arts and crafts market, Nim Pot, Gonzalo Ticun (photo below) is a Mayan Guatemalan who has lived here all his life. An open and gregarious man in his forties he can be seen dressed in native clothes of bright colors and a straw bowler hat. We lunched at Ricky’s bar/cafe one afternoon as he responded to my questions about Mayan attitudes toward homosexual natives. “Historically, the Mayan shaman was often ‘gay’ but they didn’t call it that. He was considered a wise person of sexual ambiguity who interacted with his community emotionally and physically, as the occasion demanded.”
    If a couple were having a marriage problem they might consult with the shaman to sort out the issues. If a man were confused or insecure sexually the shaman might teach him and provide him with knowledge or have a sexual experience with him. “It was not a shameful thing to do then. −
  • Same-sex activity certainly existed a long time before modern LGBT life in Guatemala. During our talk, Dahr mentioned archeological discoveries of ancient Mayan ‘gay’ cave drawings that depict tribal life, including evidence of child sacrifice, ritual bloodletting, social and sexual intercourse and sacred activities.
    Dahr recalled there were also depictions in the caves of two males apparently in a sexual act. A search of the internet found this website ( where researcher and archeologist Connell O’Donovan presents Late Classic Mayan cave paintings and fragmentary hieroglyphs dating to the 700s from Naj Tunich caves, in Poptún southern Peten, Guatemala. These are the most extensive Mayan cave archeology sites in the country. Some anthropologists believe the sacred activities and sacrifices may have been accompanied by altered states of consciousness induced by alcoholic or hallucinogenic substances.
    The caves’ discovery in the 1970’s opened up deeper understanding–and mystery–about Mayan culture than had previously been known. The extensive wall sketches depict many aspects of life included the homosexual one Dahr mentioned. It is of an older man and a younger man in an erotic exchange, an embrace yet standing a little apart, but clearly touching each other with their erections. (photo: fragmentary hieroplyph dating to the 700s ce) Dr. Karen Olsen Bruhns of San Francisco State University’s Anthropology Dept. has commented that this is “the only genuine depiction known of male-male erotic interaction” in the Americas. Adding to the mystery and meaning, the younger man (on the right) is adorned with what seems to be a Lunar Goddess hair lock down his back.
    It is difficult to know what the meaning is; perhaps a fertility ritual, or intimate contact or a fantasy image. It could be supposed that since the younger man is wearing a feminine garment/headdress that he is acting (or seen) in a female demeanor or sexually ambivalent role that was part of a ritual now long forgotten. If we consider Gonzalo’s comments that Mayan shamans were of ambiguous sexual nature perhaps this cave drawing is an ancestor of that tradition, which would shift the ‘intercourse’ from carnal and sexual to emotional and spiritual, possibly offering the older man a rejuvenation of his potency or increase of fertility. (?) −
  • From archeological findings in caves, it is surmised that the Maya were relatively tolerant of homosexuality. It is believed that group sex occurred among the Maya including homosexual sex although sodomy was forbidden. Mayan society considered homosexuality preferable to premarital heterosexual sex and there are suggestions that noble families had sexual slaves for their unmarried children.
    Social historian David Greenberg reports in his famous work ‘The Construction of Homosexuality’ (1988) about widespread male homosexuality among the Mayans in Central America: “A strong homosexual component pervades close friendships of young married Mayan men as well as bachelors in southern Mexico and among Guatemalan Indians.”
    But cultures change and thanks to major historical forces such as the Spanish invasion accompanied by their fervent Christian monks, nuns and priests, civil society came to scorn and burn homosexuals. That’s the short history of homophobia in Honduras.
  • All Chinese erotic art dates from the late Ming and Ch’ing dynasties; none has been preserved from ancient times. In contrast to Confucianism, the Taoist philosophy permeates the domain of erotic art.
  • In the spring of 1986, Thomas Laird stood before the secret tantric paintings in the Lukhang temple of Lhasa, Tibet. The American photographer was one of the first westerners ever to enter, and the first to shoot inside this secret space created by the fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century – and reserved for the private meditation of his successors.
  • The co-curator of the Tibet exhibition, Ruth Garde, hopes the murals will challenge western preconceptions about Buddhism. “You come to it thinking it’s quite serene, tranquil: deep breathing and that kind of thing,” she says. “Tantric Buddhism is very different – the more radical and advanced yoga techniques are quite dangerous.” She points out skulls, flaying knives and disembodied body parts. “And some of the iconography is quite terrifying, almost grotesque.”
  • When they met, Dalai Lama reminded Laird that these murals weren’t just art – they were motivational tools. “One of the arguments I have always had with him about art is that he doesn’t care about the aesthetic,” says Laird. “For him, the purpose of art is to inspire you to achieve enlightenment. If a work of art gives you the motivation to do your practice – overcome greed, anger, ignorance, lust and pride – then it is a great success.”
  • In Vajrayana Buddhism, Dakini are represented as the form of spiritual energy and Dakini represents liberation. Dakini appeared in many legends of Buddhism, Tantrism, and Hinduism and so on. Dakini had appeared in the form of Kali in Hinduism and is considered as the Deity who feeds on human flesh. In Vajrayana, Dakini was represented in various forms in a Three Roots, popularly known as Vajrayana formulation of Three Jewels. Dakini had appeared as a vajra master who passed on the teachings of Vajrayana to the disciples. She also appeared as the meditational deity and as a protector who protects the transmissions of teachings to the disciples.
  • The overall purpose of the Hindu temple can be presented in such a way: like the Himalayas, the temple points to the heavens, the abode of the gods. The Hindu temple, "step by step, shape-by-shape" reverses this primeval descent and places man back on the path toward heaven.
    Temples were usually built in places marked by special holiness. The legends associated them with the acts of Vishnu, Shiva, Durga and other gods. In the 4-5 centuries, when Hinduism during the reign of Gupta dynasty, became the state religion, the main structural elements of the temples were plinth, sanctuary and superstructure. The stone base of a Hindu temple symbolized the altar, on which the temple itself was sacrificed to a deity. With the modular characteristics of the proportions of the temple measure cap not taken into account. The temple was conceived as a structural unit, resting on the altar. In some early temples the wall of the sanctuary served as main walls of the building, in others - the sanctuary was surrounded by a second ring of walls, which created a special gallery to circumvent. In any case, the churches were dark inside.
    Module for Hindu temples and their center was a sculpture of a deity - his idol. Temple priests were called "guardians of the idol and the servants of God, whose dwelling was in the temple.
  • Style Nagara, which developed during the 5h century, is characterized by a tower-type hive (called "shikhara") made up of several words of architectural elements, such as kapotas and gavaksas, culminating in a large round cushion like element, named "amalaka", and parlance "Drum". The plan of the temple is based on the square, but the walls are often broken down decorative elements in creating the impression that the tower is round. In more recent temples the central mandapa was surrounded by several small temple buildings, creating a visual effect of a fountain.
    From the 7th century Dravida , or southern style, has formed a pyramidal tower consisting of progressively diminishing tiers, bottleneck, and the dome on top, also called shikhara (in the southern terminology). Repeated horizontal tiers visually impart the southern temples squat.
    Less obvious differences between the two main temple types Nagara and Dravida include the plan area, the selection and arrangement of stone, from which the cut shapes on the external walls and the interior, the range of decorative elements.
  • Very significant in the temple is the sculptural treatment of its outer walls, which are covered with images of the god Shiva, to whom the monument is dedicated, with consorts, attendants and lesser divinities. Important among the images here are the aspect of the god, including those who subdues the blind demon, the cosmic dancer, and the destroyer of the triple demon cities. The sculptures are arranged in three tiers on the outside, amounting to no less than 646 figures in all, not counting the 226 figures of the interior.
    The temple is well known for its erotic groups which are placed on the juncture of the walls of the mandapa and the passageway surrounding the sanctuary, marking one of the most ritually vulnerable parts of the monument. Among the other images are those of female deities, such as the seven mothers, let alone the countless apsaras, or heavenly maidens that attend on the gods, and who are shown in alluring postures that reveal the mastery of the Khajuraho artists in rendering female contours with conscious sophistication and exuberant grace.
  • As for the symbolism of the temple, Angkor Wat is an unsurpassed image of the Mount Meru, the abode of the Gods in the centre of the world. Corresponding to the five peaks of this mountain, at Angkor Wat five towers were visible from every cardinal direction. The enclosure wall symbolizes the mountains surrounding and hiding the Mount Meru; the moat symbolizes the cosmic ocean. The temple complex is a microcosm, an image of a perfect world, stable and in geometrical harmony.
  • In the Hindu tradition experiencing art is classified as a pleasure-giving encounter. This aesthetic pleasure known as Rasa ("flavour', sentiment'm or 'extract') resides neither in artist, nor in image, nor in onlooker. It only arises when the onlooker experiences the symbolic imagery in his innermost self. Similarly, a devotee of the goddess derives religious pleasure due to total devotion (Bhakti). The devotee's way is different from that of the onlooker but the ultimate pleasure in both cases is the same.
    When the onlooker perceives a goddess image, Rasa is experienced. In the process of perceiving, one of the following nine permanent emotions is invoked in the heart and mind of the onlooker: Erotic (Shringara), Heroic (Veera), Comic (Hasya) Terrible (Bhayanaka), Furious (Raudra), Grusedome (Bibhatsa), Pathetic (Karuna), Wonderous (Adbhuta), and Peaceful (Shanta). One of these emotions forms a master-motif to which all other expressions of ideas and feelings are subordinate.
    It is only in the heart and mind of an intellectually competent and emotionally sensitive spectator that the intuitive image can stimulate aesthetic pleasure (Rasa-svada) which is compared with religious bliss (Brahma-svada). The onlooker is required to be receptive to the symbolic imagery of an accomplished image in order to savour it fully. The rasikas's complete awareness of the art-object is heightened through entering into permanent mood (Rasa) of the sacred image and its contemplation.
    It does not matter which permanent mood is entered into because in art one detaches and transcends the mundane; even the terrible emotions becomes pleasurable. One can enjoy the terrific image of the goddess Kali or Durga, as intensely as the pacifistic images of Lakshmi or Sarasvati. Such an experience is valuable in itself because it arouses within the onlooker an inherent pleasure. The pleasure does not exist apart from the artist, goddess image, r the onlooker. The Rasa unites the three as one. The secret of the aesthetic experience is in transcendence of the mundane, in self-forgetfulness and detachment when the Rasa feeling unfolds. This psychological transference of feelings takes place when the image functions successfully. Otherwise the image is meaningless. Looking at sacred works of art therefore involves active participation on the part of the onlooker.
  • Single-mindedness (Dhyana) and total dedication (Sadhana) are common to the artist, onlooker and devotee. What the artist creates and what the onlooker sees are the external manifestation of an inward vision. Similarly, a devotee contemplates an image, evokes the goddess's power and presence, and is completely unified with the divinity. This absorption leads the devotee to a religious experience and union with the divine. Thesimilarity between aesthetic delight and religious bliss is based on the transcendence of ego and desire. The detached state of mind experiences a sense of liberty which generates bliss. Mundane existence is characterized by ego and desire which lead to misery. In the process of aesthetic enjoyment the onlooker temporarily transcends his attachments and enjoys pure pleasure untainedby any sense of desire. It it this notion of detachment (Vairagya) or the freedom from desire which leads the aestheticians to relate aesthetic experience to mystical experience.
    Abhinavagupta holds that the onlooker (or Rasika) only captures temporarily what the mystic (or the arrived Bhakta) generates as a permanent dispostion. A clear distinction is made by the metaphysician between aesthetic and mystical experiences. He goes on to say that the Rasika's desire is not satiated, but she desires more. In other words, while the Rasika's pleasure is temporary, the Bhakta attains permanent bliss and is transformed permanently. The mystic's peace does not draw or incite further desires because she is in an unceasing state of 'desirelessness' or 'egolessness'. In summary, detachment, single-mindedness and total dedication are necessary prerequisites for aesthetic enjoyment as well as religious contemplation.
  • Voluptuous Yakshinis and amorous Mithunas were incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon of deities because they were important on the popular level. Buddhism adopted and transformed them to welcome the devotees of several fertility folk cults, tribes and Brahmanic deities into their fold. These images were strictly depicted on the outer periphery, that is, railings and doorways of a Buddhist sacred mound. The inner space was reserved for the Buddhist images. The images of Yakshinis acted as mediators between the old beliefs and the new religion.
    • Ibid, p.57
  • A yakshi is a female earth spirit, accepted as a symbol of fertility by the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain faiths. She is usually portrayed as a wide-hipped, voluptuous woman, who can cause a tree to bear fruit simply by touching it with her foot.
  • Examples of Asoka's contributes that are impacted by public worship of Buddhism is the stupas, temples and rock edicts which are everywhere in the kingdom and visible to the public as they have the Buddhist teachings on them.
  • Chinese Buddhists believe that Guanyin is the female aspect of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of Compassion. It has been debated that Guanyin’s origins go back to Taoism, the indigenous religion of China. As Mahayana Buddhism began to filter into China from the 1st century CE, Taoist deities were co-opted into Buddhism – a deliberate tactic, perhaps, on the part of Buddhists to gradually phase out the older religion.
    Notwithstanding the debate over her history, the fact remains that Guanyin is greatly revered across Buddhist communities in Asia. She is known as Kannon in Japan, Gwan-eum in Korea, Kuan Eim in Thailand and Dewi Kwan Im in Indonesia. To Tibetan Buddhists she is Tara, born from a single tear shed by Avalokitesvara.
    Between the 10th and 13th centuries, Guanyin’s features in Chinese iconography were distinctly masculine. Over time, she acquired an androgynous form and eventually morphed into a goddess-like figure. In contemporary iconography, Guanyin is depicted as an ethereally lovely, white-robed goddess. A popular representation has her standing on a lotus petal. Her head, encircled by a halo, is slightly tilted, intent on catching the smallest plea for help. The material used to sculpt the statue symbolizes her many virtues – jade for virtue, marble for constancy and porcelain for innocence.
  • Religious icons such as Mary in Christianity and Guanyin in Buddhism had deep roots in European and Chinese traditions. When the Jesuit missionaries came to China in the late 16th century, they represented Christianity as a different yet compatible religion to the native Chinese beliefs, first Buddhism and then Confucianism. Mary, the virgin mother of Christ and the principal saint of Christian Church, was one of the most appealing icons in Jesuits’ paintings and narratives. Though some Chinese expressed suspicion and even rejected Mary, many others tended to equate her with Guanyin, a popular Buddhist goddess in late Ming culture, largely because they two shared similar qualities such as compassion, purification, and child-giving power. This article uses a set of visual and textual sources to analyze the complex adaptations and competitions between these two prominent religious icons, thus revealing an interesting aspect of China's historic encounter with the West in the 17th century.
  • Considered in ancient East Asia to be equivalent to the divine ambrosia of the Greek gods, hemp has long been named an "elixir of life". The goddess Magu's association with cannabis primarily lies in its use as a healing plant - as the majority of Magu's mythological stories revolve around the ways in which she aided the poor and the sick either as a goddess outright, or as a priestess of an unnamed healing deity. Magu takes on a more definitively divine role in the ancient literature of Korea, however the core of her person remains relatively the same.
    Throughout China, Japan, and Korea, Magu (or Ma Gu MaKu, Mako) is depicted as a beautiful young woman, no older than 18 or 19 (in human years). Her youth and beauty are symbols of the health and healing of the universe she is believed to protect. She is a guardian of vitality throughout East Asia, not only in the world of mortals but also the cycles of the earth. Magu is regularly considered to cast aside the winter in favor of flora and fauna. In Korea, Magu's role is elevated from goddess to Creator god, akin to the Japanese Shinto goddess Amaterasu , and her abilities extended to incorporate the creation of the world and humanity.
  • It is said that among the soldiers living in Britain, some were of Christian faith. St. Alban, the first English martyr, was killed in 209 CE and therefore the Christianity was certainly present by 200 CE. In 400, when the Romans left Britain and many invaders arrived, in the West and North the Celtic people maintained their faith and culture. A type of Christianity grew among these individuals which still influences our spirituality to this date. Celtic Christianity dated between 400 - 1000 CE. These stories and legends of the Celtic church are told by Saints such as: St. Ninian, St. Calumba and St. Brigit.Governed by chiefs or kings, Celtic society was organized on tribal lines. The Celtic church was controlled around monasteries ruled by abbots who ordained as priests celebrated the sacraments in the monasteries. The land for the monastery was often provided by the tribe or family unit. By 431, Ireland had received its first bishop. The government of the Irish church was controlled by the abbots however by the 1800's .The abbeys promoted learning, taught the children, and fabricated spectacular religious art in the manuscripts, metalwork and stone carvings. The Anglican spirituality had a lot of influence from the Celtic spirituality.
  • According to one of the related hadiths to this matter, A'isha, the wife of the Prophet reported that on seeing a curtain embellished with pictures of animals, the Prophet was enraged and tore the cloth to pieces, declaring, "The makers of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them, 'Give life to what you have created.' "The Prophet added, "The Angels of (Mercy) do not enter a house in which there are pictures (of animals)." Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62:110. [6] Another source presents additional response by Prophet on the same incident saying "Such people as paint these pictures will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection." [7] On another occasion Muhammad is supposed to have said, "Verily the most grievously tormented people on the Day of Resurrection would be the painters of pictures."
  • As for Iconoclastic activities in early Islamic tradition, there are early accounts of the prophet Muhammad's iconoclastic activities, for instance in the ninth-century Book of Idols which narrates that "When on the day he conquered Mecca, the Apostle of God appeared before the Kabah, he found the idols arrayed around it. There upon he started to pierce their eyes with the point of his arrow, saying, "Truth is come and false-hood is vanished. Verily, falsehood is a thing that vanish-eth (Quran 17:81 as narrated in Faris, 1952, p. 27)." It was after having said this, that he ordered for the idols to be knocked down and burnt (Ibid.).
