Pederastic relationships in classical antiquity

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In classical antiquity there were many known pederastic relationships. Though most involved adult men and adolescent boys, the age difference between the two could be as little as a couple of years, and an older youth (neaniskos) could take a younger one as his beloved.[1] In some of these cases both members became well-known historical figures, while in others, only one of the two may have, or only the relationship itself. The vast majority presumably never attracted the attention of any author whose writings have survived.

Though all such relationships were by definition homoerotic in nature, the individuals involved did not identify themselves as homosexuals -- at the time no one did -- but rather as ordinary men with ordinary, healthy desires. The nature of the relationships ranged from overtly sexual to what is now referred to (inaccurately) as platonic, in accordance with ancient ethical and philosophical standards.[2]

In the following list the pairs are listed in chronological order, and the name of the older partner precedes that of the younger. Though many more men are known to have engaged in such relationships, only those instances in which the name of the younger partner is known are included. In keeping with ancient traditions which promoted chaste pederastic relationships (See Philosophy of Greek pederasty) included below are also relationships in which there is evidence of an erotic component even in the absence of actual sexual relations.

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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

Art

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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

Portals

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Ancient Greece

Archaic period in Greece

Archias is a semi-legendary personage, the richest man in Corinth and the colonizer of Syracuse in 733 BCE. He left his native city as penance for having caused the death of Actaeon, "the loveliest and most modest of all the striplings of his age", son of Melissus of Argos. Archias fell in love with the boy, who rejected his advances, as he was already the beloved of Aeschyllus of Corinth [3]. Gathering his servants, he stormed the boy's house. The family and neighbors resisted and in the altercation Actaeon was torn apart. Telephus is another eromenos of Archias, who, in maturity, captained one of the ships that Archais used to cross to Sicilly and there slew Archias by some subterfuge, to avenge himself for having been taken advantage of when he had been the man's paidika. [4]
Philolaus was a memebr of the Bacchiadae, a ruling clan in Corinth, and a nomothete (lawgiver) of Thebes, Greece|Thebes, giving them the adoption laws. His eromenos won the Stadion race at the thirteenth Ancient Olympic Games of 728, which at that time only featured that one contest.The Sicilian colony dates By Molly Miller; p213 Diocles was compelled to leave Corinth and go to Thebes, perhaps as a result of being banished. Philolaus followed him, aware of the improper passion that Alcyone, his eromenos' mother, had for him. The two lived out their lives in Thebes, and were buried there together, their tombs across from each other. [5]
According to Nicolaus of Damascus, the Lydian tyrant (late 8th c. or early 7th c.) took as his paidika a handsome youth from Smyrna who was noted for his elegant clothes and fancy korymbos hairstyle, which he bound with a golden band. One day he was singing poetry to the local women, which outraged their male relatives, who grabbed Magnes, stripped him of his clothes and cut off his hair. [6]
  • Anton and Philistus
Alternative names, identified by Aristotle (according to Plutarch) for Cleomachus the Pharsalian and his eromenos, Thessaly|Thessalians famous for having helped the Chalkis|Chalcidians in their Lelantine War|war against the Eretrians, inspiring the Chalcidians to adopt pederasty after having previously prohibited it, some time between 700 and 650. The story goes that Cleomachus asked his eromenos if he would watch the fight. The youth answered "Yes," and helped his lover with his helmet, kissing him. Cleomachus then attacked the enemy and routed their cavalry, but lost his life. The tomb of Anton/Cleomachus was prominent in the agora in Chalcis, and a local song was sung in honor of lovers:

O boys whom Fate has granted beauty and valiant fathers,
Do not refuse to braves the enjoyment of your youth
For, together with bravery, gracious Eros
Flourishes in the cities of the Chalcidians. [7] [8]

An Athenian inscription of 500BCE refers to another version of this story. It reads "Here a man beloved by a boy swore an oath to join the strife of war that brings tears. I am consecrated to Gnathios whose life was lost in war, son of Heroas." On the obverse, the eromenos laments, "Gnathios, always hastening am I to greet you." [9]
  • Aristodemus and Cratinus
Semi-legendary couple, held to have sacrificed themselves to purify Athens of a plague sent by the gods during the 44th olympiad (604-601). The Cretan sage Epimenides had been invited to help rid the Athenians of the curse, which he claimed could only be lifted by means of a blood sacrifice. Cratinus, a handsome adolescent, offered himself willingly, and he was followed by his lover, Aristodemus. The tale was doubted by some in antiquity, and held to be a fiction.[10]
  • Alcaeus of Mytilene and Lycos, and Menon
The contemporary and also the presumed lover of Sappho, possibly around 600-590 BCE, Alcaeus wrote pederastic odes to his beloveds, among whom was "the handsome Lycos, with black eyes and hair.[11]
Another beloved was Menon, of whom he wrote, "I request that the charming Menon be invited, if I am to enjoy the drinking party."
  • Solon and Peisistratus
The Athenian law giver was said to have been the erastes of the future tyrant, born 605-600 (Matthew Dillon, Lynda Garland, Ancient Greece: social and historical documents from archaic times to the ... p117</ref>, as well as his cousin, presumably around 590-585 BCE. [12] Aristotle, however, claims that the story is "mere gossip" and cannot possibly be true due to the large difference in age between the two (about forty years). "It is evident from this that the story is mere gossip which states that Pisistratus was the eromenos of Solon" [13]
  • Peisistratus and Charmus
Peisistratos took Charmus of the deme Kolyttus, a syngenes (member of his extended family), as eromenos. Charmus was a life-long intimate of the Pisistratid dynasty. In middle age, in 557/6 he rose to the position of polemarch (defense minister).
  • Chariton of Agrigentum and Melanippus
Phalaris, tyrant of Agrigentum around 565-549 BCE, attempted to seduce Melanippus, Chariton's eromenos. The two lovers plotted to avenge themselves by killing Phalaris. Chariton was discovered and tortured to divulge accomplices, but remained silent. Melanippus, to save his friend, presented himself and freely confessed. The tyrant, impressed, set both free, but sent them into exile. About them, the Suda records that "For Chariton and Melanippos breathed together in love. Chariton was the lover, but Melanippos, the beloved, his soul set on fire towards his inspired friend, made known the spur of love with equal honour.[14] Their valor and love were also celebrated in a Delphic oracle:
Blessed were Chariton and Melanippus:
They showed mortals the way to a friendship that was divine. [15]
According to Aelian, the facts are different: Melanippus brought a suit against a friend of Phalaris, who asked the youth to withdraw his action. He refused, but the judges refused the suit out of fear of the tyrant. Enraged, Melanippus asked Chariton's help in staging an uprising. Fearing betrayal, Chariton acted alone, was cuaght and under torture refused to name any accomplices. Melanippus stepped forward of his own accord, leading Phalaris to pardon them both, under exile but able to enjoy the profits of their estates. [16]
  • Charmus and Hippias
After having been the eromenos of the father, Pisistratus, Charmus became, probably around 555 BCE, the erastes of the son and future tyrant, who was born in the late 570s [17]. As Charmus' daughter, Myrrhina, was exceptionally beautiful, Pisistratus chose her to be wife to Hippias, in 557/6, according to Kleidemos.
Charmus' son, Hipparchus, archon of 496/5, [18], named after his erastes' second son, was the very first Athenian to be ostracized, in 487, once the law was passed by Kleisthenes, who did so expressly to get him banished. Hipparchus was the leader and representative of the friends of the tyrants, and was agitating for the return of his brother-in-law, Hippias, exiled in 511/10, and for the appeasement of the Persians. [19]
In Charmus' honor, a statue of Eros was erected, either by Pisistratus or Hippias, before the entrance of the Akademia, where the runners in the sacred torch race lit their torches. The inscription noted that Charmus had been the first to dedicate to love. The votive part read:
Eros of many devices, Charmus built you this altar
Among the shady boundaries of the Gymnasium.
Clement of Alexandria, however, asserts it was Charmus who invented the cult of Eros and had the statue erected, to thank the god for the satisfactions he gained from having "carried off a young lad." [20][21]
  • Prokleides and Hipparchus
Prokleides, likely an Athenian notable, was erastes to Hipparchus, the younger son of Pisistratus. Later in life Hipparchus gained a reputation as erotikos, given to love affairs, and philomousos, fond of the arts. He built up a large library, and invited the poets Anacreon and Simonides to Athens. His predilections led to his death, as he was assassinated by Harmodius, a noble youth who had rejected his advances and whose family he had insulted in revenge for the rejection. Prokleides, also known as Eukleides, also is known for setting up the Hermes Trikephalos, a three-headed road-marker statue, on the Hestia Road. [22].
  • Theognis of Megara and Cyrnus
The poet, thought to have lived around the middle of the sixth c. BCE, addressed many of his poems to his young beloved, using them to pass on his wisdom to the boy.[23]
  • Timagoras and Meles
A metic (immigrant) potter around 550 to 520 BCE, Timagoras fell in love with Meles, an Athenian boy. Disdainful of the metic, a social inferior, the boy told him to go jump off the Acropolis. Timagoras was not concerned for his life and wanted to give the boy everything he asked for, so he threw himself off the cliff and was killed in the fall. Meles felt deep remorse and jumped off the same rock, losing his own life. The other immigrants raised an altar to Timagoras and worshipped him there as Anteros, the avenging spirit of his love. [24][25]
  • Polycrates and Smerdies
The love of the tyrant of Samos Island|Samos for his Thrace|Thracian favorite, some time between 535 BCE and 515 BCE, was recorded by the poet Anacreon.[26]
  • Polycrates and Bathyllus
The tyrant dedicated a statue of his beloved in the temple of Hera in Samos. [27]
  • Anacreon and Bathyllus

