It seems that everywhere one looks, even in academia, the claims that homosexuality was widespread in Ancient Greek Culture abound. They employ a device known as eisegesis, the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto the text. The act is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda.
I find it disingenuous at best to include these claims in a, supposed, “encyclopedia” or academic courses, yet you find it in both regularly on this subject. Even Professors and Ph.D.’s, who should know better, promulgate this device as proof of a condition that did not exist. To claim that homosexuality was “widespread” in Ancient Greece is also a glaring logical fallacy known as the fallacy of composition; just because some engaged in these perversions does not equate them as being a de jure or de facto state of affairs enough to say that the whole of “ancient Greek Society practiced homosexuality”.
Some years ago, in mid-2007, I came across Wikipedia’s entry entitled “Homosexuality in Ancient Greece.” Therein one finds nothing but eisegesis, and just flat out lies, beginning with the claims of ‘widespread’ homosexuality and the distortion of the existence and definition of pederasty, which are greatly, even fallaciously, exaggerated.
This entry is, frankly, a load of garbage, to which I have penned and published, back in 2007, a rebuttal to the obvious and intentional distortions of the original Greek in specific examples. I shall now reproduce the bulk of the argument here:
The first audacious claim one comes across, is that homosexual relations between men and boys were “widespread”. To legitimize this claim, they ( the authors of the entry ) allegedly present quotes from various texts of the Hellenic anthology.
The first one we come across is that of Herodotus 1.135 which I will address further below. The second, is an alleged quote from Plato’s Phaedrus 227a:
ὦ φίλε Φαῖδρε, ποῖ δὴ καὶ πόθεν;
παρὰ Λυσίου, ὦ Σώκρατες, τοῦ Κεφάλου, πορεύομαι δὲ πρὸς περίπατον ἔξω τείχους: συχνὸν γὰρ ἐκεῖ διέτριψα χρόνον καθήμενος ἐξ ἑωθινοῦ. τῷ δὲ σῷ καὶ ἐμῷ ἑταίρῳ πειθόμενος Ἀκουμενῷ κατὰ τὰς ὁδοὺς ποιοῦμαι τοὺς περιπάτους: φησὶ γὰρ ἀκοπωτέρους εἶναι τῶν ἐν τοῖς
Dear Phaedrus, whither away, and where do you come from?
“From Lysias, Socrates, the son of Cephalus; and I am going for a walk outside the wall. For I spent a long time there with Lysias, sitting since early morning; and on the advice of your friend and mine, Acumenus, I am taking my walk on the roads; for he says they are less fatiguing”
WHAT? Socrates might just as well have given a recipe for biscuits; it is mind-boggling how on earth anyone would try to relate this quote to the notion of homosexuality, but it seems that the propagandists at Wiki strained to do so. This is a COMPLETE non-sequitur….but not to be deterred by the fact that this quote has nothing what-so-ever to do with homosexuality, they continue.
The next quote presented which allegedly supports their objective, which is to promote the fallacious notion that homosexuality was accepted, comes from Xenophon’s Memorabilia 2.6.28. Only this time, we don’t have some quote that needs interpretation since the hidden meaning is only seen by the individual that added the source; but is none-the-less a clear act of distorting the text’s meaning since they have intentionally cherry-picked the quote and taken it out of context to support their cause.
Xenophon’s, Memorabilia 2.6.28
 ἀλλὰ θαρρῶν, ἔφη, ὦ Κριτόβουλε, πειρῶ ἀγαθὸς γίγνεσθαι, καὶ τοιοῦτος γενόμενος θηρᾶν ἐπιχείρει τοὺς καλούς τε κἀγαθούς. ἴσως δ᾽ ἄν τί σοι κἀγὼ συλλαβεῖν εἰς τὴν τῶν καλῶν τε κἀγαθῶν θήραν ἔχοιμι διὰ τὸ ἐρωτικὸς εἶναι: δεινῶς γάρ, ὧν ἂν ἐπιθυμήσω ἀνθρώπων, ὅλος ὥρμημαι ἐπὶ τὸ φιλῶν τε αὐτοὺς ἀντιφιλεῖσθαι ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν καὶ ποθῶν ἀντιποθεῖσθαι, καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν συνεῖναι καὶ ἀντεπιθυμεῖσθαι τῆς συνουσίας.
 Courage, Critobulus; try to be good, and when you have achieved that, set about catching your gentleman. Maybe, I myself, as an adept in love, can lend you a hand in the pursuit of gentlemen. For when I want to catch anyone it’s surprising how I strain every nerve to have my love returned, my longing reciprocated by him, in my eagerness that he shall want me as much as I want him.
