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Homosexuailty in Rome?

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    Posted: 01-Apr-2005 at 12:05

I know this thread is about Rome, but since Greece also has been mentioned, I thought I should post this link:

http://www.grecoreport.com/debunking_the_myth_of_homosexuali ty_in_ancient_greece.htm



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  Quote conon394 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2005 at 04:04
This sentence clealy shows us, how the ancient Hellines saw homosexuality.


No, at best it tells something about Athens.

It says a lot more about the bitter political dispute over how to deal with Philip of Macedon than what the Athenians though about Timarchus be a male prostitute in his youth.
 
In Against Timarchus, Aeschines starts by citing several laws, none of then are primarily concerned with homosexuality. The first two protect children and the third is the law against hybris (which protects any person in Athens from for want of a better description, assault or rape or outrage). It significant that both the law against hybris and the law forbidding a parent or guardian from prostituting or abusing their children are explicitly stated as protecting men or women (considering I can think of no example of a female prostitute explicitly servicing only women, I take this a solid evidence that the law was concerned with the general abuse of minors (via prostitution) not a specific bar against homosexuality). Aeschines also cites another law that forbids a citizen who has prostituted himself from full citizen status (again there was an equivalent law that banned a female citizen prostitute from her civic status as well).


Taken together the laws Aeschines cites show the Athenians were very concerned about the welfare of children; that they felt children as minors who were abused suffered no stigma; That the penalties for a parent or guardian (or teacher, etc) who abused a minor were very stiff; and that everyone in Attica (even slaves) had an expectation of some basic right of freedom from assault or outrage.  But no law cited by Aeschines is explicitly constructed around homosexuality. What is glaringly obvious is that no law barred citizens who paid and used male prostitutes from there citizen status. One would think if Aeschines was merely a do-gooder enforcing Hellenic disapproval of homosexuality he might have prosecuted Hegesandros as well (another prominate and wealthy Athenian), and apparent homosexual who was a client of Timarchus).


Aeschines also notes that a citizen, who squanders his patrimony, is also barred from his rights. Aeschines spends some considerable time showing that Timarchus was just such a man; according to Aeschines, Timarchus prostitutes himself because he has wasted his inheritance. Aeschines also claims Timarchus has in the past abused official positions to extort money from Athenian allies. In total the argument of Aeschines is not we must ban the homosexual from the assembly, but we must ban a dissolute citizen who has wasted his fortune, misused his offices, and sunk low enough to sell himself (the logical next step is of courses its only a matter of time until he sells and betrays his country as well).

Considering we have neither the defense (delivered by Demosthenes) of Timarchus, nor any record off why the court voted for Aeschines, whos to say what aspect of the case won the day: The second argument (squandered inheritance) or the first (male prostitution).

But, what is really missing in any discussion about this case is the fact that what we are really looking at is a political pre-emptive strike.  Whatever he had been in the past, before and during his trial Timarchus was an active politician, no doubt at least well-off financially, and ally of Demosthenes. Timarchus was about to introduce an action to prosecute Aeschines as a result of his activities as an ambassador to Macedonia.  Aeschines struck first however with his prosecution that would if successful, remove Timarchus from the field.  Actual court cases represented a tiny minority of the over body of legal decisions at Athens (the vast majority be settled before a magistrate or in arbitration).  Anytime Aeschines or Demosthenes (or any other leading politician) enters the picture, one should first and foremost be suspect of political motivations (especially if you have both Demosthenes and Aeschines). Consider Apollodoros (often noted as the eleventh famous Attic orator), another ally of Demosthenes. Apollodoros was subject to what was a completely fake allegation of murder by Stephanos. Why, because as one accused of murder Apollodrls would be banded from the courts (except his own trial) and the assembly. He would be effectively sidelined for a time, unable to lend his considerable oratioal skills to the aid of the anti-Macedonian war faction.  As Demosthenes, noted in On false embassy Timarchus had been an active politician for years, yet Aeschines had never in the past objected to allowing such a notorious person address the assemby

 
Plato and Xenophon: You are citing what both men suggest would be ideal or correct, but failing to note they are contrasting their ideals with reality that is opposite or was of sync.  Thus Xenophon (in Constitution of the Lacedaemonians) does suggest a nice idealized (platonic) relationship, but specifically contrasts it with Elis and Boeotia. Boeotia is described as a place where men can live together as man and wife The same contrast is brought up again in Xenophons Symposium as well. Plato also is explicitly contrasting his ideals to the actual world. In Laws he worries that the ideal state will be contaminated by the sexual morals that actually prevail among the Greeks and Barbarians.



