P for Pederasty

When reviewing ancient artefacts it’s useful to remember the ancient pederastic iconography associated with bearded and clean shaven men.

The List of Unsavoury Subjects
The ambiguities of language provide plenty of scope to beguile with half-truths and falsehoods.

In polite society these ambiguities are exploited so that unsavoury subjects can be avoided or obscured beneath opaque references.

Polite society, the etiquette and manners of the upper class

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polite_society

Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.

Etiquette is behaviour that assists survival and has changed and evolved over the years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiquette

Related: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/putting-the-f-in-english/

Traditionally, the list of unsavoury subjects included male homosexuality.

The United Kingdom, for example, only started to decriminalise “homosexual acts” in 1967.

The Sexual Offences Act 1967 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom (citation 1967 c. 60).

It decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men, both of whom had to have attained the age of 21.

The Act applied only to England and Wales and did not cover the Merchant Navy or the Armed Forces.

Homosexual acts were decriminalised in Scotland by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980, which took effect on 1 February 1981, and in Northern Ireland by the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_Offences_Act_1967

To help adjust the moral climate of the nation the comedian Larry Grayson was deployed on prime time television to loosen up public opinion with his camp body language and ambiguous vocabulary.

Grayson supplied his own catchphrases, including

“Shut that door!”,
What a gay day!” and
Seems like a nice boy!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Generation_Game#Catchphrases

Larry Grayson (1923-1995), born William Sulley White, was an English comedian and television presenter who was best known in the 1970s and early 80s.

Grayson’s popularity peaked when he was hired by the BBC to present the Saturday night show The Generation Game in 1978, as replacement for Bruce Forsyth. The show became hugely successful, attracting audiences of up to 25 million each week.

Grayson decided to leave The Generation Game in 1982 while it was still relatively successful, in the expectation that the BBC would offer him another high-profile Saturday night; this did not materialise.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Grayson

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name
Legally, male homosexuality was no a laughing matter in the United Kingdom before 1967.

In the 19th century the persecution of male homosexuality was extremely brutal as demonstrated by the trials and tribulations of Oscar Wilde.

The love that dare not speak its name is a phrase from the poem “Two Loves” by Lord Alfred Douglas, published in 1894.

It was mentioned at Oscar Wilde’s gross indecency trial and is usually interpreted as a euphemism for homosexuality (although Wilde denied that it was).

In Wilde’s definition, “the love that dare not speak its name” was:

.…
such a great affection of an elder for a younger man
such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy…

It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect…
There is nothing unnatural about it.

It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him.

Some authors have suggested that this quotation referred to pederasty rather than to male homosexuality in general.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_love_that_dare_not_speak_its_name

On 25 May 1895 Wilde and Alfred Taylor were convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to two years’ hard labour.

The judge described the sentence, the maximum allowed, as “totally inadequate for a case such as this,” and that the case was “the worst case I have ever tried”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde#Trials

Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, commonly known as the Labouchere Amendment, made “gross indecency” a crime in the United Kingdom.

In practice, the law was used broadly to prosecute male homosexuals where actual sodomy (meaning, in this context, anal intercourse) could not be proven.

The penalty of life imprisonment for sodomy (until 1861 it had been death) was also so harsh that successful prosecutions were rare.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labouchere_Amendment

Caesar: Queen of Bithynia
Moving further back in time the historical records suggest male homosexuality was on the list of unsavoury subjects for a very long time.

In Medieval Europe, attitudes toward homosexuality varied by era and region.

Generally, by at least the twelfth century, homosexuality was considered sodomy and was punishable by death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_medieval_Europe

Constans (Latin: Flavius Julius Constans Augustus; c. 323-350) or Constans I was Roman Emperor from 337 to 350.

He defeated his brother Constantine II in 340, but anger in the army over his personal life (homosexuality) and favouritism towards his barbarian bodyguards led the general Magnentius to rebel, resulting in the assassination of Constans in 350.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constans

In gay slang, queen is a term used to refer to a flamboyant or effeminate gay man. The term can either be pejorative or celebrated as a type of self-identification.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_%28slang%29

76 “The people who don’t come with us offended
77 By that same sin for which Caesar in triumph
78 Once heard a voice call out against him, ‘Queen!’

79 “And that is why they run off shouting ‘Sodom!’
80 Railing against themselves, as you have heard,
81 And so support the burning with their shame.

Notes

78 Caesar was rumored to have had a relationship with Nicomedes, king of Bithynia, and was called “Queen” by his own soldiers.

Purgatorio — Canto XXVI – The Rein of Lust, Guido Guinizelli
The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri [c. 1265 – 1321]
Translated by James Finn Cotte

http://www.italianstudies.org/comedy/Purgatorio26.htm

In 80 BC, young Gaius Julius Caesar was an ambassador to Nicomedes IV’s court.

Caesar was sent to raise a fleet using Bithynia’s resources, but he dallied so long with the King that a rumor of a sexual relationship between the two men surfaced, leading to the disparaging title for Caesar, “the Queen of Bithynia“, an allegation which Caesar’s political enemies made use of later in his life.