The objective is clear, since when reading this cherry-picked quote, the unsuspecting reader will indeed likely come to the conclusion that what they are talking about is nothing more than homosexual relations. So let’s add the rest of the quote to give some perspective, that the authors of this article conveniently left out; the following verse which clarifies exactly what Xenophon is writing about and exposes the individuals that composed this Wikipedia article for what they really are trying to do, which is striving to promote their sexual preference through distortions and intentional manipulation of ancient texts.
Xenophon’s, Memorabilia 2.6.29-30
 ὁρῶ δὲ καὶ σοὶ τούτων δεῆσον, ὅταν ἐπιθυμήσῃς φιλίαν πρός τινας ποιεῖσθαι: μὴ οὖν ἀποκρύπτου με οἷς ἂν βούλῃ φίλος γενέσθαι: διὰ γὰρ τὸ ἐπιμελεῖσθαι τοῦ ἀρέσαι τῷ ἀρέσκοντί μοι οὐκ ἀπείρως οἶμαι ἔχειν πρὸς θήραν ἀνθρώπων.
 καὶ ὁ Κριτόβουλος ἔφη: καὶ μήν, ὦ Σώκρατες, τούτων ἐγὼ τῶν μαθημάτων πάλαι ἐπιθυμῶ ἄλλως τε καὶ εἰ ἐξαρκέσει μοι ἡ αὐτὴ ἐπιστήμη ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς τὰς ψυχὰς καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς καλοὺς τὰ σώματα.
 I see that you too will feel this need when you want to form a friendship. So do not hide from me the names of those whom you wish to make your friends; for I am careful to please him who pleases me, and so, I think, I am not without experience in the pursuit of men.”
 “Well, Socrates,” said Critobulus in reply, “these are the lessons I have long wished to learn, especially if the same skill will serve to win a good soul and a fair face.”
Honestly, how should one characterize the individuals that resort to such pathetic distortions? Unscrupulous does not begin to describe it.
Under the example of Pederasty, it is originally claimed that it was Solon that founded the tradition of homosexual relations twixt Athenian men and young boys, a ridiculous claim as Solon was the founder of the very laws which Aeschines cites in his Against Timarchus, laws which expressly forbid homosexual and pederastic sexual relations ( I’ll get to that shortly ).
In their sad attempt to support this claim, the authors of this entry totally distort the text of Athenaeus of Naucratis, who’s Deipnosophists they claim to quote. The distorted text appears as:
“boy in the lovely flower of youth, desiring his thighs and sweet mouth.”
when in reality the text states:
“μηρών ίμείρων και γλυκερού στοματός”
“longing for thighs and sweet mouth”
No mention of longing for a males thighs and sweet mouth is present in the original – the reader will quickly see how subtle the manipulations of the text are in order to distort its meanings.
The authors, and many others, my examples are not limited to the Wikipedia entry, then attempt to attribute homosexual relations to Harmodios and Aristogeiton, to whom they first attribute the title of “lovers” prior to any reference to the significance of their actions, conveniently taking Thucydides’ account instead of reading what the numerous ancient texts and the Cambridge Ancient History (Cambridge University Press 2000, page 299) which clearly states that “the motive for the murder was political“..
But even so, how could anyone misunderstand what Plato tells us in his Symposium ?
Plato Symposium 182c:
[182ξ] φιλοσοφία καὶ ἡ φιλογυμναστία: οὐ γὰρ οἶμαι συμφέρει τοῖς ἄρχουσι φρονήματα μεγάλα ἐγγίγνεσθαι τῶν ἀρχομένων, οὐδὲ φιλίας ἰσχυρὰς καὶ κοινωνίας, ὃ δὴ μάλιστα φιλεῖ τά τε ἄλλα πάντα καὶ ὁ ἔρως ἐμποιεῖν. ἔργῳ δὲ τοῦτο ἔμαθον καὶ οἱ ἐνθάδε τύραννοι: ὁ γὰρ Ἀριστογείτονος ἔρως καὶ ἡ Ἁρμοδίου φιλία βέβαιος γενομένη κατέλυσεν αὐτῶν τὴν ἀρχήν.
[182c] and all training in philosophy and sports, to be disgraceful, because of their despotic government; since, I presume, it is not to the interest of their princes to have lofty notions engendered in their subjects, or any strong friendships and communions; all of which Love is pre-eminently apt to create. It is a lesson that our despots learnt by experience; for Aristogeiton’s love and Harmodius’s friendship grew to be so steadfast that it wrecked their power.
Why would they misinterpret the word friendship, why would they ignore the true meaning of pederasty which Plato describes (181c) as of the “heavenly Aphrodite”, which has nothing to do with wantonness , why ignore the words of Plato in his Hipparchus who tells us exactly what their relationship was (229c); Harmodius “πεπαιδεῦσθαι ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνου” (was educated by him [Aristogeiton]), why ignore the numerous accounts which speak of their contribution to the fall of tyranny but choose to promote the context of a single text, and finally why not see how their relationship was used in real life and not some philosophical discussion which is by no means an accurate source for deducing conclusions upon everyday realities?
Did they also miss Plato’s treatment of homosexuality in Plato’s Laws. 1.636c?
“And whether one makes the observation in earnest or in jest, one certainly should not fail to observe that when male unites with female for procreation the pleasure experienced is held to be due to nature, but contrary to nature when male mates with male or female with female, and that those first guilty of such enormities were impelled by their slavery to pleasure.”
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 140
Ἁρμόδιον καὶ Ἀριστογείτονα, ὁ σώφρων καὶ ἔννομος, εἴτε ἔρωτα εἴτε ὅντινα τρόπον χρὴ προσειπεῖν, τοιούτους ἐπαίδευσεν, ὥστε τοὺς ἐπαινοῦντας τὰ ἐκείνων ἔργα καταδεεστέρους δοκεῖν εἶναι ἐν τοῖς ἐγκωμίοις τῶν ἐκείνοις πεπραγμένων.
Harmodius and Aristogeiton, men pre-eminent for their virtues, were so nurtured by that chaste and lawful love—or call it by some other name than love if you like—and so disciplined, that when we hear men praising what they did, we feel that words are inadequate to the eulogy of their deeds.
Hmmm. As if this isn’t enough, let us move on to the claim of vase paintings suggesting the “dominant status of pederasty in Athenian social life”. 30 vases have been put forth as depicting homosexual themes, primarily by KJ Dover, a pervert and revisionist “historian”. One can’t but wonder how on earth a total of some 30 vases ( Georgiades, “Debunking the Myth of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece”) which indeed do depict homosexual themes or acts in some of the vases, can justify the outrageous claim of “dominant status” from a mere 30.
One of the most important and prestigious publishing houses in Greece is that of Ekdotike Athenon; in their series of books dedicated to Hellenic Art there is one volume about ancient vases. In their attempt to measure the amount of vases in total, they conclude that the total number of vases unearthed in Athens alone reaches 80,000!!!, 80,000 vases from Athens ALONE and despite the fact that ONLY a total of 30 out of 80,000 from Athens alone supposedly depict homosexual scenes, they ( the authors of the wiki article, Dover, and of course others ) blatantly distort history by claiming “dominant status”.
This K.J. Dover, a self-appointed ‘expert’ in this field ( a laughable claim really, the only thing he is an expert in is distorting history to advance an agenda, otherwise as an academician he is a singular disgrace ), attempts through mistaken interpretations to find homosexual scenes on the artwork of these vases, and while some without a doubt are, many are simply his ‘reaching for straws’, for example, according to Dover the scene of Achilles mending Patroclus’ wound is related to homosexuality, a fiction that is repeated in the modern Movie of ‘TROY’, and a claim that is patently false, as is the claim of Zeus ( Jupiter ) desiring, abducting, and raping Ganymede ( in the original Greek one would REALLY have to read into the text, eisegesis, to make this claim ).
The fact of the matter is that 30 vases or 100, or even 1000 in no way can justify the outrageous claim of “dominant status” simply because they do not even constitute 1% of the total vases unearthed in Athens alone.
After such exaggerations, distorting the purpose of the ‘paidagogos’ , the adult male of the pederasty duo, is no real surprise. According to “Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities” the “paidagogos” was:
(paidagôgos, “boy-leader”). The name among the Greeks for the slave who had the duty of looking after the son of his master while in boyhood, instructing him in certain rules of good manners, and attending him whenever he went out, especially to school and to the palaestra and gymnasium.
As anyone can see, the “fiery courtship” the authors claim had very little to do with the institution of the ‘paidagogos’. This is not hard to research, the institution of pederasty had NOTHING to do with sexual relations, and was more akin to today’s Boy Scouts and/or Big Brother/Big Sister organizations – mentoring at best.
And even though they note the existence of laws forbidding homosexual relations or carnal relations with youth, they then, either due to ignorance or nefarious intent, jump to intentionally twisted conclusions by suggesting that citizens were allowed to have sexual relations with children. One can’t but wonder how they’d miss the laws cited in Aeschines’ “Against Timarchus” especially since they note it as their source?
