Homosexuality in ancient Greece?

Oh! That my spirit were yon Heaven of light
To gaze upon thee with a thousand eyes

—Plato

apollo_sauroctonus



Tomorrow Sunday I won’t post any entry here to leave my visitors the opportunity to read carefully my latest entry on “Women and marriage” in Sparta. The uttermost importance of what the author says in that post is explained in my “metaphysical” comment in that thread.

Since that post is related to Eros in Ancient Greece, the issue of other forms of Greco-Roman sexuality should be addressed.

It irritates me that LGBT deviants and writers like James O’Meara want to usurp the legacy of the classical world to rationalize their lifestyles. The fact is that the missing color in their rainbow flag—the Hellenes’ infatuation with handsome adolescents, not adults—was the only form of homosexuality tolerated in some Greek and Roman cities. This had nothing to do with the contemporary “gay” movement or sex between coeval adults.

As a dilettante in classic literature I tried to say something about it in “On classic pederasty,” but there are people who are far more knowledgeable than me. Today, surfing the internet starting here, I found several posts by a blogger in The Phora that complement what I have said. The erudite blogger, Ixion, is the one who uses as an avatar an image of the Virgin Mary; you may skip the other comments in that thread, “Debunking Ancient Greek Homosexual History.”

But all of this is a distraction related to my differences with Counter-Currents: what really matters is the subject of hetero-sexuality in Ancient Greece.

Sparta – VII

This specific chapter of Sparta and its Law has been moved: here.

If you want to read the book Sparta and its Law from the beginning, click: here.

Sparta – I

This specific chapter of Sparta and its Law has been moved: here.

If you want to read the book Sparta and its Law from the beginning, click: here.

On Francis Bacon

Or:

Time to kick the philosophers in the balls


For Francis Bacon (1561-1626) the metaphysicians were like spiders that constructed their webs with a substance segregated from their insides, resulting in that their conclusions kept little if any connection to empirical reality. Here there are some chosen excerpts from Will Durant’s chapter on Bacon in his splendid book, The Story of Philosophy. Pay attention how Bacon differs from Buddha-like opinions on human desires:

Pourbus_Francis_Bacon


At the age of twelve Bacon was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge. He stayed there three years, and left it with a strong dislike of its texts and methods, a confirmed hostility to the cult of Aristotle, and a resolve to set philosophy into a more fertile path, to turn it from scholastic disputation to the illumination and increase of human good…

Nothing could be so injurious to health as the Stoic repression of desire; what is the use of prolonging a life which apathy had turned into premature death? And besides, it is an impossible philosophy; for instinct will out…

He does not admire the merely contemplative life; like Goethe he scorns knowledge that does not lead to action: “men ought to know that in the theatre of human life it is only for Gods and angels to be spectators”…

All through the years of his rise and exaltation he brooded over the restoration or reconstruction of philosophy, Meditor Instaurationem philosophiae. It was a magnificent enterprise, and—except for Aristotle—without precedent in the history of thought. It would differ from every other philosophy in aiming at practice rather than at theory, at specific concrete goods rather than at speculative symmetry… Here, for the first time, are the voice and tone of modern science.

Just as the pursuit of knowledge becomes scholasticism when divorced from the actual needs of men and life, so the pursuit of politics becomes a destructive bedlam when divorced from science and philosophy…

Philosophy has been barren so long, says Bacon, because she needed a new method to make her fertile. The great mistake of the Greek philosophy was that they spent so much time in theory, so little in observation. The predecessors of Socrates were in this matter sounder than his followers; Democritus, in particular, had a nose for facts, rather than an eye for the clouds. No wonder that philosophy has advanced so little since Aristotle’s day; it has been using Aristotle’s methods. Now, after two thousand years of logic-chopping with the machinery invented by Aristotle, philosophy has fallen so low that none will do her reverence. All these medieval theories, theorems and disputations must be cast out and forgotten…

Philosophers deal out infinites with the careless assurance of grammarians handling infinitives. The world as Plato describes it is merely a world constructed by Plato, and pictures Plato rather than the world…

Knowledge that does not generate achievement is a pale and bloodless thing, unworthy of mankind. We strive to learn the forms of things not for the sake of the forms but because by knowing the forms, the laws, we may remake things in the image of our desire. So we study mathematics in order to reckon quantities and build bridges…

And when the great minds of the French Enlightenment undertook that masterpiece of intellectual enterprise, the Encyclopédie, they dedicated it to Francis Bacon.

