Sex and the City - Troy, that is.

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Ishtar » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:40 pm

No, not at all ironic. It's a fascinating subject.

I read very carefully through all your points and took away from it that Gottshcall was only talking about prehistoric societies. My only slight quibble/observation to that would be this: If evolutionary advantage really is a biological urge, i.e. existing on the visceral level in human beings and even possibly programmed into our genes - then it would exist now as despite our sophistication, we are still basically the same 'animals' as we were then.

Of course, I take the point that the urge today could be masked by other motives - political, economic and social. But we cannot be sure that that is the case or really even have any reason to think so, apart from the fact it may have been the cause for war in Homer's time.

The 'spoils of war' amounting to sexual attraction is an interesting argument. But once again, Bush and his cronies didn't need to up the ante on their sexual attraction as far as I can see, either for any evolutionary advantage or for any other reason, as most of them were past their child rearing years.

Rape is considered by psychologists to be little to do with sex or desire for procreation and more to do with a sort of perverted and sadistic power complex. This is obvious when we look at some of the atrocities committed on men by men in the Bosnian war, too unspeakable to repeat here. And even the piling up, abusing and photographing of naked Moslem men at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad was surely more about a sick and inhumane desire for power and dominance over their captives, rather than sex or evolutionary advantage.

Also - does Gottschall say this is just a 'men thing'? There is a much larger ratio of women to men in New York, for some reason. But I don't think that has manifested into any warlike behaviour between the women. I guess they just scratch each others eyes out! :D

However, there does seem to be suspicion among men that if a women is assertive or aggressive then it is masking some kind of sexual frustration. So maybe they are projecting their own instincts?

Anyway, many thanks for raising this issue and your considered replies. I've enjoyed this discussion.
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Casus Belli, Raids, etc. (The dark side of boating)

Postby john » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:26 pm

Ishtar and Grumpage -

All very good stuff, but I have a quibble.

Casus Belli is entirely different from raiding; see links below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casus_belli

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raid_(military)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Age

And, Ishtar,

I recognize the point that it doesn't make a damn bit of difference

To a woman taken in a raid or a war: I'm after a different point.

There's a lot of grey, here.

Was Julius Caesar's expedition to Britain a raid or a war?

In my opinion, initially, a raid.

There were rumors of wealth and civilisation.....

So J.C. put together a raiding force and a fleet and headed

Up there to see what he could bandit.

Later, it turned into a war, which the Romans ultimately lost.

The use of Casus Belli is latterday,

And entirely connected to politics, power, economics, religion.

So, to me, the root question is not of war,

But of the phenomenon of raiding.

Nest ce pas?

And by the way, in a reference I cannot find at the moment,

The remains of a dozen or so Paleolithic people

Were discovered in a cave in France (mid 1800's?)

Who had obviously been brutally murdered.

Raid, or War?


hoka hey

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Postby Ishtar » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:21 am

Well, John, under these definitions, it looks as though Bush and Blair's war with Iraq was not a war at all, but a raiding party made up of a 'coalition of the willing'. It was also illegal and they could be prosecuted for war crimes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casus_belli


Formally, a government would lay out its reasons for going to war, as well as its intentions in prosecuting it and the steps that might be taken to avert it. In so doing, the government would attempt to demonstrate that it was going to war only as a last resort (ultima Ratio) and that it in fact possessed "just cause" for doing so. Effectively international law today only allows three situations as legal cause to go to war: out of self-defense, defense of an ally under a mutual defense pact, or sanctioned by the UN. Any war for another cause is considered illegal and those who engage in it subject to prosecution for a war crime.


Under that definition, Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain was also an illegal raiding party, although of course he couldn't have met the third condition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar%27s ... of_Britain

But as you say, it's a moot point to the women being raped whether it's a just war or a raiding party.
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Postby Grumpage » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:01 am

Ishtar wrote: If evolutionary advantage really is a biological urge, i.e. existing on the visceral level in human beings and even possibly programmed into our genes - then it would exist now as despite our sophistication, we are still basically the same 'animals' as we were then.