  • 'When the Prophet saw pictures in the Ka'ba, he did not enter it till he ordered them to be erased. When he saw (the pictures of) Ibrahim and Ismail carrying the arrows of divination, he said, "May God curse them (i.e. the Quraysh)! By God, neither Ibrahim nor Ismail practiced divination by arrows." (Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55:571, as quoted in Kheilen on Iconoclasm). [9] These hadith are however subject to various interpretations. It can be argued that this tradition prohibits figural representations in scared spaces, not just Kaaba but also in mosques as well, or it may be suggested that Prophet prohibited the specific 'cult' or set of beliefs that these idols presented, that is divination; a pre Islamic custom on Mecca.(Ibid. [10] )
    According to one Hadith, the Prophet is also reported to declare that "Angels do not enter the house in which there are portrayals or pictures." [11] . Per contra, one of the oldest chronicles, that of Al-Azraqi, narrates that when the Prophet returned to Mecca victoriously, he found the Kaaba covered with 'fresco paintings' and he ordered that 'they be effaced but made an exception for one the them, executed on a pillar, which represented Mary and Jesus. (Besancon, 2000, P. 78-79). The ambivalence to figuration in textual tradition is argued by many scholars. This is also reiterated in Rubin (1986, p. 97) and Van Reenen, (1990, p. 40) who reiterate the above tradition by arguing that after the conquest of Mecca the prophet ordered the destruction of the paintings of prophets, angels, as well as trees that had decorated the interior of the Kaaba, whilst sparing an image of Jesus and Mary.
  • Albeit contested and varying in form and interpretation, generally the removal of Meccan Idols in Kaaba upon conquest is deemed very symbolic by Muslims and this event holds great historical importance. It is due to this that generally Muslim societies refrain from figural representations in sacred spaces such as Mosques and Prayer halls. However, this opposition to depiction of living things and figural representation is not based on Quranic references but rather on various traditions present within the Hadith (Flood, 2002, p. 643-44).
  • Amr the leader of the Luhayy, was an extremely generous man. He went out of his way to feed and clothe pilgrims, not hesitating to secrifice his own camels to provide meat for the visitors. But his real fame lies elsewhere: he is said to have been the first person to introduce paganism to Mecca, and bring idols into the Sanctuary. It began when he recieved a statue of Hubal, an oracular diety, with arrows marked on it for divining the future, as a gift. The statue, made of agate, was damaged. Amr, an exceptiionally wealthy man, had the hand of the idol recast in gold. He then placed it on top of the treasury well in the Kabaa. Other families then proceeded to palce their own idols in the courtyard of the Kabaa: Manaf, the sun son: Quzah, who held the rainbow; Nasr, the eagle-shaped god. The sculptures themselves were inspired by Greco-Roman art. Manaf, for example, showed clear aspects ofa Hellenized solar diety. Three, more active, divinities had a special place of honour in the Meccan pantheon, and were widely worshipped by the Arabs: al-Lat, the mother-goddess; Manat, the goddess of fate who represented the darkened moon; and al-Uzza, 'the she devil', the goddess of love, sex and beauty. These goddesses had supernatural influence ons tones and trees around the region. Al-Uzza was said to frequent three trees in the Valley of Nakhla. A rock in Taif was sacred to al-Lat.
    The pilgrimage to Mecca now became an entirely pagan affair. The Luhayy introduced a number of rites and rituals that had to be followed strictly. The underlying emphasis was on maximizing profit. The date of the pilgrimage would be computed each year by a seer and synchronized with a series of fairs held throughout the region. Pilgrims en route to Mecca would first attend these smaller fairs and festivals before arriving at the Sanctuary for the major ceremony. A poetry competition was held in Ukaz, near Taif, where people gathered to hear poets demonstrate their skills and oral dexterity. They were treated to short verses in a four-syllable metre (called rajaz) that emulated the pace of a camel, or to epic poems and long odes, the qasidahs, which paid homage to gods, great Arabs and enchanted mistresses, or related fables and desert adventures.
    Or again there might be caustic satires directed against real and imagined enemies. The seven best poems , selected by an oracle, would be written out by hand, and prepared for mounting on the walls of the Kaaba. After the contest, the poets would join the other pilgrims. The pilgrim processions, led by enchanters and sorcerers, were jolly and colorful affairs, a roving religious circus. There were camels loaded with gifts from all the leaders and rulers of the region, and consecrated camels, decorated with charms and magical jewellery, carrying the idols of various tribes.
  • On the other hand, specialists point out that it is necessary to view the "Dome as a monument which used Biblical connotations and Christian-Byzantine forms to impose Islam's presence in the Holy City. The combination would imply that the new faith considered itself the continuation and the seal of the two preceding ones: Judaism and Christianity" (Rabbat, 12-13).
  • It is worth pointing out that Shia Islam has a deep mystical tradition, and, according to Angel Millar, it "has developed a complex theory of transmission of initiatory knowledge ('ilm, i.e., the esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an) to the elite believers (khasa)." Shia Islam emphasized more the mystical, prophetic, and messianic aspects of the Islamic religion, whereas Sunni Islam focuses more on the legalist, moral and political aspects of the Islamic religion. Furthermore, several Sunni teachers have articulated a stunningly brutal Islamic hedonistic calculus. For instance, Al-Suyuti (known also as Jalaluddin), a fifteenth-century AD Egyptian religious scholar, juristic expert, and teacher, and one of the most prolific Sunni Arab writers of the Middle Ages, has described the Muslim's conception of Paraside as a state in which, each time a Muslim sleeps with a Houri (erotic companion), he finds her a virgin, and, additionally, as a state in which "the penis of the Elected never softens," and "the erection is eternal," each "chosen one" being married to seventy Houris.
  • The custom of wearing holy relics by way of devotion, or in order to be preserved against casualties, diseases, calamities, &c., is very ancient in the church ; since St. Gregory Nyssens takes particular notice of a small piece of wood of the true cross, which his sister wore on her finger in a ring.
    It is St. Helena, however, that relics owe the beginning of their high reputation; and yet the cross was at that time the only relic really in fashion. That devout princess, foreseeing that the finding of the cross would inflame the devotion of all Christians, took but a part of it away with her, and left the remainder in Jerusalem to be an object of the pilgrim's devotion. This sacred wood would, by degrees, have been all lost, on account of the constant distributions which were made of it to devotees; but St. Paulinus assures us, that in his time it remained in the same condition - that the faithful were taking away some of it without intermission, but yet they always found it whole and entire. In process of time, relics of all sort were worn, but more particularly about the neck and on the breast.
    St. Charles Borromeo wore about his neck a tooth of St. Satina. Gregory XII. wore one of St. Catherine of Sienna. Some ages before that, St. Dunstan, having broke his cane upon the devil, who appeared to him in the form of a bear, had another made much stronger, in which he set a tooth of the apostle St. Andrew.
    Relics were formerly carried in military expeditions, and this was an established custom in the time of Theodosius the Great. The knight-templars, and soldiers int eh crusades, carried them a long time after in their expeditions against the enemy of the Christian name. Christian kings, when they went to war, armed themselves with St. Martin's cope, and caused the shrines of saints to be carried at the head of their armies.
  • Before they received any specific iconographic attributes like wings, angels in paleochristian catacombs and early medieval art were simply designed as male human beings. At least until the end of the 4th century, they could not be identified easily as angels or distinguished from other depicted male figures, except through the narrative context of the scene represented (Bussagli, -44-50). Their male characteristics - both physiognomy and costume - follow the biblical tradition, but the gradual appearance of feminine traits, from the earliest examples in the 5th- and 6th-century illuminations of the Cotton Bible (London, British Library) to the late Middle Ages, reflects the philosophical tendency to associate the angelic essence with the soul and with feminine attributes. Beauty was supposed to reflect God's perfection, the epitome of moral righteousness, as human soul and body should tend toward divine perfection and transcendence. The angel combined medieval aesthetic standards of beauty - richness of color in shape and costume, light and radiance - with feminine ideals of grace and beauty. In the Baptism of Christ, painted in 1435 by Masolino da Panicale *Castiglione Olona, Collegiateal Giordi, 293), the central angel holding Christ's clothes shows a feminine profile, wearing its hair up, to be contrasted with the short-haired masculine angel to the left. The Wilton triptych displays around the Virgin a row of blue angels with delicate deminine faces, wearing flower coronets and golden necklaces (1397-1399, London, National Gallery; Giorgi, 330). Feminine attributes were nevertheless highly ambitious in popular imagery, always redolent of the temptation of Eve. Perhaps this accounts for the fact that female traits only occasionally modified the very anatomy of angels during the Middle Ages, so that only a few sensuous examples can be found of breasts emerging under the masculine dalmatia (Bussagli, 175). More significantly, angels came to be depicted with costumes previously reserved to young women of high lineage, like the 14th century Italian gonella - a long- sleeved, skin-tight robe with a long, flares, fluid skirt (Bussagli, 176). The influence of 15th century Italian scholasticism idealized women as angelic creatures, contributing to reinforce a limited typology of deminine angels in painting. A source of mroal perfection, endowed with mystic virtues, the beautiful angel woman (donna angelicata) became an intermediary between men and God, a point of intersection between the human and the divine, thus fusing feminine and angelic qualities. The visual heritage of the Greek Nike, along with the ancient values of proportion and harmony in Greek ideals of beauty, reappeared during the Renaissance, contributing to the emergence of more feminine, diaphanous robes in 16th-century paintings, best exemplified by Botticelli's paintings. Nineteenth-century cemeteries house some morbid yet gracious female sculptures of angels, while Edward Burne-Iones portrays a few melancholy feminine angels wearing their hair up in The Morning of the Resurrection (Private collection, Christie's images).
  • In the 8th and 9th centuries, Byzantine Iconoclasm outbreaks were recorded. The main issue of the dispute was use of images. The first period was recorded during 70-787. Increase of images overwhelmed during this period, resulting in break-up of iconoclasm (Cormack, 1985). This war was agitated between Justinian II and Caliph, Abd al Malik. Justinian II incorporated the image of Jesus on the gold coins in circulation during that period and this caused the Muslim counterpart, Caliph Abd al-Malik to stop adopting coin types and considered lettering on Islamic coinage. This took place in 695 and marked the beginning of Iconoclasm. During 726-730, The Isaurian Byzantine Emperor, Leo III began idol removal campaign of Jesus and replaced it with cross. This act led to severe agitations by many iconodules and pope also condemned this activity and referred iconoclasm to be heretical and against law (Mango, 1977).
  • There are many other differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. There are differences in how faith is taught, the essence of God, the work of Christ, the Holy Canons, the mysteries, the nature of man, and the Virgin Mary. One more would be the icons of Orthodox worship, and the statues of Catholic worship.
  • Chaucer's Canterbury Tales changed the way people viewed the Catholic Church. He chose to write a fictional story, yet his intentions are still clear. One cannot misconstrue a segment from The Canterbury Tales' prologue. Chaucer wrote, "For if a priest be foul in whom we trust / No wonder that a common man should rust; / And shame it is to see-let priests take stock-/ A soiled shepherd and a snowy flock. / The true example that a priest should give / Is one of cleanness, how the sheep should live," (511-515). Chaucer needed the common man to see the hypocrisy and double standards of the Roman Catholic Church in the thirteenth century. Conveniently, as history shows, reform was soon on its way (Collinson). Elton declared, "The Church was full of weaknesses and abuses; reforms had been talked about for a very long time," (105). The Canterbury Tales assisted in preparation for what is known as The Reformation of the fourteenth century. The Roman Catholic Church was put on the spot, revealing the need for reform.
  • Today’s piece of historic erotic art comes to us from 14th century France and is a detail from an illuminated manuscript copy of “Roman de la Rose” (“Romance of the Rose”), a widely popular medieval French poem intended to educate on the art of love. The first portion of the poem was written in 1230 by Guillaume de Lorris with the vast majority of what ultimately became the final and complete version of the work being written by Jean de Meun in 1275. The work entertained the public and outraged the moralists and became one of the most widely read works in France over the course of three hundred years.
  • Medieval images of nude figures were nearly always connected with sin, especially in the case of Adam and Eve. Shown in the Garden, they were most commonly depicted after the temptation, when they showed shame at their nudity by trying to cover themselves. Among the most famous medieval nudes is the Romanesque lintel sculpture at the Cathedral of Saint-Lazare at Autun in which Eve reclines, reaching behind to grasp the forbidden fruit. Such highly stylised representations were typical of medieval art.
  • Such attitudes began to change in the late Middle Ages, particularly following the example of Saint Francis in the thirteenth century. Francis taught that the entire world was God's divine creation, and out bodies were made in God's image and were thus divine.This began a moderation of Augustine's prudish teachings about human bodies that led to the more naturalistic imagery of the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.
  • In this period when Europe was rarely interested in sexual subjects, India saw erotic art on a scale never rivaled before or since. At a time when Hudeo-Christian taboo reigned over sexuality in European art and society, India, by contrast, took a radically unrestrained approach to sexuality, as evidenced by the free exploration of sexual positions in the Kama Sutra and the presence of erotic art ona s cale never rivalled before or since. Later, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Chandela Dynasty of rulers in central India built dozens of temples at Khajuraho that prominently featured groups of figures in an enormous variety of sexual positions. While the specific purpose of these figures remains unclear, many varieties of Hinduism revered sexuality as sacred; some devotional acts ionvolved worship of the linga, a stylised penis. These Hindu sculptures are among the most famous and explicit examples of erotic art of any time.
    • Ibid, 95
  • India has been a particularly conservative country for the last few hundred years, influenced by the puritanism of several groups, including Islamic dynasties, British overlords and the country’s own Brahmin priestly caste. But India was not always like this. Sexual norms were far more liberal before the 13th Century, giving equal importance to the secular and the spiritual. Sex was taught as a subject in formal education, and Kamasutra, the world’s first sex treatise, was written in ancient India between the 4th Century BCE and the 2nd Century.
  • There are various theories about the existence of such graphic erotic motifs. One of the more exotic ones propounds that since Chandela kings were followers of Tantric principles, which dictate the balance between the male and female forces, they promoted their faith in the temples they created.
    Some believe the depiction of sexual activities was considered a good omen.
    Other theories have to do with the role of temples themselves in those times: they were considered places of learning as well as worship – especially of the finer arts, including the art of lovemaking. In addition, some believe that the depiction of sexual activities in temples was considered a good omen because it represented new beginnings and new life.
  • Today’s piece of gender non-conforming art is of a statue of a figure with mixed gender characteristics from 11th century AD India located in the Gangakonda Cholapuram temple. Ardhanarishvara is a depiction of Shiva joined with Parvati, split evenly down the middle and the name Ardhanarishvara literally means “the Lord who is half woman”. Shiva is typically depicted on the right side while Parvati is typically (but not always) depicted on the left and depictions in this style began in the 1st century CE. Ardhanarishvara statues are among the most popular depictions of Shiva and are present at most of his temples.
  • Today’s piece of historic erotic art comes to us from the Seljuk Empire (a Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire that spanned much of the Middle East (2)) circa 1240 CE. The image is one of a collection of 96 well known illustrations by al-Wasiti from the popular collection of stories, “Al Maqamat”, which is one of the most well known texts in the Arabic language and was written by the famously clever linguist Al-Hariri of Basra. (3) The images cover a wide variety of subjects of daily life at the time (going to the library, suing in front of a judge) and are frequently used to illustrate books on Arabic and Islamic culture.
  • “Al-Maqamat is the title of a book written by Abu Muhammad al Qasim ibn Ali al-Hariri (1054-1122) containing fifty relatively short stories (maquamat = “settings” or “sessions”), each one identified by the name of a city in the Muslim world of the time. The stories tell of actual adventures and especially the verbal pronouncements in verse or in prose of a roguish and peripatetic hero, Abu Zayd from Saruj, a town in northern Syria, as told by al-Harith, a sober and slightly gullible merchant travelling from place to place. Double and triple puns, unusual meanings of words and elaborate grammatical constructions are used to exhibit the astounding and sophisticated wealth of the Arabic language. The genre of the maqamat became an almost instant success because of the extraordinary quality of its writing.”
    In this scene, two men (Al-Harith and Abu-Zayd) are on camelback as they hold hands, embrace, and touch noses as they appear to be in the process of kissing goodbye. Though almost certainly unintentional, as the “heart shape” symbol signifying love did not develop until several centuries later and the gold embellishment on the blue sleeve appears to unintentionally contribute to the illusion of a heart, the two men’s halos come together to frame their heads in a heart shape which compliments their affection to the modern eye.
  • Today’s piece of historic erotic art comes to us from a 1824 version of a 14th century Persian manuscript called Lizzat Al-Nisa’ (“Pleasure of Women”) and appears to portray an interracial female-male couple.
    Less well known in America due to its own history, there was a slave trade from Africa to the Middle East through the 8th-19th centuries. (Europeans were also captured and enslaved in significant, though far smaller, numbers- for more information on all of this, see the Wikipedia article in the comments section.) However, slaves under Islamic law had far different rights than their counterparts in America and were paid wages and allowed to buy their own freedom which lead to a significant black population over time, much of it free, so it is not unlikely that there would be an interracial scene in Persian art in general, much less in a book that features such a great deal of sexual variety.
    Lizzat Al-Nisa is a well known erotic manuscript that was written by Ziya’ al-Din Nakhshabi who was a Persian physician living in India. His manuscript, in turn, is “derived” (I don’t know if that means translated or just used as a reference or general foundation of ideas) from the Sansktrit Ratirahasya (“Secrets of Love”). Lizzat Al-Nisa in general covers different types of sex and different types of aphrodisiacs, and the copy that I have seems to primarily focus on the sexual adventures of one lady who has sex in a different position and with a different person on every page.
  • In spite of the prevalence of sexual imagery in medieval art, both religious and secular, a misconception predominates, certainly in the general public and to some extent even among scholars, that Christian morality perhaps prudishly constrained medieval people. However, it is clear from even a cursory look through medieval writings as diverse as legal proceedings, penitentials, sermons, medical treatises, literature, fabliaux, and poetry, that medieval people themselves were very interested in the topic of sex.