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  Quote Thracian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2005 at 05:15

isn't all this homosx. in rome and greece stuff simply not true.

why would any roman emp. or anyone roman for that matter turn that way during those times.

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  Quote UnholyMenace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2005 at 09:27
Cant say that they were so homosexual - more like pederasty. Older man took a young man to teach him (thech him in any way ). These older men of course had wifes, so cant say there were totally homosexual. And it was pretty common in Ancient-Creek/Rome and noone looked so weird at it - maybe like a part of the culture . About the older and younger man relationship, then it wasnt decent when younger man started "teaching" the older man.

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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2005 at 11:43
Originally posted by Thracian

isn't all this homosx. in rome and greece stuff simply not true.

why would any roman emp. or anyone roman for that matter turn that way during those times.



It's not true because they were more often bisexual, not homosexual. It was part of their culture, just like eating dormice.
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  Quote Thracian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2005 at 02:27

 I don't believe this!! So it was a culture

I hated romans for the slavery they did but this is outrageous. Are u sure about this?

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  Quote UnholyMenace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2005 at 07:50

Originally posted by Thracian

 I don't believe this!! So it was a culture

I hated romans for the slavery they did but this is outrageous. Are u sure about this?

Start believing! I think there are a lot of books where you can find it out for yourself.

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  Quote conon394 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2005 at 10:13
I hated romans for the slavery they did


You are kind of stuck hating a lot societies across a lot history, in that case.


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  Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Apr-2005 at 21:12
Taken together the laws Aeschines cites show the Athenians were very concerned about the welfare of children;


Doesn't this very fact prove that the whole "erastes-eromenos" theory is nothing more than a myth???

If we are to see the meaning of "eromenos" we find that once again has nothing to do with any kind of sexual intercourse :
Just some examples

Plato, Euthydemus 282b
there is no disgrace, Cleinias, or reprobation in making this a reason for serving and being a slave to either one's lover or any man, and being ready to perform any service that is honorable in one's eagerness to become wise.

Platos Symposium,

it is our rule that, just as in the case of the lovers it was counted no flattery or scandal for them to be willingly and utterly enslaved to their favorites, so there is left one sort of voluntary thraldom which is not scandalous; I mean, in the cause of virtue.
It is our settled tradition that when a man freely devotes his service to another in the belief that his friend will make him better in point of wisdom, it may be, or in any of the other parts of virtue, this willing bondage also is no sort of baseness or flattery. Let us compare the two rules 184b

Xenophon Symposium 8.8
[8]Now, I have always felt an admiration for your character, but at the present time I feel a much keener one, for I see that you are in love with a person who is not marked by dainty elegance nor wanton effeminacy, but shows to the world physical strength and stamina, virile courage and sobriety. Setting one's heart on such traits gives an insight into the lover's character.

If we continue:
Xenophon Symposium
[26] Furthermore, the favourite who realizes that he who lavishes physical charms will be the lover's sovereign will in all likelihood be loose in his general conduct; but the one who feels that he cannot keep his lover faithful without nobility of character will more probably give heed to virtue. [27] But the greatest blessing that befalls the man who yearns to render his favourite a good friend is the necessity of himself making virtue his habitual practice. For one cannot produce goodness in his companion while his own conduct is evil, nor can he himself exhibit shamelessness and incontinence and at the same time render his beloved self-controlled and reverent"

Platos Republic 403b
may not come nigh, nor may lover and beloved who rightly love and are loved have anything to do with it? No, by heaven, Socrates, he said, it must not come nigh them. Thus, then, as it seems, you will lay down the law in the city that we are founding, that the lover may kiss1 and pass the time with and touch the beloved as a father would a son, for honorable ends, if he persuade him.

All of these texts give a meaning of obtaining knowledge and virtue, none of them refer to anything sexual as you can see.


Now you correctly mention a law that barred them from their rights. This was the law of "grafi eterisios".
"eterisios" from "eteros" or as seen in translated texts "hetairos"= comrade, companion.
We also find the well known "hetaires", what we concider today, thanks to all this mistranslation as whores, but the word clearly gives a different meaning, so they should actually be concidered companions or I think the more apropriate meaning would be something similar to mistress.

If the argument was only about his selling his body (as a whore does) then the law should have used the term "porni" (with hetta) from "pernimi"= "to sell" and has the meaning of whore, prostitute.