Of course, I take the point that the urge today could be masked by other motives - political, economic and social. But we cannot be sure that that is the case or really even have any reason to think so, apart from the fact it may have been the cause for war in Homer's time.


Reproductive advantage (RA) is a consequence rather than a cause. As such it cannot be a drive or urge, genetic or otherwise. You could say it is an unintended consequence that is only revealed in the outcome. You will be aware that the startling genius of evolution through natural selection is that it is mindless and results from a purely random process - it is an accident. But it appears not to be. By the same logic (or lack of it!) RA is accidental too (but appears not to be). Using Homer, Gottschall is attempting to make it less so (I think ).

If you accept we have an actual sex drive (a down-and-dirty, bare knuckle, desire for sex) , then we have a sex drive, on the one hand, and an unintended consequence (RA) on the other. And it works! (according to evolutionary biologists).

So, I believe that RA is an interesting diversion from the real business of human beings which is simply to do with having sex and as much of it as possible.

Where does that put our genetic inheritance and its influence on behaviours?


This leads nicely to one of your other points:


Rape is considered by psychologists to be little to do with sex or desire for procreation and more to do with a sort of perverted and sadistic power complex.


One of the interesting things about Gottschall is that he challenges this interpretation of rape which has now assumed the dubious status of unquestioned dogma. Hate, power, sadism etc may be present but the dominant factor is the desire for sex (but not in every case, I accept that). That was always obvious until relatively recent times. It is refreshing to hear someone getting back to basics and away from socio-psycho mumbo-jumbo.


And finally:

does Gottschall say this is just a 'men thing'? There is a much larger ratio of women to men in New York, for some reason. But I don't think that has manifested into any warlike behaviour between the women.


Yes, he does say it is just a ‘men thing’. I don’t recall him discussing women (I could be wrong). There probably hasn’t been much research on women so far.
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Postby Grumpage » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:39 am

John:

Defining terms is the bane of social science. Get them right and you're half-way there. Get them wrong and you're nowhere.

I seem to recall that Gottschall may have adopted a somewhat casual approach to this but I could be doing him a disservice.

I do remember however that in one of his quoted studies the dependent measure was the incidence of murders. Bet you never thought of that one.
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Postby Ishtar » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:31 pm

Grumpage wrote:So, I believe that RA is an interesting diversion from the real business of human beings which is simply to do with having sex and as much of it as possible.


Well said, Grumpage! :lol:

It's a pity you never got to know DayBrown.



.
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Postby john » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:42 pm

Grumpage wrote:John:

Defining terms is the bane of social science. Get them right and you're half-way there. Get them wrong and you're nowhere.

I seem to recall that Gottschall may have adopted a somewhat casual approach to this but I could be doing him a disservice.

I do remember however that in one of his quoted studies the dependent measure was the incidence of murders. Bet you never thought of that one.


Grumpage -

Actually, I did.

The assassination of the Aurchduke, Franz Ferdinand, of Austria

Is a classic example.

It created the ignition of World War I.

However, it was not the fundament;

That had been going on a long time before.

But as we are on the subject;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revenge

In my layman's opinion, revenge

Is as strong a motivator, if not stronger,

Than sex.

Comment ca?


hoka hey


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Postby john » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:58 pm

Ishtar wrote:Well, John, under these definitions, it looks as though Bush and Blair's war with Iraq was not a war at all, but a raiding party made up of a 'coalition of the willing'. It was also illegal and they could be prosecuted for war crimes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casus_belli


Formally, a government would lay out its reasons for going to war, as well as its intentions in prosecuting it and the steps that might be taken to avert it. In so doing, the government would attempt to demonstrate that it was going to war only as a last resort (ultima Ratio) and that it in fact possessed "just cause" for doing so. Effectively international law today only allows three situations as legal cause to go to war: out of self-defense, defense of an ally under a mutual defense pact, or sanctioned by the UN. Any war for another cause is considered illegal and those who engage in it subject to prosecution for a war crime.