  • Some medieval images that are ostensibly religious show encounters that may appear suggestive, such as illustrations of the Sponsus and Sponsa from the Song of Songs. The erotic language of the biblical text informs images of these figures kissing or embracing, and the fact that the Bridegroom and the Bride are usually interpreted as Christ and the personified Church, and the Church further identified as the Virgin Mary, lends these images complicated and even incestuous overtones. The question of interpretation remains; are these to be seen solely as symbolic and exegetical, or are other meanings possible with such freighted imagery?
    The same question can be asked of the isolated and vertical side-wounds of Christ, which become popular in fourteenth-century Books of Hours. I have suggested elsewhere that these images might be multivalent and connote sexuality as well as religion, inspiring responses beyond the theological. Specifically, I argue that the wound of Christ might be a vaginal image, especially for a viewer encountering such a sight in the private space of a manuscript. Certainly the image of the wound of Christ is in fact deeply informed by religion as the site of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice, the source of Eucharistic blood, and the inspiration for mystical conflations of wound and breast, informed by medical beliefs about the interconnectedness of blood and milk. The shape of the wound can be seen as mandorla-like, but it is also visually identical to the way the vagina was depicted in places such as medical manuals, as well as the type of sculpture called the sheela-na-gig, to be discussed below. The wound is also an entrance into and exit from the body, the devotional contemplation of which led to a kind of swallowing and engulfing, allencompassing experience, the liminal zone from which the Church is literally born, the inversion of the Satanic hell mouth. A folio leaf from a fourteenth-century Flemish Book of Hours includes a phrase from the text of the Psalms, “I said in the midst of my days I shall go to the gates of Hell,” as well as an image in the bas-de-page of a man being led to bed by a woman; the “hell mouth” is both the entrance to the bedchamber and to the body of the woman herself, the woman as the gates of hell an analogy made by writers from Tertullian to Boccaccio. But here the gates of hell do not seem particularly threatening, the man seemingly a willing participant in his damnation.
    • Ibid p. 4-5
  • Images of the Last Judgment often explicitly contrast the blessed, fully robed and resplendent in heaven, with the damned, writhing in their nakedness much as they did in the sexual sins that condemned them to hell. But virgin martyrs such as Agatha and Barbara were often represented partially or fully nude; especially in the later Middle Ages they are depicted as the visual embodiments of the ideal women described in love poetry and romances, with their long blonde hair, fair complexions, swelling bellies, and high, apple-like breasts. Such images may provoke both religious and erotic responses in viewers, both medieval and modern. The paradoxical nature of these images of virgin martyrs ostensibly created for religious contemplation, but depicted half or fully nude, often in the throes of their torture, means that a singular visual response to them is unlikely. Margaret R. Miles used the term “religious pornography” to refer to such images; Madeline Caviness has used the phrase “sadoerotic.”
    • Ibid p. 6
  • Although the text of the Penitential Psalms obviously has to do with David’s later regret for his sinful actions, these images freeze Bathsheba, she of the white skin, round breasts, swelling belly, and veritable explosion of fertile foliage at her groin, freeze her at a time long before regret has set in, when David looks at her with desire and longing, as does, perhaps, the viewer outside the frame. In contrast to the biblical account, Bathsheba often gives a complicit look back.
    • Ibid p. 7
  • Breasts, belly, and groin are on display again in the image of Saint Catherine in prison, from the Duke of Berry’s Belles Heures (Figure 8).28 According to the Golden Legend, the articulate and persuasive Catherine converts the followers of the Roman emperor Maxentius (including his wife) while in prison awaiting her final tortures and death. Yet the emphasis in the textual narrative on Catherine’s assertive powers of speech seems completely undone by the passive display of her undraped body, a display that is mentioned nowhere in the text.
    • Ibid p. 9
  • Misericords, the carvings found underneath choir stall seats, are a major source for a wide variety of salacious themes - pairs of lovers; bare-breasted sirens and mermaids; men exposing their buttocks and genitals; naked women astride animals. genitals; naked women astride animals. What many of these images have in common is that they appear in the margins, outside the frame; in Camille’s words, “on the edge.”43 These spaces seem to be areas in which the proper order of things is reversed, the world is turned upside down, and the transgressive may be depicted, perhaps in order to render it powerless, perhaps to harness its power as protective, much like the numerous badges that have been found with disembodied, sometimes winged, male and female genitalia. Yet some of the most graphic marginal imagery may have other functions; Paula Gerson and Michael Camille have speculated that the image of a naked couple seeming either to copulate or engage in oral sex in the top margin of a late medieval Book of Hours to be [is] a reference to a biblical phrase on the same folio Gerson has argued that the artist must have been literate in order to create the resulting visual puns, and she also suggested that the patron/owner, very likely a woman, must have had some hand in the selection of the often-sexualized marginal imagery in the manuscript. This example of a blatantly sexual image in the margins of a sacred text is by no means unique, and many of them cannot be tied to the text in the same way.
    • Ibid p. 14-15
  • Sheela-na-gigs, sculpted images of hag-like female figures squatting and pulling back the lips of their vaginas, inhabit the exterior of many Romanesque churches, especially in the British Isles. Their precise dating is uncertain, but they seem to begin to appear in the twelfth century.
    • Ibid p. 15
  • A particularly popular theme in the iconography of courtly love is the storming of the Castle of Love (Figure 19). Knights fully equipped with armor, swords and horses attack a castle populated solely by women, who tepidly defend themselves and perhaps welcome their attackers by throwing roses, flowers with vaginal connotations.66 The castle itself becomes a metaphor for the female body, the castle gates an orifice waiting to be penetrated. The climactic scene in the Roman de la Rose, the most popular work of literature in the fourteenth century, where the protagonist Amant finally seduces/rapes the Rose, the object of his desire and pursuit, the text describes the ultimate scene of seduction as an attack and forced entrance upon a barricaded structure, with the body of the Rose described as an “ivory tower” and her legs as “fair pillars.” 68 Amant further uses his “staff” to break down the obstructed “little opening.” Some illustrations in Roman de la Rose manuscripts show Amant thrusting his sword into a window-like opening in the Rose, whose lower body appears as an architectural form. In spite of the similarities between the iconography of the castle of love, which can be found in manuscripts as well as ivories, and the scene of sexual consummation between Amant and the Rose, the connection between these two sources has never really been made; despite some attempts at more nuanced interpretation, much of the scholarship on medieval ivories tends toward the narrowly iconographic and curatorial, generally overlooking issues of gender and sexuality.
    • Ibid p. 21
  • During the Early Middle Ages, Penitentials, books that set out church rules and the penance done for breaking them, were popular works. Amid the many different sins they noted were those that dealt with sexual practices. The seventh-century Irish penitential of Cummean, for example, banned oral, anal and inter-formal sex, as masturbation and bestiality. The Anglo-Saxon Canons of Theodore, meanwhile, includes these punishments:
    Whoever fornicates with an effeminate male or with another man or with an animal must fast for 10 years. Elsewhere it says that whoever fornicates with an animal must fast 15 years and sodomites must fast for 7 years….
    If he defiles himself (masturbates), he is to abstain from meat for four days. He who desires to fornicate (with) himself (i.e., to masturbate) and is not able to do so, he must fast for 40 days or 20 days. If he is a boy and does it often, either he is to fast 20 days or one is to whip him….
    Whoever ejaculates seed into the mouth, that is the worst evil. From someone it was judged that they repent this up to the end of their lives.
    While it was permitted to have sex with your spouse, only one type of position – the Missionary – was allowed, on the basis that this provided the least pleasure for the couple.
  • Between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, tales known as fabliaux were popular in France. These were comic stories that frequently included wives and other women in sexual escapades with a variety of men. The stories include The Maiden Who Couldn’t Hear Fuck, The Knight who made cunts speak, The priest who peaked and Berangier of the Long Asshole.
    While prostitution was considered a sinful act, in urban areas throughout medieval Europe it was tolerated as a necessary evil. Some regulations of prostitution still survive, such as Regulations concerning Prostitutes Dwelling in Brothels, which was part of the Nuremberg city ordinances from about 1470. One section states:
    Also, the brothel keeper, man and woman, must provide the women living in their house with chambers, bed linens, and decent food, and they must feed them two meals a day and at every meal two decent dishes; and for such expenses each common woman living in the brothel must give the brothel keeper separately the sum of forty-two pence weekly, whether she uses the food or not. In addition the brothel keeper must make and hold a bath at least once a week in the house for the women living in the house, and this at his expense, not the women’.
  • From the outset, any analysis of English knights' effigies must take into account the conventions of medieval portraiture, if indeed "portraiture" can be applied to this genre of sculpture. While numerous images of living (as opposed to sanctified) persons were produced during the Middle Ages, unlike modern portraiture the intention was not to capture particulars of an individual's face and body. The medieval conception of identitt, instead, was corporate in nature, with codes of representation being defined by the place of a sitter in the social hierarchy rather than by individual biography. Hence, medieval "portraits" including tomb effigies, offer idealized types which combine physical characteristics such as age and sex, with pose, costume and setting to situate the sitter within a (then) readily identifiable social category such as monarch, knight or cleric.
  • As we shall see, this conventionality within medieval portraiture led to a rather uniform production of English millitary effigies during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, yet this correlates perfectly to a collective conception of identity during the period.
  • In contrast to modern portraiture, which strives to capture the accurate likeness of a specific person, medieval portraiture was primarily valued for its ability to express an individual's social status, religious convictions, or political position. Medieval portrait painters, rather than reproducing the precise facial features of their subjects, often identified individuals by depicting their clothing, heraldry, or other objects related to them. The goal of medieval portraiture was to present a subject not at a particular moment in time, but as the person wished to be remembered through the ages.
  • Like most medieval portraits, this image of Saint Blaise was created without even a written description of the subject's appearance. The artist concentrated his efforts on recording Blaise's forceful gaze and psychological intensity. The image may have been intended to inspire religious devotion, arresting the viewer's attention and bringing the subject to life.
  • There are almost no physical descriptions of Christ or any of the other holy figures who appear so frequently in medieval books and paintings. Artists invented these portraits by necessity, cleverly using facial types, costumes, and objects to help identify each figure. Christ, for example, appears with a cross in his halo, and the well-dressed noblewoman Saint Catherine appears with the sword that beheaded her. Saints became so commonly associated with these objects, or "attributes," that they were instantly recognizable to medieval viewers.
  • Author portraits are one of the oldest categories of portraiture. In the Middle Ages, the purpose of such portraits was to affirm that the author's work was trustworthy. Some author portraits featured the writer hard at work, while others portrayed the writer accompanied by an object recalling some important aspect of the text. Portraits of artists only became common toward the end of the Middle Ages, when the development of observational portraiture introduced a new subject: the artist painting from a live model.
  • Saint Luke's profession as a portraitist is not mentioned in the Bible, but medieval legend credited him with painting a perfect likeness of the Virgin. Artists of the 1300s were the first to depict Luke as a painter, and many artists' guilds adopted him as their patron saint.
  • In medieval manuscripts, most portraits of living people had a religious function, showing the subject—often the owner or donor of a book—in prayer before Christ or a saint. Such portraits collapsed time and space, enabling people to imagine themselves before their favorite saints, where they could ask directly for help or guidance. Such portraits heightened the devotional experience book owners felt while saying their prayers. These portraits were often conventional rather than realistic, so artists included coats of arms or other clues that helped identify the subject.
  • These ugly babies were very intentional. Drawing a line between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is a useful tool when considering ugly babies and significantly more lovable ones. The two eras tend to show a difference in values.
  • "Style is chosen," he continues. "We might look at medieval art and go, 'These people don't look right.' But if your goal is to look like Picasso and you make a realistic painting, they'd say you didn't do it right, either." Though there were artistic innovations that came with the Renaissance, they aren't the reason babies became better-looking.
  • Medieval portraits of children were usually commissioned by churches. And that made the range of subjects limited to Jesus and a few other biblical babies. Medieval concepts of Jesus were deeply influenced by the homunculus, which literally means little man. "There's the idea that Jesus was perfectly formed and unchanged," Averett says, "and if you combine that with Byzantine painting, it became a standard way to depict Jesus. In some of these images, it looks like he had male pattern baldness."
    That homuncular, adult-looking Jesus became a convention for painting all children. Over time, it simply became the right way that people thought that they should paint babies.
    This unrealistic depiction of Jesus reflects a broader approach to medieval art: They were less interested in realism or idealized forms than Renaissance artists were.
    "The strangeness that we see in medieval art stems from a lack of interest in naturalism, and they veered more toward expressionistic conventions," Averett says.
  • In the Middle Ages, "we see less art of the middle class or even the common people," Averett says.
    Once the Renaissance happened, that began to change as Florence's middle class flourished, and people were able to afford portraits of their own children. As portraiture expanded, people wanted their babies to look like cute babies instead of ugly adult homunculi. That changed the norms for a lot of art, including, eventually, portrayals of Jesus.
  • Averett cautions against reading too much into the changing role of children in the Renaissance world — parents in the Middle Ages didn't love their kids any differently than Renaissance parents did. But during the Renaissance, a transformation of the idea of children was underway: from tiny adults to uniquely innocent creatures.
    "We later have this idea of children being innocent," Averett notes. "If children are born without sin, they can't know things."
    As adult attitudes toward children changed, so did adult portrayals of kids. Ugly babies (or beautiful ones) are a reflection of how a society thinks about their kids, about art, and about their goals as parents.
Even if there was a gun in my hand and he was standing in front of me, I would not shoot him. This is the compassion I have learned from Mohamed, the prophet of mercy, Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha. This the legacy of change I have inherited from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. This is the philosophy of nonviolence that I have learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa. And this is the forgiveness that I have learned from my father and from my mother. This is what my soul is telling me: be peaceful and love everyone. ~ Malala Yousafzai as quoted in Malala Yousafzai delivers defiant riposte to Taliban militants with speech to the UN General Assembly, The Independent, (12 July, 2013)
  • Tapestries were ubiquitous in the castles and churches of the late medieval and Renaissance eras. At a practical level, they provided a form of insulation and decoration that could be easily transported. In addition, the process of tapestry weaving, where every stitch is placed by hand, enabled the creation of complex figurative images on an enormous scale. Many medieval tapestries measure as much as 5 x 10 yards and sets could include ten or more pieces. While much production was relatively coarse, intended for decorative purposes, wealthy patrons could commission designs whose subjects embodied celebratory or propagandistic themes. Enriched with silkand gilt metallic thread, such tapestries were a central component of the ostentatious magnificence used by powerful secular and religious rulers to broadcast their wealth and might.
    Workshops producing simple, small-scale figurative tapestries probably existed throughout early medieval Europe, much as they were to continue along the Rhine and in the Swiss cantons well into the sixteenth century (A Fabulous Beast, 1990.211). From the early fourteenth century, a more sizeable industry capable of producing a steady volume of large, high-quality tapestries took root in the towns of northern France and the southern Netherlands. This development was stimulated by the availability of skilled weavers and dyers associated with the cloth trade, by the existence of local guilds that supported and encouraged the development of this nascent industry, and by the commissions of local patrons. By the mid-fifteenth century, numerous tapestry workshops existed in the Low Countries in towns such as Arras, Tournai, Lille, and Brussels. From these centers, tapestries were exported throughout Europe.
  • According to Tarot historian Tom Tadfor Little, traditional playing cards were first seen in Europe in 1375, having been brought over from the Islamic societies where they had been used for centuries before that. These cards were not, however, Tarot cards. At this point, he says, there is no evidence to show that Tarot cards had yet been created, which goes against many claims that ordinary playing cards evolved from the original Tarot deck.
    It wasn't until 1440 that the cards that were most likely the origin of Tarot cards were first mentioned. In a letter from the Duke of Milan, there was a request for several decks of "triumph" cards to be used at a special event. The letter differentiated triumph cards from regular "playing" cards.
  • Playing cards were introduced to Europe through the Mameluke Empire in Egypt after originating in China. The Mameluke suits were goblets, gold coins, swords, and polo sticks. Italy and Spain transformed them into batons/staves, swords, cups, and coins. German card makers had acorns, leaves, hearts, and bells. The French were the ones to simplify the shapes and make them the clover, "pike-heads" (a type of weapon), hearts, and paving tiles.
    The English used the simplified French shapes, but called the pike-heads "spades" and the paving tiles "diamonds."
  • Appreciated today for its aesthetic qualities, color during the Middle Ages was also understood for its material, scientific, and medicinal properties. The manufacture of colored pigments and inks was part of the science of alchemy, the forerunner of modern chemistry. Concerned with the transformation of matter, alchemy was closely tied to artistic practice.
  • Today’s pieces of historic erotic art comes to us from roughly 1437 CE Indonesia, both of which are from the Hindu temple of Candi Sukah* on the island of Java and with the first image being located at the entrance to the temple. According to Wikipedia, “Sukuh temple has…distinctive thematic reliefs from other candi where life before birth and sexual education are its main theme. Its main monument is a simple pyramid structure with reliefs and statues in front of it, including three tortoises with flattened shells and a male figure grasping his penis. A giant 1.82 m (6 ft) high of lingga (phallus) with four balls, representing penile incisions, was one of the statues that has been relocated to the National Museum of Indonesia.”
    Candi Sukuh was the last Buddhist temple built on Java before the island converted to Islam in the 16th century and was severely damaged by vandals at some point between when the island converted and when the temple was restored in the 19th century.
  • An explanation that people often given for the Michelangelo men-with-breasts phenomenon – which we should properly call the aesthetic of androgyny – is that they couldn’t get female nude models in the Renaissance, so artists just juxtaposed the head and breasts of women on men’s bodies. Because of stringent controls over female modesty, the idea goes, it was inappropriate for women to get undressed in front of men. In fact, this is the explanation given in Gill Saunders 1989 book, The Nude: A New Perspective– “female nudes in the painting and sculpture of the [renaissance] period were derived from male models … so they appear unconvincing”.
    Now, this is both right and wrong. It’s true of course that for many women, especially women from the upper classes, there was strict control over their dress and comportment in the Renaissance. It’s also true that many of the female figures in renaissance paintings were based on male models – this is common practice, and goes well beyond Michelangelo. There were more men available around a painter’s workshop after all. What’s not true is that it necessarily made for unconvincing women – Raphael’s St Catherine of Alexandria was based on a male model, and I don’t see her as particularly androgynous.
