Pederasty (Richard F. Burton) — 1

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Terminal essay


The “execrabilis familia pathicorum” first came before me by a chance of earlier life. In 1845, when Sir Charles Napier had conquered and annexed Sind, despite a faction (mostly venal) which sought favour with the now defunct “Court of Directors to the Honourable East India Company”, the veteran began to consider his conquest with a curious eye. It was reported to him that Karáchi, a townlet of some two thousand souls and distant not more than a mile from camp, supported no less than three lupanars or bordels, in which not women but boys and eunuchs, the former demanding nearly a double price,1 lay for hire. Being then the only British officer who could speak Sindi, I was asked indirectly to make enquiries and to report upon the subject; and I undertook the task on express condition that my report should not be forwarded to the Bombay Government, from whom supporters of the conqueror’s policy could expect scant favour, mercy or justice. Accompanied by a Munshi, Mirza Mohammed Hosayn of Shiraz, and habited as a merchant, Mirza Abdullah the Bushiri2 passed many an evening in the townlet, visited all the porneia and obtained the fullest details, which were duly despatched to Government House. But the “Devil’s Brother” presently quitted Sind leaving in his office my unfortunate official: this found its way with sundry other reports3 to Bombay and produced the expected result. A friend in the Secretariat formed me that my summary dismissal from the service had been formally proposed by one of Sir Charles Napier’s successors, whose decease compels me parcere sepulto. But this excess of outraged modesty was not allowed.

Subsequent enquiries in many and distant countries enabled me to arrive at the following conclusions:—

1. There exists what I shall call a “Sotadic Zone,” bounded westwards by the northern shores of the Mediterranean (N. Lat. 43°) and by the southern (N. Lat. 30°). Thus the depth would be 780 to 800 miles including meridional France, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and Greece, with the coast-regions of Africa from Morocco to Egypt.

2. Running eastward the Sotadic Zone narrows, embracing Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and Chaldæa, Afghanistan, Sind, the Punjab and Kashmir.

3. In Indo-China the belt begins to broaden, enfolding China, Japan and Turkistan.

4. It then embraces the South Sea Islands and the New World where, at the time of its discovery, Sotadic love was, with some exceptions, an established racial institution.

5. Within the Sotadic Zone the Vice is popular and endemic, held at the worst to be a mere peccadillo, whilst the races to the north and south of the limits here defined practise it only sporadically amid the opprobrium of their fellows who, as a rule, are physically incapable of performing the operation and look upon it with the liveliest disgust.

Before entering into topographical details concerning Pederasty, which I hold to be geographical and climatic, not racial, I must offer a few considerations of its cause and origin. We must not forget that the love of boys has its noble sentimental side. The Platonists and pupils of the Academy, followed by the Sufis or Moslem Gnostics, held such affection, pure as ardent, to be the beau idéal which united in man’s soul the creature with the Creator. Professing to regard youths as the most cleanly and beautiful objects in this phenomenal world, they declared that by loving and extolling the chef-d’œuvre, corporeal and intellectual, of the Demiurgus, disinterestedly and without any admixture of carnal sensuality, they are paying the most fervent adoration to the Causa causans. They add that such affection, passing as it does the love of women, is far less selfish than fondness for and admiration of the other sex which, however innocent, always suggest sexuality4; and Easterns add that the devotion of the moth to the taper is purer and more fervent than the Bulbul’s love for the Rose. Amongst the Greeks of the best ages the system of boy-favourites was advocated on considerations of morals and politics. The lover undertook the education of the beloved through precept and example, while the two were conjoined by a tie stricter than the fraternal. Hieronymus the Peripatetic strongly advocated it because the vigorous disposition of youths and the confidence engendered by their association often led to the overthrow of tyrannies. Socrates declared that “a most valiant army might be composed of boys and their lovers; for that of all men they would be most ashamed to desert one another.” And even Virgil, despite the foul flavour of Formosum pastor Corydon, could write:—

Nisus amore pio pueri.

