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SOLON and PEISISTRATUS
The law giver was the erastes of the future tyrant, presumably around 590 BCE.

PEISISTRATUS and CHARMUS [3]

CHARITON and MELANIPPUS
The two lovers plotted against Phalaris around 560 BCE. They were discovered and tortured to divulge accomplices, but remained silent. The tyrant, impressed, set them free. Their valor and love were celebrated in a Delphic oracle:

Blessed were Chariton and Melanippus: They showed mortals the way to a friendship that was divine. [4]

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Aristogeiton and Harmodius
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THEOGNIS of MEGARA and CYRNUS
The poet, thought to have lived in the sixth c. BCE, addressed many of his poems to his young beloved, using them to pass on his wisdom to the boy. [5]

POLYCRATES and SMERDIES
The love of the tyrant of Samos for his Thracian favorite, some time between 535 and 515, was recorded by the poet Anacreon. [6]

ARISTOGEITON and HARMODIUS
Heroic couple, later lionized by the Athenian democrats, whose 514 BCE plot to assassinate Hippias in was credited with the overthrow of tyranny in Athens.

PARMENIDES of ELEA and ZENO of ELEA
According to Plato, Zeno was "tall and fair to look upon" and was "in the days of his youth . . . reported to have been beloved by Parmenides." [7] This would have occurred around 475 BCE.

HIERO I of SYRACUSE and DAELOCHUS
Hiero, tyrant of Syracuse surrounded himself with pederastic intellectuals and had a number of lovers. [8]

PHIDIAS and AGORACRITUS
The youth, both beloved and student of the sculptor, is also known for his sculpture of Nemesis at Rhamnus. [9]

PHIDIAS and PANTARKES
Pantarkes, was an Elian youth and winner of the boys' wrestling match at the 86th Olympics in 436 BCE. He modeled for one of the figures sculpted in the throne of the Olympian Zeus, [10] and Phidias, to honor him, carved "Kalos Pantarkes" into the god's little finger. [11][12]

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Alcibiades gay ancient greek couples
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Socrates and Alcibiades
SOCRATES and ALCIBIADES
Each is said to have saved the life of the other in battle, and the relationship, which took place around 435-430 was said to have been chaste.

CRITIAS and EUTHYDEMOS
A relationship mocked by Socrates for the brutish physicality of Critias' desire.

XENOPHON and CLINIAS
Of his eromenos, Xenophon said, "Now I look upon Clinias with more pleasure than upon all the other beautiful things which are to be seen among men; and I would rather be blind as to all the rest of the world, than as to Clinias. And I am annoyed even with night and with sleep, because then I do not see him; but I am very grateful to the sun and to daylight, because they show Clinias to me." [13]

CALLIAS III and AUTOLYCUS
The relationship between the two, in 421 BCE, is touched upon in Xenophon's Symposium, where Callias entertains both the boy and the father. [14]

THEMISTOCLES and STESILAUS of CEOS
Around 420 BCE Themistocles competed for the boy's love with Aristides. As Plutarch recounts, "... they were rivals for the affection of the beautiful Stesilaus of Ceos, and were passionate beyond all moderation." [15]

PYTHEAS and TEISIS
Pytheas, who was also the guardian of the youth, appointed to that position by Teisis' father in his will, is held up as being an unwise erastes, concerned with impressing his eromenos and as a result giving him bad advice. [16]

ARCHEDEMUS and ALCIBIADES II
In his childhood, Alcibiades II, son of the famous general by the same name, was notorious for frequenting the house of his erastes, drinking, and reclining with him under a single cloak in sight of all. [17]

ARCHEBIADES and ALCIBIADES II
After the death of the older Alcibiades, his old associate and co-defendent in the desecration of the Eleusinian mysteries, became the erastes of his son, then in his early teens, ransoming him from imprisonment, a ransom the boy's father had refused to pay, out of disgust with his own son. [18]

LYSANDER and AGESILAUS II
Lysander had been the eispnelas of Agesilaus and was instrumental in the latter's rise to kingship, only to be spurned by him once he rose to power in 399BCE.

ARCHIDAMUS and CLEONYMUS
Archidamus, son of Agesilaus II, is described by Xenophon to have been in love with the handsome son of Sphodrias. The boy asked his eispnelas to intervene with the king in favor of his father in a life and death legal matter, promising that Archidamus would never be ashamed to have befriended him. That proved to be so, as he was the first Spartan to die at the battle of Leuctra. [19]

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Hadrian gay ancient greek couples Antinous
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Hadrian Antinous
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ARCHELAUS I of MACEDON and CRATERUS (or Crateuas)
The king of Macedon was assassinated in 399 BCE by this eromenos, upon reneging on a promise to give the boy his daughter in marriage. [20]

AGESILAUS II and MEGABATES
By taking on the Perisan boy as beloved, the king of Sparta was following Spartan law.

EPAMINONDAS and ASOPICHOS
A couple famed for their military prowess, such as in their victory at Leuctra in 371 BCE.