A popular quip at the time ran:

“Gallias Caesar subegit, Caesarem Nicomedes,
(Caesar laid the Gauls low, Nicomedes laid Caesar low),

suggesting that Caesar was the receiving partner in the relationship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicomedes_IV_of_Bithynia

These records also suggest this topic has excited more than just academic interest.

https://archive.org/stream/venerabilisbedae00bede#page/n12/mode/1up

The earliest universities were developed under the aegis of the Latin Church by papal bull as studia generalia and perhaps from cathedral schools.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University#History

Medieval universities

In Europe, young men proceeded to university when they had completed their study of the trivium–the preparatory arts of grammar, rhetoric and dialectic or logic–and the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University#Medieval_universities

The Roman Narrative
Therein lies the rub for the originators of the Roman Narrative.

The Julius Caesar narrative was [by definition] revitalised during the 2nd millennium because the Latin alphabet of his period didn’t include the letters “J” and “U”.

It’s likely the revitalised “Julius” emerged [sometime] after the late 14th century.

This implies:

All Latin manuscripts in Carolingian Minuscule and Visigothic Script that are said to have been written before the late 14th century are misdated and/or flagrant forgeries.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/a-for-augustus/

On the one hand:

They needed to keep the lid on whatever they may [or may not] have been enjoying behind closed doors.

There was a young parson named Binns
Who talked about woman and things.
But his secret desire
Was a boy in the choir
With a bottom like jelly on springs.

Pettersen’s Computers – Jokes – Limericks
http://markpettersen.com/personal/jokes/limerick.htm

Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade (2 June 1740 – 2 December 1814), was a French nobleman, revolutionary politician, philosopher, and writer, famous for his libertine sexuality.

Later in his childhood, Sade was sent to the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris, a Jesuit college, for four years.

At the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, he was subjected to “severe corporal punishment,” including “flagellation,” and he “spent the rest of his adult life obsessed with the violent act.”

At age 14, Sade began attending an elite military academy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquis_de_Sade#Early_life_and_education

On the other hand:

They wanted to sanitise the Roman Narrative so their provenance and public image would be squeaky clean.

The Greek Problem
This presented the originators with some major public relation and narrative problems.

Firstly, Rome grew and blossomed from Etruscan roots.

Pederasty or paederasty is a (usually erotic) homosexual relationship between an adult male and a pubescent or adolescent male. The word pederasty derives from Greek (paiderastia) “love of boys”, a compound derived from (pais) “child, boy” and (erastēs) “lover”.

From the early Republican times of Ancient Rome, it was perfectly normal for an older man to desire and pursue boys.

However, penetration was illegal for free-born youths; the only boys who were legally allowed to perform as a passive sexual partner were slaves or former slaves known as “freedmen”, and then only with regard to their former masters.

For slaves there was no protection under the law even against rape.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedarasty

The Etruscan civilization is the modern name given to a powerful and wealthy civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria and northern Lazio.

Culture that is identifiably Etruscan developed in Italy after about 800 BC, approximately over the range of the preceding Iron Age Villanovan culture.

The latter gave way in the 7th century BC to a culture that was influenced by Ancient Greek culture.

At its maximum extent, during the foundational period of Rome and the Roman Kingdom, Etruscan civilization flourished in three confederacies of cities: of Etruria, of the Po Valley with the eastern Alps and of Latium and Campania.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etruscan_civilization

Secondly, the Etruscan culture was “influenced by Ancient Greek culture”.

Pederasty in ancient Greece was a socially acknowledged romantic relationship between an adult male (the erastes) and a younger male (the eromenos) usually in his teens.

It was characteristic of the Archaic and Classical periods.

The influence of pederasty on Greek culture of these periods was so pervasive that it has been called “the principal cultural model for free relationships between citizens.”

Some scholars locate its origin in initiation ritual, particularly rites of passage on Crete, where it was associated with entrance into military life and the religion of Zeus.

It has no formal existence in the Homeric epics, and seems to have developed in the late 7th century BC as 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.

Pederasty was both idealized and criticized in ancient literature and philosophy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pederasty_in_ancient_Greece

By contrast, as expressed in Pausanias’ speech in Plato’s Symposium, pederastic love was said to be favorable to democracy and feared by tyrants, because the bond between the erastes and eromenos was stronger than that of obedience to a despotic ruler.

Others, such as Aristotle, claimed that the Cretan lawgivers encouraged pederasty as a means of population control, by directing love and sexual desire into non-procreative channels…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pederasty_in_ancient_Greece#Political_expression

Killing Two Birds With One Stone
Their solution for the Greek Problem was as efficient as it was ruthless.

In the Roman Narrative the Etruscan culture was simply written out of the plot and the storyline adjusted as necessary.

The Etruscan civilization is the modern name given to a powerful and wealthy civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, south of the Arno river, western Umbria and northern and central Lazio.