The only physical cause for the practice which suggests itself to me and that must be owned to be purely conjectural, is that within the Sotadic Zone there is a blending of the masculine and feminine temperaments, a crasis which elsewhere occurs only sporadically. Hence the male féminisme whereby the man becomes patiens as well as agens, and the woman a tribade, a votary of mascula Sappho,5 Queen of Frictrices or Rubbers.6 Prof. Mantegazza claims to have discovered the cause of this pathological love, this perversion of the erotic sense, one of the marvellous list of amorous vagaries which deserve, not prosecution but the pitiful care of the physician and the study of the psychologist. According to him the nerves of the rectum and the genitalia, in all cases closely connected, are abnormally so in the pathic, who obtains, by intromission, the venereal orgasm which is usually sought through the sexual organs. So amongst women there are tribades who can procure no pleasure except by foreign objects introduced a posteriori. Hence his threefold distribution of sodomy; (1) Peripheric or anatomical, caused by an unusual distribution of the nerves and their hyperæsthesia; (2) Luxurious, when love a tergo is preferred on account of the narrowness of the passage; and (3) the Psychical. But this is evidently superficial: the question is what causes this neuropathy, this abnormal distribution and condition of the nerves.7

As Prince Bismarck finds a moral difference between the male and female races of history, so I suspect a mixed physical temperament effected by the manifold subtle influences massed together in the word climate. Something of the kind is necessary to explain the fact of this pathological love extending over the greater portion of the habitable world, without any apparent connection of race or media, from the polished Greek to the cannibal Tupi of the Brazil. Walt Whitman speaks of the ashen grey faces of onanists: the faded colours, the puffy features and the unwholesome complexion of the professed pederast with his peculiar cachetic expression, indescribable but once seen never forgotten, stamp the breed, and Dr. G. Adolph is justified in declaring “Alle Gewohnneits-paederasten erkennen sich einander schnell, oft met einen Blick.” This has nothing in common with the féminisme which betrays itself in the pathic by womanly gait, regard and gesture: it is a something sui generis; and the same may be said of the colour and look of the young priest who honestly refrains from women and their substitutes. Dr. Tardieu, in his well-known work, “Étude Médico-légale sur les Attentats aux Mœurs,” and Dr. Adolph note a peculiar infundibuliform disposition of the “After” and a smoothness and want of folds even before any abuse has taken place, together with special forms of the male organs in confirmed pederasts. But these observations have been rejected by Caspar, Hoffman, Brouardel and Dr. J. H. Henry Coutagne (Notes sur la Sodomie, Lyon, 1880), and it is a medical question whose discussion would here be out of place.

The origin of pederasty is lost in the night of ages; but its historique has been carefully traced by many writers, especially Virey,8 Rosenbaum9 and M. H. E. Meier.10 The ancient Greeks who, like the modern Germans, invented nothing but were great improvers of what other races invented, attributed the formal apostolate of Sotadism to Orpheus, whose stigmata were worn by the Thracian women;

           —Omnemque refugerat Orpheus
Fœmineam venerem;—
Ille etiam Thracum populis fuit auctor, amorem
In teneres transferre mares: citraque juventam
Ætatis breve ver, et primos carpere flores.
Ovid Met., x. 79-85.

Euripides proposed Laïus, father of Oedipus, as the inaugurator, whereas Timæus declared that the fashion of making favourites of boys was introduced into Greece from Crete, for Malthusian reasons said Aristotle (Pol., ii. 10), attributing it to Minos. Herodotus, however, knew far better, having discovered (ii. c. 80) that the Orphic and Bacchic rites were originally Egyptian. But the Father of History was a traveller and an annalist rather than an archæologist and he tripped in the following passage (i. c. 135), “As soon as they (the Persians) hear of any luxury, they instantly make it their own, and hence, among other matters, they have learned from the Hellenes a passion for boys” (“unnatural lust”, says modest Rawlinson). Plutarch (De Malig. Herod. xiii)11 asserts with much more probability that the Persians used eunuch boys according to the Mos Græciæ, long before they had seen the Grecian main.