Legend has it that while in Samos, Anacreon competed with the tyrant for the love of another beautiful boy, Bathyllus, who is considered the most famous of his beloveds, and whom he celebrated in his poems, such as the following one:

O boy, with virgin-glancing eye,
I call thee, but thou dost not hear;
Thou know'st not how my soul doth cry
For thee, its charioteer. [28][29]
  • Anacreon and Critias
Hipparchus invited Anacreon to Athens after the death of Polycrates. There Anacreon took an eromenos, in whose house he lived, and who, in a reversal of the usual roles, wrote love poetry to his erastes. It is not certain which Critias this is, though it has been proposed that it is the same as the eponymous archon.[30][31]
Aristogeiton was a commoner from the middle classes, while Harmodius came from a noble Athenian family. Hipparchus, the son of the tyrant (or by Aristotle's account, a younger hotheaded brother of his, Thessalos) made an advance to Harmodius, who was already Aristogeiton's eromenos. The youth rejected his suitor, who in revenge denounced either Harmodius as malakos (effeminate, suggesting also sexual penetration) or his ostensibly virgin sister as dishonorable, leading to his sister's expulsion from a procession to which she had been summoned to carry the ceremonial basket.
In order to avenge the insult to his family, Harmodius plotted with his erastes to assassinate the two brothers, Hippias and Hipparchus. Aristogeiton, wanting himself to avenge the attempted seduction of his eromenos, assented, and a plot was hatched that involved a number of other accomplices. Their plot misfired, and they only succeeded in assassinating Hippias' younger brother, Hipparchus. Harmodius lost his life in the attempt, while Aristogeiton died under torture a short while later.
The two were later lionized by the Athenian democrats, and their 514 BCE plot to assassinate Hippias was credited with the overthrow of tyranny in Athens. [32]