Against Timarchus 16
[Ἄν τις Ἀθηναίων ἐλεύθερον παῖδα ὑβρίσῃ, γραφέσθω ὁ κύριος τοῦ παιδὸς πρὸς τοὺς θεσμοθέτας, τίμημα ἐπιγραψάμενος. οὗ δ᾽ ἂν τὸ δικαστήριον καταψηφίσηται, παραδοθεὶς τοῖς ἕνδεκα τεθνάτω αὐθημερόν.
If any Athenian shall outrage a free-born child, the parent or guardian of the child shall demand a specific penalty. If the court condemn the accused to death, he shall be delivered to the constables and be put to death the same day.
While the use of “outrage” in the translation may be misleading the use of ‘ὑβρίσῃ’ in the original leaves us no doubts what so ever. According to the “Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon” :
ὑβρίσῃ=wax wanton, run riot, treat him despitefully, outrage, insult, maltreat.
But even if they didn’t understand it when reading Aeschines’ speech, surely they could have read Demosthenes’ “Against Midias”
Demosthenes, Against Midias 47
ἐάν τις ὑβρίζῃ εἴς τινα, ἢ παῖδα ἢ γυναῖκα ἢ ἄνδρα, τῶν ἐλευθέρων ἢ τῶν δούλων, ἢ παράνομόν τι ποιήσῃ εἰς τούτων
If anyone assaults any child or woman or man, whether free or slave, or commits any unlawful [ including sex ] act against anyone of these…
So in short the whole claim of any such form of action being accepted or even allowed is nothing but a total fallacy as the laws cited clearly indicates this as ‘verboten’.
But not to be deterred by the facts, they continue with a reference to “tradition”, which they have done anything but respect, by again making reference to Harmodius and Aristogeiton, but also add the questionable account of Atheneus on Cratinus and Aristodemus found in his Deipnosophits (13.78). But the problem isn’t if the account is questionable on the basis that Diogenes Laertius mentions the pair being Cratinus and Ctesibius (Life of Epemenidis III) or not, but that the only account of it (Atheneus) clarifies that it isn’t true!
Athenaeus Deipnosophists 13.79
τα περί Κρατίνον και Αριστόδημον πεπλάσθαι φύσιν
(the story) of Cratinus and Aristodemus is fiction
Why on earth totally disregard what your source clearly notes ( it’s fiction ) about the couple if not to intentionally mis-represent and promote the notion of acceptance of homosexual relations?
They then clumsily attempt to find proof of acceptance of homosexual relations in the speech of Pericles noted in Thucydides. Yet Pericles’ speech has little to do with homosexual relations but to the contrary we see that the true meaning of “εραστής” through his metaphor. As the ‘εραστής’ seeks nothing more than his ‘ερώμενος’ virtue, his character, his spiritual elevation, that will allow him to accomplish truly great feats. In order to accomplish this, not even his life is a great enough price to pay, especially since the ‘ερώμενος’ in our case, is the city of Athens itself.
There is yet another intentionally distorted quote to present acceptance of homosexual relations, this time even implicating the father. The author’s cherry-pick AGAIN and intentionally take out of context a quote from Xenophon’s Symposium and present it as follows:
Wikipedia’s blatant distortion:
“It was proper for the lover to respect the authority of the boy’s father. According to Xenophon, “Nothing [of what concerns the boy] is kept hidden from the father, by a noble lover.”
But what does Xenophon actually say?
Xenophon Symposium 8.1.10-11
 εἰκάσαις δ᾽ ἂν καὶ τοὺς ἔρωτας τὴν μὲν Πάνδημον τῶν σωμάτων ἐπιπέμπειν, τὴν δ᾽ Οὐρανίαν τῆς ψυχῆς τε καὶ τῆς φιλίας καὶ τῶν καλῶν ἔργων. ὑφ᾽ οὗ δὴ καὶ σύ, ὦ Καλλία, κατέχεσθαι μοι δοκεῖς ἔρωτος.
 τεκμαίρομαι δὲ τῇ τοῦ ἐρωμένου καλοκἀγαθίᾳ καὶ ὅτι σε ὁρῶ τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ παραλαμβάνοντα εἰς τὰς πρὸς τοῦτον συνουσίας. οὐδὲν γὰρ τούτων ἐστὶν ἀπόκρυφον πατρὸς τῷ καλῷ τε κἀγαθῷ ἐραστῇ.
 One might conjecture, also, that different types of love come from the different sources, carnal [sexual] love from the ‘Vulgar’ Aphrodite, and from the ‘Heavenly’ spiritual love, love of friendship and of noble conduct. That is the sort of love [ the latter ], Callias, that seems to have you in its grip.
