Pederastic couples in classical antiquity

In classical antiquity there were many known pederastic relationships between adult men and adolescent boys. In some of these cases both members became well-known historical figures, while in others, only one of the two may have.

Though all such relationships were by definition homoerotic in nature, the individuals involved did not identify themselves as homosexuals, but rather as ordinary men having ordinary desires. The nature of the relationships have ranged from overtly sexual to what is now referred to as platonic, in accordance with ancient ethical and philosophical standards.

In the following list the couples are listed in chronological order, and the name of the older partner precedes that of the younger. Though many more men are known to have engaged in such relationships, only those instances in which the name of the younger partner is known are included. In keeping with ancient traditions which promoted chaste pederastic relationships (See Philosophy of Greek pederasty) included below are also relationships in which there is evidence of an erotic component even in the absence of actual sexual relations.

Ancient Greece

Archaic period in Greece

:''Blessed were Chariton and Melanippus:
:They showed mortals the way to a friendship that was divine.
:''Eros of many devices, Charmus built you this altar
:''Among the shady boundaries of the gymnasium.
:''O boy, with virgin-glancing eye,
:''I call thee, but thou dost not hear;
:''Thou know'st not how my soul doth cry
:''For thee, its charioteer.

Classical Greece

:My Aster, you're gazing on the stars,
:Would that I were the heavens, that so I might
:Gaze in return with many eyes on thee.

''The group below (indented) consists of relationships revealed during the course of Aeschines' speech (ca. 345) to the court bringing suit against the politician Timarchus so as to deprive him of his political rights for having behaved like a prostitute in his adolescence. They occurred around 375, except the first two, presumably about ten to fifteen years earlier. ''

:"Krates and Polemon loved each other so well that they not only were occupied in life with the same work, but they almost drew breath simultaneously; and in death they shared the same grave. On account of which, Archesilaus, who visited them in company with Theophrastus, spoke of them as gods, or survivors from the Golden Age."

Hellenistic Greece

Ancient Rome

Roman Republic

Roman Empire

See also



Ancient Greece

External links

Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

This article is based on "Pederastic couples in classical antiquity" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia ( It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: