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coitu femineo

Postby Archimedes » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:53 am

The Levitical prohibitions against male-on-male sexual intercourse are usually translated in such a way as to suggest that it is the active, rather than the passive, partner who is addressed or being spoken about, e.g.:

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Lev. 18.22 RSV)

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. (Lev. 20.13 RSV)

I've come across an article that suggests that in the original Hebrew, it was the passive partner who was being addressed or spoken about, that he was not to lie down as a woman would with a male. Are there any nuances in the Latin translation that might also suggest this was the case?

Lev. 18.22a: cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo

Lev. 20.13a: qui dormierit cum masculo coitu femineo

Thank you.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:56 am

There is actually a large amount of material that has been published on this since the mid-1970's or so, and a review of the commentary literature in general might be helpful. I suspect also that there would be more than one monograph or article out there. As it is, I see nothing in either the Hebrew, Greek LXX, or Latin which indicates either active or passive in terms of the activity. I would read it as a general statement that would encompass both.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Archimedes » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:10 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:As it is, I see nothing in . . . the Hebrew . . . which indicates either active or passive in terms of the activity.


Since it appears that you know Hebrew, I'd like your opinion of this scholar's reasons for maintaining that the passages are addressed to the passive partner. The relevant portion of his article is the full paragraph in the middle of page 205:

http://rbedrosian.com/Sex02/Walsh_2001_Leviticus.pdf
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:30 pm

Sorry, I know it's the "Learning Latin" board, but still thought I'd drop in, since this is an interesting subject. I don't know Hebrew and only a little Latin, but I had a look at what the LXX (Rahlfs-Hanhardt) says. I don't know anything about this debate, haven't even read the article linked by Archimedes, and don't know much about Bible studies or Biblical Greek, and even less about the LXX than the NT. I just had a look at the Greek text and give my thoughts.

18. 22 καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός, βδέλυγμα γάρ ἐστιν. 23 καὶ πρὸς πᾶν τετράπουν οὐ δώσεις τὴν κοίτην σου εἰς σπερματισμόν ἐκμιανθῆναι πρὸς αὐτό. καὶ γυνὴ οὐ στήσεται πρὸς πᾶν τετράπουν βιβασθῆναι, μυσαρὸν γάρ ἐστι.

(κοίτην γυναικός has a variant κοίτην γυναικείαν)

καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός

The way I see this, this is somewhat ambiguous if taken out of context. "with a male, you shall not lie the intercourse of a woman" or "with a male, you shall not lie the intercourse in the manner of women". I guess with the passive verb κοιμηθήσῃ, you'd be temptated to interprete it as designating specifically a woman or passive partner, but according to LSJ s.v. κοιμάω this sense "to have intercourse" is developed from "go to bed/sleep" and medium/passive is regularly used of both senses and both sexes. (But compare κύω "to conceive"; according to LSJ, act. is used of men but passive of women). So, as far as I see, κοιμηθήσῃ could mean either man or woman.

But if we look at the larger context here, I think it's clear that all these instructions given here in the second person are given to men. This is clear when we look at what follows right after:

καὶ γυνὴ οὐ στήσεται πρὸς πᾶν τετράπουν βιβασθῆναι

"a woman shall not put herself next to any four-legged (animal) to be mounted upon"

Instructions that pertain to women are in the third person. [So looking at the larger context, it seems very clear to me that at least in the LXX, Lev. 18.22 is addressed to the active partner. [EDIT: my logic here is flawed.]]

One more thing of interest:
καὶ πρὸς πᾶν τετράπουν οὐ δώσεις τὴν κοίτην σου εἰς σπερματισμόν ἐκμιανθῆναι πρὸς αὐτό

18. 20 καὶ πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ πλησίον σου οὐ δώσεις κοίτην σπέρματός σου ἐκμιανθῆναι πρὸς αὐτήν.

I'm not completely sure if κοίτην σου εἰς σπερματισμόν and κοίτην σπέρματός σου should be taken together or if it's rather εἰς σπερματισμόν ἐκμιανθῆναι and σπέρματός σου ἐκμιανθῆναι that go together, but to me it looks like that ἐκμιανθῆναι "ejaculate" is crucial. It's not like it would be ok to copulate with animals if no ejaculation takes place, but rather that the terminology of how one exactly gets defiled is important. I didn't see any of this ejaculation business in the Finnish or English translations I checked, so I wonder if it's there at all in the Hebrew.