Published in: on June 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm  Comments (34)  

JVLIAN excerpts – IV

“Why were you so ungrateful to our gods
as to desert them for the Jews?”

—Julian, addressing the Christians

Julian

Priscus to Libanius
Athens, June 380

I send you by my pupil Glaucon something less than half of the Emperor Julian’s memoir. It cost me exactly 30 solidi to have this much copied. On receipt of the remaining fifty solidi I shall send you the rest of the book.

We can hardly hope to have another Julian in our lifetime. I have studied the edict since I wrote you last, and though it is somewhat sterner in tone than Constantine’s, I suspect the only immediate victims will be those Christians who follow Arius. But I may be mistaken…

I never go to evening parties. The quarter I referred to in my letter was not the elegant street of Sardes but the quarter of the prostitutes near the agora. I don’t go to parties because I detest talking-women, especially our Athenian ladies who see themselves as heiress to the age of Pericles. Their conversation is hopelessly pretentious and artificial.

Hippia and I get along rather better than we used to. Much of her charm for me has been her lifelong dislike of literature. She talks about servants and food and relatives, and I find her restful. Also, I have in the house a Gothic girl, bought when she was eleven. She is now a beautiful woman, tall and well made, with eyes grey as Athena’s. She never talks. Eventually I shall buy her a husband and free them both as a reward for her serene acceptance of my attentions, which delight her far less than they do me.

But then Plato disliked sexual intercourse between men and women. We tend of course to think of Plato as divine, but I am afraid he was rather like our old friend Iphicles, whose passion for youths has become so outrageous that he now lives day and night in the baths, where the boys call him the queen of philosophy.

Hippia joins me in wishing for your good—or should I say better?—health.

The memoir. It will disturb and sadden you. I shall be curious to see how you use this material.

You will note in the memoir that Julian invariably refers to the Christians as “Galileans” and to their churches as “charnel houses,” this last a dig at their somewhat necrophile passion for the relics of dead men. I think it might be a good idea to alter the text, and reconvert those charnel houses into churches and those Galileans into Christians. Never offend an enemy in a small way.

Here and there in the text, I have made marginal notes. I hope you won’t find them too irrelevant.

Published in: on May 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm  Comments (6)  

Two consuls

S.P.Q.R
An interesting debate followed Matt Parrott’s recent article at Counter Currents about the pros and cons of fascism for the coming ethnostate.

I admire both Julian and Hitler, who ruled without a system of checks and balances. But at the same time we must avoid blundering on colossal scales (Julian’s invading Persia; Hitler’s invading Russia). That’s why at Counter Currents Trainspotter asked me a most pertinent question about the concept of the Two Roman Consuls to avoid such civilization-destroying blunders.

This is the lead paragraph of the current Wikipedia article on Roman consuls:

A consul served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic. Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. Each consul was given veto power over his colleague and the officials would alternate each month.

However, after the establishment of the Empire, the consuls were merely a figurative representative of Rome’s republican heritage and held very little power and authority, with the Emperor acting as the supreme leader.

If someone deserves to be compared to LOTR’s Isildur he was Julius Caesar. We are barely taught at school the history of the Aryan people called the Celts. Studying their tragic history ought to change our idealized image about Caesar and the beginning of the Roman Empire.