The very FACT that in 1.29 Aeschynes uses the words
"H peporneumenos,phusin, H etairikos:=
"either prostituted or has became a "comrade/companion/mistress" (in short, his bitch)

So since we find Aeschynes mentioning both prostitution and companionship. (interesting)
We know for a fact that homos were called kinaidos= shameless.
If we are to brake the word down, we find that it is nothing more than
 he who kinei thn aido = kineo= to move , to meddle with things sacred and
aidos = the personification of a conscience, of shame (it is well known that whoever provoked Aidos was always paid a visit from Nemesis.
So when he mentions companionship he is clearly talking about homo relations. For he that has sold out his dignity shame has nothing left, so why not also sell out his city.

I think we should also see the meaning of the word etaira, as seen in the Liddle Scott dictionary:

courtesan, Hdt.2.134, Ar.Pl.149, Ath.13.567a,571d, etc.; opp. porne (a common prostitute), Anaxil.22.1 ; opp. gamet, Philetaer.5 ; Aphrodit he. Apollod.Hist.17.

note that opp does mean opposite
(source perseus.tuft)

Another VERY interesting fact that must be taken under concideration when discussing this MYTH, is that most of these leading wanna-be "historians" of Hellinic sexuality, see: Michel Foucault, John Boswell, John Winkler and David Halperin were or are all HOMOS.

The reason, of course, is simple. The Hellines have always been viewed as a model of civilisation. So what better way to justify their "sick nature" than by connecting it to the greatness of the Hellinic civilization and thus legitimise same-sex?

If we are to look at vase art, we also come to interesting conclusions.
In his book, K.J Dover (considered as one of the authorities on ancient Hellinic sexuality. LOL) presents a total of 600 vases.
What is very interesting is the fact that only 20-25 (I am really generous here) can be concidered to depict something sexual. The rest of them 575!!! have nothing to do with the topic in question. Yet he manages to connect them with some actually ridiculous assumptions. example:
In artifact E373 the young man depicted has a tiny penis but a normal scrotum, in E368 his scrotum is enormous,
In another vase he mentions that "the hoop and walking stick carry their own symbolism"

It is also interesting to note that the exact theory that both Dover and Reinsberg have introduced, is that, during these alleged homosexual acts, actual penetration NEVER did take place!! because the ancient Hellines believed that it was disgracefull.
Simple proof of this are the vase paintings found after the Persian defeat, where we find the Hellines coming up to the bent over Pesian fully aroused. Clearly depicting domination. Note that Dover presents this in his book as alleged proof of homosexuality in Hellas!!!!
So the question that must be answered is: what kind of homo paradise was Hellas when we never did have any kind of penetration?

These arguments as you can plainly see, are ridiculous


Other things to think about:
At the 6th International Symposium on Ancient Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Hellas, concluded that King Philip II of Macedonia was bisexual.

Now the interesting part:
During this "symposium" these alleged historians were comfronted by the well known (in Hellas that is) Hellin researcher Kyriakos Velopoulos.
What he managed to uncover is very interesting.

The two main speakers were Kate Modersen and Mandian (spl?), both well respected historians and professors at New England University.
He argued with them on the topic, his arguments were based on the original texts, by original I mean in ancient Hellinic, not translated.
These wanna-be historians couldn't read a word in ancient Hellinic and of course had no idea on how to translate the text.
It was all over the Hellinic news how they were ridiculed and left, long before it even ended.

So, what historians are we talking about when they can't even read the original SOURCES and how credible can their opinion really be?
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  Quote Argentum Draconis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Apr-2005 at 17:19
What about the women? Were they free about that too? Most famous lesbian Sappho was disliked if I remember correct.
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  Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Apr-2005 at 18:58
Even though, modern and not so modern scholars managed to come up with the misconseption of "erastes-eromenos"and "paiderastia", they found it impossible to find a "similar" term, that would describe female homosexuality.
So they came up with the term "lesbian" first attested in 1870. Since then the island of Lesbos has become a "symbol" for all female homos in every language of the world. All this because of the existance of Sappho.

The major problem for all of these "self-proclaimed" historians/researchers, is that we only have a few verses of one of her work and not even a whole verse of the rest of her work.

Anyway, to the point. There are more than enough texts that mention Sappho. We find Ovid, Athenaios and Suidas among others, speaking of her love with Phaon.
We know for a fact that she was a mother and wife that wrote "epithalamia"=  "wedding songs" that spoke, not of lesbian affairs but of the beauty of young girls that were about to become wifes and mothers themselves.