But I wonder how different the Hebrew version is from the Greek one.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:56 pm

καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός

Hmm. The more I think about it, the less sure I am about this. Actually I'm not sure at all anymore that this could not mean something to the effect of "you shall not accept the feminine role in intercourse with a man".

But the way I see it, I think this is about something specific – this either specifically forbids intercourse in the active role or in the passive role, but I don't think both.

I've lately read Plato's Phaedrus commented by Harvey Yunis. There was a lot of discussion there about taking the active and passive roles in anal intercourse. Basically, in Plato's world taking the passive role is bad for you, because it degrades you and destroys your reputation. Taking the active role is bad, because it's bad for your partner – it's immoral to take a young boy and destroy his future.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:52 pm

Sorry, this is really becoming a monologue.

18. 22 καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός, βδέλυγμα γάρ ἐστιν. 23 καὶ πρὸς πᾶν τετράπουν οὐ δώσεις τὴν κοίτην σου εἰς σπερματισμόν ἐκμιανθῆναι πρὸς αὐτό. καὶ γυνὴ οὐ στήσεται πρὸς πᾶν τετράπουν βιβασθῆναι, μυσαρὸν γάρ ἐστι.

Perhaps indeed we have an opposition between two ways a man could have intercourse – κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμός (and the similar κοίτη σπέρματός at 18.20), the "intercourse that produces seed" or "such intercourse as begets offspring" on the one hand and κοίτη γυναικός "intercourse in the feminine way" on the other. The first would refer to the active part and the second to the passive. Note that only κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμός/κοίτη σπέρματός causes one to defile oneself by ejaculation (ἐκμιανθῆναι). κοίτη γυναικός does not, and in this respect it's similar to case of the woman who has intercourse with an animal.

So, while I'm not sure at all of all this, as far I can see the Greek text could very well be interpreted like this. An attempt at translation:

"With a man, you shall not have intercourse in the feminine way, for it is an abomination. And with any four-legged animal, do not have such intercourse as begets offspring, so as to defile yourself with it by ejaculating. And a woman shall not put herself next to any four-legged animal to be mounted upon, for it is foul."
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Archimedes » Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:05 am

Paul Derouda wrote: An attempt at translation: "With a man, you shall not have intercourse in the feminine way, for it is an abomination.


Bravo! This is the same sense I was getting out of the Greek as well as the Hebrew, and I wanted to see if our Latin experts discerned a similar nuance in the Latin reading. BTW, the Hebrew verb here is conjugated as 2nd person singular masculine, the gender not apparent in the Greek conjugation of the verb.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:05 pm

Wow, a great deal being said here. First of all, the article presents a plausible, but I don't think definitive argument. In other words, even if it is completely correct, I don't think an ancient reader of the text would conclude somehow that the active role was acceptable while the feminine role wasn't. The text really condemns both roles regardless of what the precise emphasis of מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה, MiShKeBeY )iShaH, is. As is often the case, the LXX rendering κοίτην γυναικός is a rather literal rendering of the Hebrew construct (as Paul pointed out, one would expect the adjective γυναικεῖαν instead), though appears to be used as some sort of adverbial accusative rather than literally reflecting the prepositional prefix found on מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י, MiShKeBeY. Jerome's translation is actually bit more idiomatic, Cum masculo non commiscearis coitu femineo, quia abominatio est, since he uses the ablative coitu.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Qimmik » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:25 pm

Leviticus 18:22: וְאֶ֨ת־זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה תֹּועֵבָ֖ה הִֽוא׃

Leviticus 20:13: וְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִשְׁכַּ֤ב אֶת־זָכָר֙ מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֔ה תֹּועֵבָ֥ה עָשׂ֖וּ שְׁנֵיהֶ֑ם מֹ֥ות יוּמָ֖תוּ דְּמֵיהֶ֥ם בָּֽם׃

My Hebrew is very limited, but the verb תִשְׁכַּ֖ב/יִשְׁכַּ֤ב seems to be transitive in these sentences, with אֶת־זָכָר֙ as direct object. אֶת is the marker of the direct object, isn't it? Does this suggest that the prohibition applies to the active partner (and the translation calls for a less euphemistic transitive verb)? Perhaps because it's assumed that the passive partner would be a slave, not even rising to the level of a person to whom the prohibition could apply?