 I infer this from the noble nature of the one you love and because I see that you include his father in your meetings with him. For the virtuous lover does not make any of these matters a secret from the father of his beloved.”
So Xenophon is talking about “Heavenly Spiritual Love”, that of friendship and noble conduct and not that related to sexual lust; their notion of homosexuality being accepted is but a conveniently constructed myth by homosexuals in their attempt to legitimize same sex relations.
They then continue by misquoting Aelianus’ “Various History”; according to these individuals, in 11.11 we should find an account of Xanthippe’s jealous rage – but we don’t!
Fortunately, for those who read and write Greek, the verse in question has nothing to do with the notion in question, another blatant non-sequitur which actually states:
Aelianus Various History 11.11
Ότι Διονύσιος Σικελός περί την ίατρικήν εσπούδασε καί αύτος, και ίατο και έτέμνε και έκαε και τα λοίπα.
Dionysus Sicelus also had studied medicine, and cured and cut (as a surgeon) and burnt ..etc
What in the world? While the verse is indeed found only a couple of lines down, the whole point, which they neglect to mention, is that the Athenians literally detested him for his defection in siding with Sparta, an action which literally changed the outcome of the war!
The very fact that no [then] contemporary account of such relations exists, added to Plutarch’s account of false accusations against him (Lives Alcibiades 19-21) of showing disrespect to the Eleusinian goddesses make us conclude that this indeed is nothing but Leftist pervert propaganda!
Why? Simple; had Alcibiades been implicated in such relations they could have simply enforced the laws cited in Aeschines’ “Against Timarchus” since they existed since the time of Solon and by doing so, strip him of his position, making the constructed accusations totally worthless since they could accomplish their objective by simply citing the law and instituting the prescribed punishments.
LAWS AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY AND SEXUAL PEDERASTY
First, Let me provide some background on Aeschines and Timarchus.
Time: the 4th cent. B.C. during which the 2nd Athenian Alliance is in a great crisis due to the continuous growing power of Philip. The Athenians, are separated into two major groups, one lead by Demosthenes and Hyperides which considers Philip nothing more than a tyrannical conqueror which will enslave and alienate the Athenians and the rest of the Greeks from their democratic norms and a second lead by Isocrates, Phokion and Aeschines which see him as the great hope to finally unite the Greeks under one leader and destroy the Barbarian ( Persian ) threat. Under the circumstances one can understand that backstabbing, accusations of treason, bribery, etc. were common.
In an attempt to present the agreement made by the Athenian ambassadors and Philip as void (since it dissolved the 2nd Athenian Alliance), Demosthenes’ “group” accused Aeschines of taking bribes from Philip. Aeschines’ prosecutor is Timarchus, a member of Demosthenes “group”. Aeschines, instead of trying to refute the accusations against him, takes a totally different turn and tries to totally avoid the trial by making reference to laws that existed since the time of Solon (7th cent. BC) and by doing so, literally deprived Timarchus of all his political rights. Ok, on to it.
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 12
[Οἱ δὲ τῶν παίδων διδάσκαλοι ἀνοιγέτωσαν μὲν τὰ διδασκαλεῖα μὴ πρότερον ἡλίου ἀνιόντος, κλειέτωσαν δὲ πρὸ ἡλίου δύνοντος. καὶ μὴ ἐξέστω τοῖς ὑπὲρ τὴν τῶν παίδων ἡλικίαν οὖσιν εἰσιέναι τῶν παίδων ἔνδον ὄντων, ἐὰν μὴ υἱὸς διδασκάλου ἢ ἀδελφὸς ἢ θυγατρὸς ἀνήρ: ἐὰν δέ τις παρὰ ταῦτ᾽ εἰσίῃ, θανάτῳ ζημιούσθω. καὶ οἱ γυμνασιάρχαι τοῖς Ἑρμαίοις μὴ εἄτωσαν συγκαθιέναι μηδένα τῶν ἐν ἡλικίᾳ τρόπῳ μηδενί: ἐὰν δὲ ἐπιτρέπῃ καὶ μὴ ἐξείργῃ τοῦ γυμνασίου, ἔνοχος ἔστω ὁ γυμνασιάρχης τῷ τῆς ἐλευθέρων φθορᾶς νόμῳ. οἱ δὲ χορηγοὶ οἱ καθιστάμενοι ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου ἔστωσαν τὴν ἡλικίαν ὑπὲρ τετταράκοντα ἔτη
