By Page duBois

Strains the improvement of the Greek hierarchical view of lifestyles that keeps to permeate Western society

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Additional info for Centaurs and Amazons: Women and the Pre-History of the Great Chain of Being

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In Greek myth the Centaurs descended from Ixion, as did their traditional opponents, the Lapiths. Ixion married Dia, daughter of Eioneus, but instead of giving his father-in-law the bride-price, Ixion set for him a trap of burning coals. 6 Marcel Detienne points out in Les jardins d'Adonis that the Centaurs operate within a mythological code defining reproduction and marriage in opposition to promiscuous sexuality. 7 Pindar 28 CENTAURS AND AMAZONS recounts how the Centaurs from their very origins were associated with the negation of marriage.

As liminal beings, half-horse, half-men, they tested the boundaries between man and beast, between nature and culture. In addition, they raised the question of male and female difference, since their bodies and their behavior indicated that they were an exclusively masculine species, doubly potent in possessing the sexual attributes of both human male and animal. There was no account of reproduction of the Centaur species. They engaged in hunting, drinking, and fighting without any suggestion of domestic life or of reproduction through female Centaurs, until quite late.

30. Vergil, Aeneid 1. ; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Post-Homerica 1. 538-810. See Proc1us on Arktinos of Miletus. 31. 966 fr. , 98 fr. 32. 4. 33. R. Halliday, The Greek Questions of Plutarch (London, 1928), 209 fr. 34. See Florence Mary Bennett, Religious Cults Associated with the Amazons (New York, 1967), p. 18. 35. Diodorus Siculus 3. 69-70. 36. J. Bachofen, Myth, Religion, and Mother Right, trans. by R. Manheim (Princeton, 1967), on "Amazonism," the extreme form of the matriarchal stage of human evolution, pp.

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