  • There was also, however, women in this period who would take their clothes off in return for payment or other favours; it’s probably best not to make assumptions about women’s lives in the past based solely on the evidence from a social elite. Although there’s not very many drawings after the female nude still in existence, there’s plenty of evidence for renaissance artists having naked women models, especially after 1500 – there’ll be more about this in a chapter of my nudes book. As a matter of fact, one of the handful of extant renaissance drawings after the female nude is by Michelangelo (to the left, now in the Louvre). This image of a naked kneeling woman, her hair plaited around her head, is a study for Mary Magdalen in his unfinished Entombmentpanel, which was painted around 1500 for the church of Sant’Agostino in Rome (therein lies a tale about courtesan culture in Rome, but I’ll save that for another post)
    If Michelangelo, then, knew what women’s bodies looked like, and was clearly able to draw them (being quite handy at drawing), we have to assume that the appearance of his women was through deliberate choice rather than ignorance.
  • I don’t think it’s possible in this period that a person’s sexuality can be taken as a straightforward explanation for his or her artistic choices. Moreover, it certainly doesn’t explain why this type of image should be popular with a broader audience.
    There are two easier explanations:
    1) androgynous bodies were thought to be beautiful in the Renaissance,
    2) artistic nudes weren’t meant to be realistic.
    The boundaries between male and female were conceived differently in renaissance culture than they are today. Thomas Laqueur has argued in relation to renaissance anatomical practice that at this time there was “only one canonical body and that body was male”. Although people have objected to what Laqueur has called the “one-sex model”, it seems to have been a highly influential way of understanding sexual difference in the renaissance. The idea was that the normative human body was male, and that women’s bodies were simply imperfect versions of men’s. For this reason, in early anatomical books, the bodies used to demonstrate human physiology are always male unless the female reproductive system is specifically being studied.
  • No wonder then, that for some in the renaissance, the most beautiful women were those who looked the most like that perfect original form. Like is attracted to like, Marsilio Ficino explained: “Women truly easily capture men, and even more those women who bear a masculine character. And even more easily, men catch men, as they are more like men than are women”. Ficino’s follower, Mario Equicola, claimed in 1525 that “the effeminate male and the manly female are graceful in almost every aspect”. This was shown to comic effect in Benvenuto Cellini’s Autobiography, where he tells a story of a dinner party where he brought his young and beautiful model, Diego, dressed up as a woman, and Diego was declared the most beautiful of all the ladies. There are plenty of images of feminine-looking young men in the Renaissance that show the interest in male androgyny too – many of Leonardo da Vinci’s male figures look feminine (hence the non-controversy about John the Evangelist “really” being Mary Magdalen that Dan Brown talked about in the Da Vinci code).
    There are good reasons, therefore, beyond convenience, why renaissance artists might study a male model as the basis for their female figures.
  • Race isn’t something that most Italian Renaissance art historians consider much. Whether you can use the term “race” when talking about the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is problematic – it doesn’t neatly reflect any words used in the period. As Italy wasn’t involved to any great extent in the Atlantic slave trade, the relationship between the Italian renaissance and non European peoples has not been hugely explored (at least not by me… Paul Kaplan and others have done a great deal of work on this – and Joaneath Spicer is curating an upcoming exhibition about Africans in Renaissance art at the Walters Museum in Baltimore).
    Now, though, I’m wondering if increased contact with non-Europeans was one of the central factors in the fascination with finding the “perfect” body that underlies the explosion in nude imagery in central Italy in the later fifteenth century.
  • This week has been concerned a strange, but fun, mixture of finalising our renaissance make up recipes for the Making Up the Renaissance study day (finding red sandalwood, allum and vinegar to make lipstick and blusher, for example), and avid reading of Alvise Cadamosto’s account of his voyages to Africa in the 1450s.
  • Cadamosto (or Ca’ da Mosto) was a Venetian adventurer, who sailed on the Portuguese voyages of discovery to Western Africa in 1455-6, going to present-day Senegal.
  • In chapter 2 of the renaissance nudes book, I talk about how Cadamosto’s description of the naked natives he saw influenced the way people thought about nakedness, and thus how the nude was represented in painting and sculpture. Before the 1470s, nude figures do occur in the visual arts, but its normally for understandable reasons that have to do with telling a story. So, for example, Adam and Eve are naked because that’s what it says about them in the Bible; or you might get figures in bed for scenes of lovers, who are naked for obvious reasons – although they almost always wear a hat, as above! After the 1470s, though, you start to get nudes who have no obvious narrative purpose.
  • Antonio del Pollaiuolo was a pioneer of the male-nude-in-action form, which was to become repeatedly revisited in Italian renaissance art. His most famous work is probably the incredibly influential Battle of Naked Men which – though obviously inspired by the heroic nudes of classical antiquity – show men who seem “primitive” (according to Joseph Manca), or “bestial” and “degraded” (Patricia Emison), or “undignified” and “vicious” (Alison Wright), which has been a bit of a mystery for art historians in terms of finding a convincing iconography.
  • Cadamosto, elsewhere in his text, talks about how these Africans went around naked, about some tribes using poison arrows, and he emphasises the fertility of their land – perhaps reflected by the sorghum and vines in the back of the image.
    I’m not claiming to have found the magic iconographical bullet, but the mood of the passage, and, importantly, its attitude towards “bestial” African peoples, may have influenced Pollaiuolo and his Florentine patrons. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the voyages of discovery are fundamental to the development of the artistic nude.
  • Notoriously, on the wedding night of the celebrated art critic, John Ruskin and Effie Gray in 1848, Ruskin was so repelled by the sight of his bride’s body that he was unable to consummate the marriage. Effie Gray explained in a letter of five years later “he had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was, and that the reason he did not make me his Wife was because he was disgusted with my person”. Although we’ll never get to the bottom, so to speak, of the reasons for Ruskin’s reaction, it’s been widely assumed that he was traumatised by Effie’s pubic hair.
    And, frankly, no wonder. For an English male art historian of the nineteenth century, steeped in the classical tradition and Italian Renaissance art, the expected female body would surely have been completely hairless.
  • A recipe that constantly recurs is one based on creating a highly alkaline solution that melts the hair from the surface of the skin (just as hair-removers like Veet do today). There’s evidence of recipes for this paste – which is called “rhusma” being used in Ancient Turkey from about 3000 BC, and the Trotula – a very popular medieval book of recipes dating from the 12th century, but reproduced frequently since, also includes this.
  • In fact, hairiness in women could be a visual representation of humoral imbalance. According to the humoral system, women were cold and wet in nature as opposed to their hot dry male counterparts, and it was heat and dryness that was the source of body hair. Thus the sixteenth-century Spanish physician Juan Huarte wrote that
    "Having a lot of body hair and a bit of beard is a clear indication of low levels of coldness and moisture… and if the hair is dark then even higher levels of heat and dryness are present. The opposite temperature creates a woman who is smooth, without beard or body hair. The woman of average levels of coldness and moisture has a little bit of hair on her body but it is light and blonde. Of course, the woman who has much body and facial hair (being of a more hot and dry nature) is also intelligent but disagreeable and argumentative, muscular, ugly, has a deep voice and frequent infertility problems."
  • Removing the hair could be seen as merely a return to the proper balance of a female body, avoiding the dangerous specter of a masculinized woman. Medicine, hygiene and beauty were closely intertwined in the Renaissance (as they are today). But certainly aesthetics were an element of hair removal. For example, Francisco Delicado’s La Lozana Andaluza, was published in Venice in 1528. It tells the tale of an Andalucian prostitute, Lozana, in Rome who gets up to all sorts of sexual misadventures and also offers beauty treatments to female clients. Lozana declares that in a certain Roman brothel “You’ll see more than ten whores, some who pluck their eyebrows and others who shave their private parts“, and later recounts a story of how “By mistake we burned off all the hair from the private parts of a lady from Bologna, but we put butter on it and made her believe she was right in style“. Later some women come to Lozana for some cosmetics and ointments, and also ask Lozana to “teach me and my cousin here how to shave off female hair, since that’s the way our husbands like it.”
  • Although there is no way to make a neat causal connection between the visual art of this period and female bodily identity, perhaps it’s time we asked these questions. The renaissance nude wasn’t simply a celebration of humanity, or a homage to a lost antique past, but popularised – even fetishised – quite narrow notions of attractiveness in a society where, for women, beauty was a cultural currency and could determine their future prospects. No wonder they sought to modify their bodies to meet this ideal.
  • There’s nothing really known about this drawing in the Uffizi by Rosso Fiorentino. It’s generally dated for stylistic reasons to the early 1520s. In red chalk, it portrays a woman – naked apart from a ring of pearls around her neck and the jewels in her unravelling hair – pointing with her right hand to something beyond the picture plain, whilst her left hand is placed on top of her head. Many commentators have found this woman’s body shape puzzling. In the words of the New York Times art critic, Holland Cotter, “is she pregnant or just out of shape”?
    For me, it doesn’t seem puzzling at all – the woman is neither pregnant, nor out of shape, but her body reveals its own history, a history of pregnancy. This woman’s rounded stomach is a reminder of past pregnancies, a stomach that is familiar to many women today too, but tends to be hidden or perceived as an anomaly to be “remedied” by stomach crunches or plastic surgery. Rosso, rather than making an idealised nude form that has no relationship to time, shows a body that, I think, is hauntingly beautiful, but built into time, particularised but also universal in showing the rounded but softened belly that is familiar to most women who have given birth. It’s telling that this shape is largely missing from our familiar visual vocabulary of femininity – where slenderness and pregnancy are both acceptable, expected, but an interim state is somehow shocking. Is the internet helping to remedy this?
  • The other, more famous, example of a formerly pregnant belly in renaissance art is Michelangelo’s Night. The language used by art historians to describe this older woman is often startlingly hostile and casually misogynistic – with reference to her spent, flaccid abdomen, her “tired” breasts, or the distortion of her body (distorted from what perceived norm?). In the Renaissance, this sculpture was praised for its beauty. Why does modern western culture view the post-pregnancy female body with such distaste?
  • As I briefly mentioned in a previous post, I’m interested in how innovations in mirror technology (particularly the advent of flat glass mirrors, as opposed to convex glass or polished metal) may have affected body image. This happened at the very beginning of the sixteenth century, the first flat glass mirror patent being taken out in Venice in 1507. Largescale flat mirrors meant, I think, that people would be able to observe their entire bodies in mirrors for the first time. I’m wondering what kind of emotional charge that might have had.
  • Death and Vanity, to my knowledge, is much more common as a subject for prints in Northern Europe, particularly Germany, than in Italy. The same is true of images of witchcraft. There’s some fantastic German images of witches undertaking demonic rituals from the early sixteenth century by Dürer and Hans Baldung, but not many Italian images that are equivalent (if you want to read more about the German images, the relevant chapter in Joseph Koerner’s The Moment of Self-Portraiture might be a good start). Perhaps the nearest Italian equivalent to the frenzied German witches is an enigmatic print possibly by Agostino Veneziano called Lo Stregozzo.
    So I was happy, and surprised,when I noticed the print to the left. Definitely by Agostino Veneziano (his signature is on it), the BM had catalogued this as an image of St Margaret, Looking at her though, it’s not likely that this woman is a saint – she’s all together too lascivious. Although she’s alongside a demon-type creature (at the bottom right), which could be St Margaret’s dragon, St Margaret isn’t normally shown next to a cave, nor does she wear a flimsy see-through dress which she suggestively raises with her left hand. That demon-type creature also seems suspiciously phallic if you look closely. In her other hand she holds a convex mirror – perhaps intended to be a scrying glass (like a crystal-ball, convex mirrors were sometimes held to reveal the future and other occult secrets to people who knew how to use them). I have to say I don’t work on witchcraft, so I’m not going to do much with this image, but I’d love to hear from anyone who wants to do further research on it, or from those people who have already done some great research on witchcraft images in Italy. Anyhow, it seems to me that we can add this print to the small list of Italian images of witches.
  • My own interest is through the work I’m doing on body image – in particular, I was trying to work out if pubic shaving was something that became more popular when images of hairless female nudes became more diffused in the early sixteenth century: did women try to make their bodies look like classical sculpture? Was the invention of the flat reflecting mirror towards the end of the fifteenth century responsible for people being more body conscious? One thing it did make possible was full body naked self-portraits, like the one by Pontormo to the left (this image taken from the fantastic British Museum collections database).
  • The ceiling of the chapel is perhaps the most famous. In the center the story of many and his relationship with God is shown. The famous finger to finger painting in the center is very well known and everywhere replicated in the world today. It looks like the ceiling is a portrait of biblical history from creation and then ending with the Last Judgment. The first scene which is the Drunkenness of Noah is consistent with Neo-Platonism. Neo-Platonism will often show the lowest state of a soul by drunkenness. The panels of the ceiling go on to show man in his low state to creation. In the panel the Creation of Adam, there are two under the arm of God. As De Tolnay states "One is a girl, who "represents the Platonic idea of Eve, preexisting in the divine intellect". The last panel, God Dividing the Light from Darkness, shows what a depiction of a complete pure being is. In the Creation of Eve, Michelangelo portrayed God as a human. If you start with at the beginning with the Drunkenness of Noah, the painted story goes through biblical history to where freedom finally and forever is achieved. The panels, because of this progression may then be interpreted as a Neo-Platonism manifesto (Vess, D. (1998).
For men know that throughout all the prior ages of history the bottom line in male-female relationships has always been woman's need for male protection. Women could not live alone for fear of predation by males. So they lived with a male protector and accepted his dictation of their role, either as a condition of receiving his protection, or because he would impose it upon them by physical force, or both. Access to firearms gives women, for the first time in history, the capacity to live independently and apart from men in safety and freedom. ~ Carol Ruth Silver, and Don B. Kates Jr. (1979) Self Defense Handgun Ownership and the Independence of Women in a Violent Sexist Society. Archived February 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. North River Press: Hawthorne, New York. Page 24.
  • The battle shown here was fought in August 1499 off Zonchio, north of Navarino (Peloponnese). The combatants were a Turkish vessel commanded by Kemal Ali (shown standing on the deck of his ship), and two Venetian vessels commanded by Antonio Loredan and Albano d'Armer. The Turks were victorious; Loredan was killed when his ship was burnt, and Armer was taken as a prisoner to Istanbul, where he was sawn into pieces on the order of Bajazet II. This is possibly the first print of an actual naval battle.The woodcut became the most important medium for producing images of topical interest and they were coloured using stencils so that many impressions could be produced quickly. This is the only impression of this print that survives but many must have been made. It comes from a famous album of early woodcuts that once belonged to Rudolph II in Prague.
  • The Sanctae Peregrinationes, or the Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam, was the first printed illustrated travel-book, and marked a leap forward for book illustration generally. It featured five large fold-out woodcuts, the first ever seen in the West, including a spectacular five-foot-long (1600 x 300 mm) woodcut panoramic view of Venice, where the pilgrims had stayed for three weeks. The book also contained a three-block map of Palestine and Egypt, centred on a large view of Jerusalem, and panoramas of five other cities: Iraklion, Modon, Rhodes, Corfu and Parenzo. There were also studies of Near Eastern costume, and an Arabic alphabet - also the first in print. Pictures of animals seen on the journey, including a crocodile, camel, and unicorn, were also included.
    The colophon of the book is a lively coat-of-arms of the current Archbishop of Mainz, which includes the first cross-hatching in woodcut.
    The book was a bestseller, reprinted thirteen times over the next three decades, including printings in France and Spain, for which the illustration blocks were shipped out to the local printers. The first edition in German was published within a year of the Latin one, and it was also translated into French, Dutch and Spanish before 1500. Additional text-only editions and various abridged editions were also published.
  • By 1480 twenty-three Northern European towns, thirty-one Italian towns, seven French towns, six Iberian towns, and one English town had presses. By 1500 printing was practiced in over 140 towns. In 1450 Europe's monasteries and libraries had housed a mere fifty thousand volumes; during the incunabula period it is estimated that over thirty-five thousand editions total of nine million books-were printed. In addition, a vast array of ephemera, including religious tracts, pamphlets, and broadsides, was produced for free distribution or sale. Broadsides (single-leaf pages printed on one side) eventually evolved into printed posters, advertisements, and newspapers. Four years after printing came to Venice, a dismayed scribe complained that the city was "stuffed with books." The boom in the new craft led to overproduction and an overabundance of firms. Of the over one hundred printing firms established in Venice before 1490, only ten survived until the end of the century.
  • The focus of the exhibition is on prints and drawings from the British Museum’s collection, alongside a few loans from the V&A, the Ashmolean, Tate Britain and the British Library. Witches fly on broomsticks or backwards on dragons or beasts, as in Albrecht Dürer’s Witch Riding backwards on a Goat of 1501, or Hans Baldung’s Witches’ Sabbath from 1510. They are often depicted within cave-like kitchens surrounded by demons, performing evil spells, or raising the dead within magic circles, as in the powerful work of Salvator Rosa, Jacques de Gheyn and Jan van der Velde.
    Francisco de Goya turned the subject of witches into an art form all of its own, whereby grotesque women conducting hideous activities on animals and children were represented in strikingly beautiful aquatint etchings. Goya used them as a way of satirising divisive social, political and religious issues of his day. Witches were also shown as bewitching seductresses intent on ensnaring their male victims, seen in the wonderful etching by Giovanni Battista Castiglione of Circe, who turned Odysseus’ companions into beasts.
    During the Romantic period, Henry Fuseli’s Weird Sisters from Macbethinfluenced generations of theatre-goers, and illustrations of Goethe’s Faust were popularised by Eugène Delacroix. By the end of the 19th century, hideous old hags with distended breasts and snakes for hair were mostly replaced by sexualised and mysteriously exotic sirens of feminine evil, seen in the exhibition in the work of Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Odilon Redon.
