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An ancient classic Greek poem taught to first year classics student at the University of Reading in England has been censored to avoid upsetting some students. Greek caryatids pillars depicting Greek women on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. 		Source: Dimitrios / Adobe Stock

UK University Censors “Domestic Violence” in Ancient Greek Poem

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English university chiefs censored an ancient Greek poem because it “seemed” like it “might” offend snowflake students - very sensitive students who are easily hurt or offended. Snowflakes that the professors are themselves molding and making. This story comes with a “trigger warning”, not for the sensitive snowflakes, but for traditionalists who like to conserve history. There is a high chance this story will send you through the roof, so you have been warned.

England’s University of Reading has been described as “beyond naïve” by Jeremy Black, emeritus professor of history at the University of Exeter. He said the recent horrific act of censorship over the Greek poem is “positively ridiculous,” and has “no place in academia.” The heads of University of Reading have edited a 2000-year-old, 118-line ancient Greek poem, to avoid “possibly offending” some of its students due to slight references to domestic violence in the work.

The controversial Greek poem by ancient Greek poet Semonides of Amorgos is titled “The 2,000-year-old Types Of Women,” and it is currently taught to first-year classics students at University of Reading. (Louvre Museum / Public domain)

The controversial Greek poem by ancient Greek poet Semonides of Amorgos is titled “The 2,000-year-old Types Of Women,” and it is currently taught to first-year classics students at University of Reading. (Louvre Museum / Public domain )

A Greek Poem That Touches on Ancient Domestic Violence

The Greek poem mentions “ domestic violence ” against women, there is no hiding it. This, the University bosses say, “might potentially trigger distress” in some students. The controversial text by writer Semonides of Amorgos is titled “ The 2,000-year-old Types Of Women ” and it is currently taught to first-year classics students at University of Reading. But now, even though no student had complained, the decision was made to censor certain verses from this classic Greek poem.

The 118-line poem tells of the Greek god Zeus creating ten types of women that were represented by an animal, or an element. The pig, fox, dog, earth, sea, donkey, ferret, mare, and monkey represent nine woman types with negative connotations, only the bee is considered a model for a good wife. An article in the Daily Mail says students would have been issued with “a verbal trigger alert” that the work was “an example of extreme misogyny in Archaic Greece.” However, even this warning is pretty pathetic. University of Reading chiefs have basically stripped out all references related to “overt violence towards women .”

Classic ancient Greek poem censorship at University of Reading seems a bit too politically correct. Or? (Jorm S / Adobe Stock)

Classic ancient Greek poem censorship at University of Reading seems a bit too politically correct. Or? ( Jorm S / Adobe Stock)

A Positively Ridiculous, Non-Academic Decision

You cannot have avoided the term “snowflake” over the last three years, which is a politicized insult used by those on the political right to insult those on the political left. The term implies that someone is overly-sensitive, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions . And snowflakes usually come with an inflated sense of uniqueness or entitlement. However, snowflakes are not born. They are in part made, or molded, by university profs.

The Daily Mail on Sunday obtained papers under the Freedom of Information Act that state the portion of the poem now omitted “involved a brief reference to domestic violence.” Jeremy Black, emeritus professor of history at the University of Exeter, said “This is beyond naive.” Editing the Greek text to avoid offending students “is positively ridiculous and has no place in academia,” insisted Black.

A female Western tourist translating ancient Greek text looking for knowledge or looking for misogyny? (EdNurg / Adobe Stock)

A female Western tourist translating ancient Greek text looking for knowledge or looking for misogyny? ( EdNurg / Adobe Stock)

The Slippery Slope of Censoring History

Professor Black fears that when the flood gates open many other works from antiquity may be targeted by the “professors of censorship class” that have come to run major institutions of learning. Professor Black also told the Daily Mail that the University’s action has created a “slippery slope” leading towards more censorship. If this level of censorship was applied to the news, said Black, “we would end up with a most limited and ignorant view of the world.”

Supporting Professor Black in his push back against the cancel-culture revolution, Professor Ewen Bowie, an emeritus fellow at Corpus Christi College and Professor Emeritus of Classical Languages and Literature at Oxford University, said “ancient works needed to be understood in context,” and not deleted entirely. Professor Bowie added that when you start censoring reading lists you are “putting your foot on the slippery slope down towards censoring what is being sold in bookshops.”

University of Reading Responds With Weak Arguments

Last night a University of Reading spokesperson said we “do not censor academic material.” The University said the particular portion of the Greek poem had been removed because it “seemed unnecessarily unpleasant and (potentially) triggering.”

Imagine deleting a 2,000-year-old text because a group of profs at a modern university thought it seemed one way or another. Shouldn’t one absolutely know that something either does or does not offend people before censoring it? Isn’t this all just so sloppy, transitional, and so clearly about virtue-signaling that it’s a bit sickening?

Top image: An ancient classic Greek poem taught to first year classics student at the University of Reading in England has been censored to avoid upsetting some students. Greek caryatids pillars depicting Greek women on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. Source: Dimitrios / Adobe Stock

By Ashley Cowie

Comments

If these people get offended over a silly poem, we need to warn them to avoid the ruins of Pompeii at all cost! People who get offended easily are intellectually and emotionally weak.

I just read the poem, and my impression is that it is rather a satire about housewives. Anyway, the poetry of Semonidis is rather pessimistic and one phrase (not from that poem) is indicative of his opinion about housewives. “There in no greater good for a man than a good wife, or a greater misery than a bad one”.

One wonders what will happen when these people are one day faced with reality. The Taliban, for example. There are many others out there in the real world, and for such students and professors, the horrors of the real world will surely send them over the edge.

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Robertus

Pete Wagner's picture

The irony might be that the poem was an altered forgery to begin with.  Lot of that out there, and why wouldn’t they?  Change a word here and there, completely change the meaning and significance.  The good guys become the bad guys!  

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

As a woman unconcerned with Semonides opinion of me, I think the poem offers a lot of attractive options.  You can be anything you want to be, from a fat hairy sow to a goofy old ape.  

While reading the actual poem, it struck me that maybe what he was writing about were totems related to earlier mantrilneal lines.  He picked insulting characteristics of the totems as part of the effort to diminish their standing as they were being replaced by a patrilineal order.  Just a random thought.

And censorship is bad and stupid whether it comes from people associated with the right, left, or anything else.  Everyone needs to stop buying into ridiculous caricatures and stereotypes about people on “the other side”.  

College students have always been virtue signaling and self important.  It is a stage of development, they are supposed to want to destroy the status quo.  But now they have been given the power to get people fired, and those people have huge student loan debt, so they have to be proactive.  They are kind of trapped at this point.

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