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The setting of Xenophon's Symposium is a dinner party given by an erastes, the rich Callias, to which he has invited his desired eromenos, the young boy Autolycus, and the boy's father, Lycon.
But the eromenos of Greek custom was typically, and ideally, a young man between the time of full attainment of adult height and the full growth of the beard: so, if we go by modern growth patterns, perhaps sixteen to nineteen; but more likely, since the ancient Greek age of puberty seems to have been slightly later than ours, the age of a modern college undergraduate," p.
Hyperanthes moreover is young and beautiful (2,2,2), possessing the right physical qualifications for the classical eromenos.
The tragic tale narrated by Menelaos about the death of his eromenos (2,34) is also patterned on a classical story, the legend of Adrastos and Atys recounted in Herodotus 1,35 f.
For if we assimilate Hippothoos to the popular American conceptual category of the homosexual, he might look like an incomplete male, an emasculated deviant, but the same figure would appear under a radically different light in the ancient Greek context, where a strict differentiation is maintained between the active erastes and the passive eromenos.
The masculinity of the eromenos to be sure may come under question.
The stringent age restriction placed on the eromenos in the Greek pederastic tradition confined the relationship within tight temporal boundaries.
The young hero furthermore invokes the spirit of Hyperanthes to aid in his plea because the youth was to Hippothoos exactly what Anthia is to himself, rather than that he is exhorting him to remain chaste to his dead eromenos instead of dallying with him.