  • The Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola disapproved of the fashion for painted marriage furniture, complaining that 'heathen stories' from Greek and Roman mythology were perverting young women's minds, and that beds decorated with naked men and women would lead young people to dishonest acts. Well-known Old Testament heroines, however appear frequently in bedroom furniture decoration.
  • For the modern viewer, the nudes painted by Giorgione and Titian may seem more sensuous and erotic than the fifteenth-century nudes painted inside the lids of cassoni. We may respond to the way the artist imitates with oil paint the softness and texture of the skin and of the hair, to the way he has arranged the body on the canvas, to the devices he has used in order to invite the gaze of the viewer. We may find the pose of a fifteenth century nude painted inside a cassone lid awkward, and the conventions used in the representation of the body distancing and and less enticing, but out perceptions were not necessarily shared by contemporary viewers. The Dominican Girolamo Savonarola obviously found these images dangerous, and he condemned in his sermons those 'very dishonest figures, naked girls and men' which are kept in many houses and which decorated lettuci (day beds) and lettiere (beds), since he believed that such lasvicious pictures could corrupt those that saw them. Many of the paintings burnt in the bonfires of the vanities (bruciamenti delle vanita) during the Carnival of 1496 would have belonged to this type.
  • Ibid, 121-122
  • Girolamo Savonarola preaching in Florence in 1496 reproached painters who represented the Virgin Mary beautifully dressed because 'she went dressed as a poor woman, simply, and so covered that her face could hardly be seen, and likewise Saint Elizabeth went dressed simply'. Those ideals of femininity which we have already seen illustrated in the cassone and spalliere panels are proposed again to women through these omnipresent religious images. What is stressed is a behavior which is, above all, chaste and modest, but also industrious.
  • Ibid, 158-159
  • It was Raimondi who created the images for the first work of printed pornography, a book called "I Modi" (“The Positions” or “The Ways”), also known as "The Sixteen Pleasures" (or, if you’re into Latin, "De omnibus Veneris Schematibus"). As per the title, the book was built around engravings of 16 sexual positions, based on a lost series of paintings by Giulio Romano, Raphael’s pupil, which he had painted for Federico II Gonzaga, to decorate and provide inspiration at his Palazzo Te in Mantua (destroyed in 1630, during the War of Mantuan Succession). Raimondi first published the engravings in 1524. Pope Clement VII was unimpressed, and threw him into prison, ordering all copies of the engravings burned. Like Justice Potter Stewart, Pope Clement VII knew porn when he saw it, and he had seen it. But here’s the catch. Giulio Romano was not punished for his original paintings, because they were never intended for public viewing — only the private enjoyment of Duke Federico Gonzaga. Raimondi was quick to “borrow” the art of others, not only Dürer — it turned out that Romano had no idea about the engravings, and was only informed when visited by one of the great personalities of the Renaissance, and a man with a wonderfully naughty streak himself, Pietro Aretino.
  • Aretino liked the cut of Raimondi’s jib, and decided to compose 16 sexually explicit sonnets to accompany Raimondi’s engravings. He negotiated Raimondi’s release from prison, and a second edition, now with Aretino’s text, was published in 1527. This was the first time that erotic text and images were combined in print, and the first time that pornographic images (which happened to be very beautiful and by a great artist) were mass-produced for the general public. Pope Clement was still unimpressed, and tried to destroy all copies of this edition, too (as far as scholars can tell, only a few fragments survive). A pirated, rather crudely copied edition was printed in Venice circa 1550 (with apt irony, given that Raimondi had engaged in copying someone else’s work in Venice, 44 years prior), showing that black-market porn was a thing, even in the 16th century. Something slipped through the papal dragnet (perhaps because, in that same year, the pope had other problems, like the Sack of Rome by the renegade army of Charles V). A 17th-century painter, Agostino Carracci, arranged for a reprinting of Aretino’s poems, and also seems to have copied the original engravings, some of which must have survived. A 17th-century Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford also oversaw a printing of an English edition at Oxford University Press, entitled "Aretino’s Postures" (the dean at the time confiscated the copper plates used for the engravings — recall that Oxford began as a largely theological institution).
  • Even more impressive was a “secret” bath-room in the Vatican called Stufetta del Bibbiena so named after Cardinal Bibbiena, a worldly Renaissance-era cleric who in 1516 commissioned Raphael to decorate his bathroom in the papal apartments with erotic frescoes emulating recently excavated Roman ruins. The cardinal and later various popes could soak in a hot tub while gazing at a still-life Satyricon featuring naked nymphs and satyrs, most notably randy old Pan himself, who could be seen leaping out of the bushes with an enormous erection.
  • Portrait sets of kings and queens and other groups of ‘worthies’ were increasingly found in long galleries and great halls throughout the Tudor period. The display of groups of portraits probably reached the height of their popularity in the 1590s and the first decade of the seventeenth century.
  • Only beginning in the late 16th century do you begin to see some instances of portraits of known individuals, some slaves and some ex-slaves or diplomatic ambassadors. It is at around that time that huge distinctions in what is defined as "African" begin to sort out, especially in the distinctions in darker-skinned sub-Saharans versus lighter-skinned Maghreb populations on the North African coast. Often the latter are associated with Turks or Ottomans because of their Muslim affiliations and their control of Mediterranean trade.
    The Black Madonnas are tricky. In some cases it's pretty clear, based on pigment analysis and other examination during conservation, that the color was added later. That is fascinating in itself, because it means that at some point someone (often in the early modern era) thought it would add something to the image to give it dark skin. A young scholar who works on this, Elisa Foster, has suggested that this was often intended to suggest exoticism or venerability, which connects in an interesting way with images of the Queen of Sheba, whose dark skin also seems to have been read in this way. One might argue that in Latin America, the dark skin of such figures had an ethnic/racial role to play as well, but that's still much debated. In the end, skin color and other somatic differences mean so many different things at different times and places that it's hard to generalize about them.
  • The Kunstkammer was regarded as a microcosm or theater of the world, and a memory theater. The Kunstkammer conveyed symbolically the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction.
    • Francesaco Fiorani, reviewing Bredecamp 1995 in Renaissance Quarterly 51.1 (Spring 1998:268-270) p 268.
  • Today’s piece of historic erotic art comes to us from circa 1594 France and is the well known oil on oak painting that has been titled in more modern times as “Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses sœurs“ though the identities of the women cannot be definitively confirmed.
    Gabrielle d’Éstrées was the beloved mistress and nearly the wife of Henry IV of France and was, by her own right, one of the most powerful people in the country and in much of Europe during her life.
  • It is generally accepted that the lady on the right is Gabrielle d’Éstrée both due to her resemblance to other portraits and because of the ring she is holding which is believed to be the coronation ring Henry IV gave her as a gift shortly before her unexpected death. A commonly held interpretation is that the painting was a pregnancy announcement, with the lady in the back presumed to be sewing baby clothes and the pinched nipple referencing the nursing to come, but the erotic interpretations have been perceived throughout history, as well, including by an official who had the painting concealed behind a curtain where it hung in a Paris police station until it was acquired by the Louvre in 1937. In keeping with the common practice of museums omitting queer history, the Louvre’s article on the piece on their official website makes no mention of the commonly held erotic interpretation of the painting or its widely held iconic status as a queer female image and instead frames the nipple pinch by saying only that “the oddly affectionate way in which the sister is pinching Gabrielle d'Estrées’ right breast has often been taken as symbolizing the latter’s pregnancy with the illegitimate child of Henry IV”.
  • The council repudiated certain Protestant positions and affirmed the basic structure of the Catholic Church as it had existed in medieval times. It codified Catholic doctrines on salvation, the Seven Sacraments, and the Biblical canon. The Catholic Mass was standardized, thereby abolishing the pluralism of local variations. Church discipline and administration were reformed. So was the practice of the sale of indulgences. The role of the Pope as an absolute ecclesiastical authority was “firmly legitimized.” The Inquisition was revitalized to prevent the growth of heresy. In 1564, the year following the completion of the work at Trent, an index of prohibited books was issued. The visual arts were also addressed by the council. Cardinal Paleotti wrote a tract on what he termed decorum in painting, a detailed discussion of what was and wasn’t acceptable. In Paleotti’s decorum, “Nudity and eroticism were out…Anything faintly tinted with heretical incorrectness was anathema. Nothing from real life was to intrude that might diminish or distract from the improving and uplifting image. Dignity was essential. Humor was banned. So was fantasy. Anything new of any kind was banned.” By 1597, an index of prohibited images was issued.

  • I approached the task of destroying images by first tearing them out of the heart through God’s Word and making them worthless and despised. This indeed took place before Dr. Karlstadt ever dreamed of destroying images. For when they are no longer in the heart, they can do no harm when seen with the eyes. But Dr. Karlstadt, who pays no attention to matters of the heart, has reversed the order by removing them from sight and leaving them in the heart. For he does not preach faith, nor can he preach it; unfortunately, only now do I see that. Which of these two forms of destroying images is best, I will let each man judge for himself.
    • Martin Luther, Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments (1525) pp.84-85; as quoted in Theological Aesthetics: A Reader edited by Gesa Elsbeth Thiessen
  • For just as soon as a visible form has been fashioned for God, his power is also bound to it. Men are so stupid that they fasten God wherever they fashion him; and hence they cannot but adore. And there is no difference whether they simply worship an idol, or God in the idol. It is always idolatry when divine honors are bestowed on an idol, under whatever pretext this is done. And because it does not please God to be worshiped superstitiously, whatever is conferred upon the idol is snatched from him.
    • John Calvin, Institutes 1.11.9 as quoted in War Against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin by Carlos, M. N. Eire, p.217
  • Trouble me not; such an idol is accursed, and therefore I will not touch it.' The patron and the arguesyn (i.e. sergeant who commanded the forcats) with two officers, having the chief charge of all such matters, said, 'Thou shalt handle it,' and so they violently thrust it to his face, and put it betwixt his hands, who seeing the extremity, taking the idol and advisedly looking about, he cast it into the river, and said, 'Let our lady now save herself; she is light enough; let her learn to swim.' After that was no Scotchman urged with that idolatry.
    • John Knox letter December 1559 as quoted in John Knox by William Mackergo Taylor, 1885, p.25-26
  • It is clear that the images and other representations which we have in the houses of worship have caused the risk of idolatry. Therefore they should not be allowed to remain there, nor in your chambers, nor in the market-place, nor anywhere else where one does them honor. Chiefly they are not to be tolerated in the churches, for all that is in them should be worthy of our respect. If anyone desires t put historical representations on the outside of the churches that may be allowed, so long as they do not incite to their worship. But when one begins to bow before these images and to worship them, then they are not to be tolerated anywhere in the wide world; for that is the beginning of idolatry, nay, is idolatry itself.
    • Huldrych Zwingli, Letter, Nov 17 1523, Huldreich Zwingli, the Reformer of German Switzerland, 1484-1531 by Samuel Macauley Jackson, John Martin Vincent, Frank Hugh Foster, p.208
  • It is not also taught you in Scripture, that you should desire St. Rock to preserve you from the pestilence, to pray to St. Barbarra to defend you from thunder or gun-shot, to offer St. Loy an horse of wax, a pig to St. Anthony, a candle to St, Sithine. But I should be too long, if I were to rehearse unto you all the superstitions that have grown out of the invocation and praying to saints departed, wherewith men have been seduced, and God's honour given to creatures.
    This was also no small abuse that we called the images by the names of the things, whom they did represent. For we were won't to say, "This is St. Ann's altar ;"-"My father is gone a pilgrimage to our Lady of Walsingham;"-" In our church St. James standeth on the right hand of the high altar." These speeches we were wont to use, although they be not to be commended. For St. Austin in the exposition of the 113th Psalm affirmeth, that they who do call such images, as the carpenter hath made, do change the truth of God into a lie. It is not also taught you in all Scripture.
    Thus, good children, I have declared how we were wont to abuse images, not that hereby I condemn your fathers, who were men of great devotion, and had an earnest love towards God, although their zeal in all points was not ruled and governed by true knowledge, but they were seduced and blinded partly by the common ignorance that reigned in their time, partly by the covetousness of their teachers, who abused the simplicity of the unlearned people to the maintenance of their own lucre and glory. But this be profitable, for if they had, either Christ would have taught it or the Holy Ghost would have revealed it unto the Apostles, which they did not. And if they did, the Apostles were very negligent that would not make some mention of it, and speak some good word for images, seeing that they speak so many against them. And by this means Anti-christ and his holy Papists had more knowledge or fervent zeal to give s godly things ad profitable for us, than had the very holy saints of Christ, yea more than Christ himself and the Holy Ghost. Now forasmuch, good children, as images be neither necessary nor profitable in our churches and temples, nor were not used at the beginning in Christ's nor the Apostles' time, nor many years after, and that at length they were brought in by bishops of Rome, maugre emperors' teeth; and seeing also, that they be very slanderous to Christ's religion, for by them the name of God is blasphemed among the infidels, Turks, and Jews, which because of our images do call Christian religion, idolatry and worshiping of images: and for as much also, as they have been so wonderfully abused within this realm to the high contumely and dishonor of God, and have been great cause of blindness and of much contention among the King's Majesty's loving subjects and are like so to be still, if they should remain: and chiefly seeing God's word speaketh so much against them, you may hereby right well consider what great causes and ground the King's Majesty had to take them away within his realm, following here in the example of the godly King Hezekias, who brake down the brazen serpent, when he saw it worshiped, and was therefore praised of God, notwithstanding at the first the same was made and set up by God's commandment, and was not only a remembrance of God's benefits, before received, but also a figure of Christ to come. And not only Hezekias, but also Manasses, and Jehosaphat, and Josias, the best kings that were of the Jews, did pull down images in the time of their reign.
  • Thomas Cranmer, The Life, Martyrdom, and Selections from the Writings of Thomas Cranmer by Thomas Cranmer, p.139-142, (1809)
  • Doctor Faustus is one of the tragedies of the time with such secular tendencies, the doctor rejecting the Heaven connects it to Luther's renewal of the mystery in afterlife, making death the more inscrutable in its cycles of despair and faith which is inherent in Christian experience. There is a set of formal technique stressing such affinity between the two with the play's ambivalence towards Calvinistic predestination and Faustus' recurrent mood-swings as a Lutheran response to inaccessibility of death. Lutheran's scepticism regards the possibility of containing philosophical speculation on afterlife in stable pieces of doctrine which for Faustus and Luther ends up in a restless ecstasy of mind.
    The Calvinist background makes Faustus' choice compelled in fear of God's punishment and yet being unable to repent and the inevitable otherness of the deity and the predestination of human action. Faustus has studied in Wittenberg where both Luther and Calvin taught and his tragic force stems from the destruction of an individual will by the arbitrary power of the Calvinist God.
    Presently the general view takes Faustus' motivation in a balance perspective of both voluntarist and determinist readings. The actual restlessness within the play dangles between the extremes. Faustus is a sceptic; his mind proceeds by the dialectic of doubt and desire to fill the void in his understanding through new dogmatic position while he establishes a balance between competing doctrines. His dissatisfaction with stasis is hardly adequate for his agonized unrepenance in God's face of wrath.
  • Marlowe spent 3 years studying Protestant theology at Cambridge, and Faustus struggled with this uncertainty. His supernatural perspectives generate an awareness of a denied satisfaction attempting to deny the existence of this greater perspective. His final soliloquy is in the same dialectic pattern longing for the "perpetual day" and meanwhile his soul to be "dissolved in elements," desiring to make the afterlife and extension of his earthly perspective and also escaping it entirely. There are baffling reasons for Faustus to keep to his pact. He asks for a description of hell while the answer he receives is dissatisfying. So he shifts the subject to having a wife substituting his questions with a feminized spirit. Mephistopheles' explanation of astrology is "freshmen's supposition" and the book of spells seem incomplete to him and he takes a tour to Rome instead of Hell.
  • The Protestants had their Reformation and the Catholics had their Counter Reformation. While the Catholics needed to attract viewers with religious art that more significantly impacted onlookers, Protestants would respond with a lack of religious art. Instead they would concentrate, for example, on genre paintings that taught their viewers moral lessons. Compositions from both tended to have more open space. Objects and scenes were in a state of motion to create emotion. They either came out as the viewer or something could fall on the viewer. The motion of these pieces was created through circular or diagonal compositions. On going at this time was a general knowledge that the Earth was in motion, which was a giant conceptual leap to show this aspect of life in art. Some characteristics of baroque was an attention to exact, naturalistic details. Spatial values, such as deep space, fooling the eye and objects being pushed into the viewers space. An integration of architecture, sculpture and painting. Stories being portrayed would seem to happen in the space and time of the viewer
  • One of the few northern Europe protestant artists to create religious paintings was Rembrandt. He was from protestant Holland and is well remember for creating about 60 self portraits. Biblical subjects accounted for one third of his entire production. This is quite rare for the Protestant North of the seventeenth century, for church patronage was nonexistent and religious art was not regarded as important. His famous painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son (, was finished shortly before his death in 1669. There is a sense of great tragedy as you gaze upon this work. The contrast between the light and the dark, the two mysterious figures that appear dimly in the background, the woman behind the father and the dishevelment of the younger brother, all contribute to this sense of tragedy.
    The Baroque styles of Protestant Northern Europe and predominantly Italian Catholic artists are stylistically similar. This comes as no surprise since the techniques originated in Italy. The most notable distinction between the two styles is not the artistic tendencies, but rather the motives or message being conveyed through the paintings. The Catholic Baroque style included vivid imagery that displayed vigorous emotion and incited emotion in those that viewed it. While the Protestant Baroque style used many similar, if not the same techniques; portrayed uniquely intrinsic emotion felt by the artist and brought about emotion not so much through dramatic stimulation, as through sympathetic understanding. The fundamental difference between Protestant Baroque and Catholic Baroque is that Protestant Baroque painters convey subjects in ways that portray the artist's personal emotion; while Catholic Baroque painters conveyed visually entertaining and captivating imagery in order to evoke emotions from the person viewing the image.