Caesar betrayed the Republic and started what became known as the Roman Empire. The empire fell under the spell of the One Ring, “economics over race,” especially considering that the conquered Celts were whiter than the Romans. (It was the Romans, not the Celts, the ones who by the times of Caesar’s conquest of Gaul had started to miscegenate.)

Last year I was shocked to learn that Caesar practiced a sort of exterminationist anti-whitism. You see nothing of this barbarism in TV series like Rome or the other idealized series on the fall of the empire. But the grim fact is that Caesar killed… one of every four Gauls!

For instance, when his troops occupied the Gaulish town of Avaricum Caesar ordered all 40,000 inhabitants put to death. His conquest of Gaul was exterminationist, with whole tribes, including pure Aryan women and children, being slaughtered.

In William Pierce’s history of the white race we are told that by the autumn of 54 B.C. Caesar had subdued Gaul, having destroyed 800 towns and villages. More than three million (!) Celts were enslaved. And what is much worse, “behind his armies came a horde of Roman-Jewish merchants and speculators,” with “hundreds of thousands of blond, blue-eyed Celtic girls” that marched south in chains. They were “pawed over by greasy, Semitic flesh-merchants in Rome’s slave markets.”

So the century when we were born was not the first time that a “Hellstorm,” which we could define as whites’ enslaving and genociding the cream of their own race, happened in Europe.

From the time of Caesar’s abolition of the Two Consuls system, the fate of Rome was sealed. No Roman Emperor after Caesar ever shared power. All became absolute dictators. No Consul had veto powers. Miscegenating Romans started to forget the republican principles that had made them so strong—disciplina potestas, probitas, severitas, gravitas, pudicitia, pietas and especially the principle that the common good is the highest law: salus populi suprema lex. Instead, they started to behave like American pigs or, to use a Petronius term during the reign of another mad emperor, Caligula, like Trimalchios.

Portrait_Brutus_Massimo

Marble bust of Brutus

Not Caesar but Brutus should be our model. And the history of Brutus’ ancestors, the founders of the Roman Republic, should be studied starting perhaps with Lucius Junius Brutus.

I told Trainspotter that throughout Plato’s Republic runs the fear that the degenerative Ionian and Athenian lifestyles could potentially ruin the state, and that this propensity of whites to behave like miscegenating pigs in the later stages of civilization could only be prevented by a tough Dorian discipline.

In a nutshell, the coming Fourth Reich must adopt the Two Consuls principle and repudiate all sorts of Caesarism.

The Aryan problem

Dear César:

Not all Spaniards think like that. The causes of our decline in the past after the Christianization, and in the present, are due to ourselves. I refer to excerpts published in one of my posts last year:

__________________

 
periander_vat2Already in pre-Socratic times we can see this disregard for a fundamental part of our culture: in the whimsical and superfluous theogonies and cosmogonies of Epicharmus and Pherecydes, which rivaled the traditions collected and transmitted by Homer and Hesiod and confused the people through pseudo-Orphic and Pythagorean preaching about individual souls and religious proposals of “personal” salvation: individualists and universalists. They divided the people and ended up influencing Plato and some philosophers (Xenophanes). Finally, in post-Socratic times, coinciding with the Alexandrian period—culturally chaotic, cosmopolitan—, philosophical ethics circulated from Cynics, Stoics and Epicureans, already fully individualistic and universalist (transnational, stateless doctrines for “all men”) and consistent with the cultural decay of the time. I think that this was a big mistake; this contempt by the Hellenic “intelligentsia” as Nietzsche said. The Greek people lost their right to their autochthonous gods. This “intelligentsia” should have taken care of the native and ancestral legacy.

This attitude just ended up weakening the strength and security that the people had in their own cultural traditions. These traditions, these “worlds” were part of the ancestral collective memory of our people that was devastated, made it like a desert, annihilated by our own philosophers and thinkers. They were in some way responsible for this great loss, for that debacle, for that alienation which resulted in the loss of our cultures when Christianization took over. They neglected their duty, not only the education of the people, but the care and defense of our traditions (our worlds) before the Other. Our people lost their cultural property, or watched it sullied, undervalued, or ridiculed by their own kind.