DEMOSTHENES and CNOSION
After the orator took in his young beloved, his wife is said to have bedded the boy in a fit of jealousy, [21] though Aeschines claims that it was Demosthenes who put his own wife in bed with the youth so as to get children by him. [22]

DEMOSTHENES and ARISTARCHUS
Much of what is known about this relationship comes from the speeches of Demosthenes' enemy, Aeschines. He accuses Demosthenes of having been such a bad erastes to Aristarchus so as not even to deserve the name. Among his alleged crimes are his complicity in Aristarchus' murder of Nicodemus of Aphidna, whose eyes and tongue were gouged out. This murder took place while the youth was under Demosthenes' tutelage. [23] Another misdeed of Demosthenes, the one allegedly disqualifying him from calling himself an erastes, is his pillaging of Aristarchus' estate. He is alleged to have pretended being in love with the youth so as to get his hands on the boy's inheritance, which he is said to have squandered and from which he is said to have taken three talents upon Aristarchus' fleeing into exile so as to avoid a trial. [24]

DEMOSTHENES and ARISTION
Again, according to Aeschines, Demosthenes had the handsome youth in his house, engaged in unspeakable behavior: There is a certain Aristion, a Plataean..., who as a youth was oustandingly good-looking and lived for a long time in Demosthenes' house. Allegations about the part he was playing ('undergoing or doing what') there vary, and it would be most unseemly for me to talk about it. [25]

PHILIP II of MACEDON and PAUSANIAS
In 336 BCE Pausanias killed Philip out of jealousy over another lover.

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Herodes Atticus gay ancient greek couples Polydeukion
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Herodes Atticus Polydeukion
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ALEXANDER the GREAT and BAGOAS
The two met in 330 BCE after the death of Bagoas' previous patron, Darius III.

DEMETRIUS PHALEREUS and DIOGNIS
Between 317 BC and 307 BC, when he was despot of Athens, he had a boyfriend by the name of Diognis, of whom all the Athenian boys were jealous. [26]

XENARES and CLEOMENES III
Xenares inspired the future king before 235 BCE. [27]

CLEOMENES III and PANTEUS
According to Plutarch, Panteus was "the most beautiful and valorous youth of Sparta." Later he joined his inspirer in death - when Cleomenes took his own life upon being exiled to Egypt Panteus, seeing that he could still knit his brows, "...kissed him and raised him. Holding the body next to him, he plunged his sword into his own breast." [28]

PTOLEMY VI PHILOMETOR and GALESTES
The king loved the boy not only for his good looks but also for his wisdom. Ca. 170-140 BCE [29]

EMPEROR HADRIAN and ANTINOUS
The Roman emperor met this 13 or 14 years old boy from Bithynia in 124 CE. Antinous was deified by Hadrian, when he died six years later. Many statues, busts, coins and reliefs display Hadrian's deep affections for him.

HERODES ATTICUS and POLYDEUKION
Herodes emulated Hadrian in establishing a heroic cult for the boy upon his early death ca. 174 CE.


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Notes

  1. In Sparta, the ephors fined any eligible man who did not love a boy, because, despite his own excellence, he failed to make a beloved "similar to himself." Aelian, Var. Hist., III.10
  2. Kaylor, Michael M. Secreted Desires: The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde. Brno, CZ: Masaryk University Press, 2006.
  3. Plutarch, The Lives, "Solon" back
  4. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistai, 13.602 back
  5. Ed. Thomas K. Hubbard, Homosexuality in Greece and Rome [1] back
  6. Aelian, Varia Historia, 9.4 back
  7. Plato, Parmenides, 127 back
  8. Xenophon, Hiero, I.32-38 back
  9. Pausanias, IX.34.1 back
  10. Pausanias, V.11.3 back
  11. Plutarch, Erotikos; back
  12. Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus, 53, 4 back
  13. Diogenes Laertius, LIFE OF XENOPHON back
  14. Xenophon, Symposium back
  15. Plutarch, The Lives, "Themistocles" back
  16. Lysias, Against Teisis, Fr.17.2.1-2, in Hubbard, 2003, p.122 back
  17. Lysias, Against Alcibiades, I 25-27 in Hubbard, 2003, pp.122-23 back
  18. Lysias, Against Alcibiades, I 25-27 in Hubbard, 2003, pp.122-23 back
  19. Xenophon, Hellenica 5.4 back
  20. Aelian, Varia Historia, 8.9 back
  21. Athenaeus of Naucratis, The Deipnosophists Book XIII "Concerning Women"(Page III) back
  22. Aeschines, On the Embassy, 2.149 back
  23. Aeschines, On the Embassy, 148-150 back
  24. Dover, J.K., op.cit. pp.46-47 back
  25. Aeschines, Against the Crown, iii 162 back
  26. According to Carystius of Pergamum in F.H.G. Fr. 10, in Hubbard, 2003, p.75 back
  27. John Addington Symonds, A Problem in Greek Ethics, X p.14 back
  28. John Addington Symonds, op.cit. X p.14 back
  29. Aelian, Varia Historia, I.30 back
 







































































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