Classical Greece

  • Thorax and Hippocleas
Both lovers were Thessalian, the erastes a prince and his eromenos a young athlete who was the victor in the footrace at the Pythian games in 498. The boy's beauty was appreciated by both young and old, and among men as well as among women. [33] It was Thorax who commissioned Pindar's poem, the tenth Pythian Ode, in which the names of the two are immortalized.[34]
  • Ilas and Hagesidamus
Hagesidamus of Epizephyrian Locris was the adolescent victor at pankration on the occasion of the 76th Olympiad in 476. His trainer, Ilas, is thought to have also been his lover, based on the references and allusions in the poem which records their names and deeds: "Victorious as a boxer in the Olympics, let Hagesidamus give thanks to Ilas, just as Patroclus did to Achilles. A man aided by the arts of a god would whet one who is born to excellence and spur him toward awesome fame.[35] Though some commentators have denied any erotic connotation to the relationship as described by Pindar, others consider that "The central reason for interpreting the Ilas-Hagesidamus relationship as not merely didactic is the application of Achilles and Patroclus as a mythological analogy.[36]
  • Parmenides of Elea and Zeno of Elea
According to Plato, Zeno was "tall and fair to look upon" and was "in the days of his youth . . . reported to have been beloved by Parmenides.[37] This would have occurred around 475 BCE.
  • Parmenides of Elea and Empedocles
The younger philosopher was first student and later the eromenos of Parmenides, according to Porphyry in his Philosophical History.[38]
  • Hiero I of Syracuse and Daelochus
Hiero, tyrant of Syracuse, surrounded himself with pederastic intellectuals and had a number of lovers. Around 470 BCE, on being challenged by Simonides on the ethics of being a pederast while a tyrant, he replied: "My passion for Daelochus arises from the fact that human nature perhaps compels us to want from the beautiful, but I have a very strong desire to attain the object of my passion [only] with his love and consent.[39]
  • Antileon and Hipparinos
Natives of Herakleia, in Lucania near Metapontum, the two were famed as tyrant killers in the style of Harmodius and Aristogiton. Antileon, scion of a notable family, fell in love with the handsome Hipparinos, a boy from a good family. The youth however despised his suitor. The latter, to prove his sincerity, declared himself willing to do anything for the boy's love. Hipparinos, to mock him, told him to fetch a precious goblet securely kept inside the fortress that was occupied by the tyrant of Herakleia and his soldiers. Antileon scaled the ramparts, killed the guards and brought back the goblet, thus winning the boy's love.
Soon thereafter the tyrant of Herakleia himself fell for the boy. Antileon advised his eromenos to feign acceptance and to invite the tyrant, but when the tyrnat arrived at the house Antileon sprang on him and killed him, thus liberating the city. Antileon paid with his life, but later his compatriots raised bronze statues to him and his beloved.[40] [41]
  • Pausanias (general) and Argilius
The general was sending treasonous letters to the Persians by means of his former lovers, none of whom ever returned. Argilius, upon being appointed messenger, in 470, opened the letter in secret, only to find out that it instructed the receiver of the letter to kill its bearer. He divulged Pausanias correspondence to the ephors, who had Pausanias walled up within the temple where he had taken refuge, starving him to death for communicating with the enemy.[42] [43]
  • Archelaus and Socrates
The older philosopher loved the younger when the latter was seventeen, for "at the time he was much given to sensuality."[44][45][46][47]
  • Sophocles and Demophon
According to a satirical account by Machon, involving a hetaira known for her ironical sense of humor, "Demophon, Sophocles' minion, when still a youth had Nico, already old and surnamed the she-goat; they say she had very fine buttocks. One day he begged of her to lend them to him. 'Very well,' she said with a smile,—'Take from me, dear, what you give to Sophocles.'"[48][49]
  • Phidias and Agoracritus
The youth, both beloved and student of the sculptor, is also known for his sculpture of Nemesis at Rhamnus. [50]
  • Pindar and Theoxenus
Thought by some to have been his eromenos, Theoxenus is the subject of a skolion in which Pindar praises the love of boys and his own vulnerability to their beauty. According to one account, Pindar died, at the age of eighty, at the theater in Argos, leaning upon the boy's shoulder.[51]
  • Phidias and Pantarkes
Pantarkes, was an Elian youth and winner of the boys' wrestling match at the 86th Ancient Olympics in 436 BCE. He modeled for one of the figures sculpted in the throne of the Olympian Zeus, and Phidias, to honor him, carved "Kalos Pantarkes" into the god's little finger.[52][53][54] A statue of his stood at Olympia, with those of the other victors.[55]
  • Empedocles and Pausanias of Sicily
Pausanias was both friend and student of the philosopher, according to Aristippus and Satyrus. He addressed his poem "On Nature" to him, with the words, "And Pausanias, son of wise Anchites, you listen!" And he also wrote an epigram for him, "Pausanias, the doctor, named for his craft, son of Anchites, a man of Asclepias' lineage, was reared in Gela, his homeland. He turned many men who were wasting with painful illness away from the halls of Persephone.[56]
According to one tradition, while still a ward of Pericles and living in his house, Alcibiades took up with Democrates, causing Pericles to almost throw him out of the house. [57]
Anytus was one of the lovers whom Alcibides grew to despise. Anytus defended the young Alcibiades to his guests on the occasion of a symposium during which the boy entered the room only to make off with half the cups on the table. Rather than agreeing with the guests who accused Alcibides of insolence and contempt, Anytus claimed the boy did him a kindness, since he could just as easily have walked off with all the cups.[58]
Lysias, in one of his speeches, denounced Alcibiades for having sailed to Abydus with his uncle, Axiochus, who was both erastes and fellow in the debaucheries to which the two lent themselves, once arrived at their destination.[59]
Each is said to have saved the life of the other in battle, and the relationship, which may have begun around 435-430 was said to have been chaste. Alcibiades ceased being Socrates' eromenos around 420, when he went into politics, according to Xenophon [60] [61] In adulthood Alcibiades tastes changed, leading Bion to comment that as a boy Alcibides caused all men to be unfaithful to their wives, and as a young man he caused all women to be unfaithful to their husbands.
  • Herodotus and Plesirrhous the Thessalian
According to Ptolemy Hephaestion, also known as Ptolemaeus Chennus, epitomized in the Library of Photius, "Plesirrhous the Thessalian, author of hymns, was taken by Herodotus as eromenos, and also appointed as his heir; it is he who composed the introduction of the first book of Herodotus of Halicarnassus."
Not satisfied with a good anecdote, Ptolemy then goes on to tell another story about this eromenos which conflicts with the first: now Plesirrhous dies while his erastes is still busy writing his Histories. According to Ptolemaeus, in that work Herodotus does not mention the name of Candaulus' wife because of the pain it brings him: "The wife's name was, it is said, passed over in silence by Herodotus because Plesirrhous, whom Herodotus loved, was taken with a woman called Nysia and who was of a family of Halicarnassus, and that he hanged himself when he was unsuccessful with her. It is for this reason that Herodotus does not mention the name of Nysia which was odious to him.[62]
These two conflicting stories may say more about the literary taste of the age in which they were written than about Herodotus himself. Though some have categorized these anecdotes as "deceitful philology," other historians have given credence to the account of Plessirhous as eromenos and heir, about as much credence as they give all of Herodotus' works.[63][64]
  • Callicles and Demus
According to Plato's dialog, Callicles love for the beautiful son of Pyrilampes, of whom graffiti declaring Demus is beautiful (Demon kalon) were scribbled through the city in the 420s, [65] paralleled Callicles' love for the Athenian demos, or populace. [66]
  • Critias and Euthydemus
Failing to dissuade Critias from importuning his eromenos Euthydemus to engage in dishonorable sex, Socrates publicly berated the crude physicality of Critias' desire by publicly comparing him to a piglet wanting to scratch himself against a rock, provoking a permanent break between himself and the future tyrant.[67] Xenophon also mentions the two and supports Socrates´view.[68]
  • Critias and Glaucon
Glaucon, the older brother of Plato, had his uncle, Critias, for an erastes. Later he chased after eromenoi of his own, for which he is teased in The Republic.[69]
  • Pausanias and Agathon
Originally erastes and eromenos, the two were renowned for having remained in a love relationship for ten years, long past the time when it should have ended, according to custom.[70]
  • Plato and Aster
Diogenes Laertius, in a biographical sketch, mentions Plato´s "passionate affection" for males and cites as evidence five of his poems. One of his beloveds is said to have been a certain Aster, to whom he was teaching astronomy. That reading has also been supported by such modern figures as Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edward Carpenter,Edward Carpenter, Iolaus, p.78; Cosimo, New York. 2005 and others.
My Aster, you're gazing on the stars,
Would that I were the heavens, that so I might
Gaze in return with many eyes on thee.[71][72][73]
Shelley, acting on his reading of the poem as an amorous reference that would be unacceptable to contemporary audiences, bowdlerized the name of the youth from Aster to Stella, to obscure the poet´s love for a boy.[74]
  • Xenophon and Clinias
Of his eromenos, Xenophon said, "Now I look upon Clinias with more pleasure than upon all the other beautiful things which are to be seen among men; and I would rather be blind as to all the rest of the world, than as to Clinias. And I am annoyed even with night and with sleep, because then I do not see him; but I am very grateful to the sun and to daylight, because they show Clinias to me.[75] They are one of the couples mentioned by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola in his comment to his friend Girolamo Benivieni's Dell' amore celesto e divino, where he asserts of them that they "did not wish to perform with their beloved ones any filthy actions (as believed by many people who judge the heavenly thoughts of those philosophers with the measure of their shameful desires), but only to get incitement from the body's outward beauty to look at that of the soul, from which proceeded and came the bodily one.[76][77]
  • Lysander and Agesilaus II
In the late 430s Lysander had been the eispnelas of Agesilaus, taking the youth on despite his lameness and was instrumental in the latter's rise to kingship only to be spurned by him once he rose to power in 399 BCE. [78]
  • Callias III and Autolycus
The relationship between the two, in 421 BCE, is touched upon in Xenophon's Symposium, where Callias entertains both the boy and the father, Lykon of the deme Thorikos. The previous year Autolycus had won the boys' pankration (a kind of boxing) at the Panathenaic Games. [79] Later in the same work we meet Callias as erastes again, when Socrates exhorts him to put his extremely erotic nature to good use by channeling its energy into politics in order to please, above all, his eromenos. [80]
  • Themistocles and Stesilaus of Ceos
Around 420 BCE Themistocles competed for the boy's love with Aristides. As Plutarch recounts, "... they were rivals for the affection of the beautiful Stesilaus of Ceos, and were passionate beyond all moderation.[81]
  • Pytheas and Teisis
Pytheas, who was also the guardian of the youth, appointed to that position by Teisis' father in his will, is held up as being an unwise erastes, concerned with impressing his eromenos and as a result giving him bad advice.[82]
  • Archedemus and Alcibiades the Younger
In his childhood, Alcibiades the Younger, son of the famous general by the same name, was notorious for frequenting the house of his erastes, drinking, and reclining with him under a single cloak in sight of all.[83]
  • Archebiades and Alcibiades the Younger
After the death of the older Alcibiades, his old associate and co-defendant in the desecration of the Eleusinian mysteries, became the erastes of his son, then in his early teens, ransoming him from imprisonment, a ransom the boy's father had refused to pay, out of disgust with his own son.[83]
  • Archidamus and Cleonymus
Archidamus, son of Agesilaus II, is described by Xenophon to have been in love with the handsome son of Sphodrias. The boy asked his eispnelas to intervene with the king in favor of his father in a life and death legal matter, promising that Archidamus would never be ashamed to have befriended him. That proved to be so, as he was the first Spartan to die at the battle of Leuctra.[84]
  • Aristippus of Larissa and Menon III of Pharsalus
Thessalians. Meno, the Socratic dialogue is named after Menon. Menon's lover raised 1000 hoplites and 500 peltasts [85] to aid Cyrus the Younger, set his beloved as their general, and sent the youth on the expedition into Persia in his stead. [86][87]
  • Ariaeus and Menon III of Pharsalus
Menon, a commander of Greek mercenaries in Cyrus the Younger's army who had received his commission on account of his youthful beauty, took Ariaeus, the Persian general, as his lover. The matter was badly seen, as it was deemed especially base to submit sexually to a barbarian.[88][89]
  • Menon III of Pharsalus and Tharypas
In a reversal of the usual custom, Menon, a commander of a troop of mercenaries despite his adolescence, still beardless and in his hora,Figures of speech By Gloria Ferrari; p.140 took as "beloved" the bearded Tharypas.[88][89]
  • Artaxerxes II of Persia and Tiridates
The Persian king, distraught at the death of his beloved eunuch, found consolation in placing the dead youth's cloak over the shoulders of Aspasia, his Greek hetaira.[90]
  • Archelaus I of Macedon and Craterus (or Crateuas)
The king of Macedon was assassinated in 399 BCE by this eromenos, upon reneging on a promise to give the boy his daughter in marriage.[91]
  • Amyntas the Little and Derdas
The couple is cited by Aristotle as another exampled of an eromenos killing his erastes (in 393/4), in this case for a boast by the latter that he had "possessed" the youth.[92]
  • Lysias and Theodotus
Though already in his early fifties, Lysias took on an eromenos from Platea around 394. The youth, however, had already signed a companionship contract in the amount of 300 drachmae with a certain Simon, who, claiming prior rights to the boy, proceeded to stalk him, resorting to several kidnapping attempts. As a result of that, and the street brawls which ensued, the case was heard before the Areopagus.[93]
  • Alexander of Pherae and Pitholaus
The tyrant took the youngest brother of his wife, Thebes, as eromenos, against the boy's will and tied him up. His wife pleaded with him incessantly for the boy's release. Exasperated with her demand, Alexander killed the boy. In revenge, Thebes and her remaining brothers assassinated the tyrant in 357.[94]
  • Theomedon and Eudoxus of Cnidus
The astronomer had been the eromenos of the doctor Theomedon, with whom he later traveled to Athens in order to study with Plato.[95]
  • Aristippus of Cyrene and Euthychides
The youth was a slave of the philosopher, compared by him with the students of Socrates.[96]
  • Agesilaus II and Megabates
During his campaign in Asia in 396, the king fell in love with the very handsome son of a Persian officer, Spithridates, who had joined the Spartan forces. Agesialus struggled to master his excessive fondness for the boy, going as far as rejecting Megabates' greeting kiss. When the father changed sides again and took his son with him, the king was greatly distressed.[97]