The teachers of the boys shall open the school-rooms not earlier than sunrise, and they shall close them before sunset. No person who is older than the boys shall be permitted to enter the room while they are there, unless he be a son of the teacher, a brother, or a daughter’s husband. If any one enter in violation of this prohibition, he shall be punished with death. The superintendents of the gymnasia shall under no conditions allow any one who has reached the age of manhood to enter the contests of Hermes together with the boys. A gymnasiarch who does permit this and fails to keep such a person out of the gymnasium, shall be liable to the penalties prescribed for the seduction of free-born youth. Every choregus who is appointed by the people shall be more than forty years of age
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 13
ἐάν τινα ἐκμισθώσῃ ἑταιρεῖν πατὴρ ἢ ἀδελφὸς ἢ θεῖος ἢ ἐπίτροπος ἢ ὅλως τῶν κυρίων τις, κατ᾽ αὐτοῦ μὲν τοῦ παιδὸς οὐκ ἐᾷ γραφὴν εἶναι, κατὰ δὲ τοῦ μισθώσαντος καὶ τοῦ μισθωσαμένου, τοῦ μὲν ὅτι ἐξεμίσθωσε, τοῦ δὲ ὅτι, φησίν, ἐμισθώσατο
if any boy is let out for hire as a prostitute, whether it be by father or brother or uncle or guardian, or by any one else who has control of him, prosecution is not to he against the boy himself, but against the man who let him out for hire and the man who hired him
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 16
[Ἄν τις Ἀθηναίων έλεύθερον παῖδα ὑβρίσῃ, γραφέσθω ὁ κύριος τοῦ παιδὸς πρὸς τοὺς θεσμοθέτας, τίμημα ἐπιγραψάμενος. οὗ δ᾽ ἂν τὸ δικαστήριον καταψηφίσηται, παραδοθεὶς τοῖς ἕνδεκα τεθνάτω αὐθημερόν. ἐὰν δὲ εἰς ἀργύριον καταψηφισθῇ, ἀποτεισάτω ἐν ἕνδεκα ἡμέραις μετὰ τὴν δίκην, ἐὰν μὴ παραχρῆμα δύνηται ἀποτίνειν: ἕως δὲ τοῦ ἀποτεῖσαι εἱρχθήτω. ἔνοχοι δὲ ἔστασαν ταῖσδε ταῖς αἰτίαις καὶ οἱ εἰς τὰ οἰκετικὰ σώματα ἐξαμαρτάνοντες.]
If any Athenian shall outrage a free-born child, the parent or guardian of the child shall demand a specific penalty. If the court condemn the accused to death, he shall be delivered to the constables and be put to death the same day. If he be condemned to pay a fine, and be unable to pay the fine immediately, he must pay within eleven days after the trial, and he shall remain in prison until payment is made. The same action shall hold against those who abuse the persons of slaves.
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 17
ἴσως ἂν οὖν τις θαυμάσειεν ἐξαίφνης ἀκούσας, τί δή ποτ᾽ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ τῷ τῆς ὕβρεως προσεγράφη τοῦτο τὸ ῥῆμα, τὸ τῶν δούλων. τοῦτο δὲ ἐὰν σκοπῆτε, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, εὑρήσετε ὅτι πάντων ἄριστα ἔχει: οὐ γὰρ ὑπὲρ τῶν οἰκετῶν ἐσπούδασεν ὁ νομοθέτης, ἀλλὰ βουλόμενος ὑμᾶς ἐθίσαι πολὺ ἀπέχειν τῆς τῶν ἐλευθέρων ὕβρεως, προσέγραψε μηδ᾽ εἰς τοὺς δούλους ὑβρίζειν. ὅλως δὲ ἐν δημοκρατίᾳ τὸν εἰς ὁντινοῦν ὑβριστήν, τοῦτον οὐκ ἐπιτήδειον ἡγήσατο εἶναι συμπολιτεύεσθαι.
Now perhaps someone, on first hearing this law, may wonder for what possible reason this word “slaves” was added in the law against outrage. But if you reflect on the matter, fellow citizens, you will find this to be the best provision of all. For it was not for the slaves that the lawgiver was concerned, but he wished to accustom you to keep a long distance away from the crime of outraging free men, and so he added the prohibition against the outraging even of slaves. In a word, he was convinced that in a democracy that man is unfit for citizenship who outrages any person whatsoever.