זָכָר֙ not אִ֗ישׁ , i.e., masculus, not vir, as in the Latin? Same in the Greek: arshn, a masculine creature, not anhr, a man.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:13 pm

Wait! Hebrew is all Greek to me, but if I understand your post correctly, אֶת־זָכָר֙ is the part translated as μετὰ ἄρσενος? If it so, what does it change if Hebrew has a direct object where Greek has an indirect one with μετά? Can't the passive partner as subject have the active partner as object, is there something in Hebrew usage that prevents this?

As far as I see, in the Greek version (and I think it's always possible they changed the meaning in translation), it all boils down to the exact meaning of κοίτην γυναικός. Otherwise, I think the Greek allows both interpretations. To understand κοίτην γυναικός, I would need to know a lot more about the Hebrew this is translated from, about LXX usage and parallels from other texts of this sort. So I only take this as an exercise.

You know Greek a lot better than I do, Qimmik – what do you think about it?

Anyway, to sum up what I think is in favour of this probihition being addressed to the passive participant:
1) the probition is expressed in a way that is parallel with the prohibition of women having sex with animals. In neither case is there a mention that the person should not ἐκμιανθῆναι himself/herself, but there's just a general statement, "for it is foul/an abomination".
2) There seems to be an opposition between κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμόν (and κοίτη σπέρματός at 18.20) on the one hand and κοίτη γυναικός on the other, as if the two acts were fundamentally different from the point of the view of the addressee. If the point is to condemn intercourse with men in the role of the active partner, why not say μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην σου εἰς σπερματισμόν or the like?

Barry Hofstetter wrote: The text really condemns both roles

That's true and clear from 20.13. But there's an important implication, which I think is also pointed out in the article. As far as I understand, all these instructions and probitions in the second person are addressed to free Israelite men. When something applies to women, slaves, foreigners etc., the third person is used. So, if the passage in question is really a prohibition of submitting to being the passive participant in male-on-male intercourse, what 18.23 + 20.13 really means is "You (= free Israelite men) shall not submit to another in sexual intercourse – if that happens, both must be put to death." If this interpretation is the correct one, this would mean that free Israelites were free to do whatever they wanted with slaves, prisoners of war, foreigners etc., as long as they remained in the active role.

That's much more in line with the mores of other vaguely contemporary societies than a general prohibition of all homosexual behaviour. At least in Athens, it seems to me that what was really seen as problematic was sex with a freeborn citizen as the passive partner. What was done with slaves, foreigners etc. was not such a big deal.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Qimmik » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:57 pm

My suggestion is that the transitive verb with a direct object implies that the subject, the target of the prohibition, is the active partner, and the text doesn't prohibit the passive role because the assumed partner, a male creature, is beneath consideration. (The Hebrew verb, to "lie" or "sleep", may not normally be transitive, but here it is, I think, because it has a direct object.) The Latin and Greek translations don't use an active verb (like the KJV), so this may be something that's lost in translation.

Getting back to Latin (since this is "Learning Latin" and not "Learning Hebrew"), Vergil Eclogue 3.8-9:

novimus et qui te, transversa tuentibus hircis,
et quo—sed faciles Nymphae risere—sacello.

Two goatherds are engaging in mock-insulting banter. One goatherd says to the other "We all know who (nom.) . . . you (acc.), as the goats looked askance, and in what grotto--but the free and easy nymphs laughed." A transitive verb is coyly omitted, but the implication is that the other goatherd, the direct object of the omitted verb, took the passive role in same-sex activity.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:01 am

Well, when it comes to the syntax of this particular Hebrew verb, I have no competence whatsoever, and of course that's a crucial point.

However: If you still wanted to say in Hebrew "You shall not submit to another man", is there some other construction that would be more natural? I mean that that's not the most typical thing to say, so in a way it might be expected to be said in a somewhat convoluted way, using verbs that are usually used otherwise etc.

"the text doesn't prohibit the passive role because the assumed partner, a male creature, is beneath consideration"
That's true of course if the assumed active partner is addressed. All this changes, of course, if the whole point is that this is specifically a prohibition for Israelites to accept the passive role. There is some similarity with the bit that prohibits women (and probably Israelite women here are meant) submitting to animals, so the whole idea is not entirely superfluous.