In the Holy Books of the Hellenes, Homer and Hesiod, dealing with the heroic ages, there is no trace of pederasty, although, in a long subsequent generation, Lucian suspected Achilles and Patroclus as he did Orestes and Pylades, Theseus and Pirithous. Homer’s praises of beauty are reserved for the feminines, especially his favourite Helen. But the Dorians of Crete seem to have commended the abuse to Athens and Sparta and subsequently imported it into Tarentum, Agrigentum and other colonies. Ephorus in Strabo (x. 4 § 21) gives a curious account of the violent abduction of beloved boys (παρασταθέντες) by the lover (ἐραστής); of the obligations of the ravisher (φιλήτωρ) to the favourite (κλεινός)12 and of the “marriage-ceremonies” which lasted two months. See also Plato, Laws i. c. 8. Servius (Ad Æneid., x. 325) informs us, “De Cretensibus accepimus, quod in amore puerorum intemperantes fuerunt, quod postea in Laconas et in totam Græciam translatum est.” The Cretans and afterwards their apt pupils, the Chalcidians, held it disreputable for a beautiful boy to lack a lover. Hence Zeus, the national Doric god of Crete, loved Ganymede13; Apollo, another Dorian deity, loved Hyacinth, and Hercules, a Doric hero who grew to be a sun-god, loved Hylas and a host of others: thus Crete sanctified the practice by the examples of the gods and demigods. But when legislation came, the subject had qualified itself for legal limitation and as such was undertaken by Lycurgus and Solon, according to Xenophon (Lac. ii. 13), who draws a broad distinction between the honest love of boys and dishonest (αἴχιστος) lust. They both approved of pure pederastía, like that of Harmodius and Aristogiton; but forbade it with serviles because degrading to a free man. Hence the love of boys was spoken of like that of women (Plato: Phædrus; Repub. vi. c. 19 and Xenophon, Synop. iv. 10), e.g., “There was once a boy, or rather, a youth, of exceeding beauty and he had very many lovers”—this is the language of Hafiz and Sa’adi. Æschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were allowed to introduce it upon the stage, for “many men were as fond of having boys for their favourites as women for their mistresses; and this was a frequent fashion in many well-regulated cities of Greece.” Poets like Alcæus, Anacreon, Agathon and Pindar affected it and Theognis sang of a “beautiful boy in the flower of his youth.” The statesmen Aristides and Themistocles quarrelled over Stesileus of Teos; and Pisistratus loved Charmus who first built an altar to Puerile Eros, while Charmus loved Hippias, son of Pisistratus. Demosthenes the Orator took into keeping a youth called Cnosion greatly to the indignation of his wife. Xenophon loved Clinias and Autolycus; Aristotle, Hermeas, Theodectes14 and others; Empedocles, Pausanias; Epicurus, Pytocles; Aristippus, Eutichydes and Zeno with his Stoics had a philosophic disregard for women, affecting only pederastía. A man in Athenæus (iv. c. 40) left in his will that certain youths he had loved should fight like gladiators at his funeral; and Charicles in Lucian abuses Callicratidas for his love of “sterile pleasures.” Lastly there was the notable affair of Alcibiades and Socrates, the “sanctus pæderasta”15 being violemment soupçonné when under the mantle:—non semper sine plagâ ab eo surrexit. Athenæus (v. c. 13) declares that Plato represents Socrates as absolutely intoxicated with his passion for Alcibiades.16 The ancients seem to have held the connection impure, or Juvenal would not have written:—

Inter Socraticos notissima fossa cinædos,

followed by Firmicus (vii. 14) who speaks of “Socratici pædicones.” It is the modern fashion to doubt the pederasty of the master of Hellenic Sophrosyne, the “Christian before Christianity;” but such a world-wide term as Socratic love can hardly be explained by the lucus-a-non-lucendo theory. We are overapt to apply our nineteenth century prejudices and prepossessions to the morality of the ancient Greeks who would have specimen’d such squeamishness in Attic salt.

