(Boylove Documentary Sourcebook) - The Tragic Pederastic Ancient Greek Love Story of the Tyrant Hipparinus II of Syracuse and Achaeus, as Recorded in 'Sufferings in Love', Compiled by Parthenius of Nicaea

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Aerial view of the ancient Greek theatre of Syracuse in Sicily, Italy.

From Sufferings in Love (Ἐρωτικὰ Παθήματα Erotica Pathemata, 1st Century BC), compiled by Parthenius of Nicaea, in Hellenistic Collection: Philitas. Alexander of Aetolia. Hermesianax. Euphorion. Parthenius, translated by J. L. Lightfoot, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2010). Footnotes omitted.

Note: Hipparinus II the Younger was a son of Dionysius I the Elder (c. 432–367 BC), and a tyrant of Syracuse from 352 to 351 BC.[1]


(1) Hipparinus the tyrant of Syracuse fell in love with a very beautiful boy called Achaeus. He used many inducements and diversions to persuade him to leave home and stay with him. Time went by, and word came of an enemy attack on one of the territories occupied by him: immediate action was needed. Hipparinus, on his way out, instructed the boy that if anyone should offer him violence inside the palace, then he was to kill him with the short sword he had given him.

(2) Then, coming to blows with the enemy, he defeated them soundly, and afterwards turned to wine and carousing. Inflamed with drink and desire for the boy, he spurred his horse away to Syracuse; when he reached the house where he had told the boy to stay, he concealed his identity but adopted a Thessalian accent, and declared he had killed Hipparinus. The boy was outraged and, it being dark, delivered Hipparinus a fatal wound. He lived on for three days after that, and died after absolving Achaeus of the murder.

Academic nude of pupil at the École de Mars, with short sword, toga and Phrygian cap (c. 1795). Anonymous. Oil on canvas, 128 cm × 70.2 cm (Vizille, France: Musée de la Révolution française).


See also