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 21
Ἐάν τις Ἀθηναῖος ἑταιρήσῃ, μὴ ἐξέστω αὐτῷ τῶν ἐννέα ἀρχόντων γενέσθαι, μηδ᾽ ἱερωσύνην ἱερώσασθαι, μηδὲ συνδικῆσαι τῷ δήμῳ, μηδὲ ἀρχὴν ἀρχέτω μηδεμίαν, μήτε ἔνδημον μήτε ὑπερόριον, μήτε κληρωτὴν μήτε χειροτονητήν, μηδ᾽ ἐπὶ κηρυκείαν ἀποστελλέσθω, μηδὲ γνώμην λεγέτω, μηδ᾽ εἰς τὰ δημοτελῆ ἱερὰ εἰσίτω, μηδ᾽ ἐν ταῖς κοιναῖς στεφανηφορίαις στεφανούσθω, μηδ᾽ ἐντὸς τῆς ἀγορᾶς τῶν περιρραντηρίων πορευέσθω. ἐὰν δέ τις παρὰ1 ταῦτα ποιῇ, καταγνωσθέντος αὐτοῦ ἑταιρεῖν, θανάτῳ ζημιούσθω
If any Athenian shall have un-chastised his person, he shall not be permitted to become one of the nine archons, nor to discharge the office of priest, nor to act as an advocate for the state, nor shall he hold any office whatsoever, at home or abroad, whether filled by lot or by election; he shall not be sent as a herald; he shall not take part in debate, nor be present at public sacrifices; when the citizens are wearing garlands, he shall wear none; and he shall not enter within the limits of the place that has been purified for the assembling of the people. If any man who has been convicted of an unchastity act contrary to these prohibitions, he shall be put to death.
Here I must note a mistake in the some translations: While some translations use the phrase “prostituting his person” the original Greek makes no reference what so ever to “prostitution” but clearly states ἑταιρήσῃ . According to the comprehensive “Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon”, ἑταιρήσῃ = unchastity. The difference is indicated further in the next text:
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 29
φησί, “μὴ ἐστρατευμένος, ὅσαι ἂν αὐτῷ προσταχθῶσιν, ἢ τὴν ἀσπίδα ἀποβεβληκώς,” δίκαια λέγων. τί δή ποτε; ἄνθρωπε, τῇ πόλει, ὑπὲρ ἧς τὰ ὅπλα μὴ τίθεσαι ἢ διὰ δειλίαν μὴ δυνατὸς εἶ ἐπαμῦναι, μηδὲ συμβουλεύειν βουλεύειν ἀξίου. τρίτον τίσι διαλέγεται; “ἢ πεπορνευμένος,”φησίν, “ἢ ἡταιρηκώς:” τὸν γὰρ τὸ σῶμα τὸ ἑαυτοῦ ἐφ᾽ ὕβρει πεπρακότα, καὶ τὰ κοινὰ τῆς πόλεως ῥᾳδίως ἡγήσατο ἀποδώσεσθαι. τέταρτον τίσι διαλέγεται
“Or the man who has failed to perform all the military service demanded of him, or who has thrown away his shield.” And he is right. Why? Man, if you fail to take up arms in behalf of the state, or if you are such a coward that you are unable to defend her, you must not claim the right to advise her, either. Whom does he specify in the third place? “Or the man,” he says, “who has debauched or prostituted himself.” For the man who has made traffic of the shame of his own body, he thought would be ready to sell the common interests of the city also. But whom does he specify in the fourth place?”
The use of both terms πεπορνευμένος (according to Liddle & Scott “to prostitue” and ἡταιρηκώς ( according to Liddle & Scott = to keep company) clearly indicates that the laws did NOT apply ONLY to those that had prostituted themselves, but also to those that had formed homosexual relations.
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 46
ἐὰν μὲν οὖν ἐθελήσῃ ὁ Μισγόλας δεῦρο παρελθὼν τἀληθῆ μαρτυρεῖν, τὰ δίκαια ποιήσει: ἐὰν δὲ προαιρῆται ἐκκλητευθῆναι μᾶλλον ἢ τἀληθῆ μαρτυρεῖν, ὑμεῖς τὸ ὅλον πρᾶγμα συνίδετε. εἰ γὰρ ὁ μὲν πράξας αἰσχυνεῖται καὶ προαιρήσεται χιλίας μᾶλλον δραχμὰς ἀποτεῖσαι τῷ δημοσίῳ, ὥστε μὴ δεῖξαι τὸ πρόσωπον τὸ ἑαυτοῦ ὑμῖν, ὁ δὲ πεπονθὼς δημηγορήσει, σοφὸς ὁ νομοθέτης ὁ τοὺς οὕτω βδελυροὺς ἐξείργων ἀπὸ τοῦ βήματος.