This is interesting but I admit I'm puzzled. Got to learn Hebrew one day.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Archimedes » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:41 am

Qimmik wrote:אֶת is the marker of the direct object, isn't it?

But it can also be a preposition meaning "with"!
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Qimmik » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:48 am

Actually, it looks like you're right about that. So much for my Hebrew. I should stick to languages I know, like pig Latin.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Archimedes » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:51 am

Truth be told, my Hebrew is a bit rusty, and when I first tackled the passage, I tried to read the preposition as the direct object marker as well!
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Qimmik » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:27 pm

I thought the vocalization was different, but it's not when joined to a noun. I guess "male" rather than "man" covers boys as well as adult males.

My pig Latin is getting rusty too. I have trouble remembering the vocabulary and the grammar.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Archimedes » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:07 am

Archimedes wrote:I've come across an article that suggests that in the original Hebrew, it was the passive partner who was being addressed or spoken about, that he was not to lie down as a woman would with a male. Are there any nuances in the Latin translation that might also suggest this was the case?

Lev. 18.22a: cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo


Is there any significance in the fact that commisceberis is passive "be joined" instead of active "join"?
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:25 pm

Archimedes wrote:
Archimedes wrote:I've come across an article that suggests that in the original Hebrew, it was the passive partner who was being addressed or spoken about, that he was not to lie down as a woman would with a male. Are there any nuances in the Latin translation that might also suggest this was the case?

Lev. 18.22a: cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo


Is there any significance in the fact that commisceberis is passive "be joined" instead of active "join"?


That's a very interesting observation. Hebrew has תִשְׁכַּ֖ב, TiShKaB in the Qal, an active form, "lie down." The LXX has κοιμηθήσῃ, also a passive form. I'm not sure what triggered this for the ancient translators, except to say that somehow the passive form for them communicated best what they thought the Hebrew was saying. Of course, a different Vorlage is also possible.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Archimedes » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:37 pm

What are your opinions of this exegete's take on coitu femineo?
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:56 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
Archimedes wrote:
Archimedes wrote:I've come across an article that suggests that in the original Hebrew, it was the passive partner who was being addressed or spoken about, that he was not to lie down as a woman would with a male. Are there any nuances in the Latin translation that might also suggest this was the case?

Lev. 18.22a: cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo


Is there any significance in the fact that commisceberis is passive "be joined" instead of active "join"?


That's a very interesting observation. Hebrew has תִשְׁכַּ֖ב, TiShKaB in the Qal, an active form, "lie down." The LXX has κοιμηθήσῃ, also a passive form. I'm not sure what triggered this for the ancient translators, except to say that somehow the passive form for them communicated best what they thought the Hebrew was saying. Of course, a different Vorlage is also possible.

Just a thought... Those who translated this into Latin were from another time and another culture than those who had originally written it. For a Roman, it would have been natural to think that it is degrading for a man to submit to another, so they could have interpreted it like this even if it wasn't the original idea. I say this as a word of caution, I'm still attracted to the idea that this was specifically a prohibition of the passive role.

I don't know enough Latin to have any opinion on this Latin form.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:04 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:The LXX has κοιμηθήσῃ, also a passive form.

According to LSJ, the passive in κοιμηθήσῃ is regular with the meaning "go to bed/sleep" (because the active would mean "put someone else to sleep". The idea of intercourse is euphemistic development from "go to bed", so I don't think we can conclude anything from the Greek passive form.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:20 pm

Archimedes wrote:What are your opinions of this exegete's take on coitu femineo?

You will not have sex with man on a woman's bed...? Is that what he claims this means? Sounds like a case of special pleading. It would be quite different from the other prohibitions in this passage. And he doesn't give any explantion as to what could be to meaning of such a prohibition. I'm not believing it until someone makes a very good case for it, and he does nothing of the sort.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:22 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:The LXX has κοιμηθήσῃ, also a passive form.

According to LSJ, the passive in κοιμηθήσῃ is regular with the meaning "go to bed/sleep" (because the active would mean "put someone else to sleep". The idea of intercourse is euphemistic development from "go to bed", so I don't think we can conclude anything from the Greek passive form.


