0. Even before Kenneth Dover's controversial book Greek Homosexuality, several people attempted to rewrite history. Orpheus was dismembered by the Maenads for advocating homosexual love. Would that represent the billions of people today? Article Continues Below Advertisement Practice of Pederasty in Ancient Greece Pederasty is defined as the sexual relationship between an adult man and a pubescent or adolescent boy. pederasty in particular was commonly practiced, at least by the Greek elites. You're comment has no point. David and Jonathan: A Secret Biblical Bromance? *Almost 7 of 10 Vancouver residents will be visible minorities in less than two decades. In much of Ancient Egyptian art, however, it is difficult to distinguish males from females, due to the androgynous features of the figur… That is why in the entire Hellenic literature of the ancient era, there is not a single description of a homosexual act, whereas there are plenty of heterosexual acts described in detail, with Zeus being one of the most prominent heterosexual alpha males of antiquity. Even though the available historical sources clearly indicate that the Greek king had different female lovers each night, he is considered the most famous gay man of antiquity, simply because a screenwriter in Hollywood imagined him as one. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, circa 500 BC. Please Donate So We Can Promote EuroCanadian Interests! Written by: Lisa Doyle Sexual relations between men are amongst the most remarked upon features of ancient Greek society. Achilles and Patroclus: Brothers from Other Mothers or Passionate Paramours? The most widespread and socially significant form of close same-sex sexual relations in ancient Greece was between adult men and adolescent boys, known as pederasty. The plot of the famous play Lysistrata by Aristophanes is one of the many examples. Symposium, Fresco from the Tomb of the Diver. Greek society saw homosexuality as a form of love and devotion in ancient times. Everything in the West’s cultural inheritance, whether in music, literature, or art, is coming down. Join PPC Campus Clubs in Canadian Universities! The most famous student of Socrates, Plato, is another notable ancient Greek whose writings have been totally misunderstood and taken out of context. Alexander the Great is another popular example. The famous writer rewrote the history of Greece and offered a gay version of classical antiquity in which his own 19th-century passion joined a continuous tradition that stretched back to the very foundation of European civilization. Available at: https://www.eurocanadian.ca/2018/04/the-myth-of-homosexuality-in-ancient-greece.html, Blanchard, A. Sex had a secondary role in Greek pederasty. It's amazing that so many Greeks are trying to still distance themselves from the Gay aspects of Ancient Greece (mostly men). Lesbianism was acknowledged in Ancient Egypt, though evidence of it is relatively sparse. I won’t bother to pretend that I approach these arguments with an open mind. The most common form of same-sex relationships between males in Greece was "paiderastia" meaning "boy love". In reality, Alexander the Great most likely slept with more women than Hugh Hefner! On the other hand, there are available sources – which Dover and Wilde of course ignored – that give us a clear idea of how the majority of the ancient Greeks felt about romance and sex. The Ancient Greek Symposium: Just an Excuse for Debauchery? The history of homosexuality goes back to the ancient civilizations. ‘A spartan woman giving a shield to her son’ (1826) by Jean-Jacques-François Le Barbier. In a 1976 study, Gwen Broude and Sarah Greene compared attitudes towards and frequency of homosexuality in the ethnographic studies available in the Standard cross-cult… Investigating the available historical sources that refer to same-sex “romance” amongst the ancient Greeks will help anyone to conclude that there is a huge difference between the actual facts and nostalgia of a desired utopia that never existed. Homosexuality and Pederasty in the Ancient and Pagan Worldview 1/3 - Hellenes and Vedic India Matamoro. Wilde’s scenarios have been used repeatedly in the 19th and 20th centuries and keep citing the same straight Greek personalities of the past in order to make a point that never existed. Sociologists suggest that this is nothing but the result of decades of oppression. We are so familiar with the narrative that ancient Greeks had a strict periphrastic system of male male sexual mentor ship and patronage fueled by the supposed sexual orientation of the ancients to power roles not gender where by so long as one maintained the role of dominant penetrator he was free to stick it where he wanted especially when it came to his social inferiors. It was age-defined and kept within strict social norms. The rest of the ancient Greek city-states would be classified as “macho” societies nowadays, with Sparta being disapproving of men who engaged in homosexual activities. A historian has to control his personal beliefs and sexual preference when he’s conducting historical research. However, sexuality was framed very differently in ancient Greece than it is in the modern Western World. ( CC BY SA 3.0 ), There’s no doubt that same-sex activity existed in ancient Greece, just like it always existed in every corner of the planet – in men, women, and even animals. The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe. However, it's not quite as cut and dried as a question of "gay versus straight." What we learn from Xenophon is that Socrates wasn’t a teacher who took advantage of his younger students as modern pop culture commonly presents. 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The ero… Instead, it's a much more complex cultural perspective, in which the approval—or disapproval—of sexual activity was based upon the social status of the people performing various acts. The Heraean Games - Prospero Piatti - 1901, oil on canvas. In ancient Greece, same-sex romantic and sexual attractions were often regarded as a matter of taste or preference rather than a moral issue. However, violating and altering history in the name of gay pride is not necessary. Through an analysis of scholarly journals of Greek works and commentaries on various well known critical sources, the distinction between the falsely assumed nature of homosexuality in ancient Greece and its actual absence of ‘sexuality’ is made. From Vulci. I won’t bother to pretend that I approach these arguments with an open mind. Starting from the premise that the Greek one was a strongly male chauvinist society where women didn’t enjoy any juridical or political right, homosexuality, but heterosexuality as well, was a continuous research for Beauty irrespective of the partner’s gender: one sexuality wasn’t alternative to the other and men and women could be loved indistinctly without exceptions as long as they could be described as … In recent years, we have witnessed an undeniable advancement of the LGBT rights through several legal cases and political campaigns. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. * Non-whites already make up close to half of the residents of Greater Toronto and Metro Vancouver. At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. Interestingly, those who enjoyed “receiving” were stigmatized within the Athenian society and were kinaidoi (men who allowed other men to penetrate them). 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