If therefore Misgolas is willing to come forward here and testify to the truth, he will be doing what is right; but if he prefers to refuse the summons rather than testify to the truth, the whole business will be made clear to you. For if the man who did the thing is going to be ashamed of it and choose to pay a thousand drachmas into the treasury rather than show his face before you, while the man to whom it has been done is to be a speaker in your assembly, then wise indeed was the lawgiver who excluded such disgusting creatures from the platform.
We move on to Misgolas, Timarchus’ ‘lover’s’ testimony, (who makes no reference to payment) the accounts of others and the conclusion that he not only had homosexual relations but also prostituted himself.
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 52
ἐὰν δ᾽ ὑμᾶς ἀναμνήσας ἐπιδείξω, ὑπερβαίνων τούσδε τοὺς ἀγρίους, Κηδωνίδην καὶ Αὐτοκλείδην καὶ Θέρσανδρον, αὐτοὺς δὲ λέγων ὧν ἐν ταῖς οἰκίαις ἀνειλημμένος γέγονε, μὴ μόνον παρὰ τῷ Μισγόλᾳ μεμισθαρνηκότα αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῷ σώματι, ἀλλὰ καὶ παρ᾽ ἑτέρῳ καὶ πάλιν παρ᾽ ἄλλῷ, καὶ παρὰ τούτου ὡς ἕτερον ἐληλυθότα, οὐκέτι δήπου φανεῖται μόνον ἡταιρηκώς, ἀλλὰ （μὰ τὸν Διόνυσον οὐκ οἶδ᾽ ὅπως δυνήσομαι περιπλέκειν ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν） καὶ πεπορνευμένος: ὁ γὰρ εἰκῇ τοῦτο καὶ πρὸς πολλοὺς πράττων καὶ μισθοῦ, αὐτῷ μοι δοκεῖ τούτῳ ἔνοχος εἶναι.
But if, saying nothing about these bestial fellows, Cedonides, Autocleides, and Thersandrus, and simply telling the names of those in whose houses he has been an inmate, I refresh your memories and show that he is guilty of selling his person not only in Misgolas’ house, but in the house of another man also, and again of another, and that from this last he went to still another, surely you will no longer look upon him as one who has merely been a kept man, but—by Dionysus, I don’t know how I can keep glossing the thing over all day long—as a common prostitute. For the man who follows these practices recklessly and with many men and for pay seems to me to be chargeable with precisely this.”
While the translation “kept man” may be misleading, the definition provided by the Liddle and Scott provides little doubt to what is actually written.
Finally a quote that actually depicts what they believed about such relations:
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 185
ἔπειθ᾽ οἱ μὲν πατέρες ὑμῶν οὕτω περὶ τῶν αἰσχρῶν καὶ καλῶν διεγίγνωσκον, ὑμεῖς δὲ Τίμαρχον τὸν τοῖς αἰσχίστοις ἐπιτηδεύμασιν ἔνοχον ἀφήσετε; τὸν ἄνδρα μὲν καὶ ἄρρενα τὸ σῶμα, γυναικεῖα δὲ ἁμαρτήματα ἡμαρτηκότα; τίς οὖν ὑμῶν γυναῖκα λαβὼν ἀδικοῦσαν τιμωρήσεται; ἢ τίς οὐκ ἀπαίδευτος εἶναι δόξει τῇ μὲν κατὰ φύσιν ἁμαρτανούσῃ χαλεπαίνων, τῷ δὲ παρὰ φύσιν ἑαυτὸν ὑβρίσαντι συμβούλῳ χρώμενος;
Such, then, was the judgment of your fathers concerning things shameful and things honorable; and shall their sons let Timarchus go free, a man chargeable with the most shameful practices, a creature with the body of a man defiled with the sins of a woman? In that case, who of you will punish a woman if he finds her in wrong doing? Or what man will not be regarded as lacking intelligence who is angry with her who errs by an impulse of nature, while he treats as adviser the man who in despite of nature has sinned against his own body?”
The phrase παρὰ φύσιν ἑαυτὸν ὑβρίσαντι (to wax wanton himself against nature) actually says it all.
And let’s not forget Plato:
“And whether one makes the observation in earnest or in jest, one certainly should not fail to observe that when male unites with female for procreation the pleasure experienced is held to be due to nature, but contrary to nature when male mates with male or female with female, and that those first guilty of such enormities were impelled by their slavery to pleasure.” – Plato, LAWS, 1.636c
In closing, one can clearly see, through these meager but by no means exhaustive examples, that homosexuality most certainly was never a de jure or de facto state of affairs in ancient Greece, and it most certainly was not widespread, rather this is revisionist history by those with an agenda to support; an agenda of normalization of their sexual perversions. I could go on and on about this, my point being made I take it.
Be careful what you read.
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