Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

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First published: July 1, 2023 - Last updated: July 1, 2023


Author: Jean Zacharski Menzies

Title: The Politicisation of Sexual Assault in Fourth-century Athens

Subtitle: -

Thesis: Ph.D. Thesis, Roehampton University

Advisor: Fiona McHardy (Director of Studies) and Susan Deacy (Co-Supervisor)

Year: 2022

Pages: 228pp.

OCLC Number: 1383757893 - Find a Library: WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Ancient History: Greek History | Cases: Mythological Cases / Alkippe, Helen, Philomela; Types: Sexual Assault; Representations: Speeches / Demosthenes, Dinarchus, Hyperides


Link: University of Roehampton Research Explorer (Free Access)


Author: Author's Personal Website

Abstract: »This thesis identifies and examines a cross-section of passages from democratic Athenian oratory that reference mythological incidents of sexual violence against women. These four passages come from four politically motivated public speeches delivered during the fourth century BCE. In analysing these passages within the context of the literary depictions of these myths elsewhere and the political environment of the speeches themselves, this study highlights the existence of a rhetorical technique employed during the Athenian democracy that has yet to be widely recognised. This technique employs recognisable characters and stories from myth and adapts them according to contemporary Athenian values and attitudes. It is subsequently employed by orators to appeal to a sense of shared identity among Athenians that paints an idealised version of Athenian citizens as defenders of women in opposition to the imagined 'other' or barbarian.
Chapter one focuses on Demosthenes' use of the sisters Procne and Philomela, who took vengeance on the man who assaulted Philomela sexually, as role-models for the Athenian soldiers who died fighting the Macedonians at Chaeronea. Chapter two explores the comparison drawn by Hyperides between the Greeks who rescued Helen from Troy and the contemporary Athenian soldiers whom he frames as having saved numerous Greek women from a fate similar to Helen's. Finally, chapter three focuses on the use of the sexual assault of Alkippe and the subsequent acquittal of her father Ares for the murder of her attacker by two different orators, Demosthenes and Dinarchus, as an example of the greatness of the Athenian justice system. Through politicising these incidents of sexual violence against women from Greek myth, this rhetorical technique thus incorporates sexual violence against women into a construction of the idealised democratic Athenian identity; idealised because these values are not always reflected in reality.« (Source: Thesis)

  Abstract (p. 2)
  Translations and Abbreviations (p. 3)
  Acknowledgements (p. 5)
  Chapter 0: Introduction
    0.0 - Introduction(p. 7)
    0.1 - Defining the Language of This Thesis (p. 8)
      Sexual Violence and Assault (p. 9)
      Myth (p. 12)
    0.2 - Central Themes and Material of this Thesis (p. 14)
    0.3 - Literature Review (p. 18)
    0.4 - Methodology and Structure (p. 39)
    0.5 - Layout (p. 47)
  Chapter One - Philomela
    1.0 - Introduction (p. 49)
    1.1 - The Source: Procne and Philomela in Demosthenes' Funeral Speech (p. 51)
    1.2 - The Development of Procne and Philomela. (p. 55)
    1.3 - The Praise of Women in the Athenian Democracy (p. 77)
    1.4 - Conclusion (p. 100)
  Chapter Two - Helen
    2.0 - Introduction (p. 105)
    2.1 - The Source: Helen in Hyperides' Funeral Speech (p. 107)
    2.2 - Representations of Helen's Abduction (p. 113)
    2.3 - Sexual Violence Towards Women in Ancient Warfare (p. 135)
    2.4 - Conclusion (p. 165)
  Chapter Three - Alkippe
    3.0 - Introduction (p. 168)
    3.1 - Alkippe's Assault and the Trial of Ares (p. 170)
    3.2 - The Topos of Ares (p. 176)
    3.3 - The Speeches (p. 182)
      Demosthenes Against Aristocrates (p.186)
      Dinarchus Against Demosthenes (p.190)
    3.4 - The Areopagus (p. 194)
    3.5 - The Right Kind of Woman (p. 202)
    3.6 - Conclusion (p. 213)
  Thesis Conclusion (p. 15)
  Bibliography (p. 218)

Wikipedia: Ancient history: Ancient Greece / Classical Athens | Myth: Greek mythology / Rape in Greek mythology, Alcippe (daughter of Ares), Helen of Troy, Procne, Philomela | Rhetoric: Public speaking / Attic orators, Dinarchus, Demosthenes, Hyperides | Sex and the law: Sexual assault