The Spartans, according to Agnon the Academic (confirmed by Plato, Plutarch and Cicero), treated boys and girls in the same way before marriage: hence Juvenal (xi. 173) uses “Lacedæmonius” for a pathic and other writers apply it to a tribade. After the Peloponnesian War, which ended in B.C. 404, the use became merged in the abuse. Yet some purity must have survived, even amongst the Bœotians who produced the famous Narcissus,17 described by Ovid (Met., iii. 339):—

Multi illum juvenes, multæ cupiere puellæ;
Nulli illum juvenes, nullæ tetigere puellæ:

for Epaminondas, whose name is mentioned with three beloveds, established the Holy Regiment composed of mutual lovers, testifying the majesty of Eros and preferring to a discreditable life a glorious death. Philip’s reflections on the fatal field of Chaeroneia form their fittest epitaph. At last the Athenians, according to Æschines, officially punished sodomy with death; but the threat did not abolish bordels of boys like those of Karáchi; the porneia and pornoboskeia, where slaves and pueri venales “stood,” as the term was, near the Pnyx, the city walls and a certain tower, also about Lycabettus (Æsch. contra Tim.); and paid a fixed tax to the state. The pleasures of society in civilized Greece seem to have been sought chiefly in the heresies of love—Hetairesis19 and Sotadism.

It is calculated that the French of the sixteenth century had four hundred names for the parts genital and three hundred for their use in coition. The Greek vocabulary is not less copious, and some of its pederastic terms, of which Meier gives nearly a hundred, and its nomenclature of pathologic love are curious and picturesque enough to merit quotation.

To live the life of Abron (the Argive), i.e. that of a πάσχων, pathic or passive lover.

The Agathonian song.

Aischrourgía = dishonest love, also called Akolasía, Akrasía, Arrenokoitía, etc.

Alcinoan youths, or “non-conformists,”

In cute curandâ plus æquo operata Juventus.

Alegomenos, the “unspeakable,” as the pederast was termed by the Council of Ancyra: also the Agrios, Apolaustus and Akolastos.

Androgyne, of whom Ausonius wrote (Epig., lxviii. 15):—

Ecce ego sum factus femina de puero.

Badas and badízein = clunes torquens: also Bátalos = a catamite.

Catapygos, Katapygosyne = puerarius and catadactylium from Dactylion, the ring, used in the sense of Nerissa’s, but applied to the corollarium puerile.

Cinædus (Kínaidos), the active lover (ποιών) derived either from his kinetics or quasi κύων αἴδως = dog-modest. Also Spatalocinædus (lasciviâ fluens) = a fair Ganymede.

Chalcidissare (Khalkidizein), from Chalcis in Eubœa, a city famed for love à posteriori; mostly applied to le lèchement des testicules by children.

Clazomenæ = the buttocks, also a sotadic disease, so called from the Ionian city devoted to Aversa Venus; also used of a pathic,

—et tergo femina pube vir est.

Embasicoetas, prop. a link-boy at marriages, also a “night-cap” drunk before bed and, lastly, an effeminate; one who perambulavit omnium cubilia (Catullus). See Encolpius’ pun upon the Embasicete in Satyricon, cap. iv.

Epipedesis, the carnal assault.

Geiton lit. “neighbour” the beloved of Encolpius, which has produced the Fr. Giton = Bardache, Ital. bardascia from the Arab. Baradaj, a captive, a slave; the augm. form is Polygeiton.

Hippias (tyranny of) when the patient (woman or boy) mounts the agent. Aristoph. Vesp., 502. So also Kelitizein = peccare superne or equum agitare supernum of Horace.

Mokhthería, depravity with boys.

Paidika, whence pædicare (act) and pædicari (pass): so in the Latin poet:—

PEnelopes primam DIdonis prima sequatur,
Et primam CAni, syllaba prima REmi.

