[an error occurred while processing this directive] Egyptian Sex and Fertility [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  • Society
  • Egyptian Sex and Fertility

  • Comparison between ancient Egyptian and Greek sexual life

    Criteria Egyptian Sex and Fertility Ancient Greek Sex
    Images Egyptian Sex Ancient Greek Sex
    Sexual tolerance Egyptian Sexual behaviors for both men and women were restricted by social customs and religion, (not by any official law ) Greek - Male sex orientation and activities were liberal for all ages and social classes
    - Adultery of married women was considered a very serious crime
    - Unmarried women, on the other hand enjoyed full sexual freedom
    Homosexuality - Homosexuality was regarded a sexual misconduct - In the Book of the Dead people were confronted with their judges in the underworld for this conduct. - Homosexual relationships were prevalent in ancient Greece
    - Greek poets wrote of same-sex love and notable philosophers such as Plato and Plutarch discussed the topic.
    - Same-sex romantic and sexual attractions were regarded as a matter of taste or preference rather than a moral issue
    - The most widespread form of same-sex sexual relations in ancient Greece was between adult men and adolescent boys
    Religious Role - Sex and fertility were closely related. The gods were earthy enough to copulate.
    - Min was the god of fertility, and was depicted with an erect penis in Egyptian art
    - Ra created Shu and his sister Tefnut, from the act of masturbation.
    - Shu and Tefnut started duality and the sexual cycle began in the universe,
    - Anything thought to enhance fertility was included in Egyptian funeral rites, Egyptian males had false penises attached to their mummies, while women were given artificial nipples. They would thus be able to copulate in the afterlife
    - Homosexual gods - Zeus descended as an eagle to carry off Ganymede, the most beautiful boy on Earth, to be his lover on Mount Olympus
    - Apollo, shooter of arrows, often came down to the shores of the Eurotas River to spend time with his young friend Hyacinthus and delight in boyish pleasures.
    - Hercules performed his mighty deeds with more ease when his beloved Iolaos watched him.
    Adultery - Adultery was extremely frowned upon for both men and women
    - Women committing adultery were divorced, but still had certain rights to maintenance from her former husband.
    - A woman could divorce her husband for committing adultery.
    - Married men could have sex with prostitutes, slaves and children, this act was accepted and widespread.
    State Involvement - Sex was a private matter and the government took no interest in it - Female adultery was seen as a crime against the state - When a wife committed adultery, divorce was legally required and she would lose her citizenship or be executed
    Nudity - Nudity was an accepted part of Egyptian life and had little to do with sex.
    - According to tomb depictions children were naked
    - Men and women removed their clothes in public when the work they were doing required it.
    - Tomb scenes show naked serving girls and entertainers at banquets
    - Female nudity embodied beauty and fertility
    - Nudity was widely accepted in classical Greek society
    - Ancient Olympic athletes competed in the nude, the Greek root of "gymnasium" is gymnos, meaning "naked".
    - The Greek ideal of beauty was embodied by the young male, a fact evident in all of Greek literature and art.
    Prostitution - Prostitution in Egypt was an object of scandal - Secular prostitution was a part of daily life in ancient Greece.
    - It employed a significant proportion of the population and represented one of the top economic activities.
    - Cities did not condemn brothels, which existed in plain view.
    - Prostitution involved women of all ages and young homosexual men.
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