It is interesting to note that a wanna-be named Yves Battistini wrote a book about Sappho. Why is it interesting? Simple, in his book he quotes a part of a poem written by Anacreondos where we find him translating:

"προς δ'αλλον τινα χασκει"  or "pros d'allon tina haskei" 
which when correctly translated gives the meaning of:
 "towards someone else she giggles" 

but this wanna-be translated it as:
" but the item of her passion is something else, a girl"

So anyone gets the point. Note that this Yves dude was a homo himself, as was the poet Walter Pater a tutor at Oxford where he and his band of homos originally began this homo fiasco in Oxford.

Areally good read on this topic would be Bruce Thornton's Eros: The Myth of ancient Greek Sexuality

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  Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2005 at 09:30
Zagros Purya

Not exactly sure how looooong this will be but I'll try to keep it as short as possible.

Let's start off by saying that of course homosexuality existed in ancient Hellas, just as it has existed, and will continue to exist, everywhere and at all times in human history. However, while it did exist, it was never legally sanctioned, thought to be a cultural norm, or engaged in without risk of serious punishment, including exile and death.

This is very clear once we read the texts.
If, he had previously "gone public" with his homosexual lifestyle though he would have been permitted to live, he would, under Athenian law (graf etairsios), not be permitted to become one of the nine archons, nor to discharge the office of priest, nor to
act as an advocate for the state, nor shall he hold any office whatsoever, at home or abroad, whether filled by lot or by election; he shall not be sent as a herald; he shall not take part in debate, nor be present at the public sacrifices; when the citizens are wearing garlands, he shall wear none; and he shall not enter within the limits of the place that has been purified for the assembling of the people. Any man who has been convicted of defying these prohibitions pertaining to sexual conduct shall be put to death (Aeschines. "Contra Timarchus,"
( he literally didn`t even exist, easy to understand if you`ve read anything about ancient Athens )
Note that Dover also mentioned in your source totally agree's that any man that had either prostituted himself or had any kind of homo relations was totally disregarded as a citizen p.22

Let's see the texts:

Plato talks about how homosexuals must worry about being found out:

If you are afraid of public opinion, and fear that if people find out your love affair you will be disgraced. (Phaedrus, 231 e.)

More Plato:
This law is the cause of countless blessings. For, in the first place, it follows the dictates of nature, and it serves to keep men from sexual rage and frenzy and all kindsof fornication, and from all excess in meats and drinks, and it ensures in husbands fondness for their own wives. (Laws, VIII. 839 a - b.)


In order to understand exactly why this theory has been so widely circulated we must first see who exactly are the supporters and why they support it.

Walter Pater (1890's a poet and tutor) he and his band of homos originally began this fiasco theory in Oxford. We find them introducing a totally new "theory" that Platonic love has nothing to do with "phyche" but is totally based on phisical attraction.
Later we find a list of wanna-be "historians" of Hellinic sexuality, see: Michel Foucault, John Boswell, John Winkler and David Halperin that were or are all HOMOS striving to make some connection between homos and Hellinism.

The reason, of course, is simple. The Hellines have always been viewed as a model of civilisation. So what better way to justify their "sick nature" than by connecting it to the greatness of the Hellinic civilization and thus legitimise same-sex?


After this short introduction, we get to the site you so generously provided.
A paper by some "grad student" that should have actually FLUNKED instead of being "rewarded" by putting this manifest of ignorance on a web site.


Plato: writes frequently about eros, above all in the Symposium and Phraedrus but just as instructive are comments in other dialogues about Socrates relationships with a number of younger men. The speech of Aischines against Timarchus gives a good example of oratory on homosexual acts from the 4th century.


True Plato does write frequently about eros and he frequently uses the terms "erastes-eromenos" but what do these words mean???

As seen in various texts "eromenos" clearly has the meaning:

Plato, Euthydemus 282b
there is no disgrace, Cleinias, or reprobation in making this a reason for serving and being a slave to either one's lover or any man, and being ready to perform any service that is honorable in one's eagerness to become wise.

Platos Symposium,

it is our rule that, just as in the case of the lovers it was counted no flattery or scandal for them to be willingly and utterly enslaved to their favorites, so there is left one sort of voluntary thraldom which is not scandalous; I mean, in the cause of virtue.
It is our settled tradition that when a man freely devotes his service to another in the belief that his friend will make him better in point of wisdom, it may be, or in any of the other parts of virtue, this willing bondage also is no sort of baseness or flattery. Let us compare the two rules 184b

Xenophon Symposium 8.8
[8]Now, I have always felt an admiration for your character, but at the present time I feel a much keener one, for I see that you are in love with a person who is not marked by dainty elegance nor wanton effeminacy, but shows to the world physical strength and stamina, virile courage and sobriety. Setting one's heart on such traits gives an insight into the lover's character.

