Sexing My Way Through Ancient Greece In Assassin's Creed Odyssey

If there’s anything I learned studying Classics at university, it’s that our respected ancient ancestors were total horndogs. That’s why I’m so happy Assassin’s Creed Odyssey embraces historical bonkery to the extent that it does.

People generally imagine historical figures the way they imagine their grandparents: shirts buttoned up right to the neck, using beds for nothing but sleep, and though they might have had sex one time for each of their children, they certainly didn’t do it any more than was necessary.

But I have bad news for you: people have been fucking since people, and fucking, were invented. And they’ve been loving it.

Roman fresco from a bedroom in Pompeii

Pompeiian walls are covered in so much nudity that it’s a wonder our teachers were allowed to take us to see them. Gigantic cocks and scenes of bestiality were so normal to Romans that they had them painted in their gardens and dining rooms.

Imagining Papa Caecilius, chowing down on roasted dormouse while Zeus, disguised as a bull, fucks a particularly saucy cow on the wall behind him, makes me wish that time machines could just hurry up and be invented already.

Alas, we have no time machines, but we do have, uh, video games. And, apparently, writers who aren’t afraid to stand up for the historically accurate fact that Kassandra, protagonist of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, needs to get her rocks off in between missions.

I’ve been playing for a little over 60 hours now, and I’ve probably boinked my way through at least 5 per cent of ancient Greece. There was Odysseus’ descendant, Odessa, who got me to sort out her problems before she got me to sort her out.

Then there was an old woman whose hubby wasn’t ploughing the field as much as she’d have liked, and although I brought her the ingredients for a love potion, he begged me to let him rest his poor pecker—so, ever the noble sell-sword, I proved to the old woman that, sometimes, a sword isn’t what you need.

But by far my favourite sexual encounter (she said, like a blind date gone horribly wrong) was one that was actually based on my favourite philosophy book (she continued, like the kind of awful blind date you’d put on Reddit).

Plato’s Symposium is basically ancient fan fiction, which I am so on board for. It takes place at an imagined dinner party attended by some of Greece’s most notable men.

Philosopher and ponderer Socrates discusses the origin of love with comic playwright and general nuisance, Aristophanes. Later on, the party is crashed by a young man named Alcibiades, an Athenian general who was also known for being a fuck-frenzied libertine, a Casanova long before Casanova existed.

And here I was, albeit avatared through Kassandra, standing in the midst of these wise, funny men, waxing lyrical on the nature of love.

I was a little disappointed to see that the flirting that was so present in Plato’s smutty fanfiction was largely missing here; though the subtext of Sophocles and Euripides having some sort of lover’s tiff over Aristophanes was quite enjoyable.

It wasn’t until Alcibiades - wonderful, slutty Alcibiades! - entered in nothing but a loosely-secured crotch cloth that I realised that this was a party. Not the tight-laced parties people imagine, where everyone eats grapes and sips wine, calmly discussing politics, but the actual parties the Greeks had, in which everyone was presumably getting handies under the table.

Alcibiades attempted to coax poor, constantly baffled Socrates into his bedroom, and failed. Intrigued, I followed the trail, only to find Alcibiades in some implied compromising positions with multiple people of multiple genders. Hell yeah.

He requested olive oil, for purposes I can only imagine, and which Plato didn’t go into detail about. Once I’d procured the requested lubricant, I was invited in to the orgy. Not that I saw any of it, of course, because this is Assassin’s Creed - one, sex is even harder to animate than women, and two, it’s much harder to sell a billion copies when you get slapped with an Adults Only rating.

Many of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s main characters have multiple quests in their storyline, and I was pleased to see Alcibiades as one of these. Socrates pops up every now and again to offer you some ethical dilemma, and the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, asks you to help him save patients, but Alcibiades is always focused on the contents of his toga. We had sex in a temple. I love this game.


Comments

    The Alcibiades appearances in the game were always great fun. Much as I loved talking philosophy with Socrates, Alcibiades was always the one to make me laugh.

    You forgot about the goat. It likes to watch.

    well this was crude and uneccessary.

      It provides historical context to a place and period with a different attitude towards sex, that was used in a high-selling video game. How do you figure it's either crude or unnecessary?