  • During the Reformation, the Catholic Church saw the amount of parishioners within the Church dwindling. They felt the need to reform within themselves through theological clarification and through remarkable artwork. The Catholic Church was making changes in order to bring people back into the Church. The clarifications in the Theology of the Church were made at the Council of Trent. The Church hired artists to paint and depict historical happenings in the Church history.
    Michelangelo Merisida Caravaggio painted many pieces of artwork that are still famous to this day. He took a long time to finally find his own style that turned into the influential style that we see in many of his most famous paintings. "After five years of strenuous work he found his way to Venice, where he carefully studied the works of Giorgione, and received instruction from an unknown painter. Thence he went to Rome, and on account of his poverty engaged himself to Cesare d'Arpino, who employed him to execute the floral and ornamental parts of his pictures." (Williamson). He then became interested in developing his own style of paintings.
    The Calling of St. Matthew, painted between the years 1599-1602, is possibly the most famous of the paintings painted specifically for the Counter Reformation. This painting has immense amount of symbolism, yet it retains a sense of the true story of what actually happened in real life. Matthew is sitting at the end of the table hovering over his own money and his head hanging down, almost in shame. Jesus then calls him and says "Follow me." Matthew then, without question or hesitation, gets up and follows. This painting showed the ordinary people an event in the past, a biblical story, which was critical to the formation of the Catholic Church.
    The Martyrdom of St. Matthew was the second most famous painting during the Counter Reformation. The story goes that Matthew was sentenced to be killed while he was standing at the Altar. The king of Ethiopia sentenced him because Matthew voiced his opposite opinion on the fact that the king lusted over his niece, who was also a nun. It is said that the painting was already laid out as in what contents needed to be included in the painting. It again allowed the public to visualize the cruelty that the corrupt hierarchy. This was hoping to bring the people back to the church showing how the Church was getting criticized for standing up for what is right and morally just.
  • After his return to Antwerp, Jan reached the culmination of his ability and of his fame. He then has a distinct style and regularly deals with a number of themes that are characteristic of his oeuvre and which are further elucidated in this study in chapters three and four. Striking is the important role played by eroticism in much of his work. Among the Old Testament figures, his preference is clearly Judith, Susanna, Batseba and the daughters of Lot. The only men he sets against that are Tobias and Elias.
  • Secular topics that John preferred were the so-called 'unequal love' and the 'happy company'. Temptations of purchased love always seem to play the leading role in this. All these works are supposed to be moralizing, and Buijnsters-Smets places a heavy emphasis on this 'teaching through sense-making'.
  • Baroque means irregularly-shaped pearl, derived from barocco in Portuguese, first used during the mid-1700s.
    Baroque art does not have any relation to pearls but the word was used as an epithet for a style that did not meet the great artistic standards of the preceding Renaissance era.
  • Next time you see a Baroque-style religious painting, remember that chances are it’s from Catholic Europe (e.g. Italy, France, Spain and Flanders), but if it’s non-religious (e.g. Still Lifes, landscapes and portraits) then it’s likely from Protestant Europe i.e. Holland and England. There are exceptions to this rule because some Dutch artists, such as Rembrandt, chose to paint religious paintings for prospective buyers.
  • It’s no wonder that the free market replaced the Church as the main patron of art. This is the moment when for the first time in Western art history, art became commercially available for purchase and custom orders were on request to virtually anyone. It was the birth of market-driven art business. Although this art movement originated in Catholic Europe (e.g. Italy, France and Spain), it flourished in Protestant countries like Holland. Replace the Church and monarchy of Catholic Europe with the middle class in Protestant countries, you realize a much larger market for art. Unlike Catholic Italy or France, Holland’s rising art market stimulated Baroque painters, increased competition among them and the production of paintings boomed. Art as a business thrived, fierce competition forced prices down, there was no liking for bare walls, ownership of paintings for home décor turned into a fad, houses of the wealthy had up to 100 and sometimes 200 paintings. Art became so popular that it is said that almost every Dutch house had paintings decorating its walls. Historians call the 17th century in the Netherlands, in particular, the Dutch Golden Age for art, trade and science.
    The new class of self-made men (middle class) supplanting the aristocracy and the Church as the chief consumers and commissioners of art, weren’t looking for biblical or mythological themes, they wanted to see themselves. Daily life of the ordinary citizen became the main theme, the fashionable artistic topic.
  • The rise of the absolute monarchy filled in the gap left behind with the waning influence of the Catholic Church and the declining feudal nobility. Among the absolute monarchies that appeared in Europe during the 1600s: France (Louis XIV) , Spain (Phillip II), Prussia, a former state in Germany (Frederick the Great) and Russia (Peter the Great followed by Catherine the Great).
  • Renaissance art including the Mannerist style that preceded Baroque movement was symmetric and restrained, traditions that were rebelled against by Baroque artists. Some described the Baroque movement as art of the heart, an answer to the Renaissance-era art of the mind. Baroque art was dramatic and emotional, appealed to the public, attempted to get closer to the contemporary viewers, and identified with ordinary people. Taking a different path, unlike the Mannerist generation, Baroque painters portrayed realistic unidealized life in their paintings, stripped from heavenly imagery or mythology, just common people or even at times no people at all (landscapes and still lifes).
  • Despite the deviation of the new artists from the older traditions, they still did not smash all conventions. There were boundaries to their art that they would not dare cross. For example, painting nude art in puritanical Spain meant you risk excommunication, fine and exile, enforced by the Spanish Inquisition, and any nude paintings were burnt. Italy was an exception as it had been influenced by pagan classical nude sculptures.
  • The work of Michelangelo da Caravaggio introduced the Baroque spirit into painting. His art inspired Baroque painters in northern and southern Europe by dramatically shifting the vanishing point toward the spectator. Renaissance artists like Leonardo had used the central vanishing point to create a stable, balanced image. Caravaggio shifted the vanishing point, the light source, and the main characters in the action away from the center of the painting. His paintings brought the viewer into the scene with some of the boldness that we now experience with the moving angle shots used by cameras in movie and television productions.
    • Ibid, 6
  • Whether or not Caravaggio used technology to assist him, his images stand as some of the most powerful statements of European religious art. The iconic impact of his work was Chapter 4: Baroque 9 especially important at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Catholic art at this time sought to provide a greater sense of personal involvement for believers, similar to that offered by the Protestant approach of individual interpretation of the Bible. Catholic artists like Caravaggio and his followers sought ways to combine the long tradition of communal art in churches with the new need for a greater sense of the personal. Caravaggio’s followers spread his style throughout Catholic Europe as churches increasingly deployed art to convey their messages.
    • Ibid, 9
  • Bernini’s charged blending of religious and erotic, however accomplished, was not totally unprecedented. The saint’s pose may have been derived from Caravaggio’s 1606 Mary Magdalen; the angel/cupid may have been inspired by Caravaggio’s 1602 Love the Winner. 20 Caravaggio, in turn, may have taken some of his poses from art works he saw in his childhood in Northern Italy. Robb writes, “Most of the images [Caravaggio] drew on came from Lombard and Venetian paintings he’d seen as a boy…They were a repertory of forms retrieved from deep in his young imagination’s memory, and acted out in life by the models in front of him…The haunting of [Caravaggio’s] paintings by forms drawn from the work of greater and lesser forerunners was a reminder that memory always played its part in the act of seeing and imitating.” However consciously or unconsciously, Bernini recalled Caravaggio’s paintings in Chapter 4: Baroque 14 his operatic sculpture ensemble. In a similar manner, today we “take in” media images—images from television, film, advertising—and they become a (largely unconscious) part of our behavioral repertory.
    • Ibid 13-14
  • Louis adorned both palace and park with art. Although what remains are the monumental sculptures and paintings of Louis’ era, ephemeral works were every bit as important at the time. In addition to opera and other staged dramas, Louis also presented tableaux vivants (living pictures) as entertainments for the courtiers that flocked to Versailles to curry favor (up to 10,000 courtiers were at Versailles at one point).
    • Ibid, 19
  • David’s Napoleonic image has had a long and varied life in the mass media. A popular television series of the 1950s—“The Lone Ranger”— ended each program with its title character rearing up on his white horse and yelling, “Hi-ho Silver and away!” As he did so, the Wild West hero repeated the pose in which David depicted the emperor crossing the Alps. Decades later, the pose was repeated in the opening scene of the film The Mask of Zorro (1998, Chapter 4: Baroque 31 US, Martin Campbell). A
    • Ibid, 30-31
  • Goya took out an ad in the Madrid newspaper. “The author is convinced that it is as proper for painting to criticize human error and vice as for poetry and prose to do so, although criticism is usually taken to be exclusively the business of literature. He has selected from amongst the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual, those subjects which he feels to be the more suitable material for satire, and which, at the same time, stimulate the artist’s imagination…Painting (like poetry) chooses from universals what is most apposite. It brings together in a single imaginary being circumstances and characteristics which occur in nature in many different persons.”
    • Ibid, 34
  • The Lacemaker is a masterpiece from this second phase of Vermeer’s work (4.41). A close examination shows the unmistakable trace of the camera obscura lens: sprinkled around the surface of this small painting are numerous pearl-like dots. These are the socalled circles of confusion-little unfocused beads of light produced by the imperfectly ground lenses of Vermeer’s day. They are not an aspect of normal vision. (You can also see the circles of confusion in Vermeer’s View of Delft, 4.42.) The interesting thing about these “circles of confusion” in Vermeer’s paintings is that there are more of them than would be caused by the lens itself. Vermeer, in other words, not only painted an effect that is not part of normal human vision, he liked it so much that he chose to manipulate it in his paintings as an extension of his personal perception.
    • Ibid, 42-43
  • Vermeer was rediscovered after photography had given “objective” images a dramatically new importance and meaning. The impending mechanization of art suggested by the use of the camera obscura in seventeenth-century art was not an isolated or accidental development. It paralleled the broad impact of technology in all areas of Western culture. A decisive phase of acceleration began in the eighteenth century.
    • Ibid, 44
  • Denis Diderot (1713-1784) directed the production of seventeen written volumes and eleven volumes of engraved illustrations for his Encyclopedia over a span of twenty years despite government harassment and delays (including three months of prison). The Encyclopedia was a revolutionary attempt to make knowledge of all the sciences and arts democratically Chapter 4: Baroque 46 available through printed words and printed images. It was the secular equivalent of Gutenberg printing of the Bible for the common people. The eleven volumes of engravings were absolutely essential to Diderot’s purpose (4.44). If accurate drawings of flowers are required for scientific understanding and communication, accurate drawings of machines are even more necessary. Imagine trying to fix a carburetor or even assemble a child’s toy without accurate pictures along with the instructions. Diderot’s engravings are the industrial and craft equivalent of Leonardo’s visualizations of the body.
    • Ibid, 45-46
  • [The etchings] of Wenceslaus Hollar are not only of a remarkably high artistic standard, but also represent an important pictorial chronicle of seventeenth-century England. Numbering over 2700 they cover a vast range of subjects: cathedrals, ships, bird's-eye views of cities, scenes of the Thirty Years' War, butterflies, shells, women's costumes. Hollar drew portraits of his contemporaries, illustrated the Bible, Aesop's fables, Homer, and Virgil. Rembrandt apart, he was arguably the greatest, certainly the most skilful etcher of his day.
  • It is therefore no coincidence that one of the main ways in which obscenity emerged in early modern literature was through works by male authors impersonating sexually experienced women educating innocent younger ones. Key examples include L'École des filles; ou, La philosophie des dames (1655) and Nicolas Chorier's Satyra Sotadica de arcanis Amoris et Veneris (1658), both of which take inspiration from Aretino's Ragionamenti (1534), and which probably did more than any other works to cement France's reputation as a hotbed of obscenity. These books have rightly received considerable attention, above all in James Grantham Turner's Schooling Sex (2003) and also in Jean Mainil's Dans les règles du plaisir (1993), as well as in major sections of works by DeJean and Jeanneret mentioned above, which naturally consider them alongside the scandal surrounding L'École des femmes. The gendered nature of obscenity is also apparent in late sixteenth-century controversies provoked by medical works printed in the vernacular that deal with contemporary taboos surrounding female sexuality; for example, Laurent Joubert's Erreurs populaires (1578) addresses such issues as how to verify whether a woman was a virgin or not, leading the publisher, Simon Millanges, to signal that his author had been obliged to use terms ‘qui semblent estre un peu obscenes’, and to mark with asterisks passages best avoided by unmarried women. Similarly, the rediscovery of the clitoris by Renaissance anatomical science gave rise to the concern that this body part was ‘fort obscene’, as the royal surgeon Ambroise Paré states in his collected works of 1579, doubtless because it was linked to pleasure rather than to reproduction.
    The above examples from the late sixteenth century help nuance the argument, powerfully expressed by Joan DeJean, that the ‘reinvention’ of obscenity was both a modern and a literary phenomenon, beginning with the trial of Théophile de Viau in 1623–25, and culminating in the querelle de l'École des femmes.20 Théophile's trial, and the collections of obscene poetry known as the recueils satyriques that in part provoked it, did indeed have a major influence in reshaping French literary and linguistic standards.
  • While it would plainly be wrong to think that the issue of obscenity did not pertain at all at the time, it was doubtless secondary to more overtly religious questions. Indeed, religious polemic itself provided a setting for scatology and obscenity, as Jeff Persels and Lise Wajeman have shown. Here, the obscenity of the ‘other’, be they Catholic or Protestant, legitimized the obscenity of the portrayal. Travel writing, by virtue of engaging with different sexual customs, is another important context in which discussions of obscenity emerge. The other can also be demonic, as seen in extraordinarily lurid descriptions of black sabbaths. In short, certain subjects and contexts allow for obscenity: the lewd poetry that circulated about Henri III and his mignons, which Pierre de L'Estoile collected in his Registre-Journal for 1583, despite noting that it was full of vilanies and doubtless deserved the flames like its authors, indicates that what was deemed obscene behaviour by the king was thought to warrant an obscene response.
    Such satirical uses of obscenity for religious and political purposes point to the possibility, as recognized by much recent scholarship on the topic, that in certain contexts in early modern France obscenity was not only justified but actively encouraged and valued. This is perhaps most obviously the case in neo-Latin writing, which drew on the extensive tradition of Roman obscenity, as well as being, by its very nature, somewhat more restricted to an elite made up mostly of men, thereby allowing for greater licence; indeed, a decree of the Council of Trent published in 1563 permitted obscene works by ancient authors, given their elegance of style, provided they were not shown to children.
  • Today’s piece of gender non-conforming / erotic art history is a c. 1615 painting by the Dutch Golden Age painter, Frans Hals, the title of which is commonly translated as both “Shrovetide Revellers“ and “Merrymakers at Shrovetide”. Shrovetide, being another term for “Mardi Gras”, “Fat Tuesday”, and “Carnival”, was marked by lavish feasts, costumes, and celebrations marked by great excess.
    In this scene, a drunken teenage boy who appears to have been pronounced “queen for a day” lifts his hand in pronouncement while surrounded by Shrovetide revelers as they stand before a table a table loaded with food containing heavy sexual imagery of the day. The boy (potentially representing an actor at a time when female stage parts were typically performed by teenage males) is dressed in feminine clothing generally reserved for high nobility while flanked by two popular satirical theater characters of the time, being Pekelharing (Pickled Herring) on the left and Hans Worst (John Sausage) on the right.
  • Sexual abuse of children is far from new. Historians of the family have discovered that adults in elite households in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe sometimes treated young children as sexual playthings. A striking example involves the future King of France, Louis XIII. According to a diary kept by the royal physician, members of the French royal court fondled his genitals and ladies in waiting played sexual games with his tiny fists.
  • Rococo, from the French rocaille (meaning “rock and shell garden ornamentation”), was an eighteenth century movement in art that began in France. In 1699, the French king, Louis XIV, called for more youthful art to be produced by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and other artists commissioned for works in Versailles.
  • At the Academy, the Rococo movement began as an artistic controversy on the importance of drawing versus the importance of color. The Poussinistes (named after Nicolas Poussin) believed that drawing was more important, and the Rubenistes (named after Peter Paul Rubens) maintained that color was more important than drawing. The new Rococo style included works of art reflecting this controversy. With bright colors, exquisite detail, and ornamentation, it is easy to see how Rococo art appealed to the wealthy and powerful of France.
  • Like many other forms of art, Rococo played out in different ways in other parts of Europe, including Germany and Italy. In France, the salons of hotels and private homes featured Rococo painting and interior work for the upper class taste, including gilt and mirrors. In Germany, the Rococo style survives in beautiful church architecture and dome paintings, including the beautiful pilgrimage church, The Weiskirche, in Bavaria.
  • In Italy, the Rococo style is best captured in ornate, heavy furniture. Each piece acquired by a wealthy Italian would cost a handsome sum. Rococo appealed to the upper class as far away as Russia where Empress Elizabeth had the Catherine Palace completely torn down and renovated in the Rococo fashion. As an art and architecture movement, Rococo is best observed by visiting buildings surviving from the eighteenth century in Europe and Russia.
  • One aspect of French court dress survives today. Red heels had been introduced by Louis XIV by 1673, probably to confirm the elevation of his court above the rest of humanity. Red heels, which were restricted to nobles with the right genealogical qualifications to be presented at court, demonstrated that the nobles did not dirty their shoes (although, in Le Costume francias of 1776, a more heroic explanation was advanced: red heels are described as 'the mark of their nobility and [show] that they are always ready to crush the enemies of the state at their feet'.
  • Rococo is a portmanteau word combining both “rocaille” (French for “shell”) and “barocco”, Italian for Baroque, the art style preceding the Rococo period. Rococo art extensively feature shell-shaped curves and wave-like motifs, particularly in its sumptuous furniture design and interior décor.