If we continue:
Xenophon Symposium
[26] Furthermore, the favourite who realizes that he who lavishes physical charms will be the lover's sovereign will in all likelihood be loose in his general conduct; but the one who feels that he cannot keep his lover faithful without nobility of character will more probably give heed to virtue. [27] But the greatest blessing that befalls the man who yearns to render his favourite a good friend is the necessity of himself making virtue his habitual practice. For one cannot produce goodness in his companion while his own conduct is evil, nor can he himself exhibit shamelessness and incontinence and at the same time render his beloved self-controlled and reverent"

Platos Republic 403b
may not come nigh, nor may lover and beloved who rightly love and are loved have anything to do with it? No, by heaven, Socrates, he said, it must not come nigh them. Thus, then, as it seems, you will lay down the law in the city that we are founding, that the lover may kiss1 and pass the time with and touch the beloved as a father would a son, for honorable ends, if he persuade him.

A character in Plutarch's Erotikos (Dialogue on Love) argues that the noble lover of beauty "falls" in love wherever he sees excellence and splendid natural endowment without regard for any difference in physiological detail.

So we see that gender just becomes an irrelevant detail and instead the excellence in character and beauty is what is most important.

We must understand that these texts represent a philosophic discussion and not an exact representation of everyday life, beside this all texts give a meaning of obtaining knowledge and virtue, none of them refer to anything sexual as anyone can see.


Your "source" also mentions Socrates as one of the arguments to support the alleged homo relations.
Had the author read any of the texts he mentions he would have seen that even though Socrates is mentioned to have had many "eromenoi" there is absolutely NO reference of sexual intercourse but the exact opposite.
Beside the above quote from Xenophon's Symposium, if you read Plato's Symposium you'd find that Socrates clearly tells Critias NOT to see his "eromenos" sexualy. So the very first thing we understand is that "eromenos" obviously means something else, otherwise why would he continue and almost argues with him about it.

Another part of Symposium that MUST be noted is thatPlato uses the "corrupt" Alcibiades to seduce Socrates,we find that not only does Socrates NOT "give in" but he actually attempts to guide Alcibiades towards vitue.

Is this possible, Socrates the "erastes" of so many youths reject the "offer" of the most beautiful Alcibiades????
It is. We find Alcibiades swearing that nothing ever happened between them, but interestingly enough, Socrates throughout the whole text of the Symposium is titled as Alcibiades' "erastes", when all he does is GUIDE him.

Equally interesting in the Symposium is Diotima's role in the discussion.
Socrates, having been instructed in matters of love by the priestess, Diotima, seeks to show that by understanding "Eros" (love), we can learn to approach the Forms, toward which our souls are oriented. This is done initially by admiring a young man's body as a thing of beauty. One continues this "aesthetical ascent" by the admiration of all bodies, then on to human institutions -- such as the state -- until, finally, one can come to understand and love the beauty not only of nature but of the Supreme Beauty of God Himself: an evolutionary process that is ultimately meant to purify one's soul, and free one from the enslavement of the flesh.

I'll avoid to mention Aeschynes, since we could actually quote the entire text to support the FACT that the ancient Hellines actually saw homos as a disgrace.

One of the most extraordinary features of the period was the homosexualisation of myth. Ganymede was only Zeus' servant in Homer but now became seen as his beloved.

Not only do we have the pleasure of being entertained by his ignorance but he also falls so low he actually performs Hybris.

What this "grad student" conveniently avoids to give is the morphologic analysis of the name Ganymede given by Xenophon in his Symposium  8.54-58

"to show you that not men only, but gods and heroes, set greater store by friendship of the soul than bodily enjoyment. Thus those fair women [55] whom Zeus, enamoured of their outward beauty, wedded, he permitted mortal to
remain; but those heroes whose souls he held in admiration, these he
raised to immortality. Of whom are Heracles and the Dioscuri, and
there are others also named.[56] As I maintain, it was not for his
body's sake, but for his soul's, that Ganymede[57] was translated to
Olympus, as the story goes, by Zeus. And to this his very name bears
witness, for is it not written in Homer?

And he continues 8.59
"Knowing deep devices {medea} in his mind, [59]
which is as much as to say, "Knowing wise counsels in his mind."
Ganymede, therefore, bears a name compounded of the two words, "joy"
and "counsel," and is honoured among the gods, not as one "whose
body," but "whose mind" "gives pleasure."

