Setting Plato Straight: Translating Ancient Sexuality in the Renaissance

University of Chicago Press
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When we talk of platonic love or relationships today, we mean something very different from what Plato meant. For this, we have fifteenth and sixteenth-century European humanists to thank. As these scholars—most of them Catholic—read, digested, and translated Plato, they found themselves faced with a fundamental problem: how to be faithful to the text yet not propagate pederasty or homosexuality.

In Setting Plato Straight, Todd W. Reeser undertakes the first sustained and comprehensive study of Renaissance textual responses to Platonic same-sex sexuality. Reeser mines an expansive collection of translations, commentaries, and literary sources to study how Renaissance translators transformed ancient eros into non-erotic, non-homosexual relations. He analyzes the interpretive lenses translators employed and the ways in which they read and reread Plato’s texts. In spite of this cleansing, Reeser finds surviving traces of Platonic same-sex sexuality that imply a complicated, recurring process of course-correction—of setting Plato straight.
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About the author

Todd W. Reeser is professor of French and director of the gender, sexuality, and women’s studies program at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Moderating Masculinity in Early Modern Culture and Masculinities in Theory.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Dec 28, 2015
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780226307145
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Renaissance
Literary Criticism / European / General
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Renaissance
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Renaissance
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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