        The article. the way it's written. the language. It's crude. It's cheap. The article itself is on a topic that's also been done to death. there have been a number of articles about this topic on this very site and it hasn't added anything new either.

      What kind of incel shit is this?

        what bridge did you crawl out from under?

          No idea what you mean about a bridge. I'm just a regular dude who doesn't get all upset when a woman writes frankly about sex, especially on a video game site when it's germane to the topic of video games.

            I wasn't upset. I just don't see the language as professional and find the article itself to be pointless. the bridge comment should be obvious. what lives under a bridge? a troll. if that wasn't obvious try not calling people an incel.

    Which is odd because the sources I've seen suggests the game takes the context wrong.

      Do you have some links to some of them? I'd love to read it, most historians I've seen commenting on the game say it's fairly accurate, within the scope of what an interactive video game with mythical elements is able to portray.

        This video has some good details on it (if you ignore the comments). It's weird how the game gave citizenship to women considering they never had that in real life.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88jhgNtZ4UY

          There's no mention of women with citizenship in Odyssey that I can recall, nor any women in official government offices. The depictions of women as political influencers is accurate for the period (in the Roman empire as well) because they did have significant influence, just not directly.

          There are a lot of problems with this guy's video that I'd rather not spend much time on, not least his repeated use of loaded words and comments about 'SJWs' and the like, but ones that stood out:

          - His physical capability assessment is not consistent with modern analysis (the average strength gap between trained men and trained women isn't nearly as big as the average strength gap within trained men alone - that is, there's more overlap than there is difference)

          - While women didn't serve in standing armies of the Greek states, there were women serving in armies the Greeks fought against, including commanders. His assertion that a mercenary like Kassandra isn't plausible in the region is essentially baseless, particularly since there are contemporary records of women gladiators which a lot of mercenaries were before earning their freedom.

          - He implies Aspasia is depicted wrongly, but none of what he describes of the real Aspasia is any different. In-game she's not depicted as a citizen, she holds no office, and she's not married to Perikles. She's a mistress with political influence, just as she was in real life.

          - The skin tone thing is a non-issue, and the way he presents it is intentionally misleading. For example, he shows characters that are clearly African while trying to make out like they're being depicted as Greek, but it's well known that African merchants and a slave trade existed in the entire Mediterranean region through that period. The 'brown' skin tones he tries to argue as wrong due to genetics, drawing comparison with modern Greeks, when he could have just googled 'tanned Greek' and found plenty of pictures of modern Greeks with the same tanned skin tones the game has. And that's not even factoring how much more time classical Greeks spent under the sun than most anyone does today.

          I appreciate you dropping the link, but there's a whole combination of factors (incorrect or misrepresented information, anti-progressive callouts, convenient omission of contradictory facts) that prevent me from being able to put much stock in that video or the veracity of its research.

            Take it up with him then.

              It's not worth that kind of effort, I'm just letting you know my thoughts on the video you provided.

        Kassandra competed in the olympics... there was even a tooltip that said women could not do that and had to compete in something like it elsewhere. Just one thing but, there are a lot of little things about this. actually another big thing is Sparta did NOT have a navy. they didn't. I understand they did it for gameplay reasons and such but, I hope my point still stands. It's a game that visually looks quite good and repesentitive of the time but, it does have a lot of historical flaws.

        Bear in mind I do like this game and am still playing it. it's a good game;. I just recognise there are a fair few problems in the way it represents things.

          Her participation in the Olympics was a result of game mechanical and storytelling reasons though, which I mentioned as an exemption in an interactive medium. The main character can be played as either gender, and it wouldn't make sense to have a somewhat important questline only available to one of those two choices.

          Sparta did have a navy, as did every state in the Greek region. What they didn't have was a naval tradition to speak of, and it was of course dwarfed by Athens fielding the strongest navy in the region, but they contributed what they had to the Peloponnesian League's overall navy. It's known that Sparta had pentikonteres and triremes provided by coastal towns in Lakonia, and Sparta participated in the naval battles of the Greco-Persian wars shortly prior to the game's setting.

          That aside, the ones in the game aren't strictly all Spartan. The game simplifies the Delian League and Peloponnesian League to their respective leader state of Athens and Sparta, and Sparta's allies in the latter provided a lot of ships. The Spartan contribution would have been around 10% of the total league navy.

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