Classical sources include Aristophanes' comedy

First of all, concerning Aristophanes, Euripides or any other comedy and drama creator, it is completely wrong and inappropriate to use theatre plays as historical sources.
A play is just a play, it servers the need of learning together with entertainment. The most accurate sources are the myths themselves. It is equivalent to being a historian of the 41st century and study history of our times bases upon comedy shows.

Not exactly sure how he manages to come to the conclusion that Aristophanes is a "good" source to find homos. Since in every chance he gets he manages to ridicule homos in every occasion he mentions them, even when talking about the God Dionysus in "Frogs".
If a comedian of our time was to use terms equivalent to "lakkoproktos", "euruproktos" and "kunaidos", all used by Aristophanes. He would be "labeled" racsist and homophobic, banned from every theater. (we must note that out of a total of 6.000 texts these 3 words appear only 20 times, so as you see they didn't waste their time on homos)
The very fact that he uses these terms for Dionysus, commiting HYBRIS is proof enough that homos wereconsidered disgusting and NEVER accepted.

Anyway, I think this is more than enough for now, Dover, Sappho and the band of Thebes have been discussed in previous posts.

To the gods we mortals are all ignorant.Those old traditions from our ancestors, the ones we've had as long as time itself, no argument will ever overthrow, in spite of subtleties sharp minds invent.
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  Quote conon394 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2005 at 00:50

Phallanx

Well you certainly seem to have had the field to yourself recently.

If, he had previously "gone public" with his homosexual lifestyle though he would have been permitted to live, he would, under Athenian law (graf etairsios), not be permitted to become one of the nine archons, nor to discharge the office of priest, nor to
act as an advocate for the state, nor shall he hold any office whatsoever, at home or abroad, whether filled by lot or by election; he shall not be sent as a herald; he shall not take part in debate, nor be present at the public sacrifices; when the citizens are wearing garlands, he shall wear none; and he shall not enter within the limits of the place that has been purified for the assembling of the people. Any man who has been convicted of defying these prohibitions pertaining to sexual conduct shall be put to death (Aeschines. "Contra Timarchus," ( he literally didn`t even exist, easy to understand if you`ve read anything about ancient Athens )

Yes, yes, but two points. First Timarchus, if you take Aeschines at face value; he manifestly did engage in homosexual prostitution and then subsequently had a career as a rather prominent politician. Under the law you are citing he should have been libel not just for removal of his active citizenship, but for death. He was of course, not put to death, which brings up the second point.  The Timarchus trial was hardly a modern sodomey case, Aeschines charged Timarchus with a whole laundry list of offenses, some actionable, some hearsay: prostitution, wasting his inheritance (and thus not being able to pay for liturgies or taxes), corruption and extortion (from allied states), etc.  Since we know only that Timarchus lost, it is rather difficult to say what swayed every juror or the majority of them. The issue is even more blurry when you remember what was really happening was part of the political fallout of the battle between Demosthenes and Aeschines, how many jurors were really voting for or against renewed hostility to Macedonia (Demosthenes via his ally Timarchus) or for peace with Macedonia (for Aeschines, and against the allies of Demosthenes)?

In addition, you have also failed to address the fact that several (at least 3) Athenian citizens who were willing to pay for and use the services of Timarchus, faced no penalty or censure. If the issue was homosexuality, not prostitution, one would rather expect a modern sodomy law were both participants in the homosexual act were guilty of a crime. 

 

 

 

 

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  Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2005 at 03:17
Interesting, but you probably missed the fact that Aeschynes in 1.45 tells us:

"I remember that we are in court, and so I have drafted an affidavit for Misgolas, true and not indelicate in phrasing, as I flatter myself. For I do not set down the actual name of the thing that Misgolas used to do to him, nor have I written anything else that would legally incriminate a man who has testified to the truth"

So actually we see that Aeschynes saves the witness from any punishment and probably does the same for the others, even though we have no way of knowing what actually happened to them.

But even if he didn't he clarifies the issue in 1.72:

"Now what man is so reckless that he would be willing to give in plain words testimony which, if the testimony be true, would inevitably amount to information against himself as liable to extreme punishment?"

As for Timarchus.
Isn't this exactly what Aeschynes is trying to prove? That he's guilty.
The whole point is that the jury didn't know of his actions otherwise he would have faced the penalties and the whole speech would have been worthless, since he couldn't press charges on Aeschynes anyway.

Specific sodomy law???
But as I said the text is crystal clear on the topic homosexuality.
Well maybe I didn't so I'll post it again.

