Review: [untitled] Author(s): Nancy Worman Source: The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 124, No. 4 (Winter, 2003), pp.
617-620 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1561796 . Accessed: 12/08/2011 20:14
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com.
The Johns Hopkins University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The American Journal of Philology.
and therefore who gets to enjoy citizen status. dikai) and the paucity of legal vocabulary for identifying types of "insolence" (hubris) or "violence" (bia) as rape. for instance. then her response to the attack cannot even be expressed in the idiom. 23-26). Although the general introduction fails to situate this argument in relation to other analyses of rape in the field of classical studies. We thereby notice. Omitowoju does not emphasize this point. Omitowoju begins her discussion (after the general introduction) with a review of the forensic setting. including such essential elements as the difference between public and private charges (graphai vs. but the structure of her argument makes it clear. The discussion then turns to issues of citizenship and the "politicisation" of rape.g. x + 249 pp.BOOK REVIEWS Rosanna
Omitowoju. politis. This is an important point. Cloth. She demonstrates that this concern is largely absent from the ancient discourse. as does her sustained focus on the dependent status of the female "citizeness" (her term for demotis." her consent to any sexual encounter could not be distinguished from that of her male guardian (kurios) (25). a central concern of modern discussions. Omitowoju focuses primarily on the issue of consent. adultery) in two Athenian genres: forensic oratory and New Comedy. and Omitowoju lays out the ramifications of this absence of women from the legal scene in some detail. Rape and the Politics of Consent in Classical Athens. Cambridge Classical Studies. which effectively leaves the victim out of the picture and conforms to the silencing of women in ancient social contexts. $60.
This book is an account of the treatment of heterosexual rape and related topics (e. a methodological difficulty that receives more attention in the Menander section. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. and aste gune. The only relevant legal
. The book is divided into two sections: the first scans forensic speeches for terminology that might relate to rape charges. which emerge as the central concerns of the first section. this move serves to highlight the primary differences (and disturbing similarities) between ancient and modern handling of the subject. and the second looks at Menander's comedies in order to assess their contributions to a reconstruction of attitudes toward rape. 2002. It explains why the issue of consent is missing from the ancient discussion: if a female victim of sexual violence has no subjectivity from the legal perspective. that the subject of rape cannot be addressed properly with? out reference to that central concern of Athenian men: what makes one a good citizen. the status of women. that. She also briefly considers the problems with treating texts com? posed by speechwriters (logographoi) as historical documents. as if to excuse the former and blame the latter.. She rightly insists. Omitowoju argues that because the Athenian woman had no "legal personality. rehearsing instead some familiar notions from modern discussions. for example. This valuable insight shapes Omitowoju's argument as a whole and should be taken seriously as a means of framing future discussions. modern cases often still give too much weight to the respective statuses of the perpetrator and the victim.
Nor do cases involving seduction (moicheia) offer clear information about sexual assault (cf.g. they are not really focused on the topic. among others). nor do they treat references to it in a very revealing manner. Sexuality and Society: The Enforcement of Morals in Classical Athens [Cambridge. Moicheia may refer to seduction. while the third considers the problem of distinguishing adulterous liaisons from those involving sexual assault. on the other hand. Instead. as Omitowoju argues quite convincingly. Scafuro. there is almost no discussion of rape in forensic speeches of the period. a slave or courte? san [hetaira]). Thus. on male citizen status and male honor (time). 201-16). one on how the plays effectively rehabilitate rape vic? tims by revealing them as marriageable. and adultery (Lysias' On the Murder of Eratosthenes). These discussions also reveal that both charges of insolence (dikai hubreos) and those involving "violent acts" (dikai biaion) cover far more varied situations than rape. and a final chapter on the relation children. Such distinctions emerge more fully in the course of the three chapters that divide the forensic material in relation to three terms with legal force: hubris. This difficulty becomes unavoidable in the final chapter of this section. Moicheia would thus seem to cover the flip side of rape and be useful to the discussion as the only realm in which consent might be said to have a role. Thus all three terms point (potentially. The Forensic Stage: Settling Disputes in Greco-Roman New Comedy [Cambridge. Adele C. A rather different problem emerges in the discussion of Menander's plays.The first two of these chapters address how charges of outrage and violence overlap with those of rape. which treats the status of women more directly. Law. at least) to attacks on women being read as attacks on men?that is. against David Cohen. While Omitowoju tweaks these speeches so that they shed some light on issues surrounding rape.. whether of married or unmarried women. sexual assault would probably not have been actionable. This section is divided into three chapters: one on Menander's "context" that addresses methodology. we are left with the same speeches that have received so much attention in recent years because they articulate attitudes toward sexual "misconduct": male prostitution (Aeschines' Against Timarchus)'. since in that case she may have a master but not necessarily one who would have an interest in defending her from sexual predation (80-81).
issues are whether she has a citizen kurios and is capable of giving birth to citizen in which case any sexual violence committed against her could be punishable by fines or even death. perhaps because to do so would have spelled social ruin for any woman of status and her citizen kurios (123-28). and moicheia. female prostitution (Apollodorus' Against Neaera). and Omitowoju navigates her way carefully through the many pitfalls involved in assessing its legal usage (73-91. But. bia. even this area of sexual activity ap? peared to revolve more around the attitudes of the woman's guardian than around her own. There we learn that the extant material from forensic cases rarely if ever addresses sexual assault. The charge of rape may not have been legally recognized if the woman in question was of lower status (e. If. 1991]. a woman were considered lower in status.
