Debunking the Myth of Homosexuality in ancient Greece.

More than Homosexuality it was Homoeroticism.

Pederasty was the idealized form of an age-structured homoeroticism that had other, less idealized manifestations, such as prostitution or the sexual use of slave boys. Paying free youths for sex was prohibited. Free youths who did sell their favors were ridiculed.

Pederasty in ancient Greece was a socially acknowledged relationship of courtship between an adult (mentor and admirer) and a younger beloved male representing an idealized youth or beauty. It was an aspect of Greek homosocial culture, which was characterized also by athletic and artistic nudity, delayed marriage for aristocrats, symposia, and the social seclusion of women.

As a cultural norm considered apart from personal preference, anal penetration was most often seen as dishonorable to the one penetrated, or shameful. Anal or oral penetration seems to have been reserved for prostitutes or slaves.

Socrates' love of Alcibiades, which was more than reciprocated, is held as an example of chaste pederasty.

Plato in his Laws, blamed pederasty for promoting civil strife and driving many to their wits' end, and recommended the prohibition of sexual intercourse (intercrural sex) with boys, laying out a path whereby this may be accomplished.

In Classical times there appears a note of concern that the institution of pederasty might give rise to a "morbid condition", adult homosexuality, that today's eromenos may become tomorrow's kinaidos, defined as the passive or "penetrated" partner.

Pederasty obtained its modern sexual meaning thanks to the perverts of Oxford (Walter Patter, his ‘lover’ William Money Hardinge, John Addington Symonds, Alfred Pretor, Symond’s and his Prof. of Latin John Conington, Edward Carpenter…etc) in the late 1800's. It was they who originally distorted the very meaning of "Platonic Love".

So what was pederasty?

The ancients speak for themselves:


Plato, Euthydemus 282b

“there is no disgrace, Cleinias, or reprobation in making this a reason for serving and being a slave to either one’s lover or any man, and being ready to perform any service that is honorable in one’s eagerness to become wise.”


Plato’s Symposium,184b

“it is our rule that, just as in the case of the lovers it was counted no flattery or scandal for them to be willingly and utterly enslaved to their favorites, so there is left one sort of voluntary thraldom which is not scandalous; I mean, in the cause of virtue.
It is our settled tradition that when a man freely devotes his service to another in the belief that his friend will make him better in point of wisdom, it may be, or in any of the other parts of virtue, this willing bondage also is no sort of baseness or flattery. Let us compare the two rules”


Xenophon Symposium 8.8

[8]“Now, I have always felt an admiration for your character, but at the present time I feel a much keener one, for I see that you are in love with a person who is not marked by dainty elegance nor wanton effeminacy, but shows to the world physical strength and stamina, virile courage and sobriety. Setting one’s heart on such traits gives an insight into the lover’s character.”


Xenophon Symposium

[26] Furthermore, the favourite who realizes that he who lavishes physical charms will be the lover’s sovereign will in all likelihood be loose in his general conduct; but the one who feels that he cannot keep his lover faithful without nobility of character will more probably give heed to virtue. [27] But the greatest blessing that befalls the man who yearns to render his favourite a good friend is the necessity of himself making virtue his habitual practice. For one cannot produce goodness in his companion while his own conduct is evil, nor can he himself exhibit shamelessness and incontinence and at the same time render his beloved self-controlled and reverent”



Plato’s Republic 403b

“may not come nigh, nor may lover and beloved who rightly love and are loved have anything to do with it?” “No, by heaven, Socrates,” he said, “it must not come nigh them.” “Thus, then, as it seems, you will lay down the law in the city that we are founding, that the lover may kiss and pass the time with and touch the beloved as a father would a son, for honorable ends, if he persuade him.”


Speech of Perikles in Thucydides 2.43

but you ought not to be less venturously minded against the enemy; not weighing the profit by an oration only, which any man amplifying, may recount, to you that know as well as he, the many commodities that arise by fighting valiantly against your enemies; but contemplating the power of the city in the actions of the same from day to day performed, and thereby becoming enamoured of it. And when this power of the city shall seem great to you, consider then, that the same was purchased by valiant men, and by men that knew their duty, and by men that were sensible of dishonour when they were in fight; and by such men, as though they failed of their attempt, yet would not be wanting to the city with their virtue, but made unto it a most honourable contribution.