Re: evil desires/lust or lust

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Nov 13 1996 - 20:32:57 EST

At 10:19 AM -0600 11/14/96, KULIKOVSKY, Andrew wrote:
>Fellow Greeks,
>A week ago a question was raised about the meaning
>of EPIQUMIA. I found an interesting passage in Col. 3:5
>containing this word:
>(NIV) Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your
>earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil
>desires and greed......
>Now looking at the NIV's translation and the Greek
>there are two different words for lust and evil desires:
>PAQOS and EPITHUMIA KAKHN respectively.
>Which shows quite clearly that there is nothing
>inherently sexual in the meaning of EPITHUMIA.
>Lust is expressed by a different word.
>On another point,
>A friend (History Professor) recently told me about
>how he remembered reading something in Greek
>Philosophy regarding how the ancient Greeks
>viewed homosexuality. Basically the Greeks saw that
>the only way to have true spiritual love was through
>the melding of mind and spirit between two people.
>Since they thought that women didn't have a mind,
>the only way to achieve this kind of love was to meld
>with another male. Apparently the ancient Greeks
>were also quite favourable toward pedofilia.
>I find this quite shocking. My friend couldn't remember
>where he read this so does anyone out there know
>where I could find such references (assuming my friend
>recalled this correctly).

The definitive work on the subject is K.A. Dover, _Greek Homosexuality_,
Oxford UP(?); you'll find there probably more than you care to know. I'm
inclined to think that broad generalizations about homosexuality among
ancient Greeks should be avoided--but probably won't.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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