Aeschynes uses the law of "grafi eterisios".
"eterisios" from "eteros" or as seen in texts "hetairos"= comrade, companion.
we also find the well known "hetaires", what we concider today, thanks to all this mistranslation as whores, but the word clearly gives a different meaning, so they should actually be concidered companions or I think the more apropriate meaning would be something similar to mistress.

If the argument was only about his selling his body (as a whore does) then the law should have used the term "porni"  from "pernimi"= "to sell" and has the meaning of whore , prostitute.

The very FACT that in 1.29 Aeschynes uses the words
"H peporneumenos,”physin, H etairikos:”=
"either prostituted or has became a "comrade/companion" (in short, his bitch)

source for all texts:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cache/perscoll_Greco-Roman.html




Edited by Phallanx
To the gods we mortals are all ignorant.Those old traditions from our ancestors, the ones we've had as long as time itself, no argument will ever overthrow, in spite of subtleties sharp minds invent.
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2005 at 15:52
Antique homosexuality is largely a myth. The boundaries of intimacy between men were simply wider, and there is nothing unique about it, you'll find the same kind of male bonding in sources dating from the strictly catholic middle ages. I assure you, the churchmen and monks behind these texts certainly weren't writing homosexual romances, though it might seem so to a modern reader. No, they were merely carrying on the traditions handed down to them from antiquity.

It's a lost sensibility, nothing more.
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  Quote jiangweibaoye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2005 at 17:31

To all,

When I read that Alexander the Great was Gay/Bisexual, I found it hard to believe.  But that fact is constantly being reinforced.  Then I found out that the Spartan culture, Gay activities was manditory.  I guess it is part of the culture of Greece and Rome at the time.  I have nothing against that lifestyle, but when you bring it up, some people are very defensive about it. 

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  Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2005 at 18:39
It's logical to be "defensive" about the whole issue since it was obviously invented by homos for one simple reason.

As I've mentioned before, the Hellines have always been viewed as a model of civilisation. So what better way to justify their sick nature than by connecting it to the greatness of the Hellinic civilization and thus legitimise same-sex?

They intentionally distort texts to connect Alexander to their "club", I read in another topic something about Hitler and the Nazi, I've seen the names Donatello, Da Vinci, King James...............
I've seen, the whole pathetic list of historic figures they attempt to connect to their pervesion, its literally endless.

Hitler and Nazis, I honestly couldn't care less, but how do you support this, why distort texts, what is your objective??
Do the rest of us go around telling everyone about what we'd prefer to do with a tall blonde, blue-eyed 38-26-36, endless legs......????

These are the questions we "homophobes" have. (homophobe NOT with the meaning of fear of them or of becoming one of them but with that of contempt !!!)

Once again about Alexander,
From our 3 Hellinic sources on Alexander (Arrian, Diodorus and Plutarch) we never once see the mistranslated terms "Erates' or "Eromenos" (according to the mistranslated theory the two members of the homo relationship) but we do find the words:
 "philos"= friend or
"malista timomenos"= very honoured.
Alexander himself calls Hephaestion "Philalexandros"= friend of Alexander.
And in the Latin sources (Curtius and Justin) we find "amicus"=friendly but we never once find "amans"= a lover.

So where do they come to the conclusion that he was homo/bi?
But of course by using wanna-be, self proclaimed historians that are homos themselves.

Anyway, to the Spartans

"Affectionate regard for boys of good character was permissible, but embracing them was held to be disgraceful, on the ground that the affection was for the body and not for the mind. Any man against whom complaint was made of any disgraceful embracing was deprived of all civic rights for life. (Plutarch "Ancient Customs of the Spartans", 7. 237 - c.)
To the gods we mortals are all ignorant.Those old traditions from our ancestors, the ones we've had as long as time itself, no argument will ever overthrow, in spite of subtleties sharp minds invent.
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2005 at 05:44
Yes, Phallanx, problem is, many modern readers interpret any sign of strong male friendship as possible homosexuality. With such an outset there will be no end to the speculation, it's history tabloid-style.

Sadly, some historians also hold to these beliefs, I remember my history books in senior high claimed homosexuality was rife in ancient Spartan military. No wonder people go off believing such things.

Not that I have anything against homosexuals, I have several homosexual friends. One should seek the facts with neither homophobic contempt nor homophile wishful thinking.
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  Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2005 at 07:55
Since this is the only relative topic to our prior discussion, I'll take it here.

Originally posted by Barış

Must you be so ultra-nationalist all the time?

I'm sure there were many bisexual people throughout the history. And Alexander was one of them.


Nationalism has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm saying..

