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Author Topic: Rape in Greek Mythology  (Read 61202 times)
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Religion: Hard polytheist dedicated to Hermes, Sequana, and Sirona
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« Reply #2: March 29, 2011, 03:12:24 pm »

My knowledge of Greek mythology is superficial, so I figured I'd ask the experts (that's you guys!) to shed some light on these questions:

1) What can one conclude about rape based on the instances of it in Greek mythology?

From my scant knowledge, I'd say that rape (the rape of mortal women, anyway) is commonplace and expected among the Greek gods. It doesn't seem to carry any stigma or adverse consequences for the rapist. I recall many instances of Zeus raping mortal women, though I can't name specifics, and I think other gods raped as well.

2) Was this a reflection of rape (attitudes towards it, its frequency, etc.) in Greek society?

I'm historically impaired, so I have little idea. I can imagine a lot of raping and pillaging during the many wars between Greek city-states, but that's purely a guess.

3) For you recons, how do you reconcile gods who rape within a practice that adapts the mythos to the modern world (where rape is still all too common but at least, in the West, carries a stigma and penalties for a convicted rapist)?

I ask because I'ven been dealing with the issue of rape for quite some time in writing my own myths, so I'm curious how it plays out in the Greek mythos, which is most familiar to Western culture.

Now, I could be wrong on this, and I have no sources to back me up, but maybe someone out there does... but I seem to recall hearing that in some cases it was rape, and in some cases "rape" and "seduce" were thrown about in an equal light. As in, Mr. Man's virgin daughter got "raped" by Zeus, but the only "rape" that happened was that they had sex and she, being an unmarried virgin, had the stigma of rape assigned to what they did. If that makes sense.

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