‘Black’ (melas) and ‘white’ (leukos) are also – importantly – gendered terms: females are praised if you are ‘white-armed’, but guys never ever are. This differentiation discovers its means to the conventions of Greek (as well as Egyptian) art too, where we find females usually depicted just as much lighter of epidermis than guys. To phone a man that is greek was to phone him ‘effeminate’. Conversely, to phone Odysseus ‘black-skinned’ might well associate him using the tough, outside life he lived on ‘rocky Ithaca’.
their color terms aren’t made to place individuals into racial groups, but to subscribe to the characterisation of this people, making use of slight poetic associations that evaporate when we simply plump for ‘blond’ rather than ‘brown’, ‘tanned’ as opposed to ‘black’ (and the other way around). Continue reading