Pathikos, Pathicus, a passive, like Malakos (malacus, mollis, facilis), Malchio, Trimalchio (Petronius), Malta, Maltha and in Hor. (Sat. ii. 25)

Malthinus tunicis demissis ambulat.

Praxis = the malpractice.

Pygisma = buttockry, because most actives end within the nates, being too much excited for further intromission.

Phoenicissare (φοινικίζειν) = cunnilingere in tempore menstruum, quia hoc vitium in Phœnicia generata solebat (Thes. Erot. Ling. Latinæ); also irrumer en miel.

Phicidissare, denotat actum per canes commissum quando lambunt cunnos vel testiculos (Suetonius): also applied to pollution of childhood.

Samorium flores (Erasmus, Prov. xxiii) alluding to the androgynic prostitutions of Samos.

Siphniassare (σιφνιάζειν) from Siphnos, hod. Sifanto Island) = digito podicem fodere ad pruriginem restinguendam, says Erasmus (see Mirabeau’s Erotika Biblion, Anoscopie).

Thrypsis = the rubbing.

  1. This detail especially excited the veteran’s curiosity. The reason proved to be that the scrotum of the unmutilated boy could be used as a kind of bridle for directing the movements of the animal. I find nothing of the kind mentioned in the Sotadical literature of Greece and Rome; although the same cause might be expected everywhere to have the same effect. But in Mirabeau (Kadhésch) a grand seigneur moderne, when his valet-de-chambre de confiance proposes to provide him with women instead of boys, exclaims, “Des femmes! eh! c’est comme si tu me servais un gigot sans manche.” See also infra for “Le poids du tisserand.”
  2. See Falconry in the Valley of the Indus, London, John Van Voorst, 1852.
  3. Submitted to Government on Dec. 31, ’47 and March 2, ’48, they were printed in “Selections from the Records of the Government of India.” Bombay. New Series. No. xvii. Part 2, 1855. These are (1) Notes on the Population of Sind, etc., and (2) Brief Notes on the Modes of Intoxication, etc., written in collaboration with my late friend Assistant-Surgeon John E. Stocks, whose early death was a sore loss to scientific botany.
  4. Glycon the Courtesan in Athen. xiii. 84 declares that “boys are handsome only when they resemble women;” and so the Learned Lady in The Nights [The Man’s Dispute with the Learned Woman, The 423rd Night] declares “Boys are likened to girls because folks say, Yonder boy is like a girl.” For the superior physical beauty of the human male compared with the female, see The Nights [The Tale of Ni’amah bin al-Rabi’a and Naomi, The 243rd Night]; and the boy’s voice before it breaks excels that of any diva.
  5. “Mascula,” from the priapiscus, the overdevelopment of clitoris (the veretrum muliebre, in Arabic Abu Tartúr, habens cristam) which enabled her to play the man. Sappho (nat. B.C. 612) has been retoillée like Mary Stuart, La Brinvilliers, Marie Antoinette and a host of feminine names which have a savour not of sanctity. Maximus of Tyre (Dissert. xxiv.) declares that the Eros of Sappho was Socratic and that Gyrinna and Atthis were as Alcibiades and Chermides to Socrates: Ovid, who could consult documents now lost, takes the same view in the Letter of Sappho to Phaon and in Tristia, ii. 265.
    Lesbia quid docuit Sappho nisi amare puellas?
    Suidas supports Ovid. Longinus eulogizes the ἐρωτικὴ μανία (a term applied only to carnal love) of the far-famed Ode to Atthis:—
    Ille mî par esse Deo videtur   *    *    *
    (Heureux ! qui près de toi pour toi seule soupire   *    *    *
    Blest as th’ immortal gods is he, etc.)
    By its love symptoms, suggesting that possession is the sole cure for passion, Erasistratus discovered the love of Antiochus for Stratonice. Mure (Hist. of Greek Literature, 1850) speaks of the Ode to Aphrodite (Frag. 1) as “one in which the whole volume of Greek literature offers the most powerful concentration into one brilliant focus of the modes in which amatory concupiscence can display itself.” But Bernhardy, Bode, Richter, K. O. Müller and esp. Welcker have made Sappho a model of purity, much like some of our dull wits who have converted Shakespeare, that most debauched genius, into a good British bourgeois.