Under that definition, Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain was also an illegal raiding party, although of course he couldn't have met the third condition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar%27s ... of_Britain

But as you say, it's a moot point to the women being raped whether it's a just war or a raiding party.



Ishtar -

You are absolutely correct in terms of International Law and Treaties.

However, with a gutless Congress - on both sides of the aisle -

And a gutless voting population,

And a voracious and vicious Executive branch

You can bend over and kiss your arse goodbye.

I'm only speaking of the USA, because I don't

Know the politics on your side of the pond well enough.

In terms of stemming the tide at this moment in time,

It wouldn't surprise me if the GOP

Tried to execute a Beerhall Putsch

Rather than an election, and,

Frankly, I don't know which way it would go,

If it went down that way.

Sorry to sound so depressing.


hoka hey


john


nota bene -

After all, the GOP has spent only $150k on Sarah Palin's clothing,

Cosmetics, and hair haberdashery so far.

And now we are down to the run down the stretch.

They say it will be all donated to Charity

- after the election -

My God,

This is the kind of stuff which would reduce

Charles Dickens to tears, and another great novel,

Were he still alive.

Yessss?


j
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Re: Sex and the City - Troy, that is.

Postby Barracuda » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:36 pm

Yes, but...

At that time why would there be more men than women?

Its more commonly the other way, usually caused by causalities in war.

The reason that Mohamed allowed his followers four wives came from his time as a caravan raider in Medina. Because of battle losses, there were many more women than men.

It seems that if there were a sexual imbalance, it would be reflected in burials from that time
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Re: Sex and the City - Troy, that is.

Postby Minimalist » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:23 pm

At that time why would there be more men than women?



Childbirth was a great equalizer, I should think.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Sex and the City - Troy, that is.

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:04 pm

Barracuda wrote:The reason that Mohamed allowed his followers four wives came from his time as a caravan raider in Medina. Because of battle losses, there were many more women than men.


Correct, Barracuda. War widows had no providers anymore, which is why Mo advocated living/surviving men to take in their brothers' widows into their households. IF wife no. 1, and other earlier wives, approved and agreed! It was a survival mechanism for war widows. A social measure avant la lettre.

(Old Mo wasn't all bad or stupid!)
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Re: Sex and the City - Troy, that is.

Postby Barracuda » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:46 pm

They ceased taking aim and were still, whereon Hector spoke. "Hear from my mouth," said he, "Trojans and Achaeans, the saying of Alexandrus, through whom this quarrel has come about. He bids the Trojans and Achaeans lay their armour upon the ground, while he and Menelaus fight in the midst of you for Helen and all her wealth. Let him who shall be victorious and prove to be the better man take the woman and all she has, to bear them to his own home, but let the rest swear to a solemn covenant of peace."


Another idea... Maybe sometimes it was the weatlh of the women that they were fighting over?
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Re: Sex and the City - Troy, that is.

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:13 am

That's no "maybe"!
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Re: Sex and the City - Troy, that is.

Postby kbs2244 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:31 am

Other than jewelry, what kind of wealth would a woman have that could be taken from city to city?
Wasn’t real estate the measure of wealth at the time?
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Re: Sex and the City - Troy, that is.

Postby Rokcet Scientist » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:35 pm

kbs2244 wrote:Other than jewelry, what kind of wealth would a woman have that could be taken from city to city?
Wasn’t real estate the measure of wealth at the time?


Yep. Often embodied in a father's inheritance.
Real estate can be sold and swapped. As can the slaves, the cattle, the grain, the cheese, the minerals, and the tolls from that real estate. Managing real estate was a business back then too. This Helena bitch was probably loaded! The Jackie Onassis of her era.
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