The little we know about everyday life and behavior in ancient Greece is dwarfed by how much we don't know. We simply lack the evidence, and what evidence we do have is fragmentary. The spectacular excellence of those few surviving monuments--the Iliad , the Oresteia , Plato's Dialogues--often obscures for us the magnitude of the loss. But a few examples can remind us just how much has disappeared.
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The myths involving Eros as the son of Aphrodite Venus and Ares Mars were formed much later than the original myth. To the ancient Greeks, he was the personification of desire and sexuality, represented as a tall, athletic young man; the epitome of beauty. This is loaded with meaning. Our individuality is first expressed and most powerfully felt as we decide who to fall in love with. We are so driven that we must consummate before we do anything else.
Eva C. Keuls, Bruce S. Boulder, Colo. Most users should sign in with their email address.