CCANESA / Classics and Ancient History seminar: “The Trojan boar: meat-eating and masculinity, ancient and modern”
Julia Kindt | University of Sydney
“The Trojan boar: meat-eating and masculinity, ancient and modern”
This paper invites its audience to attend a (fictional) Roman dinner party somewhere in the bay of Naples sometime during the reign of the emperor Nero. It starts from the wild boar served as the main course to discuss the link between the consumption of meat and the forming of human identities, both ancient and modern. I show that the link between meat-eating, physical vitality, and social standing points to some of the arguments made in the ancient philosophical debate about the nature of human exceptionalism. The paper illustrates the centrality of meat-eating to notions of masculinity and discusses differences between the ancient and modern consumption of red meats. Finally, we turn to the fact that not everybody participated in the feast. Already in classical antiquity there were people who forged their identities along different lines by consciously opting out of this defining association. Intriguingly, perhaps, some of the arguments made two millennia ago promoting vegetarianism resonate with modern advocacy of a meat-free diet.
The Zoom link – All papers this semester will be presented via Zoom online. Details of each Zoom session will be posted out approximately one week prior to the presentation date.
14 April 4:00pm (AEDT/UTC+10)
The Department of Classics and Ancient History is part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).
Image: Achilles fights the River Scamander’ (Date unknown) | Alexander Runciman (1736-85) Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Creative Commons)