(BLSB) - The Age Range for the Younger Partner in a Pederastic Relationship as Given in a Poem by Strato

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A beardless youth engaging in anal sex with a boy. Warren Cup. Roman silver goblet with relief decoration of homoerotic scenes, ca. 15 BC–15 AD. Said to be from Bittir (ancient Bethther), near Jerusalem. London, British Museum, 1999,0426.1.


From Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents, edited by Thomas K. Hubbard (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003). Footnote omitted.

Strato wrote during the time of the Roman emperor Hadrian (117–38 C.E.) and compiled a collection of his own and earlier poets’ pederastic epigrams.

[...]

6.60 Strato, AP 12.4

I delight in the prime of a twelve-year-old,
But thirteen is more desirable than this.
He who masters twice seven has a sweeter flower of Love;
The one beginning thrice five is more delightful still.
The sixteenth is the year of the gods; the seventeenth
Is not for me to seek, but for Zeus.
But if one has desire for those yet older, no longer does he play,
But he now seeks the one “answering him back.”


A bearded man engaging in anal sex with a beardless youth. Warren Cup. Roman silver goblet with relief decoration of homoerotic scenes, ca. 15 BC–15 AD. Said to be from Bittir (ancient Bethther), near Jerusalem. London, British Museum, 1999,0426.1.

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