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Prostitutes, Plonk, and Play: Female Banqueters on a Red-figure Psykter from the Hermitage

From: Classical World
Volume 105, Number 4, Summer 2012
pp. 497-524 | 10.1353/clw.2012.0038



My examination of the female banqueters on this psykter investigates gender ideologies in Attic vase painting, but also humor, eroticism and the use of stereotypes in late-archaic Athens. I suggest this image of female banqueters helped male symposiasts bond and reinforced the privileged position of the Athenian male citizen. The similarity of this image to the actual symposium forced the symposiast to reflect on his behavior, while its differences worked to identify any female at the symposium as “other.” In the process, I also unravel attitudes towards the female prostitute and problematize the identification “hetaira” given to female banqueters.

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