The thing did not improve in Roman times when the schools of Stoics and Epicureans dominated everywhere in the Empire, and the words of Cato or Cicero could not avoid the dissolution, this disintegration of the cultural symbolic (colectivas) of Greeks and Romans.

The entry of Jewish, Chaldean, Egyptian and Persian sects found a disoriented people; neglected, abandoned, without guidance and their traditions scorned by the “enlightened” classes. They preyed upon the preachers of these sects. It was not only Plato or Christianity. Centuries of neglect and scorn put our people in the hands of these preachers of foreign divinities.

We can do the same reasoning with the traditions of Germans, Celts, Slavs and others. They seemed to be infected by the general attitude that Greeks and Romans had regarding their own cultures, not valued at all. The values, it seems, were elsewhere: in the economic and the military power, or in religions of “personal” salvation coming from the outside, which denoted disintegration and a previous decomposition of these peoples.

Nothing forced the Goths, Lombards, Burgundians and Franks to be Christianized but their greed for power and willingness to take over the remains of the Empire without reflection or discussion of its “ideological” bases, fully Christianized by the 5th century (the century of the Germanic expansions). This was not the case of forced Christianization, centuries later, of the Saxons and Frisians (by Charlemagne), or the politics from the top (the monarchs) as done by the Norwegians (Olaf “The Holy”) and the Slavs (Vladimir, also “The Holy”). The Germans could have been the liberators of Europe, but they put their arms in the service of a foreign faith and an ecclesia (priestly community). This attitude says very clearly how they were indifferent to their own traditions.

It was a betrayal. Our history would have been different if they had remained faithful to the cultural legacy of their ancestors.

Breaking the sacred bonds wrought what it wrought. And from the ominous Christianization of our people we have been suffering this cultural and spiritual alienation that affects us so much; this drift, this going astray, this wandering…

The post-mortem world of the Indo-European cultures has to do with the collective memory of the people. It is a “space” that houses the gods, but also the Fathers, all the ancestors without distinction. This can be seen in the Hittite or Aryan-Vedic world (with Yama, Manu’s brother, and the first mortal); in the Celtic world (remember the original Halloween), or in the Roman world (the Manes). Keeping memory and even worship of the absent, the departed, was part of the education and morals of our ancestors, and was a sign of distinction and nobility against other peoples. The Patricians were those who had Fathers, who kept memory of the Fathers, in the sense already said. Let’s say that this memory was part of the “being” for our Indo-European ancestors.

Forgetfulness or loss of these “spaces” had (and has) bad consequences. Precisely the Christian or Muslim preachers noticed such loss or damaged being; this symbolic amputation among the peoples, and therefore preached (and still preach) their values. The loss or decline or forgetting of these spaces leaves people orphaned and incomplete. This was the picture that the Christian apostles (Jews) found in the area of the Roman Empire: stranded peoples abandoned to their lot; incomplete, empty. They found the right spot to spread their worlds. They found people without “being,” without memory, without identity and already acculturated—by their own kind. Christian acculturation, or later Muslim acculturation, allowed these people to complete their symbolic being—at least spuriously in the outside.

What I’m writing down has a counterpart, a repetition in our contemporary European and Western world. Both are similar circumstances that repeat the cultural deterioration and we see a return to the same religious-cultural “offers”—the everlasting impostors, the usurpers. Not only Christians and the “people of god” (the Hebrew god) lacking a homeland (but with Israel as sacred land), but the “umma”, the stateless Muslim “nation” (though based in Mecca). And also the politicians and the intellectuals: from democratic universalism to proletarian internationalism (Marx’s “workers or proletarians have no fatherland”) to sociologists such as the cosmopolitan Adorno or Marcuse, or Derrida who preaches the philosophy of the philosopher as cosmopolitan and stateless.