Good observation, Paul. The Greek simply is a kind of deponent here that means what the Hebrew means in the passive form. Not so the Latin. Commisceo is a fully regular transitive verb, and here could only rendered "you shall not be united with," or "you shall not be mixed with..." (BTW, the Clementine Vulgate has commiscearis instead of commisceberis). Interestingly enough, the Douay-Rheims, a direct translation from the Latin, has:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind...


But I'm depending on L&S for my range of meaning, so maybe I'm missing a development in later Latin for the verb, or the DR is giving less of a literal translation than wont to do... :shock:
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Victor » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:49 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote: As it is, I see nothing in either the Hebrew, Greek LXX, or Latin which indicates either active or passive in terms of the activity. I would read it as a general statement that would encompass both.

This must be right. Whilst subsequent discussions about active and passive roles may have been interesting, common sense suggests that all that is referred to by the two instances of coitu femineo is a man having intercourse with another man in a way that emulates the way a man typically has intercourse with a woman. Which role the man takes is not mentioned, and therefore surely not critical. If anything more specific had been intended, it would almost certainly have been explicitly stated.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:24 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:
Archimedes wrote:What are your opinions of this exegete's take on coitu femineo?

You will not have sex with man on a woman's bed...? Is that what he claims this means? Sounds like a case of special pleading. It would be quite different from the other prohibitions in this passage. And he doesn't give any explantion as to what could be to meaning of such a prohibition. I'm not believing it until someone makes a very good case for it, and he does nothing of the sort.


And to comment specifically on the Latin, the supine from what verb? If he means from coeo, that's just silly, and it's kind of distraction -- I don't think anyone has ever taken it from anything except from coitus, the noun (which, admittedly, like a number of 4th declension nouns, derived from the the 4th principal part of the verb). But where does the word mean "bed?" Here is L&S:

cŏĭtus, and another orthography coetus (only distinguished in signif. by use;
v. infra), ūs (dat. coetu, Cat. 64, 385; 66, 37), m. coëo.
In gen.
Abstr., a coming or meeting together, an assembling: eos auspicio meo atque ductu primo coetu vicimus, Plaut. Am. 2, 2, 25.— Hence,
Concr., an assemblage, crowd, company; in this signif. coetus alone is used: quae (opiniones) in senatu, quae in omni coetu concilioque profitendae sint, Cic. Fin. 2, 24, 77; 2, 4, 11; id. Rep. 6, 13, 13: ad divinum animorum concilium coetumque proficisci, id. Sen. 23, 84; id. de Or. 1, 8, 30; id. Verr. 2, 5, 72, § 186; Liv. 3, 38, 11; 27, 35, 3; Quint. 2, 15, 18; 2, 9, 2; 8, 4, 8; Cat. 46, 8; 64, 407; Verg. A. 5, 43; Ov. M. 3, 403; 11, 766; 15, 66: in domum Pisonis, Tac. A. 4, 41; id. H. 4, 45.—
Esp.
A uniting, joining together, combination; so in both forms.
Coetus, Lucr. 1, 1016; 1, 1047; 2, 919; 2, 1003; 5, 429: ceterum amnium coctus maritimis similes fluctus movet, Curt. 9, 4, 9: stellarum coetus et discessiones, Gell. 14, 1, 14.—
Coitus: ut recens coitus venae resolvatur, Cels. 2, 10 fin.: umoris, id. 5, 18, 31: sordium in auribus, id. 6, 7, 7: syllabarum, Quint. 9, 4, 59: vocum, Gell. 1, 25, 16: osculi, Poët. ap. Gell. 19, 11, 4: luna morata in coitu solis biduo (i. e. at new moon), Plin. 2, 9, 6, § 44. —
Sexual intercourse, coition (not in Cic.); in this signif. only coitus is used.— Of men, Ov. M. 7, 709; Suet. Calig. 25; cf. Quint. 8, 6, 24; Gai Inst. 1, 64; 1, 87.—Of animals, Col. 6, 24, 3; 6, 23, 3 (Cod. Polit. coetus); Cels. 2, 1 fin. al.—
Transf., of plants: palmarum, Plin. 13, 4, 7, § 35.— Also of ingrafting, Plin. 17, 14, 24, § 103.