  • However much of the Feudalistic legacy lived on through the social structure of three classes (estates). The First Estate was the Clergy (100,000 people). They represented 0.5% of the French population and owned 10 percent of the land. They paid minimal taxes or no taxes at all. The clergy themselves raised taxes on the land they owned and they led more than comfortable lifestyles, most of whom were originally from noble families (particularly the high clergy like Bishops and those in abbots), which was another distressing fact of life for the common folk. The Second Estate was the aristocracy (400,000 people). They made about 2% of the French population and owned 30 percent of the land. The monarchy always gave the aristocracy special favours and exempted them from taxes. Meanwhile, they could tax peasants in addition to collecting rent from those of them who lived on their farmland. The nobility had exclusive rights to hunting and fishing that others, such as the peasants, were never granted. They had many other special privileges passed down over the centuries that made them very unpopular people in France. The Third Estate was everybody else, i.e. the common folk who were mainly the peasants but also included the labourers, merchants and artisans (manual workers). They are the working class who paid most of the taxes in France. While just under 3% of the French were clergy and nobility, the commoners represented 97% of the population. 90% of whom were peasants who lived at or below subsistence levels, earning only enough to feed their families.
  • The empowered mistress took unprecedented authority by meddling into France’s foreign policy. One of the first political failures that resulted from her acting as a behind-the-scenes politician was the ill-fated alliance that led to France’s defeat in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763). The Seven Year’s War involved many nations, making it one of the largest pre-20th century worldwide wars, considered by many historians, and also by Winston Churchill, as the first world war. Through the territorial gains following that war, Britain became the leading colonial power. From that perspective, it’s not easy to miss the unintentional role a French mistress played in securing Britain’s path towards becoming a superpower.
  • People’s relationship with extreme fashion has not changed, but in our modern time-starved society we do not have as much time available, as was the case for French aristocrats in the 1700s. If you are a modern wealthy woman, you can very quickly adorn yourself with high-end branded apparel like Louis Vuitton, Givenchy or Christian Dior; you effortlessly slap on a dress or jeans and slip into casual yet expensive shoes – a little makeup, a few accessories and call it an outfit. Even if today’s women are not comfortable, they can easily pretend to be comfortable in their own styles of choice. Back in the 1700s, fashion was a much more complicated process. French aristocrats did not work, and men and women equally took part in the absurd trends of the day. Fashion was not for everybody, only the wealthy.
  • Flash forward to the early seventeenth century, where the first records emerge indicating the existence of professional dominatrices running flagellation institutions within England. Using the tools of the trade we see today, these women made their living creating a fantasy in which they were paid greatly to dominate British aristocrats, politicians and even royalty. Not only were these men bound, punished and made to worship the woman before them, but they were also able to share their truest longings and desires in a safe space.
    Through the early nineteenth century, the demand for flagellation services grew and anyone from prostitutes to actresses became dominatrices to earn some extra cash. As their popularity grew, certain women became courtesans and wrote memoirs of their escapades.
    Later in the century, Theresa Berkley emerged from the fray to become what is known as a “governess,” a dominatrix whose specialty was flagellation, whipping, chastisement, etc. She invented a contraption called the Berkeley Horse, which is still seen in dom practices today.
    In the 20th century, we see the dominatrix morph into what we know her as today: covered in leather and lace, holding a whip or a riding crop, with high-heeled boots. This depiction became popular after the commercialization of fetish. Many of these women operate underground and are found through word of mouth references. They are portrayed in shows like Secret Diary of a Call Girl and American Horror Story. They have become popularized and almost normalized. An unnamed source said of Theresa that:
    Her instruments of torture were more numerous than those of any other governess. Her supply of birch was extensive, and kept in water, so that it was always green and pliant: she had shafts with a dozen whip thongs on each of them; a dozen different sizes of cat-o’-nine-tails, some with needle points worked into them; various kinds of thin bending canes; leather straps like coach traces; battledoors, made of thick sole-leather, with inch nails run through to docket, and currycomb tough hides rendered callous by many years flagellation. Holly brushes, furze brushes; a prickly evergreen, called butcher’s bush; and during the summer, a glass and China vases, filled with a constant supply of green nettles, with which she often restored the dead to life. Thus, at her shop, whoever went with plenty of money, could be birched, whipped, fustigated, scourged, needle-pricked, half-hung, holly-brushed, furze-brushed, butcher-brushed, stinging-nettled, curry-combed, phlebotomized, and tortured till he had a belly full.”
    But one thing is for certain: these women hold a particular power over men that might be deemed as dangerous. Because back in the ancient days of Mesopotamia, they ran the world.
  • "The high heel was worn for centuries throughout the near east as a form of riding footwear," says Elizabeth Semmelhack of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.
    Good horsemanship was essential to the fighting styles of Persia - the historical name for modern-day Iran.
    "When the soldier stood up in his stirrups, the heel helped him to secure his stance so that he could shoot his bow and arrow more effectively," says Semmelhack.
    At the end of the 16th Century, Persia's Shah Abbas I had the largest cavalry in the world. He was keen to forge links with rulers in Western Europe to help him defeat his great enemy, the Ottoman Empire.
  • "One of the best ways that status can be conveyed is through impracticality," says Semmelhack, adding that the upper classes have always used impractical, uncomfortable and luxurious clothing to announce their privileged status.
    "They aren't in the fields working and they don't have to walk far."
    When it comes to history's most notable shoe collectors, the Imelda Marcos of his day was arguably Louis XIV of France. For a great king, he was rather diminutively proportioned at only 5ft 4in (1.63m).
  • He supplemented his stature by a further 4in (10cm) with heels, often elaborately decorated with depictions of battle scenes.
    The heels and soles were always red - the dye was expensive and carried a martial overtone. The fashion soon spread overseas - Charles II of England's coronation portrait of 1661 features him wearing a pair of enormous red, French style heels - although he was over 6ft (1.85m) to begin with.
  • In the 1670s, Louis XIV issued an edict that only members of his court were allowed to wear red heels. In theory, all anyone in French society had to do to check whether someone was in favour with the king was to glance downwards. In practice, unauthorised, imitation heels were available.
    Although Europeans were first attracted to heels because the Persian connection gave them a macho air, a craze in women's fashion for adopting elements of men's dress meant their use soon spread to women and children.
  • "In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits," says Semmelhack.
    "They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel - it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits."
    From that time, Europe's upper classes followed a unisex shoe fashion until the end of the 17th Century, when things began to change again.
  • In the visual arts, and especially within the realm of erotic and pornographic imagery, it also appears that the so-called Safavid "Golden Age" is equated with alcoholic debauchery and sexual libertinage. It is this broader picture of Safavid sexuality that Qajar painters of erotic themes seem to have wanted to reference and emulate in their modern products, which quite obviously appealed to Kellermann, Schneider-Kainer and other amassers of Persian erotica meandering through the bazaars of Iran.
  • Neoclassicism (meaning New Classicism) was born in the mid-1700s, originally in Rome but its popularity exploded in France, as a generation of French and other European art students finished their training and returned from Rome to their home countries with newly-rediscovered Greco-Roman (Classical) ideals. As a testimony of the significant influence the Greeks and Romans had on Western civilization, interestingly the term itself is a merger of words derived from both ancient languages spoken by them; neos (Greek for “new”), classicus (Latin for “first class”) and ismos (Greek for “doctrine” or “ideology”). Neoclassical art style was widely adopted and popularized by French artists, since France was the centre of culture and art in Europe at that time.
  • Ever since the fall of the Roman Empire, thirteen centuries earlier, Europeans had been nostalgically fascinated by the grandeur and glory of ancient Rome. It was always in the intellectual background, hence several classical revivals emerged over the centuries, such as the one that materialized in Italian Renaissance art. However, it was powerfully reignited in the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, due to the philosophical return to classical thought, and renewed appreciation of Greek and Roman cultures. Being one of the leading advocates of Neoclassicism, German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann summed up the admiration of a new generation of artists behind such resurgence of classical tradition in his book History of Ancient Art (1764). His influential book gave the movement momentum in which he famously proposed that since the ancients had already attained perfection in their art, “the only way for modern artists to achieve greatness was to imitate the Greeks.” [Source: Antoine Watteau: Perspectives on the Artist And the Culture of His Time By Mary D. Sheriff].
  • The revival was also inspired by the excavation of the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Both were Roman sites, buried under volcanic ash and mud in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Such archaeological discoveries were the biggest news of the day. Ancient lost cities, frozen in time, preserved for centuries and about to give an accurate picture of life in antiquity. The excavated artifacts sparked the interest of people and artists in particular.
  • The advent of revolutionary movements in France and America, based on classical ideals such as the democracy of ancient Athens and Rome, made Neoclassical art even more appealing. Those ideals were a major force behind the American colonies’ Declaration of Independence from the British Empire (1776) and the overthrow of the French monarchy (1789). As they rejected and revolted against the contemporary unjust governments, they found values and inspiration in the Greco-Roman past. Concepts related to the republic and senate, of the ancient ruling system of Rome, provided the revolutionaries with a vision for the emerging American and French republics.
  • Neoclassical painters rebelled against Rococo art because it epitomized what was wrong with a formerly great nation. Rococo art represented the aristocratic extravagances of the pre-revolutionary society under Louis XV. Its shallow subject matter showed flirty women and frolicsome men, cherubs and cupids, mythological scenes, and carefree people with a hedonistic attitude. It was almost sinful and certainly lustful. Neoclassical artists rejected the Rococo superficial beauty and aristocratic frivolity.
  • The Romantic movement originated in Germany, then it spread to England, France and the rest of Europe. Across the Atlantic, America had its own version of Romanticism, the Hudson River School, which was the first truly American school of art
    The mid-1600s ushered in the Age of Enlightenment (or “Age of Reason”), which was a period that glorified rational thinking, secularism and scientific progress. The first operational steam engine, built in 1712, could be regarded as the beginning of the Industrial Revolution which later swept the Western hemisphere. Steam engines and cotton mills symbolized that Industrial Revolution. Industrialization transformed economies of Western Europe and North America, driving them from dependence on agriculture to manufacturing. However, at the turn of the 19th century, not everyone believed that science and reason could possibly explain everything. Their reaction against the ongoing industrialization became a comprehensive movement – Romanticism.
  • The French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote, “Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in the way of feeling.” In light of feeling and individual experience, there was no place here for what tradtionally had influenced art; religion, reason, morality and civic virtues. Recurrent themes were human vulnerability and isolation; stunning landscapes and morbid subject matter. Romanticism was directed by the opposite of rationality – passion, intuition and the mysterious. The paintings showed strong emotions through facial expressions like anguish, intense pain, anger or fear.
  • Until that moment in the history of Western art, most artwork was created with beauty at its heart. Fine art had been taught as a discipline. Romantic art, on the other hand, was there to fascinate and horrify. Some of the their paintings were the most horrific to be seen in the West at the time, for example Saturn Devours His Children by Francisco de Goya (see above).
  • Romanticism was the anithesis of Neoclassicism. The Enlightenment and its revived ideals from Graeco-Roman cultures gave birth to the Neoclassical art, all of which were rejected by the Romantics. It was a matter of freedom from classical restraints -a matter of trusting the heart, rather than the mind. The Neoclassical style emphasized order and reason, while Romanticism focused on feelings. The stoic, statue-like faces in Neoclassic paintings were incapable of showing feelings that the Romantic artists conveyed in facial expressions in their paintings. You’ll find heroism in Neoclassical paintings, but in the Romantic ones, artists do not attempt to conceal human vulnerability, and proneness to violence or nature’s fury. Classical (Greek and Roman) mythology, the main influence on Neoclassical art, was still featured in Romantic paintings as in “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugène Delacroix (above), nevertheless artists favored local folklore. A common feature in Romantic art is visible brushstrokes, which would have been unacceptable in the Neoclassical tradition that pursues perfection. Beyond technique, the Romantics also rebelled against the political art of the Neoclassical period with a style that celebrates nature.
  • In the Avesta, homosexuality is mentioned only a few times, but it is literally demonized. For example, in the Videvdad, both the active and passive partners in sodomy are described as demons, demon worshippers, and incubi and succubi of demons.
  • Somewhat reminiscent of Dante's Divine Comedy, The Book of Arda Wiraz, written in the ninth century C.E., describes a journey into the afterlife by the soul of Arda Wiraz, who is shown the rewards and punishments of men and women in hell. The first sin he encounters in hell is that of passive sodomy; all other sins, including heterosexual sodomy, are further down--that is, considered more severe. This distinction between homosexual and heterosexual sodomy may owe something to Muslim culture.
  • Homosexuality is a topic in the Qabusname (1083), a book of advice from a father to his son. The advice of the father is that one should exclude neither form of sexuality but try both. Sometimes one is better than the other. For instance, intercourse with women is deemed healthier in winter, with young men in summer. On the whole, intelligence is seen as a more important criterion than gender for choosing a lover.
  • The most important Persian poet to explore the love of young men by men is Sa'di of Shiraz. He was born before 1189 and wrote his masterpieces, including the Golestan(Rose Garden), near the middle of the thirteenth century. Chapter 5 of the Golestan is wholly devoted to the love of youths, most of them male, some female, and some impossible to determine since Persian grammar is not gendered.
  • Descriptions of lesbians and lesbian love are absent from Persian literature though the seclusion of women from men fostered female relationships, as frequently observed by Western travelers in the East.
  • When considering shunga, it is important to shed censorious attitudes towards sexuality that have been a fundamental part of western Christian culture for so long. Although printed shunga was officially illegal in Japan after 1722, it was widely tolerated – indeed, during the three centuries of its popularity many thousands of images were produced in a variety of formats: multi-volume books, bound albums sometimes exchanged as wedding gifts, painted handscrolls, and sets of small-format prints possibly sold in wrappers.
    Shunga could be sensuous and comic, but it was rarely violent or exploitative. Most shunga depicts vigorous heterosexual couples in mutual bliss – and these prints were likely cherished by men and women, both young and old, from different strata of society, including samurai lords as well as prosperous merchants and commoners. “The division between art and obscene pornography is a Western conception,” says Clark. “There was no sense in Japan that sex or sexual pleasure was sinful.”
  • Today’s piece of gender non-conforming erotic art history comes to us from 1750 Japan and was composed by Suzuki Harunobu. Kabuki theater was originally all female when it began in the 17th century, but in response to the actresses moonlighting as high end sex workers catering to the gentry in their audiences, the government banned female actresses. The male actors who replaced them, however, were just as in demand for paid sex (as male same sex relations were not taboo) (2) and rapidly became high end sex workers, themselves, leading to a long series of government bans on common theater modes of dress and presentation in an unsuccessful attempt to stamp out the practice.
  • And despite earlier work suggesting that these texts were only for solitary consumption – at home, alone, and behind closed doors – Skipp’s work throws up a surprising image of how these works were used. "They would be read in public – everywhere from London's rough-and-ready alehouses to the city’s thriving coffee houses, which weren't quite the focus of polite society in the way we sometimes think," she explained. "Some texts even came as questions and answers and were clearly intended for groups of men to read together, with one asking the questions and the others answering them."
    Much of the work is derogatory in its references to women. They are subordinates, courtesans, prostitutes, carriers of venereal disease and bearers of deformed children. "When men write this way, or read these texts, it gives them a context for asserting their authority over women," Skipp added. Yet some texts portray women altogether differently, discussing the nature of female sexuality or describing lascivious aristocratic females.
  • It is very different to today's erotica," she said. "It is more humorous, more literary and more engaged with the wider issues of the life and politics of the times." Its metaphors mirror the passions of the age: "At a time when military power was equated with virility, armed conquest is often used as a metaphor for sex – in phrases such as 'unsheathing the weapon', 'storming the fort' and 'releasing the cannon'."
    By the 1770s, the transcripts of adultery trials became a new source of titillation. To secure a divorce, a man would first have to successfully sue a rival for 'violating his property', before petitioning Parliament to dissolve the marriage. "There is something rather voyeuristic about these trials," said Skipp. "Often servants would give evidence while innkeepers would testify about lovers taking rooms together."
  • The French Revolution Digital Archive, launched on January 28th by a partnership between Stanford University and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, makes approximately 14,000 Revolution-related images available to the public. Mined from the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale, this trove of political cartoons, medals, and coins is history nerd porn. Many of these images are what you’d expect: portraits of white-wigged royalty, like Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette; bloody battle scenes; and glorification of the “National Razor,” as the guillotine was lovingly called.
  • But other images seem straight out of a Monty Python movie. An angel farts through a trumpet over a Jacobin funeral procession in one satirical sketch. Catherine II of Russia kicks a French soldier in the butt with her little slipper. A hydra-headed beast wearing aristocratic hats on each of its heads attacks sword-wielding commoners. And countless cartoons depict Marie Antoinette as a grinning harpy licking her chops, devouring hogs.
  • Pornography was a sharp tool in eighteenth century France. When wielded properly, it could be used to cut down larger than life figures, even kings and queens. Pornography was used against Marie Antoinette before the Revolution to lower public opinion of her and to blame her for the country's ails. It was a way to take the heat off of the more culpable individuals. Once the Revolution was underway, pornography against the queen was churned out in staggering amounts. It was used then to further smear her reputation, to maintain the low public sentiment about her, and to assure harsh punishment.
  • Today’s piece of fully explicit historic erotic art is from 1790-1810 England and is by the talented and prolific erotic artist Thomas Rowlandson. Entitled “The Dairy Maid’s Delight”, in this scene a dairy maid has happy sex with a footman.
  • This piece is noteworthy on two counts, the first being that it is a black/white interracial scene, and the second being the obvious amount of affection between the couple. Both figures are making direct eye contact as they smile at each other, and in particular, the manner with which the dairy maid regards her partner is so loaded with affection that it is clear that, whether they are spouses or lovers, they have an established relationship and share a deep bond.
  • Cut to World War II, when a very surprised group of Soviet soldiers managed to stumble on ole’ Cathy’s special room while exploring a palace. It was packed with explicit art, wooden phalluses and some insane furniture. Instead of looting or burning the lot, the soldiers took pictures, and aren’t we grateful they did? Looking at the kinky personal effects of the rich and powerful is even better than going through their medicine cabinets! This is only some of the collection, as most of the photos and furniture have been lost or destroyed, but man… girl loved her some porn.
