Monday, December 28, 2009

Malakos | Malaka

Malakos [1] μαλακός means "soft" in Greek.
Malaka Male member in Turkish slang
Malakia "softness" is the Classical Greek term for effeminacy.
Malakas is the term for "wanker" in modern Greek.

Ancient Greek Prostitutes were divided into several categories. The "pornai" πόρναι were found at the bottom end of the scale. They were, as alluded to by the etymology—the word comes from pernemi πέρνημι "to sell"—the property of πορνοβοσκός / pornoboskós, or pimps, who received a portion of their earnings. This owner could be a citizen, for this activity was considered as a source of income just like any other.

In the classical era of ancient Greece, pornai were slaves of barbarian origin; starting in the Hellenistic era the case of young girls abandoned by their citizen fathers can be added. They were considered to be slaves until proven otherwise. Pornai were usually employed in brothels located in "red-light" districts of the period, such as Piraeus (port of Athens) or the Kerameikon in Athens. These establishments were frequented by sailors and by poor citizens.

In ancient Koine Greek, the word for effeminate is kinaidos (cinaedus in its Latinized form), a man "whose most salient feature was a supposedly "feminine" love of being sexually penetrated by other men." (Winkler, 1990)[1].

"A cinaedus is a man who cross-dresses or flirts like a girl. Indeed, the word's etymology suggests an indirect sexual act emenating a promisculous woman. This term has been borrowed from the Greek kinaidos (which may itself have come from a language of Ionian Greece of Asia Minor, primarily signifying a purely effeminate dancer who entertained his audiences with a tympanum or tambourine in his hand, and adopted a lascivious style, often suggestively wiggling his buttocks in such a way as to suggest anal intercourse....The primary meaning of cinaedus never died out; the term never became a dead metaphor." (Williams, 1999)[2].

Hetaerae (high-class prostitutes),entertain their clients, while a young girl plays the flute. Oneof the men seems to be distracted by the wine boy. | Outside of red-figure kylix (wine cup), fifth century BCE. Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge.

[1] Malakos as Soft, Christopher Lee traces the history of the Greek word on which the Latin malacus is based. In Homer, malakos usually means soft, as in a tangibly soft meadow. By Herodotus (484?-425 B.C.), it had come to mean 'soft' as in neither strong nor masculine -- in other words, 'effeminate'. Aristophanes (448?-385 B.C.) plays on the double meaning, but uses the term pejoratively. In Wasps (1455), according to Lee, Aristophanes describes a man who was once a hoplite (virile warrior), as now a degenerate malakos. In other passages of Aristophanes, as well as in Aeschines' (390-322 B.C.) attempt to discredit Demosthenes (383-322 B.C.) [Against Timarchus 131], malakos not only means soft and effeminate, but sexually submissive. Malacus, a term of Greek origin, was used by the Roman playwright Plautus (254?-184 B.C.) in conjunction with other disparaging terms to denigrate effeminate Greek males Source: Non-Standard Roman Male Sexuality

[1] Winkler, John J. (1990). The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece. New York: Routledge.
[2] Williams, Craig A. (1999). Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity. New York: Oxford University Press.

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