The group below (indented) consists of relationships revealed during the course of Aeschines' speech (ca. 345) to the court bringing suit against the politician Timarchus so as to deprive him of his political rights for having behaved like a prostitute in his adolescence. They occurred around 375, except the first two, presumably about ten to fifteen years earlier. [98]

  • Diopeithes of Sounion, and Hegesandros of Sounion
Diopeithes, besides being the judge before whom Pittalakos (see below) brought his suit, had also been an erastes of Hegesandros. Not surprisingly, he stalled the suit until it was withdrawn.
  • Leodamas and Hegesandros
During his testimony, Hegesandros indicated that he previously had been in a similar relationship with Leodamas. Hegesandros himself is accused of having prostituted himself in his youth, and of having misbehaved sexually with Leodamas.
  • Misgolas, son of Naukrates of the deme of Kollytos, and Timarchus
Timarchus is accused not only of having sold his services, but of submitting to anal penetration, particularly shameful behavior at the time.
  • Antikles, son of Kallias of the deme Euonymon, and Timarchus
As Antikles was away at the time of the trial no further information was presented by Aeschines.
  • Pittalakos and Timarchus
As Pittalakos was a public slave, Timarchus incurred even greater shame for his sexual submission and penetration.
  • Hegesandros, son of Diphilos of Steiria, and Timarchus

Hegesandros, having accumulated great wealth on a military campaign, bribed Timarchus away from Pittalakos, causing the latter great jealousy. As he was making a nuisance of himself Hegesandros and Timarchus beat him up, to which he responded with a lawsuit against both.

  • Epaminondas and Micythus
In order to influence the Theban general, Artaxerxes II of Persia sent Diomedon of Cyzicus with a large sum of money to bribe Epaminondas. Diomedon gave five Talent (measurement)|talents to Micythus, who proceeded to advance the man's views to his lover. Epaminondas, however, refused to be bribed and instructed his eromenos to return the money immediately to Diomedon, or else he would turn him over to the magistrates. [99]
  • Epaminondas and Asopichus
A couple famed for their military prowess, such as in their victory at Leuctra in 371 BCE.[100]
  • Pelopidas and Philip II of Macedon
Starting in 367, at the age of fifteen, Philip spent three years as a hostage in Thebes, Greece|Thebes. There he lived at the house of Pammenes. The relationship with Pelopidas was attested in antiquityDio Chrysostom, 49.5 but contested by some modern commentators who deem the connection too schematic to have existed.[101]
  • Pammenes and Philip II of Macedon
While living at the house of Pammenes, a great lover of boys, Philip was thought to have been his host's beloved.[102]
Aristotle
  • Hermias of Atarneus and Aristotle
Hermias - a eunuch and former slave - was thought to have taken Aristotle as beloved around 367 while the two were studying at Plato's Academy. The two were reunited much later, when after Plato's death Aristotle went to live for three years at the court of Hermias, by then tyrant of Atarneus. There Aristotle took Hermias' adopted daughter for wife, and, upon Hermias' death through Persian treachery wrote a hymn to his friend, the last stanza of which reads:

Atarneus' King thy vision drove,

To quit for aye the glad sun-light,

Therefore, to memory's daughters dear,

His deathless name, his pure career,

Live shrined in song, and link'd with awe,

The awe of Xenian Jove,

and faithful friendship's law.[103][104]
  • Epaminondas and Caphisodorus
Caphisodorus was his last lover. He fell with Epaminondas in 362 at Battle of Mantineia and was buried by his side. [105]
  • Aristotle and Theodectes of Phaselis
Both friend and pupil of the philosopher, Theodectes was about ten years younger than Aristotle, and was known for his beauty, which excited the admiration of the philosopher much as that of Alcibiades enchanted Socrates.[106]
  • Demosthenes and Cnosion
After the orator took in his young beloved, his wife is said to have bedded the boy in a fit of jealousy,Athenaeus of Naucratis, The Deipnosophists Book XIII "Concerning Women"(Page III) though Aeschines claims that it was Demosthenes who put his own wife in bed with the youth so as to get children by him.[107]
  • Demosthenes and Aristarchus
Much of what is known about this relationship comes from the speeches of Demosthenes' enemy, Aeschines. He accuses Demosthenes of having been such a bad erastes to Aristarchus so as not even to deserve the name. Among his alleged crimes are his complicity in Aristarchus' murder of Nicodemus of Aphidna, whose eyes and tongue were gouged out. This murder took place while the youth was under Demosthenes' tutelage.[108] Another misdeed of Demosthenes, the one allegedly disqualifying him from calling himself an erastes, is his pillaging of Aristarchus' estate. He is alleged to have pretended being in love with the youth so as to get his hands on the boy's inheritance, which he is said to have squandered and from which he is said to have taken three talents upon Aristarchus' fleeing into exile so as to avoid a trial.[109]
  • Demosthenes and Aristion
Again, according to Aeschines, Demosthenes had the handsome youth in his house, engaged in unspeakable behavior: There is a certain Aristion, a Plataean..., who as a youth was outstandingly good-looking and lived for a long time in Demosthenes' house. Allegations about the part he was playing ('undergoing or doing what') there vary, and it would be most unseemly for me to talk about it.[110]
  • Xenocrates and Polemon
The two were the first in a series of lovers and beloveds to head Plato's Academy. It is recounted that Polemon, drunk and on a dare, burst in on a lecture by Xenocrates, who was not fazed and merely continued with his presentation. Also, Polemon was taken with admiration at Xenocrates' resistance to Phryne's advances. Polemon became first the pupil and later the eromenos of Xenocrates.[111]
  • Philip II and Alexander I of Epirus
The king took the younger brother of his wife, Olympias, as his eromenos. Later, in 350, he installed his boyfriend as king of Epirus.[112]
  • Hipparinus and Achaeus
Hipparinus, tyrant of Syracuse is mortally wounded in 351 BCE by his boyfriend, in the course of a drunken revel. The youth, who reciprocated Hipparinus' love, kills the tyrant by mistake, and does so with a sword given to him as a love gift by his lover. Hipparinus lives on for three more days, and absolves the boy of guilt before he dies.[113]
  • Philip II of Macedon and Pausanias of Orestis
Originally an eromenos of the king, Pausanias was eventually cast aside in favor of another beloved, by the same name, a close friend of Attalus. Pausanias of Orestis, out of resentment, accused the second Pausanias of being sexually available to anyone. To clear himself of the insult to his manhood, the second Pausanias, in an ensuing battle, rushed into danger to protect the king, at the cost of his own life. To avenge the death of his friend, Attalus invited Pausanias of Orestis to drink, and served him till the latter passed out, at which time he handed the unconscious man over to his muleteers to enjoy sexually at will. Pausanias of Orestes reported the abuse to the king, who attempted to placate him by raising him to the post of personal bodyguard (somatophylax) but never punished Attalus, probably for political reasons. Having failed to gain the satisfaction he craved, Pausanias of Orestis avenged himself on the king himself, assassinating him several years later, in 336 BCE.[114]
  • Philip II of Macedon and Pausanias
The affair with this youth led to the eventual death of the king, at the hands of the previous, jilted beloved.Diodorus Siculus, Library 16.93 & 94 (See entry above)
  • Darius III of Persia and Bagoas
Bagoas was the favorite of Darius, who was said to have been "intimate" with him.[115]
  • Alexander the Great and Bagoas
"Alexander loved boys insanely." So tells us Dicaearchus, who was a contemporary of his. If so, it seems that his love of boys started when he was a boy himself. His love for one of the friends of his youth, Hephaestion, the son of Amyntor, a Macedonian noble possibly of Athenian descent, lasted all his life, and the two died within months of each other. It is no wonder that he should have had such tastes. He had been brought up at the intensely homoerotic Macedonian court, and studied under Aristotle, himself a man credited with a number of eromenoi.