  • Realist artists were not interested in the past, or in anything that they didn’t personally experience. That was summed up in a quote by the patriarch of the movement, Gustave Courbet: “I have never seen angels. Show me an angel and I will paint one.” Art that preceded them, in their view, was simply false. Nowhere will you find in Realist art biblical scenes as in Baroque art, mythological themes as in Rococo art, or mythical heroes and historical battles as in Neoclassical art. Unlike the Romantics, who painted mystical nature, the Realists saw only urban wasteland. Their focus was on the lower class and their dire conditions of work. That approach was ground-breaking because even when the poor were previously present in paintings, as in the Academic art style, they were glorified and shown living an idealized life. Devoid of history, literature, religion or mythology, the artist’s focus was on contemporary social issues. The heroic portrayal of the working class was seen as a political agenda and their art style was rightly regarded anti-authoritarian. The Realists were both artists and social activists.
  • The French aristocracy was always in control of the prestigious art academies and exhibitions. They survived the political turbulence of the French Revolution (1789), and although their privileges were never fully restored, they still dominated the cultural institutions into the 1800s. In order to demonstrate that art was a highly intellectual process, the Académie des Beaux- introduced stringent standards to be followed, which was meant to separate artists from craftsmen. From their perspective, gentlemen who create “great art” were welcome but the “riff-raff” who seem to treat it like manual labor were not. The Academy was not open to the masses. A semi-educated bohemian with a talent having a stab at painting couldn’t get enrolled. Only a few privileged students with the right connections, such as renowned art professors, could join. Academic art was criticized as bourgeois art for the bourgeois society.
    Salon de Paris had been the official art exhibition of the French academy since 1725, and also the greatest annual art event in the world. By the early nineteenth century, the French academy and its salon, unlike all other formal and informal salons, were extremely powerful. If you were a serious artist you couldn’t ignore them. Having one’s paintings displayed at the Paris Salon to a huge audience, in the world’s art capital, was a dream to most artists. It was like an opportunity for a struggling musician, dreaming of modest success in the music industry, to be finally signed by a top record label. Once your name is known through that art gallery, you gain significant fame and possibly a long profitable career. Most artists chose to be on the side of the Academy. Unfortunately that meant that artists would have to conform to officially-approved standards of the conservative academy, which in turn shaped the artistic norms and dictated everything from colors and composition, to subject matter.
    Academic art synthesized both Neoclassicism and Romanticism, adopting features from both, in addition to themes and characters from the Rococo era. Ironically, all the art movements behind its inspiration – Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Rococo – were all once rebellious and unconventional styles, but by then they has been incorporated into the traditional (i.e. academic) style. While industrialization was spreading across European cities and affecting the lives of millions of people, academic art ignored that and instead depicted mythical themes or idyllic rural life. Unlike Rococo paintings, you won’t find aristocrats being playful, the poor or lower classes were shown living in an idealized, exotic world. To its critics, the art style was disconnected from the real life, which sparked a debate whether there’s an obligation for artists to be interested in the hardships of common people. The debate sowed the seeds for the future rise of the Realist art movement, rejecting the idealism of academic art.
  • Art schools around Europe, in cities such as Rome, Vienna and Berlin, copied the French model. The Royal Academy of London was among the most prominent academies. They played a positive role in educating students, but, as always the case, their dogma and conservatism resulted in restricted artistic freedom. No longer were the Church or governments moulding the public taste, it was the art schools. Progressive artists who didn’t submit to the rules of the “art authority” were excluded from their galleries, such as the Impressionist artists. Similarly, in London, the Pre-Raphaelite movement would later shun all art academies.
  • Raphael (1483-1520), long considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time, was viewed by a group of English painters and poets in 1848 as a negative influence on art. They rejected his Classical style that had been popular for almost four centuries. The Renaissance style propagated by art academies at that time, they believed, lacked true sentiment, and the corrupting art of the Italian master was to blame. Their own inspiration came from earlier Italian artists of the 14th and 15th-centuries who predated Raphael. In pure devotion to medieval and early Renaissance art, they formed a secret society and called it the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The three main artists were William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
    Speaking of great Renaissance artists, why go against Raphael in particular? Isn’t his contemporary master, Michelangelo, just as great, or perhaps as some scholars today believe, the greatest artist of all time? Surprisingly, for a long period during the 18th and 19th century, Raphael was the considered the uncontested master of Renaissance painting. It was later on, in the 20th century, that Michelangelo was re-appreciated and more focus was put on his works than ever. A simpler reason though they didn’t call themselves “Pre-Michelangelo-ite” might be due to the fact that, despite common perception, Michelangelo was first and foremost a sculptor, rather than a painter. How about the other two great Renaissance masters, Donatello and Leonardo Da Vinci? The first was a sculptor, and the second, though an unparalleled genius and inventor, never focused on one field, hence his painting output is relatively too small.
  • Bartholdi produced a series of drawings in which the proposed statue began as a gigantic female fellah, or Arab peasant, and gradually evolved into a colossal goddess that resembled the ones he had contemplated in the early and mid 1860's.
  • While there has been relatively little serious analysis of colonial postcards, Malek Alloula’s influential book Le Harem colonial put forward a reading of such postcards from the early 1900s as perpetuating a harem fantasy through which French male colonists viewed North Africa. This article analyses a selection of postcards of women from France’s Indochinese colonies at the same period, and suggests that Alloula’s thesis does not fit them in a comparable way. The Indochinese postcards borrow frames of reference from pre-existing pictorial styles, taken sometimes from the harem but also from chinoiserie and contemporary European photographic portraiture; rather than portraying a single vision of the ‘Other’ they oscillate between showing the Indochinese woman as ‘same’ and ‘different’. And these images appear to have been addressed primarily to a female collector, suggesting an intended reading rather removed from Alloula’s vision of colonial postcards as pornography.
  • Both men and women were frequently portrayed naked on colonial picture postcards, which was a degrading practice in itself. But when it came to the nude portrayal of colonised women, the story is especially complex.
    Although some postcards tried to pass as subjective photographs of native women as they “could be found in the colonies”, these images were typically saturated with the stereotype of women from African and Asian cultures as highly sexual and exotic.
    Many of these postcards are clearly pornographic, and quite a few are obviously posed to be explicitly sensual – and very similar to pin-up photos.
  • The sexual stereotype of women in the colonies was also actively used in propaganda campaigns to lure European men to the colonies for work, or to make them enlist in the navy or colonial armies. Shocking in their degrading stereotypical imagery and accompanying messages, many of these postcards practically prostituted native women as a form of colonial propaganda.
  • While tame by today’s standards, the flirtatious images printed on thick cardstock shocked many at the time. Even in the Roaring '20s, many considered them pornographic and immoral. In an attempt to legislate morality, the U.S. government prohibited the sending of French postcards via the Postal Service
    The threat of fines - even imprisonment - gave models plenty reason to use false names and wigs in order to conceal their identity. Photographers, too, would typically use a false signature to prevent tarnishing their reputation.
    As a result, the identities of French postcard models -- as well those of the people who took them -- remain unknown to this day.
    As with alcohol prohibition, the decision to make French postcards illegal made their production into a very profitable business. The camera was still pretty new to the world, and few people possessed one. When--not if--people wanted one of these photos taken or printed, they had to head to an erotic photographer who could charge a high fee for their services. Those wanting the photographic contraband could also purchase them (discretely) in local stores and tobacco shops, or purchase them from street vendors.
  • Today’s piece of non-gender conforming art history comes to us from Mali and is by a Dogon artist. Intersex figures such as this one are commonly depicted in Dogon art. In this scene, we see a figure with a beard, breasts, and what appears to be a penis hanging over labia and a vagina standing with puckered lips which, to Western eyes, would appear to be blowing a kiss or whistling a jaunty tune.
  • Today’s piece of art is by a Baoulé artist from the Ivory Coast and depicts a figure with mixed gender characteristics. In this scene, a figure with breasts and a penis stands with their knees slightly bent and eyes shut and while wearing a headdress.
  • Today’s piece of historic non-gender binary art comes to us from Zaire and is an ivory carving depicting an intersex figure. In this scene, the figure is sitting with their knees pulled up to their body and with their hands folded across their chest. The undercarriage view of the carving reveals an penis, no scrotum, and a fully formed vulva which has a clitoris distinct from their separate and fully erect phallus which differs from the more common intersex condition of having a single body part that blurs the line between penis and enlarged clitoris.
  • Today’s piece of historic erotic art comes to us from India, and while undated, it is consistent with being from the 19th or early 20th century. In this scene, a female couple has fun on a sex swing hanging from a tree on the bank of a pond or gentle stream. (Sex swings were popular in Persian as well as Indian erotic art, and presumably in real life, as well, as the two countries shared a great degree of cultural overlap over the centuries).
  • Today’s piece of historic erotic art comes to us from India. Though undated, the piece is stylistically consistent with other work from 19th century. In this scene, a fully nude but bejeweled female couple is in an ornate boat with a golden bird as the figurehead. The boat, exactly the right size for two people to lay down in, appears to have a lush carpet padding the interior in addition to an ornate cushion as it floats down a scenic river.
  • Today’s piece of historic erotic art comes to us from India. Though I cannot find a formal date for the piece, it is fairly definitely from between the 18th-20th century, with the 19th being my best guess. In this scene, a bejeweled but otherwise nude female couple has erotic fun on a pile of fancy pillows on an ornate rug on the floor of what appears to be a lavish estate.
  • Today’s piece of historic erotic art comes to us from 1890 and is the loving family portrait of Gustav Sabac el Cher and Gertrud Perlig by German artist Emil Doerstling which is entitled “Prussian Happy Love”. Though most entries in this erotic art project are fully explicit, love is an aspect of sexuality, and all art that gets left out of the history books is of interest to this project.
  • Gustav’s father, August Sabac el Cher, was an orphan given as a “gift” to a visiting Prussian prince at the age of 7 by the Egyptian viceroy. Despite being totally uprooted at such a young age, August (and eventually his son, pictured above, Gustav), went on to thrive as he was given access to the all of the benefits of Prussian nobility including education, contacts, money, and high social standing. August, and ultimately his son, Gustav, went on to join the military and rise through the ranks with Gustav (pictured) eventually becoming imperial bandmaster. Both enjoyed close ties with the court and married German women, with Gustav marrying Gertrud Perlig (pictured) and going on to have two children with her.
  • The word “impressionism” owes its origin to a title that Monet gave to one of his paintings. It happened in a whimisical decision that took no more than a moment – a perfect naming ceremony for an art style that focuses on capturing fleeting moments. This is how Claude Monet recounted the story: “they asked me for a title” for a painting of the French harbour of Le Havre. His tentative response was: “Put Impression.” He picked that term in acknowledgement that his painting was not more than a mere impression of the real Le Havre. The painting would later acquire the full title Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant) before it went on display (view painting above). A conservative art critic, Louis Leroy, coined the word “impressionism” as an insult to Monet’s unconventional work in a satiric review. As in contemporary language where “geek” or “gay” are reclaimed by those the words are meant to abuse, Monet and similar artists embraced the label and became “Impressionists.”
    Pierre-Auguste Renoir once said “without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism.” The new invention provided easy transport and long-term storage of paint.
  • Hostility towards Impressionism culminated in one of the most famous court cases of the 19th century. At the center of the trial was a painting, Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket(1875), by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (view above). The modern motto of “art for art’s sake” was exemplified in Whistler’s painting. His painting did not just foretell of the coming abstraction in art, but also its name “nocturne” (a musical arrangement) was a clear and unprecedented emphasis on the artist’s own experience. On the other side of the court was the leading and respected critic of the Victorian age, John Ruskin, known for his conservative views on art. The libel trial was instigated by Ruskin’s review of Whistler’s painting: “[I] never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.” Ouch! Ruskin would have been outraged if he knew that one day that kind of paintings would be worth well over 100 million dollars.
  • Post-Impressionism is a lame name (Could you perhaps find a better one?). But before we blame the British art critic and historian, Roger Fry, who coined it in 1910, we have to understand the challenge he faced. He needed a name for his London exhibition through which he was to introduce to the public a new group of very distinct artists (Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin) among original Impressionist artists (e.g. Manet). He settled on “Manet and the Post-Impressionists.” The diversity of their styles and techniques made it hard to give them but a generic term that categorises them as those who arrived after the Impressionist generation
  • A Sunday on La Grande Jatte is made up of millions of perfectly placed dots, taking two years of work by Georges Seurat. The same theories of optics and colour that inspired Impressionist artists before, also played a role in the development of the Pointillist branch of Post-Impressionism.
  • Compare the spontaneous snapshots of Impressionist paintings (a woman on a stroll on a windy day, or a ballerina showing off her moves) to the rigid poses of Post-Impressionism and you’ll find that motion was replaced with stasis. Artists were either no longer interested in spontaneity or their new techniques were just incapable – painted dots are not ideal for showing motion.
  • The London exhibition mentioned above was not well received. Post-Impressionism with its modern outlook was a shock to the conservative English public who were accustomed to Pre-Raphaelite art, a style which looked backwards to a medieval/Renaissance era that preceded, as the name implies, the Great Raphael. Art critics were just as harsh. In fact, the word “Pointillism” was originally coined by them to ridicule that particular style
  • I am quite under the spell of this truly magnificent work. The idea is uplifting and the execution masterly. When I immerse myself in the contemplation of the picture I am filled with the feeling that all Europe must indeed answer the call of the beloved Kaiser to unite in peaceful harmony for the sake of the cross and the dearest goods, but then the uneasy feeling steals over me that the evil in those men who oppose as an enemy power the good which manifests itself in the Kaiser's being will now cause them to tear down and attack with their ingenious criticism that which has sprung from the high-mindedness and noble heart of the Kaiser"
    • Philipp, Prince of Eulenburg in Röhl, John Wilhelm II The Kaiser's Personal Monarchy, 1888-1900, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004 page 756.
  • A fifth point is that Wilhelm's 'sense of humour' frequently took an offensive, sometimes even a sadistic turn. While his left arm was weak due to damage at birth, his right hand was strong in compensation, and he found amusement in turning his rings inwardsand then squeezing the hand of visiting dignitaries so hard that tears came to their eyes. Kind Ferdinand of Bulgaria left Berlin 'white-hot with hatred' after the Kaiser had slapped him hard on the behind in public. Grand Duke Bladimir of Russia was hit over the back by Wilhelm with a field-marshal's baton. The Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, another of Queen Victoria's grandsons, was pinched and pummeled by the Kaiser in the library to the extent 'that the poor little duke recieved a proper beating up', as the Court Marshal wrote in his diary.
  • Finally, the Kaiser loved uniforms, historical costumes, jewellry and gems, most of all childish pranks in all-male company. One of his closest friends, Count 'Em' Gortz, who was on theplump side, could 'dance like a howling devish and do all kinds of nonsense' for rhe Kaiser. One of his favourite tricks was to roll backwards down the hillside 'like a hippopotamus that has gone berserk'. On another occasion Gortz and the future Foreign Secretary Alfred von Kinderlen-Wachter 'did the Siamese twins' for Wilhelm by tying themselves together with a large sausage. For the hunt at Leibenberg in 1892, Georg von Hulsen proposedto Gortz:
    You must be paraded by me as a circus poodle! - That will be a 'hit' like nothing else. HJust think: behind shaved (tights), in front long bangs out of black or white wool, at the back under a genuine poodle tail a marked rectal opening and, when you 'beg' , in front a fig-leaf. Just think how wonderful when you bark, howl to music, shoot off a pistol or do other tricks. It is simply splendid!!...In my mind's eye I can already see H.M. laughing with us ... I am applying myself with real relish to this 'work' in order to forget that my beloved sister - the dearest thing I ahve on earth 0 is at this moment dying in Breslau... I feel like the clown in Knaus's picture Behind the Scenes. No matter! - H.M. shall be satisfied!
  • Ibid, p.16
  • Symbolist paintings are dim, nightmarish scenes where artistic imagination is overtaken by the morbid and the macabre. The visions are otherworldly and mystical. You’ll find haunting, mysterious figures, evil women, supernatural monsters and demons, and imagery of sex and death. The atmosphere is always unsettling and gloomy.
  • Symbolism had always been a feature of art in the West, especially since culture became Christianized in the middle of the first millenium. The dove, the lamb, candles, sacred heart and the cross were among many religious symbols found on church walls, ceilings, and later in paintings. During the 17th and 18th centuries, religion receded from the public sphere, pushed aside by Enlightenment ideals, hence religious art and its symbolism lost their appeal. Most art styles that followed were based on reality and mundane activities. Two such “reality-based” art styles in particular would prove highly popular: Realism (1840-1870) and Impressionism (1870-1900).
  • At its core, Symbolism was an escapist art. What else gave them refuge from reality? Heavy consumption of booze and hashish and a few of them became known for destructive relationships. Their affinity for suffering harkens back to the period of the Romantics, who passed on to them – you probably have recognized – the familiar figure of the starving or tortured artist – an idea that has prevailed to this day.
  • Like the Romantics, they did not share the prevalent sentiment of confidence in progress and science. What they emphasized in their work is the inner subjectivity of the artist who talks like a prophet in the language of esoteric ideas and dreamlike visions. The artworks betray their dark view that despite all progress of the era, natural forces are still beyond human control: love, lust, fear and death. Such mood of despair and loneliness fueled the drive to create some of the most grotesque art to encounter. Additionally they brought back themes of ancients myths and biblical tales in addition to the graphic representation of their fantasies, nightmares and anxieties.
  • Les Fauves is French for The Wild Beasts. Their name goes back to a comment made by art critic Louis Vauxcelles (1870–1943) after visiting the Parisian Salon d’Automne in 1905. There he saw outrageously bold and bright paintings surrounding a Renaissance artwork, to which he sarcastically remarked “Donatello au milieu des fauves!” ( Donatello among the wild beasts!). Clearly, “fauves” was never meant as a word of praise for the artists, nevertheless the label stuck.
    “Les Fauves,” with Henri Matisse (1869-1954) as their main figure, believed that colors should be divorced from physical reality. Matisse summed it up in one line: When I put a green, it is not grass. When I put a blue, it is not the sky. To the Fauves, colors treated independently from their descriptive qualities meant artistic freedom. They believed colors should express the artist’s feelings. As colors lost their traditional purpose, they became the dominant force in the paintings, while shapes were simplified into two-dimensionality.