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Ancient Greek Homes Doubled as Pubs, Brothels

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posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 11:47 AM
I thought you guys might enjoy this, while it is not a conspiracy, it is a mystery solved!

A new analysis of archaeological remains might have solved the mystery of the elusive kapeleia, lively Greek taverns that have long puzzled archaeologists.

Despite the kapeleia being featured prominently in classical plays, no tangible evidence of the drinking dens has ever been found.

"Taverns are indeed so well hidden. We know them to have existed, yet we cannot seemingly find any physical evidence for the buildings themselves," said Clare Kelly Blazeby, from the University of Leeds, U.K.,

It turns out that all of these pubs and whore-house were in private homes. Here's how they deduced it:

She was struck by the fact that some houses had yielded hundreds of drinking cups -- far too many even for well-off families hosting lavish parties.

The most likely explanation, according to Blazeby, is that Greek homes doubled as pubs.

"There was nothing to stop part of a house being utilized for commercial gain by using a room fronting onto the street as a shop, or indeed from using the household courtyard for business transactions," she said.

Now this is my kind of story, and also gives me some entreprenurial ideas. I can start charging all these people who hang around my house drinking. I will declare it offically a "pub in the Greek tradition", although I may opt out of the second part:

There is no evidence of any purpose-built brothels for ancient Greece. We should not expect brothel spaces to look that different from houses in the material record because girls lived in brothels in which they worked," Glazebrook told Discovery News.

Hints to distinguishing a porneia, or brothel, from an ordinary house include not only the number of drinking cups, but also the presence of multiple entrances, the existence of oikemata or little rooms -- working in a brothel is usually coined as "sitting in a little room" in ancient Greek texts -- and an abundance of cisterns and wells, since bathing after sex was customary in Greece.

The new interpretation of Greek houses casts a new light on the economy in classical Greece. The Greeks simply did it all at home.

Read all about it!

posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 01:32 PM
reply to post by TheWayISeeIt

I would think the Bed & Breakfast/Tavern ideas are quite old. Most of the people who run these institutions live in them now. What was the mystery to solve?

There have always been travelers, and I would think someone in the ancient times who lived on a main route would of thought to put up people and feed them a hearty meal. The person probably would of given some type of payment in return to start the first B&B.

[edit on 1/21/2009 by kidflash2008]

posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 02:21 PM
The mystery is that while there loads of references to these taverns/pubs/houses inequity no one ever found one. Unlike in ancient Roman ruins, where they find plenty of evidence of civilized consumer infrastruture not unlike our own where public builidings are designated to conduct those types of businesses.

I think it is unusual for an advanced society to have their places of pleasure entirely conducted out of private homes. It also adds a whole new perpective to what daily life was like for the Ancient Greeks. Also, far as I know, there is no other advanced culture/society that practised this.

Where's Hanslune when you need him?

[edit on 21-1-2009 by TheWayISeeIt]

posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 02:45 PM
reply to post by TheWayISeeIt

As I do know people who run B&Bs out of there homes, this is not a new practice for me. It would seem that the practice is quite old, from the days of weary travelers needing a place to rest and a meal. Why not run them in the home? I guess I am using common sense in a field that wants evidence.

posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 02:56 PM
Uhh, kid, no one is talking about B&B's, mmkay?

I'm going to try this again:

Imagine if there were no nightclubs or bars in America (or movies for this example to work).

Now imagine it is thousands of years from now and a group of scholars has pondered why it is that even though have written records, and many entertainments (books. plays etc.), that take place in these bars and nightclubs -- indicating that they are a big part of everyday life in Ancient America -- they have never found evidence of a BAR or a NIGHTCLUB in the American ruins, even after a hundred years of excavating and studying.

To them it is a puzzle, as every other Ancient country they have excavated that talked about having bars and nc's as a central part of their culture -- ACTUALLY HAD BUILDINGS THAT WERE DESIGNATED AS SUCH.

And it turns out that Ancient America's bars and nightclubs were actually in your Mom's basement or my backyard. Get it?

It may not be the biggest of deals, but it certainly changes our POV of what everyday life was like for the Ancient Greeks.

edit to: add last two lines

[edit on 21-1-2009 by TheWayISeeIt]

posted on Jan, 21 2009 @ 08:26 PM
What's this now? Talk about bars and brothels and my name comes up?

Well we'll see about that....I grab my trust copy of my contract, rustles thru my "NWO disinformation contract, version 2.13", ...hmmmmm. page 146 paragraph 4 refers to Appendix 2c,

skip pages.......flip, flip, flip

Ah, responsibilities and division of labor, hmmmmmm...Ah found it

Nope I cover bald women and bad archaeology, Bars are covered by Essan and Harte gets the Brothel.

Lets see Byrd can obtain a temporary warrant that allows here to over ride us if she submits a Form 2555 within 12 hours of reading the post.

Hmmmm Cormac gets to cover stuff concerning buggery and cess pools, lucky him.

So bars and brothels being in separate buildings in other ancient cultures? not a clue ask Byrd as that is more a Anthroplogical question, just let me get that 2555 started up......

posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 09:40 AM
I haven't read much on drinking or prostitution in ancient Greece, although I do know it exists. A couple of things interested me:

Suspecting that archaeologists were missing something, Blazeby reviewed artifacts unearthed at several private houses across the Greek mainland, dating from 475 to 323 B.C.

In other words, she's using a tiny slice of Greek history. I'd like to see which sites she chose and how they were laid out. The setup she has labeled "brothel" would be an extremely expensive building for someone to construct. My questions would be "what size village/city/town were they found in" and "where is the town located" and "where are these structures located in the towns."

In looking at other societies, prostitutes are the most numerous in military outposts where you have a lot of excitable and hormonal young men hanging around. Without a military base there, the town has no need to be a colony of prostitutes... and indeed they'd be a drag on the economy *UNLESS* the place is a political center (lots of visitors) or trade center (lots of visitors).

House pubs make pretty good sense, given the time and the technology. Most shopkeepers lived in quarters above their shops until just recently, but I think I'd like more evidence than "way too many cups there" as a pointer. I can think of other reasons to have lots of cups, including the house being the domain of a pottery merchant.

I think a good look at the paper and then the artifacts and dig information is in order. I would bet that the sites she used are probably something with very accessible reports.

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