  6. The Arabic Sahhákah, the Tractatrix or Subigitatrix, who has been noticed in [The Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu’uman and his Sons, The 93rd Night, note]. Hence to Lesbianise (λεσβίζειν) and tribassare (τρίβεσθαι); the former applied to the love of woman for woman and the latter to its mécanique: this is either natural, as friction of the labia and insertion of the clitoris when unusually developed, or artificial by means of the fascinum, the artificial penis (the Persian “Mayájang”); the patte de chat, the banana-fruit and a multitude of other succedanea. As this feminine perversion is only glanced at in The Nights I need hardly enlarge upon the subject.
  7. Plato (Symp.) is probably mystical when he accounts for such passions by there being in the beginning three species of humanity, men, women and men-women or androgynes. When the latter were destroyed by Zeus for rebellion, the two others were individually divided into equal parts. Hence each division seeks its other half in the same sex; the primitive man prefers men and the primitive woman women. C’est beau, but—is it true? The idea was probably derived from Egypt which supplied the Hebrews with androgynic humanity; and thence it passed to extreme India, where Shiva as Ardhanárí was male on one side and female on the other side of the body, combining paternal and maternal qualities and functions. The first creation of humans (Gen. i. 27) was hermaphrodite (= Hermes and Venus), masculum et fœminam creavit eos—male and female created He them—on the sixth day, with the command to increase and multiply (ibid. v. 28), while Eve the woman was created subsequently. Meanwhile, say certain Talmudists, Adam carnally copulated with all races of animals. See L’Anandryne in Mirabeau’s Erotika Biblion, where Antoinette Bourgnon laments the undoubling which disfigured the work of God, producing monsters incapable of independent self-reproduction like the vegetable kingdom.
  8. De la Femme, Paris, 1827.
  9. Die Lustseuche des Alterthums, Halle, 1839.
  10. See his exhaustive article on (Grecian) “Paederastie” in the Allgemeine Encyklopædie of Ersch and Gruber, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1837. He carefully traces it through the several states, Dorians, Æolians, Ionians, the Attic cities and those of Asia Minor. For details I must refer readers to M. Meier; a full account of these would fill a volume, not the section of an essay.
  11. Against which see Henri Estienne, Apologie pour Hérodote, a society satire of the xvith century, lately reprinted by Liseux.
  12. In Sparta the lover was called εἰσπνήλας or εἴσπνηλος and the beloved as in Thessaly ἀΐτας or ἀἴτης.
  13. The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself. Zeus, who became Jupiter, was an ancient king, according to the Cretans, who were entitled liars because they showed his burial-place. From a deified ancestor he would become a local god, like the Hebrew Jehovah as opposed to Chemosh of Moab; the name would gain amplitude by long time and distant travel, and the old island chieftain would end in becoming the Demiurgus. Ganymede (who possibly gave rise to the old Lat. “Catamitus”) was probably some fair Phrygian boy (“son of Tros”) who in process of time became a symbol of the wise man seized by the eagle (perspicacity) to be raised amongst the Immortals; and the chaste myth simply signified that only the prudent are loved by the gods. But it rotted with age as do all things human. For the Pederastía of the Gods see Bayle under Chrysippe.
  14. See Dissertation sur les idées morales des Grecs et sur les dangers de lire Platon. Par M. Audé, Bibliophile, Rouen, Lemonnyer, 1879. This is the pseudonym of the late Octave Delepierre, who published with Gay, but not the editio princeps—which, if I remember rightly, contains much more matter.