After the death of Darius III in 330 BCE, his catamite, Bagoas, a youth "in the flower of beauty" .[116]

  • Dimnus and Nicomachus of Macedon
One of Alexander the Great's Hetairoi (or Companion Cavalry), Dimnus enlisted his eromenos in a plot to kill Alexander, revealing to him the names of the conspirators. The boy told his brother, who denounced them, leading to the trial and execution of the plotters, in 330.[117]
  • Hermolaus of Macedon and Sostratus of Macedon
A May romance, Alexander the Great's adolescent pages involved in conspiracy against the King in 327 BCE. Hermolaus, punished by Alexander for having struck the quarry at a hunt out of turn, sought to revenge himself for the perceived abuse by assassinating the king. He enlisted Sostratus and others, but all were denounced and stoned to death.[118][119]
  • Epimenes, son of Arsaeus and Charicles, son of Menander
Another age-equivalent love. Two other pages from the same conspiracy against Alexander. Epimenes enlisted his lover, Charicles, w ho divulged the matter to Epimenes' brother, Eurylochus. This latter denounced to conspirators to Alexander's bodyguard, Ptolemy son of Lagus, who informed the king.[119] While the other conspirators were tortured and executed, these two were spared. [120]
  • Aristotle and Palaephatus of Abydus
According to the Suda, Palaephatus was Aristotle's paidika. [121][122]
  • Aristotle and Aeschrion of Mitylene
The boy was both student and eromenos of the philosopher, and is known for becoming an epic poet and forjoining the expedition of Alexander the Great.[123]
Polemon
  • Polemon and Crates of Athens
Polemon loved youths to such a degree that his wife brought suit in court against him for mistreatment. Crates was the disciple of Polemon, whom he loved greatly, and whom he followed at the head of the school. Hesychius says of them that, "Crates and Polemon loved each other so well that they not only were occupied in life with the same work, but they almost drew breath simultaneously; and in death they shared the same grave. On account of which, Archesilaus, who visited them in company with Theophrastus, spoke of them as gods, or survivors from the Golden Age.[124] They not only shared their studies and molded each upon the other, but came to share a single tomb. The epitaph upon it, composed by Antagoras, read:

Say, stranger, as you pass by, that in this tomb are concealed the divine Crates and Polemon,

Men of mighty mind for their union in sentiment, from whose divine mouths came holy discourses,

And a pure life of wisdom gave an additional charm to their godlike age,

Through its following their tenets not to be turned aside.[125]

Diogenes relays Antigonus' report that Polemo was sued by his wife because of his relationships with youths (IV 17), 18 and that he shared the house of Lysicles with Crates.
  • Evius and Python
Cassander was said to have incurred the anger of Alexander for kissing Python against the will of his erastes. [126]
  • Medius of Larissa and Iollas
The Macedonian youth was the youngest son of Antipater and a page (pais basilikos) and wineboy of Alexander the Great during the later stages of his Asian campaign. The last house Alexander visited before taking to bed with his final illness was that of his friend Medius, and Iolaus is rumored to have been the one to administer the poisoned cup which, according to some, killed Alexander in 323. Queen Olympias was among those who was of the opinion that he was one of the murderers of her son, and had his grave overturned shortly after his death in 317.[127]

Hellenistic Greece

  • Theophrastus and Nicomachus
Theophrastus was the successor of Aristotle and erastes to his son.[128] It was said of him that "He is said also to have been very much attached to Aristotle's son, Nicomachus, although he was his master.[129]
  • Demetrius of Phalerum and Diognis
Demetrius was a philosopher, statesman and student of Theophrastus. Some time between 317 BCE and 307 BCE, when he was governor of Athens, he had a boyfriend by the name of Diognis, of whom all the Athenian boys were jealous. [130]
  • Agathocles and Maenon of Segesta
Upon conquering Segesta in 307 Agathocles captured the young man and in time raised him to high office. Nevertheless Maenon is said to have harbored resentment at the destruction of his town, and was induced in 289 to poison the king by offering him a poisoned tooth quill [131]
  • Zeno of Citum and Chremonides of Athens
The founder of the Stoic school of philosophy was said to much distaste for women and much love for youths. One time, when sitting next too his beloved Chremonides he suddenly got up to leave, and when others wondered at this he replied, "I hear from skilful physicians that the best thing for some tumours is rest." Chremonides later in life was a statesman and a general, and eponym of the Chremonidean war.
According to Zeno, Eros was the god of freedom, friendship and concord, and more should not be asked of him. Diogenes Laërtius asserted that in his Republic Zeno stated that the wise man will love those youths who show a disposition towards virtue, and that love was an effort to arrive at friendship by means of the excitement that we derive from the splendor of beauty, and which tends not towards possession but towards affection. However he gave signs of temperance. Also, in talking about teachers who fell in love with their students he asserted that they had no more wits than their charges.
  • Zeno of Citium and Persaeus
According to Diogenes Laërtius, the philosopher had Persaeus as his eromenos and lived with him in the same house.[132]
  • Epicurus and Pythocles
Epicurus was primarily a lover of women, and Alciphron [Letters] reported that Leontium claimed that if Epicurus took Pythocles as his Alcibiades, it was only so as to imitate Socrates. [133]
In a letter to Idomenus, a backer of his young student and favorite, Epicurus wrote, "If you wish to make Pythocles wealthy, don't give him more money; rather, reduce his desires. [134]
  • Theophrastus and Arcesilaus
In his boyhood, Arcesilaus, a very handsome youth, first associated himself with Theophrastus, the successor to Aristotle, "a man of gentle and amorous disposition. In time Arcesialus succeeded Theophrastus to become head of the Academy. [135]
  • Crantor and Arcesilaus
"Arcesilaus being beautiful and still in the bloom of youth gained the love of Crantor the Academic, and attached himself to him; and being not without natural ability, he let it run its swift and easy course.[136] In time, Arcesilaus ascended to the leadership of the Academy. The relationship with Crantor was long-lasting. They lived together and took their meals in common with another pair of co-habiting lovers and philosophers, Polemon and Crates. Not surprising, as Crantor had himself been in his youth a pupil and eromenos of Crates. [111]
  • Arcesilaus and Leochares and Demetrius
Arcesilaus founded the New Academy and was the lover of many youths. One of them was Demetrius, son of king Demetrius Polyorcetes, and later king of Cyrene, known as Demetrius Kalos, the Fair. Ariston of Chios reproached Arcesilaus for being the "perdition of many youths" and for having the vocabulary of a cinaedus. [137]
  • Dionysius the Renegade and Panculus
Dionysus "wrote a tragedy called Parthenopaeus, and forged the name of Sophocles to it. And Heraclides Ponticus|Heraclides was so much deceived that he took some passages out of one of his works, and cited them as the words of Sophocles; and Dionysius, when he perceived it, gave him notice of the real truth; and as he would not believe it, and denied it, he sent him word to examine the first letters of the first verses of the book, and they formed the name of Panculus, who was a friend* of Dionysius.[138]
  • Ophellas and Heraclides
During his African expedition in 308, needing a subterfuge to distract Ophellas in order to mount a surprise attack, Agathocles sent his son, Heracleides as hostage to the king who was a well known lover of boys. Heraclides was under instructions to seduce Ophellas in order to give his father time to organize an attack. The trick is supposed to have worked, Ophellas lost his life in the ensuing fray and Heraclides was rescued before he could be dishonored.Hostages and hostage-taking in the Roman Empire By Joel Allen; p192 The boy only had one more year to live, as he was killed by his father's own troops when these were deserted by Agathocles in 307.[139]
  • Demetrius I of Macedon and Damocles the Handsome
After his return to Athens in 305 the king fell to pursuing the youth, who always succeeded in avoiding him. Finally cornered alone in a public bath, the boy, finding no other means of escape, took the lid of a boiling cauldron and chose death over dishonor.[140]
  • Demetrius I of Macedon and Cleaenetus
Known for his requent debauches, the Macedonian king waived a fine of 50 talents imposed on a citizen in exchange for the favors of Cleaenetus, that man's son. [141]
  • Antigonus II Gonatas and Aristocles
"Aristocles the harp-singer was the beloved of King Antigonus, concerning whom Antigonus of Carystus, in his Life of Zeno, writes as follows: 'King Antigonus used to have revels at the house of Zeno. On one occasion, coming away from a drinking-party at daybreak, he rushed to the house of Aristocles the harp-singer, whom the king loved greatly.[142]
  • Archeboulus the Theran and Euphorion of Chalcis
Euphorion, after studying philosophy with Lakydes and Prytanis, became the student and beloved of the poet Archeboulus.[143]
  • Xenares and Cleomenes III
Xenares inspired the future king before 235 BCE.[144]
  • Cleomenes III and Panteus
According to Plutarch, Panteus was "the most beautiful and valorous youth of Sparta." Later he joined his inspirer in death - when Cleomenes took his own life upon being exiled to Egypt, Panteus, seeing that he could still knit his brows, "...kissed him and raised him. Holding the body next to him, he plunged his sword into his own breast." [145]
  • Ptolemy IV Philopator and Agathocles of Egypt
This Ptolemaic Pharaoh of Egypt was ruled by his beloved and the latter's sister.
  • Ptolemy VI Philometor and Galestes
The king loved the boy not only for his good looks but also for his wisdom. Ca. 170-140 BCE [146]

