(BLSB) - A Mention of Pederasty as a Sensual Pleasure in the Parable of Herakles at the Crossroads by Prodikos, as Depicted in a Passage from the 'Memorabilia' by Xenophon

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Hercules at the cross-roads, he is seated at the right, to the left are female personifications of Virtue and Vice (c. 1547–1587). Engraving by Adamo (Ghisi) Scultori after a drawing by Giulio Romano. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012.136.306.


From Greek Homosexuality by K. J. Dover (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1989). First published by Gerald Duckworth & Co. in England in 1978. Footnote omitted.

Xen. Mem. ii 1.21-33 presents a version of a famous allegorical composition in which Prodikos represented Virtue and Vice as offering Herakles a choice between two ways of life. In 1.24 Vice says:

You will give no thought to war and action, but will pass your time considering what agreeable food or drink you can find, or what sight or sound would give you delight, or what smell or touch, and what paidika’s company would make you happy.


Hercules bound by Amor. Cameo. Roman, Republican, 3rd quarter of the 1st century BC. Carnelian, dark orange. Viena, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Antikensammlung, IXb 656.

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