While I too am also sure that throughout history there were a most probably large number of both bi- and homo-, the whole point is, that we can't say since there were then he also was one of them, but as in every historic issue/topic, we must present proof. Otherwise, we are just distorting historic facts.

It would be similar to someone of the 25th cent. saying that since homosexuals undoubtably exist today (then), then you too or I am (were since it would be a future discussion) a homo also, simply because they did exist. Where is the logic and what is the proof to support such a claim???

Originally posted by Constantine XI

Quite correct, from Caesar to Hadrian (that's 15 supreme rulers of the Western World) the only man we know who absolutely did not have sexual relations with men was Claudius.


Well Rome was a totally different Empire to that of Alexander's but again, how does this prove he was a homo- or bi- when none of the historians of his time mention nothing remotely close??

Originally posted by vulcan

Hmm ok so if Sapphic was indeed first used after the word lesbian what would the word be before these two to describe a female homosexual??

This is the whole point, there was no term to attested describe homosexuals-ality.. even the term "homosexual" is seen first attested in

"1892, in C.G. Chaddock's translation of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," from homo-, comb. form of Gk. homos "same" (see same) + Latin-based sexual (see sex)."

"The noun is first recorded 1912 in Eng., 1907 in French. In technical use, either male or female; but in non-technical use almost always male. Slang shortened form homo first attested 1929. The alternative homophile (1960) was coined in ref. to the homosexual regarded as a person of a particular social group, rather than a sexual abnormality. Homo-erotic first recorded 1916; homophobia is from 1969."

etymonline.com

Once you connect these and the previous dates to Walter Pater (mentioned before) everything starts to fall in place.

But Sappho's rhymes where considered erotic so Sappho was the beginning of this term. Why would they call all women interested in other women after an island name when its much more reasonable to call them from the first (Lesbian?) poet??


Well Sappho's poems aren't described as erotic (not in the conventional form) but as describing a form of "terror", she never describes the feelings as we usually see with terms of  joy, happiness..etc.. but as a torment. She never describes the joyfull feeling seen in others but an emptyness, pain and misery left from emense passion...

What is even more interesting is that we only have 1 whole poem by her, saved by Dionysos of Hallicarnasos.. while the rest are mere fragments that hardly allow us to understand the topic, let alone see homosexual emotions..
Also quite interesting as I've already mentioned is that Ovid, Athenaios and Suidas among others, speaking of her love with Phaon.
We know for a fact that she was a mother and wife that wrote "epithalamia"=  "wedding songs" that spoke, not of lesbian affairs but of the beauty of young girls that were about to become wifes and mothers themselves.
It's nothing more than a convenient distortion of the real facts to serve the cause of the specific community..


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  Quote Alkiviades Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2005 at 09:11

Phallanx, I think you are tad bit too homophobic... that leads you to rather peculiar conclusions, even though you are making a strong case about the fabrication of the "All Greeks were Homos" myth.

There are a gazillion references in both Greek and Roman sources talking rather openly about male homosexuality - and significantly fewer about female homosexuality (that could be intepredet quite easily: the position of women in the graeco-roman world was not in the center of the stage).

Aristophanes in all his works makes several points about homosexula. He mocks them, talks about lakkoproktous and male prostitutes selling their arse to the highest bidder, he mocks several prominent Athenias of his era that in one way or another have indulged in homosexual activity. In most cases, those "immoral" ones are supporting a female hetera and are having affairs with paides as well.

The very fact of so many references means that homosexuality (in reality: bisexuality, or more often pansexuality, panhedonism) was not only present but also widespread in Athens (the data we have for most of the other city-states is not conclusive and even the references about them come mostly from the Athenians). This is something one can't deny.

BUT: The fact that Aristophanes was a comedian with a mass appeal, meaning his works were meant to entertain the common Athenian citizen, not some intellectual elite or members of a single cult or whatever, and in these works he was badmouthing homosexuality as much as he did, can only lead us to understand that the practice was not socially accepted and was by most viewed as "an upper class vice" and not like some kind of semi-sacred institution as several historians (or "historians") want us to believed.

Not excactly marginal, or outcast, people in Athens that would indulge in homosexual activity were indeed treated as straying from normality.

but, there is another BUT: without the strict anti-homosexual Christian religion (one could expect only that by a tribal ultra-patriarchic "religion" that has become an ecumenical dogma - the survival of the "tribe" commands high fertility and if men screw other men they don't fertilize women) the ancient Greeks as all ancient urban mediteranean societies, had a much, much greater tolerance for activities straying from the sexual norm. This tolerance was even greater when the person straying was a prominent member of the society - more gossip, more badmouthing, but more impunity too.

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