Boylove in the Middle Ages

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The Middle Ages, or Medieval period, also called the post-classical era, lasted from the 5th to the 15th century.

The dark ages of boylove

This entry is intended to be an overview of boylove in the Medieval period and the articles in Category:Boylove in the middle ages. During the middle ages, homosexuality and boylove were not often differentiated in literature. These were very secretive times due to the strong influence of the Catholic church in Europe.


  • Papst Sixtus IV. (1414 - 1484) - according to Stefano Infessura he was homosexual and made his boys to cardinals.
  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519) was he boylover it seems. 1490 he took the 10- year-old Giacomo into his home and they lived together until Leonardos death.
  • Michelangelo (1475 - 1564) was a boylover too it seems, but it is not as sure as Leonardo.
  • Ibn Ammar and Muhammad Ibn Abbad Al Mutamid - In 1053 the nineteen year old poet Ibn Ammar was appointed tutor to the thirteen year old future ruler of Sevilla, with whom he promptly fell in love. Separated from the boy by his father, they were later reunited but eventually fell out. Al Mutamid killed his old lover with his own hands in 1086, only to then give him a sumptuous funeral.[1]
  • Muhammad Ibn Abbad Al Mutamid and Saif - "Henri Peres tells us: 'Sodomy is practised in all the courts of the Muluk al-Tawaif. It is sufficient to point out here the love of al-Mutamid for Ibn Ammar and for his page Saif...'"[2]
  • Raoul II, Archbishop of Tours and Jean, Archbishop of Orléans - Raoul appointed his adolescent lover (also known as "Flora") in 1097 to the post in Orléans over the vehement objections of other prelates.[3]
  • Ailred of Rievaulx and Simon (1110 - 1167) Scotland - Ailred, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Rievaulx who was in his mid-twenties in 1135, was in love with a young monk named Simon, about fourteen years of age. The relationship is thought to have remained chaste.[4] [5]
  • Nicoleto Marmagna and Giovanni Braganza - In 1357 the Venetian court I Signori di Notte ("The Gentlemen of the Night") sentenced the boatman and his young servant to be burned at the stake. Their relationship of many years standing had been discovered during a voyage from Mestre to Venice. Crompton, p.202)

The golden age of boylove

Boylove has always, at least until European colonization, been very well tolerated in Islamic lands. Travelers could not be clearer. North Africa (Maghreb) was until independence a sex tourism destination. In the 1980s (?) Morocco threw the sex tourists out and said it was tired of being a boy brothel.

The term "Middle Ages" is not uniformly applicable. In Spain, unless you view the Muslims as foreigners (they were there 800 years) Spain had a golden age. Some kings had boy harems.

America (Pre-Columbian era)

North America

Certain Native American groups throughout North America prized boys as lovers. Of the Koniagas of Kodiak Island and the Thinkleets, we read from missionary accounts that: 'The most repugnant of all their practices is that of male concubinage. A Kodiak mother will select her handsomest and most promising boy, and dress and rear him as a girl, teaching him only domestic duties, keeping him at women's work, associating him with women and girls, in order to render his effeminacy complete. Arriving at the age of ten or fifteen years, he is married to some wealthy man who regards such a companion as a great acquisition. These male concubines are called Achnutschik or Schopans' (the authorities quoted being Holmberg, Langsdorff, Billing, Choris, Lisiansky and Marchand). The same is the case in Nutka Sound and the Aleutian Islands, where 'male concubinage obtains throughout, but not to the same extent as amongst the Koniagas.' The male concubines have their beards carefully plucked out as soon as the face-hair begins to grow, and their chins are tattooed like those of the women. In California the first missionaries found the same practice, the youths being called Joya."[6]

Central America

Though early Mayans are thought to have been strongly antagonistic to same-sex relationships, later Mayan states employed pederastic practices. Their introduction was ascribed to the god Chin. One aspect was that of the father procuring a younger lover for his son. Fray Juan de Torquemada mentions that if the (younger) boy was seduced by a stranger, the penalty was equivalent to that for adultery. Bernal Diaz reported statues of male pairs making love in the temples at Cape Catoche, Yucatan.[7] [8]

The Middle East and Central Asia

  • Muhammad Al-Amin, Caliph, (787-813) Al-Amin was known to be fond of eunuchs (understood here as for sexual pleasure) was seen by many at the time as a deficit in his character. Al-Tabari notes this fondness for eunuchs.[9] Mernissi says that when Al-Amin's mother "discovered his homosexual tendencies, she would dress attractive boys like Ghullam" (Turkish guards) to "cure him."[10] [11]
  • Abd-ar-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba, (912-961)
  • Gongmin, King of Korea, (1330-1374) Following his wife's death, Gongmin became quite interested in the love of young boys. He ceased attending to matters of state, and spent all of his time pursuing boys and Buddhism. A few years later he established an organization for seeking out and recruiting handsome young boys.[12]


  1. Louis Crompton, Homosexuality and Civilization, p.167
  2. Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not a Muslim p.342
  3. Eugene Rice, in glbtq[1]
  4. Crompton, p.183
  6. (Bancroft, i. 415 and authorities Palon, Crespi, Boscana, Motras, Torquemada, Duflot and Fages). (R. F. Burton, Terminal Essay)
  7. Pete Sigal, "The Politicization of Pederasty among the Colonial Yucatecan Maya" in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Jul., 1997), pp. 1-24
  8. Wikipedia Pederasty
  9. Tabari and Fishbein 1992, 128.
  10. Mernissi 2001, 140.