It’s the same song again, the same charm, the same lure, the same trap.

__________________

 
You can find similar reasoning in my blogging of the last year (there are 68 pages) and the posts published this year. I would like you to read, at least, those entries.

The subject requires a great deal of debating with the participation of all Aryan nations: a process of self-gnosis that revisits at least our last two millennia, although in my opinion we should start with the cultural deterioration that has its beginning in the pre-Socratic times and reached its climax in imperial Rome (from Caesar on).

Well, César, I don’t take more of your time.

Regards,

Manu

On classic pederasty

This article has been edited in September 2017.
For a longer version of this article see: here

 
Julian Jaynes argued in The Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind that Homeric Greeks were, psychologically, vastly different from historical Greeks. Semitic cultures were even more different. In the online edition of my Day of Wrath I refrained to reproduce this image for the simple reason that it would have meant retro-projection.

In the image we see women, presumably the mothers, trying to rescue their children from a propitiatory child sacrifice to Moloch Baal. The disturbing truth is that, in real life, the parents themselves handed over their crying children to the assistants of the priest, hence the inflammatory sentence with which I ended one of my books (“In the final book of this work I’ll go back to my autobiography, and we shall see if after such grim findings mankind has the right to exist”).

In Hollywood such sort of retroprojections are ubiquitous in movies about the historical past. For instance, Australia, a pro-aboriginals film set before the Second World War, had an upset Nicole Kidman telling another white person, “No mother would leave her child!” when in real life, as recounted in Day of Wrath, quite a few Australian abbos not only abandoned some of their babies, but killed and ate them (for scholarly references supporting this claim see Day of Wrath).
 
Psycho-classes

By “retroprojection” I mean projecting one’s own morals and frame of mind onto the Radical Other, insofar as most people are unaware of the existence of “psychoclasses.”

Westerners, and incredibly, child abuse researchers included, have not awakened to the fact that there have been very dissimilar psychoclasses or ways of childrearing in the world; and that this has had enormous implications for the mental health of a people, primitive or modern. For example, in my Day of Wrath I said that Rhea hid Zeus and presented a stone wrapped in strips, which Cronus took as a swaddled baby and ate it. Cronus represents the pre-Homeric Greeks, the archaic Hellas. After the breakdown of the bicameral, or schizoid mind, historical Greeks considered barbarous the practice of child sacrifice, symbolized in Zeus’ successful rebellion against his filicidal father. Though they still practiced the exposure of unwanted babies, the historical Greeks at least stopped sacrificing them in horrible ways: a practice that their neighbors continued. Nonetheless, if films on both Homeric and post-Homeric Greeks were historically accurate, the exposure of babies, which was practiced even in Roman times, would be visually depicted.

Recently I saw two films that I had not watched for a long time. In the 1959 Hollywood interpretation of Ben-Hur starring Charlton Heston, Tiberius’ Rome and Jerusalem are idealized far beyond what those cities looked like in the times of Jesus. Think of how, to impress the audience with the grandeur of the Roman circus in a Hollywoodesque Palestine, for the chariot race sequence the director made it look as large as Constantinople’s circus! Conversely, in Fellini’s 1969 Satyricon, freely based on Petronius’ classic, the Roman Empire is oneirically caricaturized to the point that the film’s extreme grotesqueries bear no visual relationship whatsoever to the empire of historical time. Both extreme idealization and oneiric caricature constitute artistic ways to understand the soul of Rome. One may think that an Aristotelian golden mean may lie somewhere between Ben-Hur and Fellini-Satyricon, but not even in HBO’s Rome, a purportedly realistic TV series that claimed paying more attention to historical women, dared to show that such women abandoned their babies who died on the hills, roads and the next day were found under the frozen streets: a custom approved even by Plato and Aristotle.