Ancient Rome

Roman Republic

  • Lucius Papirius and Caius Publilius
The youth, having inherited from his father a debt to Papirius, gave himself in bondage to the latter by way of payment. Papirius was taken with his youthful beauty and tried time and again to seduce the boy, who did not give in. When seduction failed he resorted to threats, and finally to having the boy stripped and whipped. Publilius fled, bleeding into the street and revealed the abuse to all. The people, outraged, prevailed upon the senators to decree that henceforth only material goods, not one's person, could be seized in payment. The story, from Livy and dated 326 BCE, is thought to be patterned on that of Harmodius and Aristogeiton.[147]
  • Hamilcar Barca and Hasdrubal the Fair
The Carthaginian Hasdrubal was noted for his beauty. Rumoured to be the beloved of Hamilcar (240?), who was alleged to have given his daughter in marriage to the youth in order to have free access to Hasdrubal; both Cornelius Nepos and Livy report the rumors without passing judgment on their accuracy.[148] [149]
  • Scantinius Capitolinus and Marcus Claudius Marcellus
Marcellus had a son named Marcus, of great beauty, in the flower of his age, and no less admired for the goodness of his character. This youth, Capitolinus, a bold and ill-mannered man, Marcellus's colleague, sought to abuse. The boy at first himself repelled him; but when the other again persecuted him, told his father. Marcellus, highly indignant, accused the man in the senate: where he, having appealed to the tribunes of the people, endeavoured by various shifts and exceptions to elude the impeachment; and, when the tribunes refused their protection, by flat denial rejected the charge. As there was no witness of the fact, the senate thought fit to call the youth himself before them: on witnessing whose blushes and tears, and shame mixed with the highest indignation, seeking no further evidence of the crime, they condemned Capitolinus, and set a fine upon him; of the money of which Marcellus caused silver vessels for libation to be made, which he dedicated to the gods. [150]
  • Lucius Quinctius Flaminius and Philippus
During his consulship in 192 BCE, Flaminius, brother of Titus Quinctius Flamininus took the Carthage|Carthaginian boy, a catamite of long standing, on his travels away from Rome, only to be berated by the youth for making him miss the gladiator games. At dinner one day, a Gaul aristocrat presented himself with his family to ask for safety. The consul asked the boy if he wanted to see a man killed, and ran the Gaul through with his sword. Cato demoted Flaminius from the senate for the abuse of power, a behavior notable to Romans and Greeks alike for its cruelty and frivolity.[151][152][153]
  • Gaius Lucilius and Gentius (and Macedo)
In his poetry, Lucilius blames a praetor for having stolen Gentius from him, and predicts the boy will return. The satirist was blamed in later antiquity for having "prostituted" his lovers by using their actual names in his poem, instead of veiling them, as other authors were wont to do, by the use of pseudonyms.[154][155][156]
  • Antiochus XI Epiphanes and Themison the Cypriote
"And Themison the Cyprian, the friend of Antiochus the king not only used to have his name proclaimed in the public assemblies, 'Themison, the Macedonian, the Heracles of Antiochus the king;' but all the people of that country used to sacrifice to him, addressing him as Heracles Themison; and he himself would come when any of the nobles celebrated a sacrifice, and would sit down, having a couch to himself, and being clad in a lion's skin, and he used also to bear a Scythian bow, and in his hand, he carried a club."Athenaeus, Deipnosophistes VII 289-290 (Yonge 35)[157]
  • Antiochus XI Epiphanes and Aristus
"And it was very seldom that he transacted the affairs of his kingdom when he was sober, but much more frequently when he was drunk; on which account there were two men about him who managed all the real business of the state as they pleased, namely Aristus and Themison, Cyprians by birth, and brothers; and they were both on terms of the greatest intimacy with Antiochus."[157]Athenaeus, Deipnosophistes X.438 (Yonge 51)
  • Quintus Lutatius Catulus and Quintus Roscius Gallus
Catulus, an early admirer of the actor, wrote an epigram, dated no later than 115 BCE, to his boyfriend Roscius."Roscius was in his youth the boyfriend of Catullus." [158]
  • Lucius Licinius Crassus and Quintus Roscius Gallus
The orator was on intimate terms with the young actor around the same time that Catulus was involved with the youth.[159]
  • Meleager of Gadara and Myiscus
In his erotic epigrams, collected in his now lost Garland but of which many survive in the Greek Anthology, Meleager, presumed to have flourished around 95 BCE, celebrates his love for two hetairae and for his eromenos, Myiscus.[160]
  • Piso and Cicero
According to an accusation by Sallust, the youthful Cicero was taught rhetoric by Piso, at the cost of his sexual integrity (pudicitia).[161]
  • Gaius Scribonius Curio (the younger) and Marc Antony
Cicero accuses Marc Antony of having surrendered his pudicitia (sexual integrity) to Gaius as soon as he had donned his adult toga (customary at the age of fourteen in Roman times).[162]
  • Marc Antony and Dellius
Dellius was the paidika of Antony and later attempted to procure for him the services of Aristobulus III of Judea the sixteen year old brother in law of Herod, brother of his wife Mariamne, which Herod refused, as he knew what purpose the boy would be put to.[163]
  • Cicero and Marcus Tullius Tiro
Tiro was first a slave and later a freedman of Cicero's. Theirs was a life-long friendship and collaboration. From their letters to each other (a collection curated by Tiro himself, which can cut both ways) we deduce only friendship, mutual appreciation, and Cicero's concern for Tiro's weak health - despite which he lived to the age of 99. But Pliny the Younger has another take on the affair. While reading a book about Cicero, he stumbles upon a poem by Cicero himself, in which he laments that young Tiro tricked him and did not deliver the kisses he had promised for after dinner. Pliny admires Cicero's frankness and takes it as inspiration for similar confessions of his own. Why should his own loves remain hidden, Pliny asks, and why fear letting on that he too has been the target of such tricks, and tasted the fleeting nature of boyish favors, and been inflamed by boyish deceptions.

[164]

to whom the master wrote an amatory epigram bemoaning Tiro's refusal to let himself be kissed) he is nonetheless seen as having benefited from his connection with his master, as he went on to have a distinguished literary career of his own - as well as being Cicero's literary executor. Thus the couple is seen as a Roman example of the erastes/eromenos pair.[165][166][167]
  • Catiline and Tongilius
Cicero, in a sarcastic aside, mocked both lover and beloved: "Tongilium mihi eduxit. Quem amare in praetexta coeperat." [168]
  • Catullus and Juventius
The poet wrote a number of love poems to his beloved boy, breaking two taboos, one against naming one's beloved and the other against pursuing free boys (he addressed the youth as "flower of the Juventii," thus identifying him as a scion of a well known Roman gens).[169][170] While some have argued that Juventius was a literary fiction, others hold he was a real person.[171]
  • Julius Caesar and Rufio
Caesar was blamed for putting personal relations in important positions. Among these was Rufio, the son of one of his freedmen and an old catamite of his, whom he placed at the head of the three legions he left behind in Alexandria.[172]
  • Julius Caesar and Augustus|Octavian
Marc Antony accused Octavian of having earned his adoption by Caesar by having given in to lechery, while Lucius Antonius weighed in by adding that after giving Caesar his virginity he sold his body to Aulus Hirtius for 300,000 sesterces.[173]

Roman Empire

  • Tibullus and Marathus
The subject of three of the poet's elegies, 1.4, 1.8 and 1.9, Marathus is seen as a quasi-fictional personage. Whether his affair with Marathus was genuine or not, in these poems Tibullus displays an intimate familiarity with the love of boys.[174]
  • Valgius Rufus and Mystes
Thirteen years before Valgius attained the position of consul in 12 BCE, his friend Horace was admonishing him in an ode (II.9) to cease bemoaning the loss of his beloved slave boy Mystes, and to put his talents to good use praising the exploits of Cesar Augustus.[175]

You still with tearful tones pursue

Your lost, lost Mystes;[...]

