20, 1809), Cam Hobhouse reports that pederasty
was openly practiced among the Albanians, and Lord Byron includes in his Childe Harold an Albanian song with pederastic themes, suppressed at publication.
At the climax of the dialogue, Lycinus reluctantly chooses a winner by asserting that everyone should marry but pederasty
should be reserved for wise men only (51).
In sum, pederasty
was not the only, or even the primary, form of homosexuality practiced in the Greco-Roman world in the centuries leading up to Paul.
It is worth recalling, however, that in the Symposium the concern is entirely directed towards the proper practice of pederasty
. Pausanias is not at all concerned with "the office of procreation and intercourse," which will be developed only later in the dialogue, appearing fleetingly in Aristophanes' speech and receiving substantial elaboration in Diotima's exchanges with Socrates.
The age when uncritical essentialism (15) was acceptable in discussions of Greco-Roman homosexuality is hopefully long gone, and a social-constructionist interpretation of the love story which is sensitive to the ancient preconceptions about pederasty
will let one better understand how Xenophon intended to depict, and his immediate audience would have perceived, Hippothoos the erastes.
And yet in all this comment, no one has raised the question of whether Greek pederasty
was good for the young boys who were the object of adult male sexual attention.
They had to negotiate between a conception of pederasty
Cantarella thus reasserts the distinction drawn by Veyne between male homosexual behaviour as a whole, which was never thought by Romans to be a Greek custom, and pederasty
(in the specifically Greek meaning of romantic and sexual affairs with free-born youth),(8) which was.
The work's style is typical of Atticism, with its extreme purity of diction, short unconnected sentences, parallel clauses, detailed descriptions, and frequent declamations and disquisitions, often in antithetical form--e.g., on love for women and pederasty
. Achilles shows uncommon ingenuity in inventing coups de theatre (Leucippe apparently dies three times but always reappears), but his characterization is poor, and plot is relegated to the background by irrelevant interruptions.
In Athens this consisted in the sexual subjection of a boy to a young adult male, both citizens, .in a romantic and educational relationship which might last for several years, after which the boy would take over the adult sexual role in a similar relationship before marriage, not before thirty, to a girl of around fourteen, Cantarella challenges the older view that pederasty
in classical Greece was a substitute for heterosexuality in the absence of available women except for hetairai and perhaps the flute-girls in the symposia which wealthier Athenians attended.
For a fine discussion of the connections between homoeroticism and cross-class relations in the Gilded Age, see Michael Moon's provocative essay "'The Gentle Boy from the Dangerous Classes': Pederasty
, Domesticity, and Capitalism in Horatio Alger," Representations 19 (Summer 1987): 87-110.
Yet producers of the 2014 documentary An Open Secret, which exposes pederasty
among Hollywood big-wigs, never found a distributor for their explosive tell-all.