Growing in a “late infanticidal” culture, to use Lloyd deMause’s term, makes members of that psychoclass greatly different compared to our modern western psychoclass. (One could easily imagine what a shock for the modern mind would represent the spectacle of white babies dying on the streets of Vermont, Bonn or Florence with nobody bothering to rescue them.) So different that I believe that the hostile takeover I do of deMause’s Psychohistory to deliver it to the nationalist community will revolutionize the understanding of history once it is properly digested and understood.

In my Day of Wrath I quoted psychohistorian Henry Ebel (no ellipsis added between unquoted sentences):

DeMause’s argument had a breathtaking sweep and grandeur such as we associate with the work of Hegel, Darwin and Marx. Moreover, it seemed to be a valid response and interpretation of a series of gruesome facts that had been consistently understated or suppressed by conventional historians. “The Evolution of Childhood” has proved a morsel too large, too complete, too assertive, and in many ways too grim for the historical profession to digest. Since adult styles and roles, including the academic and professional, are mainly denial-systems erected against those early needs and terrors, the academic consideration of deMause’s argument has been, understandably enough, of less than earthshaking intelligence.

Once we integrate Psychohistory to our view of history, it is easy to notice that when Greg Johnson talks of Greco-Roman homosexuality he does it retroprojectively, as if it was similar to the mores of today’s world: consenting sex between adults. But if Jaynes and deMause are right, the peoples of the classical world inhabited an altogether distinct psychic universe, especially before Solon. So different that sometimes I even wonder if Francis Parker Yockey has a valid point when he wrote that the Italian Renaissance is sold as a link between two cultures that, according to him, have nothing in common.
 
The real Greco-Roman homosexuality: pederasty

A splendid example of such discontinuity is what André Gide called normal pederasty, the ancients’ infatuation for adolescents. Keep in mind that Gide did not condemn such customs. On the contrary, he considered his Corydon, published in 1924 and which received widespread condemnation, his most important work. However, since I can only understand the geist of a culture through the visual arts, before quoting Gide let me convey visually what “homo”-sexuality signified for the classical world through a couple of scenes of the Italian movie Satyricon (YouTube clip: here).

Cinematic experiences aside, what are scholars saying about what I call pseudo-homosexuality: pederasty (which must never be confused with pedophilia)? In the introduction to On Homosexuality: Lysis, Phaedrus, and Symposium, published by Prometheus Books, Eugene O’Connor wrote (again, no ellipsis added):

Benjamin Jowett’s introduction to his translation of Plato’s Symposium expresses prevalent Victorian, Edwardian, and even later attitudes, particularly in England and America, toward Greek homosexuality. Some excerpts from the introduction will illustrate this “clash of cultures.” Since Jowett’s day much has been done to counter and correct this willful distortion of ancient sexuality. We may now consult, for example, the more sober appraisals of K.J. Dover, Greek Homosexuality (1978), and Saara Lilja, Homosexuality in Republican and Augustan Rome (1983) to help us redress the oversights of earlier scholarship.

The composition of [Plato’s] Symposium owes much to the Greek tradition of “banquet literature,” often a collection of informal discussions (in prose or verse) on various topics, including the power of love and the delights of young men and boys. Indeed, a whole body of homoerotic literature grew up around the themes of male beauty and how one ought to woo and win a boy.

The customary social pattern was this: a boy in his teens or, at any rate, a younger man (called an eromenos, or “beloved”) was sought out by an older male (called an erastes or “lover”), who might be already married. Women in classical Athens were kept in virtual seclusion from everyone but their immediate families and their domestic activities were relegated to certain “female” parts of the house. As a consequence, boys and young men—partly by virtue of their being seen, whether in the gymnasium, in the streets, or at a sacrifice (as in the Lysis)—became natural love-objects.

Strict rules of conduct bound both parties: adult males could face prosecution for seducing free-born youths, while Athenian boys and young men could be censured for soliciting sexual favors for money. That would make them in effect equal to courtesans, who were hired companions and lacked citizen status.