Now he could make the case from the Hebrew and Greek. Both words can mean "bed" (a place for lying down) in a neutral sense, but normally it means the place where sexual activity takes place, and I think that must be it contextually in Lev 18:22.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:21 pm

Victor wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote: As it is, I see nothing in either the Hebrew, Greek LXX, or Latin which indicates either active or passive in terms of the activity. I would read it as a general statement that would encompass both.

This must be right. Whilst subsequent discussions about active and passive roles may have been interesting, common sense suggests that all that is referred to by the two instances of coitu femineo is a man having intercourse with another man in a way that emulates the way a man typically has intercourse with a woman. Which role the man takes is not mentioned, and therefore surely not critical. If anything more specific had been intended, it would almost certainly have been explicitly stated.

Well, the way I see it, whether anything specific is intended depends on the exact meaning of κοίτη γυναικός (I'm only commenting the Greek version). I don't see why it couldn't mean "intercourse of a woman", "intercourse like a woman", and thus be an explicit statement that the passive role is intended.

I'll reiterate what I think supports the idea that this might be the case: The probition is expressed in a way that is somewhat parallel with the prohibition of women submitting to animals. Neither is called κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμόν (or κοίτη σπέρματός), which I suppose means something like "such intercourse as begets offspring" and would refer explicitly to the active part. Also, unlike with other offenses, there is no mention that in committing this offense ἐκμιανθῆναι occurs, which is only to be expected if the passive role is meant, but rather there's just a general statement, "for it is foul/an abomination". Then, κοίτη γυναικός and κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμόν occur closely one after the other and there seems to be some sort of opposition between them.

So, while I certainly don't claim to be sure about this, as far as I understand there's a possibility that the terms κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμόν and κοίτη γυναικός are expressly used in opposition to each other and explicitly mean "in the active role" and "in the passive role" respectively.
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Victor » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:00 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Well, the way I see it, whether anything specific is intended depends on the exact meaning of κοίτη γυναικός (I'm only commenting the Greek version). I don't see why it couldn't mean "intercourse of a woman", "intercourse like a woman", and thus be an explicit statement that the passive role is intended.

I'll reiterate what I think supports the idea that this might be the case: The probition is expressed in a way that is somewhat parallel with the prohibition of women submitting to animals. Neither is called κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμόν (or κοίτη σπέρματός), which I suppose means something like "such intercourse as begets offspring" and would refer explicitly to the active part. Also, unlike with other offenses, there is no mention that in committing this offense ἐκμιανθῆναι occurs, which is only to be expected if the passive role is meant, but rather there's just a general statement, "for it is foul/an abomination". Then, κοίτη γυναικός and κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμόν occur closely one after the other and there seems to be some sort of opposition between them.

So, while I certainly don't claim to be sure about this, as far as I understand there's a possibility that the terms κοίτη εἰς σπερματισμόν and κοίτη γυναικός are expressly used in opposition to each other and explicitly mean "in the active role" and "in the passive role" respectively.

I'm a little disorientated. Doesn't βδέλυγμα ἐποίησαν ἀμφότεροι straight after καὶ ὃς ἂν κοιμηθῇ μετά ἄρσενος κοίτην γυναικός effectively rule out the idea that only one sexual partner is referred to?
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:14 pm

Victor wrote:I'm a little disorientated. Doesn't βδέλυγμα ἐποίησαν ἀμφότεροι straight after καὶ ὃς ἂν κοιμηθῇ μετά ἄρσενος κοίτην γυναικός effectively rule out the idea that only one sexual partner is referred to?

Well, couldn't the point of ἀμφότεροι be specifically that "both parties have done a terrible deed", i.e. an explicit negation of the idea that only the who submits is guilty – the point being that this would not refer to any man-on-man anal intercourse, but a case where the passive partner is a free Israelite man (someone who is referred to in the second person, while women, slaves, foreigners etc are referred to in the third).

It's a whole list of sexual offences where all parties involved are held to be responsible. Compare 20.16: καὶ γυνή, ἥτις προσελεύσεται πρὸς πᾶν κτῆνος βιβασθῆναι αὐτὴν ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ, ἀποκτενεῖτε τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ τὸ κτῆνος: θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. Even the animal is ἔνοχος!
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Re: coitu femineo

Postby Victor » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:02 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:Well, couldn't the point of ἀμφότεροι be specifically that "both parties have done a terrible deed"

Yes, that's the point. Did I ever imply otherwise? I can't see where, if I did.
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