  15. The phrase of J. Matthias Gesner, Comm. Reg. Soc. Gottingen, i. 1-32. It was founded upon Erasmus’ “Sancte Socrate, ora pro nobis,” and the article was translated by M. Alcide Bonmaire, Paris, Liseux, 1877.
  16. The subject has employed many a pen, e.g., Alcibiade Fanciullo a Scola, D.P.A. (supposed to be Pietro Aretine—ad captandum?), Oranges, par Juann VVart, 1652: small square 8vo. of pp. 102, including 3 preliminary pp. and at end an unpaged leaf with 4 sonnets, almost Venetian, by V. M. There is a reimpression of the same date, a small 12mo of longer format, pp. 124 with pp. 2 for sonnets: in 1862 the Imprimerie Raçon printed 102 copies in 8vo. of pp. iv.-108, and in 1863 it was condemned by the police as a liber spurcissimus atque execrandus de criminis sodomici laude et arte. This work produced “Alcibiade Enfant à l’école,” traduit pour la première fois de l’Italien de Ferrante Pallavicini, Amsterdam, chez l’Ancien Pierre Marteau, mdccclxvi. Pallavicini (nat. 1618), who wrote against Rome, was beheaded, æt. 26 (March 5, 1644), at Avignon in 1644 by the vengeance of the Barberini: he was a bel esprit déréglé, nourri d’études antiques and a Memb. of the Acad. Degl’ Incogniti. His peculiarities are shown by his “Opere Scelte,” 2 vols. 12mo, Villafranca, mdclxiii; these do not include Alcibiade Fanciullo, a dialogue between Philotimus and Alcibiades which seems to be a mere skit at the Jesuits and their Péché philosophique. Then came the “Dissertation sur l’Alcibiade fanciullo a scola,” traduit de l’Italien de Giambattista Baseggio et accompagnée de notes et d’une post-face par un bibliophile français (M. Gustave Brunet, Librarian of Bordeaux), Paris, J. Gay, 1861—an octavo of pp. 78 (paged), 254 copies. The same Baseggio printed in 1850 his Disquisizioni (23 copies) and claims for F. Pallavicini the authorship of Alcibiades which the Manuel du Libraire wrongly attributes to M. Girol. Adda in 1859. I have heard of but not seen the “Amator fornaceus, amator ineptus” (Palladii, 1633) supposed by some to be the origin of Alcibiade Fanciullo; but most of the critics consider it a poor and insipid production.
  17. The word is from νάρκη, numbness, torpor, narcotism: the flowers, being loved by the infernal gods, were offered to the Furies. Narcissus and Hippolytus are often assumed as types of morosa voluptas, masturbation and clitorisation for nymphomania: certain mediæval writers found in the former a type of the Saviour; and Mirabeau a representation of the androgynous or first Adam: to me Narcissus suggests the Hindu Vishnu absorbed in the contemplation of his own perfections.
  18. The verse of Ovid is parallel’d by the song of Al-Záhir al-Jazari (Ibn Khall. iii. 720):

    Illum impuberem amaverunt mares; puberem feminæ.
    Gloria Deo! nunquam amatoribus carebit.
  19. The venerable society of prostitutes contained three chief classes. The first and lowest were the Dicteriads, so called from Dicte (Crete), who imitated Pasiphaë, wife of Minos, in preferring a bull to a husband; above them was the middle class, the Aleutridæ, who were the Almahs or professional musicians, and the aristocracy was represented by the Hetairai, whose wit and learning enabled them to adorn more than one page of Grecian history. The grave Solon, who had studied in Egypt, established a vast Dicterion (Philemon in his Delphica), or bordel, whose proceeds swelled the revenue of the Republic.

Retour à l’article principal Pederasty (Richard F. Burton)
Pederasty (1 — The Sotadic Zone. The ancient Greeks)
Pederasty (2 — Rome)
Pederasty (3 — Al-Islam)
Pederasty (4 — Asia. America)
Pederasty (5 — Modern Europe)

Voir aussi


  • A plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights’ entertainments, now entituled The book of the thousand nights and a night : with introduction explanatory notes on the manners and customs of Moslem men and a terminal essay upon the history of the Nights. Vol. X / by Richard F. Burton. – The Burton Club, 1886 (printed in the U.S.A.).

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