At length have done

With these soft sorrows; rather tell

Of Caesar's trophies newly won ...[176]

  • Horace and Ligurinus
In his fourth book of odes, published in 13 BCE, the poet addresses two poems to his boyfriend Ligurinus, in one chastising him for being hard and unfeeling, an another for his evanescent beauty. Oddly, at least one modern has taken these verses of a man who loved boys even more than he loved women as an allegorical lament for the poet's vanishing youth. [177]
Together with Virgil's verses about Alexis and Corydon, Horace's odes to Ligurinus are seen as employing themes common in pederastic literature, such as the fading beauty of the adolescent, or imprecations that he not flee.[178]
  • Augustus|Octavian and Sarmentus
One of the favorites (or, "delicia") of the emperor, Sarmentus – a former slave belonging to Marcus Favonius – was held up as an example of rank favoritism by the historian Quintus Dellius. Dellius incurred Cleopatra's wrath by complaining that while he and others dignitaries were served sour wine by Marc Antony in Greece, Octavian's catamite was drinking Falernian wine in Rome.[179]
  • Virgil and Alexander
According to an account by Suetonius preserved in the writings of Aelius Donatus, itself incorporated in a critical account by Maurus Servius Honoratus, the Alexis of the Bucolics was based on a real-life beloved of Virgil. Allegedly, Virgil was fond of boys, with later commentary specifying that his love was patterned along the lines of chaste pederasty. The boy, a slave, was alleged to be a gift from one of his patrons, Gaius Asinius Pollio (consul 40 BC), [180] In Martial, however, the gift is alleged to have come from Gaius Maecenas.[181] While some modern historians accept the story as credible, an opposing school of thought deems it a fabrication.[182]
  • Herod the Great and Carus
Egged on by his sister Salome's machinations, the paranoid king executed his paidika in 7/6 BCE together with others at the court who had come under the influence of a Pharisee prophecy threating his rule.[183] Of Carus (Karos) it was said that he was "outstanding among his contemporaries for his surpassing beauty, and was loved by the king.[184]
  • The "Capernaum centurion" and the "Beloved pais"
The couple entered history as a result of the Centurion's request, around 27 CE, to Jesus to heal his beloved, who was close to death. As the story goes, Jesus complied and the boy was healed. Loving relationships between Roman soldiers and their camp boys were common.[185][186][187]
Marcus Aurelius
  • Nero and Sporus
During 66 and 67, according to Suetonius, "He castrated the boy Sporus and actually tried to make a woman of him; and he married him with all the usual ceremonies, including a dowry and a bridal veil, took him to his home attended by a great throng, and treated him as his wife. [...] This Sporus, decked out with the finery of the empresses and riding in a litter, he took with him to the courts and marts of Greece, and later at Rome through the Street of the Images, fondly kissing him from time to time.[188]
  • Otho and Sporus
Otho, who briefly succeeded Nero as emperor after Galba, likewise took Sporus for a lover.Dio Cassius, Epitome of Book LXIV; 8 Both Nero and Otho had been married to Poppaea Sabina, to whom Sporus was said to bear a striking resemblance.[189]
  • Vitellius and Asiaticus
First slave and catamite of Vitellus, the boy ran away, was found, imprisoned, reinstated in his former position, sold as gladiator, recovered again, freed and finally knighted by his lover on his first day as emperor in 69 CE, to whom he became a trusted adviser for the short duration of his reign.Suetonius, [190]
  • Gaius Scribonius Curio (the younger) and Marc Antony
Cicero accuses Marc Antony of having surrendered his pudicitia (sexual integrity) to Gaius as soon as he had donned his adult toga (customary at the age of fourteen in Roman times).[162]
  • Marc Antony and Dellius
Dellius was the paidika of Antony and later attempted to procure for him the services of Aristobulus III of Judea|Aristobulus, the sixteen year old brother in law of Herod, brother of his wife Mariamne, which Herod refused, as he knew what purpose the boy would be put to.[191]
Elagabalus
  • Martial and Diadoumenos
The poet immortalized his slave catamite, playing on the topoi of sweet kisses and cruel boys.[192]Martial, Epigrams, III.65; V.46; VI.34
  • Aulus Pudens and Encolpus
The poet Martial (around 90 CE) celebrated the love of his centurion friend for his young slave, in several epigrams describing their mutual love and the cruelty of the boy who decides to cut his hair to the consternation of his master.[192]
  • Atedius Melior and Glaucias
The lover, an Epicurean bon-vivant, is consoled in Statius' Silvae (published some time after January of 93 CE)[193] for the loss of his beloved, who was in his thirteenth year. The poet goes on to assure Melior that his beloved is not lonely, having taken up in the Elysian Fields with another former beloved of Melior's, Blaessus.[194][195]
  • Flavius Ursus and Philetas
The patron, wealthy, urbane and well-spoken, is consoled by Statius upon the death of his puer delicatus. The love and grief he feels for his boy are validated by the poem.[196]
  • Titus and Melancomas
Dio Chrysostom wrote that the Greek boxer Melancomas "was more courageous and bigger than any other man in the world...and furthermore, he was the most beautiful. And if he had remained an amateur and had not gone in for boxing at all, I believe that he would have become widely known simply on account of his beauty; for even as it was, he attracted everybody's attention whenever he went anywhere.[197] Themistius says that the emperor Titus was Melancomas's lover.[198] The two may have met at the Ludi Augustales held at Naples in 74 CE, when the 33-year-old Titus, soon to be emperor, was Exhibitor of Games.
Polydeukion
  • Domitian and Flavius Earinus
When Earinus, a slave Eunuch (court official)|eunuch who was compared to Ganymede, dispatched his shorn hair to the shrine of Asclepius in Pergamum, his home town, Domitian commanded Statius to mark the occasion with a poem. He also decreed that thenceforth castration would be forbidden.[192]Statius, Silvae, IV 3. Translation is from Publius Papinius Statius, Silvae IV, edited with an English translation and commentary by K.M. Coleman, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. Latin: "... fortem vetat interire sexum et censor prohibet mares adultos pulchrae supplicium timere formae."Dio Cassius, LXVII 2.3.Martial, Epigrams, IX.16, 17, 36Latin literature By E. J. Kenney, Wendell Vernon Clausen; p563</ref>
  • Trajan and Arbandes
Trajan's was known as a lover of youths, one whose love influenced even his governing. During the Mesopotamian campaign he showed kindness to the king of Edessa out of appreciation for his handsome son: "On this occasion, however, Abgarus [Abgar VII bar Ezad] induced partly by the persuasions of his son Arbandes, who was handsome and in the pride of youth and therefore in favor with Trajan, and partly by his fear of the latter's presence, he met him on the road, made his apologies and obtained pardon, for he had a powerful intercessor in the boy."
Though in Roman times boys were often abused and routinely penetrated, Trajan was known as an ethical lover. According to Dio Cassius, "I know, of course, that he was devoted to boys and to wine, but if he had ever committed or endured any base or wicked deed as the result of this, he would have incurred censure; as it was, however, he drank all the wine he wanted, yet remained sober, and in his relation with boys he harmed no one." [199]
The Roman emperor met this 13 or 14 years old boy from Bithynia in 124 CE. Antinous was deified by Hadrian, when he died six years later. Many statues, busts, coins and reliefs display Hadrian's deep affections for him: http://antinoos.info/antinous.htm
  • Marcus Cornelius Fronto and Marcus Aurelius
The relationship between the teenage future emperor and his tutor, has been seen by some as a love relationship, and their letters as a pederastic correspondence that affords moderns a view into the mindset of the beloved.[200][201]
  • Septimius Severus and Gaius Fulvius Plautianus
The sway that Plautianus held in the government of Severus was attributed by Herodian to his having been the boy lover of the emperor in his youth. The emperor was reported to have written about Plautianus that "I love the man so much that I pray I die before he does." In the end, Plautianus fell pray to the intrigues of others at the court. Accused of plotting to kill the emperor, he was summarily executed before the eyes of Severus.[202]
  • Herodes Atticus and Vibullius Polydeucion (Polydeukes)
One of three trophimoi (foster sons) that Herodes raised in his house, he is considered to have been the one person Herodes loved best. He is the subject of more statues and inscriptions than any other youth without imperial connections. A herm of his found at Marathon bears the inscription "Polydeucion whom Herodes loved as a son. Herodes set this here, where they used to hunt." His attachment to his minions was widely known because he himself publicized it. For this he was blamed, and the statues he commissioned in honor of his beloved boys were often vandalized. Herodes instituted a heroic cult for his beloved upon the latter's early death ca. 147 or 148 CE.[203] [204]
  • Commodus and Philocommodus
Loved equally by the emperor and his concubine, Marcia, the youth, a favorite adorned with rich jewels and minimal clothing, discovered a tablet upon which were written the names of a number of individuals to be executed. The tablet ended up in the hands of Marcia who, finding her name at the top of the list, organized the assassination of Commodus that same day, December 31, 192.[205]
St. Sebastian
  • Gordian and Hierocles
A Carian slave, Hierocles was the beloved of Gordian, a man from an old aristocratic family who had married the grandniece of Antoninus Pius. Gordian taught the youth to drive a chariot, a skill which later brought him to the attention of Elagabalus, whose "husband" he would eventually become.[206]
  • Hierocles and Elagabalus
The teenaged emperor called the charioteer Hierocles his "husband" and wanted to appoint the blond charioteer from Caria as his successor. Dio Cassius, Epitome of Book LXXX; 15.1-4 That was one of the reasons why the young monarch was later killed at he age of eighteen in March of 222, as his grandmother Julia Maesa started to favour her other grandson Alexander Severus.
  • Diocletian and St. Sebastian
Sebastian, a youth in the emperor's service and his favorite,Ben Stoltzfus, Lacan and Literature: Purloined Pretexts p.58 who was appointed as officer of the Praetorian guard hid his Christian faith from the emperor. Upon discovering his faith, in 286, Diocletian bid him renounce it and had him shot by his archers when Sebastian refused.
  • Ptolemy and Eutropius
Eutropius, an Armenian or Assyrian slave castrated at birth, was derided for having had many masters, beginning with Ptolemy, a groom or soldier in the imperial stables of Byzantium. Promised his freedom by his master, he was instead given as a gift (being still too young to be bought) to the general Arintheus, whom he served as pander.[207]