This erastes-eromenos (lover-beloved) relationship, although it was sexual and in many ways comparable to typical, male-female relations, with the man assuming the dominant role, was meant ideally to be an educative one. The older man instilled in the younger—in essence, “made him pregnant with”—a respect for the requisite masculine virtues of courage and honor.

Socrates in the Phaedrus describes how the soul of the pederast (literally, “a lover of youths”) who is blessed with philosophy will grow wings after a certain cycle of reincarnations. In recent centuries, the word “pederast” has come to be viewed with opprobrium, fit only to describe child molesters. But in ancient Greece the word carried no such negative connotation, and was employed in a very different context.

Surrounded as he often was by the brightest young men of Athens, Socrates jokingly compared himself, in Xenophon’s Symposium, to a pander or procurer. These are witty, humorous characterizations of Socrates to be sure; yet, in the end, Socrates was the best erastes of all; the loving adult male teacher who sought to lead his aristocratic eromenoi (male beloveds) on the road to virtue.

I have read Xenophon’s Symposium and on chapter VIII it does look like Socrates and others had intense crushes with the eromenoi.

In his Corydon Gide shares the Platonic view that what he calls “normal pederasty” (to distinguish it from child molestation) is a propitious state of the mind to shed light on truth and beauty. In the last pages of his slim book Gide concludes: “I believe that such a lover will jealously watch over him, protect him, and himself exalted, purified by this love, will guide him toward those radiant heights which are not reached without love.” In the very final page Gide adds that “From thirteen to twenty-two (to take the age suggested by La Bruyere) is for the Greeks the age of loving friendship, of shared exaltation, of the noblest emulation,” and that only after this age the youth “wants to be a man”: marrying a woman.

But not only I need visuals to properly understand a culture. Narrative is fundamental too as a way to get into the unfathomed deeps of a bygone world. Below, a tale recounted by an old poet, Eumolpus in the first long novel that Western literature knows, Petronius’ Satyricon:

I relocated the hilarious, though rather long, quotation of the Satyricon as an isolated quote in another of my blogs: here

However, the erastes-eromenos relationship was not always as hilariously picaresque as Petronius depicts it. In my previous response to Johnson, when I added the image of a terracotta statuette of Zeus carrying off Ganymede, I included no references. Here I’ll add a couple of them. In the academic work that O’Connor mentioned above, Greek Homosexuality, K.J. Dover writes:

Ephoros, writing in the mid-fourth century, gives a remarkable account (F149) of ritualised homosexual rape in Crete. The erastes gave notice of his intention, and the family and friends of the eromenos did not attempt to hide the boy away, for that would have been admission that he was not worthy of the honour offered him by the erastes. If they believed that the erastes was unworthy, they prevented the rape by force; otherwise they put a good-humoured and half-hearted resistance, which ended with the erastes carrying off the eromenos to a hide-out for two months.

At the end of that period the two of them returned to the city (the eromenos was known, during the relationship, as parastatheis, ‘posted beside…’ or ‘brought over to the side of…’) and the erastes gave the eromenos expensive presents, including clothing which would thereafter testify to the achievement of the eromenos in being chosen; he was kleinos, ‘celebrated’, thanks to his philetor, ‘lover’. [p. 189]

John Boswell, a homosexual professor at YaleUniversity who died at forty-seven of complications from AIDS, specialized in the relationship between homosexuality and Christianity. For this reason alone it is interesting to compare his claims with James O’Meara’s on exactly the same subject. Boswell abstains to mention the word “rape” which Dover unabashedly used in his treatise published by Harvard University. But in Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe Boswell describes in less academic, and more colorful language, the legal arrangements regarding such abductions:

Apart from the abduction aspect, this practice has all the elements of European marriage tradition: witness, gifts, religious sacrifice, a public banquet, a chalice, a ritual change of clothing for one partner, a change of status for both, even a honeymoon.

