Ancient Rome

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Ancient Greece

Puce 9x9 gr.png Alcibiades Puce 9x9 gr.png Ancient Greece Puce 9x9 gr.png Athenian pederasty Puce 9x9 gr.png Archias of Corinth Puce 9x9 gr.png Ephebophilia Puce 9x9 gr.png Erastes Puce 9x9 gr.png Eromenos Puce 9x9 gr.png The Exquisite Corpse of Ganymede by Andrew Calimach Puce 9x9 gr.png Greek love Puce 9x9 gr.png Greek terms applied to pederastia Puce 9x9 gr.png Gyges of Lydia Puce 9x9 gr.png Harmodius and Aristogeiton Puce 9x9 gr.png Herodotus Puce 9x9 gr.png Historical boylove relationships in ancient Greece Puce 9x9 gr.png Palaestra Puce 9x9 gr.png Pederasty Puce 9x9 gr.png Pederasty in ancient Greece Puce 9x9 gr.png Philolaus Puce 9x9 gr.png Philosophy of Greek pederasty Puce 9x9 gr.png Spartan pederasty Puce 9x9 gr.png Symposium Puce 9x9 gr.png Theban pederasty Puce 9x9 gr.png Trochus/Hoop

Gods and mythology

Puce 9x9 gr.png Apollo Puce 9x9 gr.png Cyparissus Puce 9x9 gr.png Dionysus Puce 9x9 gr.png Eros Puce 9x9 gr.png Ganymede Puce 9x9 gr.png Hyacinth Puce 9x9 gr.png Orpheus Puce 9x9 gr.png Zephyrus
Puce 9x9 gr.png Zeus

Ancient Rome

Puce 9x9 gr.png Ancient Rome Puce 9x9 gr.png Augustus Puce 9x9 gr.png Catamite Puce 9x9 gr.png Commodus Puce 9x9 gr.png Definitions of Roman legal terms Puce 9x9 gr.png Hadrian and Antinous Puce 9x9 gr.png Historical boylove relationships in ancient Rome Puce 9x9 gr.png Lex Scantinia Puce 9x9 gr.png Plutarch Puce 9x9 gr.png Roman Emperors Puce 9x9 gr.png Tiberius

Boylove in the middle ages

Puce 9x9 gr.png Boylove in the middle ages Puce 9x9 gr.png Pederastic relationships in history - Post-antiquity to present Puce 9x9 gr.png Pederasty in the Renaissance

Boylove in modern times

Puce 9x9 gr.png Boylove in modern times Puce 9x9 gr.png Historical boylove relationships in modern times Puce 9x9 gr.png Pederastic relationships in history - Post-antiquity to present Puce 9x9 gr.png Pederasty in the modern world


Puce 9x9 gr.png Kiss (Briseis Painter) Puce 9x9 gr.png Man with ephebe Puce 9x9 gr.png Warren Cup Puce 9x9 gr.png Tomb of the Diver

References material

Puce 9x9 gr.png A Problem in Greek Ethics (book) Puce 9x9 gr.png Erastes Puce 9x9 gr.png Eromenos Puce 9x9 gr.png Krater Puce 9x9 gr.png Kylix Puce 9x9 gr.png Lovers' Legends: The Gay Greek Myths (book) Puce 9x9 gr.png Paidika Puce 9x9 gr.png Reading list category ancient Greece


Portal:History E

Unlike the Greeks, Romans never institutionalized pederasty. [1] Man-boy relationships were driven primarily by sexual desire, and there was no educating or civil pursuit involved. Furthermore, whereas the Greek erastes was charged with protecting the young eromenos, no such obligation existed in Rome.[2] Roman boylove though influenced by the Greeks slaves brought to Rome often was as violent and brutal as the Romans themselves. The Romans tended to value sexual conquest above romance and love. However that is not to say that Roman men never fell in love with boys which of course they did and sometimes formed lifelong relationships. Pederasty came in and out of fashion during different periods of both the republic and the empire. Roman patricians frequently condemned the practice of Greek love publicly while privately complaining that “a pretty boy cost more than a plot of land ….” [3] Many politicians and other affluent and influential Romans often kept young slave boys as lovers. Much romantic poetry written by older men to the boys who they loved or who's beauty they admired last to this day from around the time of Augustus [4]

Elite Romans often kept a puer delicatus ("exquisite boy") as a form of high-status sexual consumption (status symbol), a practice that continued well into the Imperial era. The puer delicatus was a slave chosen from the pages who served in a high-ranking household. He was selected for his good looks and grace to serve at his master's side, where he is often depicted in art. Among his duties, at a convivium (Roman drinking party equivalent of the Greek Symposium) he would enact the role of Ganymede, the Trojan youth taken by Zeus to serve as a divine cupbearer.[5] Though the Romans viewed Greek love, or the cultural model of Greek pederasty with a certain romanticism and were mostly tolerant of the practice, it continued to be viewed as foreign and exotic or not quite the Roman way by the general public. Attacks on emperors such as Nero and Elagabalus, whose young male partners accompanied them in public for official ceremonies, who were criticized for the perceived "Greekness" of their behavior.[6]

Roman Law

Roman Law as described in the Lex Scantinia mainly regulated the sexuality of freeborn men and boys. Romans considered men and boys who took the passive position in sexual intercourse as unmanly thus the laws were written to protect the manhood of Roman citizens. Homosexuality and pederasty in Rome were acceptable and legal only within an inherently unequal relationship; male Roman citizens retained their masculinity as long as they took the active, penetrating role (or at least kept up the appearance of propriety), and the appropriate male sexual partner was a prostitute or slave, who would nearly always be non-Roman.[7] Only youths from freeborn families in good standing were covered under the law; [8] children born or sold into slavery, or those who fell into slavery through military conquest, were subject to prostitution or sexual use by their masters. Male prostitutes and entertainers, even if technically "free," were considered infames, of no social standing, and were also excluded from the protections afforded the citizen's body. Although male slaves were sometimes granted freedom in recognition of a favored sexual relationship with their master, in cases of love and genuine affection the freed slaves may have remained legally slaves, since under the Lex Scantinia the couple could have been prosecuted if both were free citizens.[9] However, these laws were largely ignored by the Roman populace and tended to only be utilized as a political weapon. "The infrequency with which the Lex Scantinia is invoked in the literary sources suggests that prosecutions during the Republican era were mainly aimed at harassing political opponents". [10]


  1. Percy, William A. Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece. University of Illinois Press, 1996. CHAPTER VI ISBN 0252067401
  3. Polybius (31.25)
  5. Pollini, "Warren Cup," p. 34.
  6. Caroline Vout, Power and Eroticism in Imperial Rome (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 136ff.
  7. Helen King, "Sowing the Field: Greek and Roman Sexology," in Sexual Knowledge, Sexual Science: The History of Attitudes to Sexuality (Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 30.
  8. Walters, "Invading the Roman Body," pp. 34–35; Richlin, The Garden of Priapus, p. 224.
  9. James L. Butrica, "Some Myths and Anomalies in the Study of Roman Sexuality," in Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition (Haworth Press, 2005), pp. 234–236.
  10. Butrica, "Some Myths and Anomalies in the Study of Roman Sexuality," p. 231; Ray Laurence, Roman Passions: A History of Pleasure in Imperial Rome (Continuum, 2009, 2010), p. 68.

See also