where rape scenes seem to have been dwelt upon in grim detail (e. the treatment of the source material is so relentlessly historicizing that it tends to ignore the topography of the texts themselves. sexual assault is repeatedly elided.. Furthermore. in Menander's comedies they are barely glimpsed and tend to show only the slightest recognition of the violence that has occurred. the genre says as little as possible about sexual activities. This brings me to a concern about Omitowoju's overall approach. no matter how adept the speech might be (cf 1034). especially given that it would seem to turn on whether the jury regards him as a righteous guardian protecting his property from hubristic incursion or a jealous husband bent on revenge. the lack of attention to the conventional nature of the texts impoverishes the argument as a whole. Euphiletus is a farmer whose trusting and straightforward type necessarily affects the details of the case. monetary concerns. For the most part. for example. or that they were actually assaulted by their own husbands during some drunken (but socially acceptable) celebration. 202-3). For Omitowoju's purposes. it may well have been in keeping with his character as Lysias constructs it that he misrepresent or even misunderstand the laws he invokes. The briefly glimpsed assaults are effectively erased by the revelation that the luckless girls who suffered them are children of citizens and thus marriageable. in contrast as well to the explicit imagery of Old Comedy. because such events are reported in euphemistic fashion and because they inevitably mutate into mar? riage. New Comedy is much more focused on marriage and makes use of highly artificial contrivances to insure that this bond is achieved or reinforced. like forensic oratory but for different reasons. Thus. For instance. While these rhetorical strategies (and thus possible distortions of the law) are acknowledged. it is difficult to see how one can make reference to Lysias'
. While this is clearly due in some part to the strictures imposed by the nature of the project. lon 891-901). nor do the discussions reflect much sensitivity to their particular rhetorical stances or imagery. and the relevance of eros to the marriage bond. Indeed. And yet Lysias is perhaps most famous for his masterful ethopoiia (character portraiture). instead treating its strategies as if his client Euphiletus were arguing off the cuff. Unlike Euripidean tragedy. the study does not reflect this concern. While she acknowl? edges that "representation" is a topic of concern when reconstructing social history. does not seem to reveal very much about the circumstances of rape or its legal treatment in Athenian society. 185. the pressure that charac? ter exerts on the shaping of the narrative is not.BOOK REVIEWS
between rape and the social issues of citizen status. this would impede drawing general conclusions about the legalities indicated in the case. which suggests that he may have taken quite a lot of license in portraying not only the players in that drama but also the situation as a whole. In Menander's plays. Thus this genre. It includes no readings of the individual speeches and plays. as Omitowoju notes (181. take little notice of Lysias' authorship.g. essential to its credibility is that Euphiletus appear plainspoken and simple in his attitudes. The discussions of the speech On the Murder of Eratosthenes.
even though Menander's plays are steeped in the witty exploitation literary conventions. it exposes the fact that because female victims of sexual assault in antiquity had no legal recourse except through the agency of guardians. the subject of rape cannot even be broached without considering how it impinges on male citizen status. Consider. Omitowoju's treatment of the mate? rial does reveal how it might serve as a frame for understanding ancient attitudes toward the sexual assault of women. that Lysias' insertion of it into this scenario reiterates Gorgias' claim in his set piece Encomium of Helen that seduction (peitho) achieves even more powerful effects than violence (bia). e. 158-60). When in the Epitrepontes the courtesan Habrototon describes the after-effects of a rape. cf. the cloak is also clearly a metonymy for the girl?another once valuable but now ruined commodity. But the weight of literary influence is downplayed. she focuses on the sort of detail that Euripides uses to foreground female vanity and vulnerability: the luxurious. I disagree with Omitowoju's claim that attending to the influ? ence of literary convention "divorces the discussion of rape from its cultural context" (176). Trojan Women 991-92. Euripides. Rather. a passage analyzed as adding "a practical and descriptive element to the event and its involvement with violence" (173). for instance.. Nevertheless. where it most often concerns sexual encounters (cf. Imitating tragedy's sensitivity to visual symbols. e. Nancy Barnard College. Euripides. Hermione's elaborate gown..620
use of the bia-peitho distinction without discussing more fully the extensive use of this opposition in rhetoric and tragedy. if given proper weight.g. Helen's attachment to regalia. More profoundly.96-102). the book's explicit aim is to establish a social and historical context for ideas about heterosexual rape. Indeed. 52). Columbia University e-mail: nworman@barnard. Thus. precisely because they delineate how staged rituals engage dominant ideologies. I think Omitowoju understands this (cf. for instance. Omitowoju does show awareness of the importance of generic convention in relation to Menander's comedies. torical one (the seduction of Helen).. but it could be better implemented in her analysis. it should serve to tie the topic all the more closely and precisely to that context. cf. One might then apprehend. Attention to such details should deepen rather than attenuate under? standing of the connection between the text and its context. the trick of the image is that she will turn out to be the one but not the other: valuable (because of citizen status) but not ruined (because assaulted by her own hus? band).g. now tattered cloak (Epitrepontes 486-90. 830-35). an idea that seems to be supported elsewhere in the discussion (156-57). Andromache 147-50.edu Worman
. 63-67.. since it undergirds Euphiletus' claim of his right to kill Eratosthenes by means not only of a legal but also a mythohisprecedent (the dike moicheias. This is a surreptitiously artful move on Lysias' part. perhaps. 1022-24. The introduction to the second section explores the difficulties of using this literary form as a source for information about attitudes toward rape.