The abduction is less remarkable, by the standards of the times, that it seems. The ruler of the gods, Zeus, mandated a permanent relationship with a beautiful Trojan prince, Ganymede, after abducting him and carrying him off to heaven; they were the most famous same-sex couple of the ancient world, familiar to all its educated residents. Zeus even gave Ganymede’s father a gift—the equivalent of a dower or “morning gift”. The inhabitants of Chalcis honored what they believed to be the very spot of Ganymede’s abduction, called Harpagion (“Place of Abduction”). Moreover, as late as Boccaccio (Decameron, Day 5, Tale 1) an abduction marriage that takes place seems to find its most natural home in Crete.

Heterosexual abduction marriage was also extremely common in the ancient world—especially in the neighboring state of Sparta, with which Crete shared its constitution and much of its social organization, where it was the normal mode of heterosexual marriage. It remained frequent well into modern times, and even under Christian influence men who abducted women were often only constrained to marry them, and not punished in any other way. In a society where women were regarded as property and their sexuality their major asset, by the time an abducted woman was returned most of her value was gone, and the more public attention was focused on the matter the less likely it was she would ever find a husband. And in a moral universe where the abduction of Helen (and of the Sabine women) provided the foundation myths of the greatest contemporary political entities, such an act was as likely to seem heroic as disreputable. The Erotic Discourses attributed to Plutarch begin with stories of abduction for love, both heterosexual and homosexual. [pp. 91-93]

This last sentence about the foundation myths of both the ancient Hellas and Rome is absolutely central to understand their moral universe. However, Boswell omits to say that Zeus would be considered a bisexual god with strong heterosexual preferences—Hera and many other consorts—according to current standards, in no way a “gay” god.

Furthermore, unlike the same-sex unions of today, the erastes-eromenos relationship wasn’t meant to be permanent. The continuance of an erotic relationship was disapproved. In dramatic contrast to contemporary “gay marriages” and the myth promulgated by James O’Meara at Counter-Currents, romantic relationships between adult coevals were disrespected. In fact, the former eromenos might well become an erastes himself with a younger youth when he got older. Boswell, who strove to use classic scholarship to support the so-called “gay marriage” of our times, overstates his case in other passages of Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. What struck me the most of his study was that on page 66 he misled the readers by claiming that the Satyricon protagonists, Encolpius and Gitone, are simply a same-sex couple. I have read a couple of translations of the Satyricon and it is all too clear that Boswell omitted two fundamental facts: Gitone’s age, an underage teen for today’s standards, and another lover of Gitone, Ascyltus (who also appears in my embedded YouTube clip way above).
 
Discussion

Classic pederasty did not resemble what currently is called the “gay movement,” let alone O’Meara’s preposterous claim that homosexuals have represented a sort of Western elite, in some ways superior to the bourgeoisie of the Christian world. The causes of pederasty are to be found not only in what O’Connor said above: women being kept in seclusion and men transferring their affections to younger boys. More serious was something that neither O’Connor nor Dover or Boswell dared to say: Infanticidal Greece and Rome produced a surplus of males as a result of the exposure of babies, especially baby girls. As I said in my Day of Wrath, it was not until 374 AD that the emperor Valentinian I, a Christian, mandated to rear all children. What apologists of homosexuality fail to understand is that that was a psychoclass distinct from our own, since for modern westerners it is unthinkable to expose baby girls.

In a nutshell, the Greco-Roman erastes-eromenos institution was not “gay” in the modern sense of the word.

Gitone’s magic

My response to Greg Johnson and James O’Meara about the latter’s new book defending homosexuality is available in the addenda to this blog. My article “On classic pederasty” takes issue with them. The Greco-Roman “lover-beloved” institution was not “gay” in the modern sense of the word.

An expanded version of “On classic pederasty” was chosen for my collection of the 2014 edition of Day of Wrath. But I discarded it for the 2017 edition of the same book. However, it can still be read as a PDF: pages that I stole from the now unavailable edition of Day of Wrath:

https://chechar.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/gitone_s-magic.pdf