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  160. A guide to Hellenistic literature By Kathryn J. Gutzwiller; p116
  161. Craig A. Williams, "Pudicitiaand Pueri: Roman Concepts of Male Sexual Experience" in Queer Representations, Ed. Martin Duberman, p.34N14
  162. 162.0 162.1 Craig A. Williams, "Pudicitiaand Pueri: Roman Concepts of Male Sexual Experience" in Queer Representations, Ed. Martin Duberman, p.28
  163. Josephus, Ant. 15:25-30
  164. The art of Pliny's letters: a poetics of allusion in the private correspondence By Ilaria Marchesi p.82
  165. John Dugan, Making of a New Man: Ciceronian Self-fashioning in the Rhetorical Works p.347
  166. glbtq.com: Roman Literature - Cicero
  167. Marcus Aurelius in love By Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Cornelius Fronto, Amy Richlin; pp12-13
  168. "My Tongilius he led forth, whom he had started to love when still in his boy toga." The implication was that Catiline had been intimate with Tongilius while the youth was still clad in the clothes of a boy, since the praetexta was worn from twelve to seventeen years of age. Cicero's disdain for Tongilius, a youth otherwise unknown, drips from the mihi; It is clear that the chronicler was anything but fond of him. Marcus Tullius Cicero, Charles Anthon Select orations of Cicero; p.174.
  169. glbtq "Roman Literature"
  170. The student's Catullus By Gaius Valerius Catullus, Daniel H. Garrison; p.103
  171. The Roman elegiac poets By Karl Pomeroy Harrington; p112
  172. Ancient Rome By Matthew Dillon, Lynda Garland; p.663
  173. Suetonius, The Deified Augustus 68
  174. Bisexuality in the ancient world By Eva Cantarella, Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin; p.129; Yale, 2002
  175. Horace Odes II By Horace, David Alexander West; p.xvii
  176. Q. Horatius Flaccus, Odes; 2.9(ed. John Conington)
  177. Artifices of Eternity By Michael C. J. Putnam; pp45-6
  178. Putnam, 178 [The Cambridge companion to Horace By S. J. Harrison; p34
  179. Plutarch, Life of Marc Antony; 59
  180. Life of Virgil; tr. David Wilson-Okamura (1996; rev. 2005); 9-11 [4] "With regard to pleasure, he was partial to boys. <But good men have thought that he loved boys as Socrates loved Alcibiades, and Plato his favorites ( paidiká).> He loved Cebes and Alexander most of all. Alexander was a gift to him from Asinius Pollio; the second poem of his Bucolics refers to him as "Alexis." Nor was the other one unlearned; in fact, Cebes was a poet as well."
  181. Poetry for patrons: literary communication in the age of Domitian By Ruurd R. Nauta; p84
  182. Richard Jenkyns, Virgil's Experience: Nature and History, Times, Names, and Places p.7; Oxford University Press, 1998 In any case, Servius goes out of his way to point out that Virgil did not love his boys "filthily" (turpiter), meaning that he did not dishonor them and himself by penetrating them.
  183. King Herod: A Persecuted Persecutor, by Aryeh Kasher; p.361
  184. "Prophetic figures in late second temple Jewish Palestine By Rebecca Gray; p.154
  185. The Bible, Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10
  186. Daniel A. Helminiak, Sex and the Sacred: Gay Identity and Spiritual Growth p.191-192
  187. Donald Mader, The Entimos Pais of Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10, in Homosexuality and Religion (ed. Dynes and Donaldson, New York, 1992), pp. 223-35.
  188. "Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Nero 28
  189. Dio Cassius, Epitome of Book LXII; 28, 2-3
  190. The Twelve Caesars IX.12
  191. Josephus, Ant. 15:25-30
  192. 192.0 192.1 192.2 Craig Williams, Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity, p.33Martial, Epigrams, I.31; V.48
  193. Silvae By Publius Papinius Statius, David Roy Shackleton Bailey; p5
  194. "The rapport between Melior and Glaucias is doubly problematic from the standpoint of contemporary Roman morality, first because it extends from the paternal to the erotic, and second because, as the natural son of two freedmen, Glaucias is technically a freeborn male whether or not Melior adopted him. Initially depicted as a foster father/son relation, this man/boy rapport also encompasses an erotic dimension. To this amorous liaison, Statius alludes by mentioning Heracles and Apollo along with their respective paramours, Hyacinth and Hylas." Paolo Asso Queer Consolation: Melior's Dead Boy in Statius' Silvae 2.1 Paper presented at the 2006 APA Annual Meeting [5]
  195. Statius, Silvae 2.1
  196. Nothing ordinary here By Noelle K. Zeiner; p170
  197. Dio Chrysostom, Discourse 28
  198. Themistius, Oration 9
  199. Dio Cassius, Epitome of Book LXVIII; 21.2–3
  200. Marcus Aurelius in love By Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Cornelius Fronto, Amy Richlin. Introduction, passim
  201. "Fronto's letters to the young Marcus were intended for the Caesar's eyes only; it is evident from his replies that that is how he wished, or at least was willing, to be addressed by his magister. This goes beyond what one expects of teacher and pupil; if they were not ἐραστής and ἐρώμενος,6 they were playing at so being, which itself would be worth an inquiry." Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2007.04.48; Pascale Fleury, Lectures de Fronton: Un rhéteur latin à l'époque de la Seconde Sophistique. Reviewed by Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Oxford University Press
  202. Septimius Severus: the African emperor By Anthony Richard Birley; p163
  203. The archaeology of Athens By John M. Camp, p.279
  204. The murder of Regilla: a case of domestic violence in antiquity By Sarah B. Pomeroy; p55-......
  205. Venus Castina By Clarence Joseph Bulliet; pp86-7
  206. Homosexuality in Greece and Rome By Thomas K. Hubbard; p495 See following entry
  207. Claudian, Against Eutropius Loeb edition p.143-145Edward Gibbon The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: p.325N7; Published 1899 P. F. Collier & Son, 1899


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