The decline was gradual, but by 500 BC the political destiny of Italy had passed out of Etruscan hands.

The last Etruscan cities were formally absorbed by Rome around 100 BC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etruscan_civilization

Their [later] artefacts were re-labelled Roman.

To know Rome well you must go elsewhere.

The early cities of Latium and Etruria with which she was surrounded not only furnished the elements out of which her civilization was constituted but for several centuries developed along parallel lines with her, and kept in touch with her, so that we can logically turn to their ruins to fill in the gaps in Rome itself and to recreate the atmosphere of the drama of early Roman history.

Livy is vivid reading, but he gives us only an indirect vision, and in the ruins of Rome the concrete realities for the seven centuries before Augustus are so fragmentary and few as to give us little to grasp ; and then, after all, a large part of the activities of Rome were outside of Rome.

Roman Cities in Italy and Dalmatia – Arthur Lincoln Frothingham – 1910
https://archive.org/stream/romancitiesinita00frot/romancitiesinita00frot#page/n18/mode/1up

The round façade of the building was originally composed of white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, but after a major earthquake in 1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure’s outer ring, except for the so-called “ala” (wing), the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verona_Arena

And their [later] language was re-labelled Latin.

The history of Latin Numerals is a surprisingly controversial subject primarily because the Etruscan roots of Latin Numerals are cast in stone in Scotland.

A Legion VI inscription uses a 1000 symbol that’s closely related to it’s Etruscan ancestor.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/n-for-numeral/

One enduring mystery is the extinction of the Etruscan language in 50 AD.

A second enduring mystery is the total eradication of Etruscan literature in Europe.

Could it be the Roman Empire narrative providentially borrowed the Etruscan language and rebranded it as Latin in the 2nd millennium?

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/roman-chronology-the-etruscan-mystery/

the epigraphic evidence suggests Rome wasn’t the centre of the Latin universe.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/e-for-epigraphy/

Loose Ends.
However, there are loose ends whenever the historical narrative is sliced and diced.

For example:

Greek pederastic iconography highlights the bearded adult male [erastes] and the beardless younger male [eromenos].

Chronological study of the vase paintings also reveals a changing aesthetic in the depiction of the erômenos.

In the 6th century BC, he is a young beardless man with long hair, of adult height and physique, usually nude.

As the 5th century begins, he has become smaller and slighter, “barely pubescent”, and often draped as a girl would be.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pederasty_in_ancient_Greece

Beard is a slang term describing a person who is used, knowingly or unknowingly, as a date, romantic partner (boyfriend or girlfriend), or spouse either to conceal infidelity or to conceal one’s sexual orientation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beard_%28companion%29

This Greek iconography provides an alternate perspective on the Four Tetrarchs sculpture.

The sculpture portrays two male couples.

Each couple contains a bearded senior partner and a beardless junior partner.

Does this ring any bells?

Was St Mark’s Basilica silently ringing bells by fixing this sculpture to it’s facade?

Is Wikipedia being inadvertently honest when it says the sculpture shows “Roman emperors dating”?

The Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs is a porphyry sculpture group of four Roman emperors dating from around 300 AD.

The rulers in each pair lean close to their fellow ruler, and this pose lends yet more meaning to the sculpture as a whole.

The bearded figures on the left of each pair appear to be leaning toward their partners on the right.

Their beards and arms on the other ruler’s shoulders suggest that they are the senior rulers, the Augusti, imparting wisdom to their respective subordinate Caesars.

This clear depiction of ruler interaction shows the clear hierarchy even within the class of ruler and displays a clear sense of order.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_the_Four_Tetrarchs

The Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs depicts the four rulers in charge of the entire Empire, instituted by Emperor Diocletian.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_the_Four_Tetrarchs#Subject

And, quite remarkably, towards the end of the inscription the text refers to “ILLYRICVM” which suggests Diocletian belongs to the mainstream’s 1st century BC or even the 2nd century BC.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/g-for-gothicus/

The Greek iconography also leads to other substantial questions.

Was the “tetrarchy” storyline constructed to [essentially] mask pederasty?

The term “tetrarchy” (from the Greek: “leadership of four [people]” describes any form of government where power is divided among four individuals, but in modern usage usually refers to the system instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pederasty_in_ancient_Greece

Was the “tetrarchy” storyline pushed forward by 300 years in the Roman narrative so that it would be far removed from the Ancient Greeks and Etruscans?

Those who prefer to date Constantine the Great (or Diocletian) with criteria of art history rather than archaeologically also come to the conclusion that he must have lived in the early 1st and not in the early 4th century.

Gunnar Heinsohn: Finding Bede’s Missing Metropolis
See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/05/21/gunnar-heinsohn-finding-bedes-missing-metropolis-part-one/

These questions are left for the reader to ponder based upon their interpretation of the evidence.

Footnote
This line of enquiry began when I realised the epigraphic decoding of the name “MAXIMIANO” appeared unnecessary and that the end result can be interpreted as an arcane academic amusement when the decoding is phonetically pronounced.

This extraordinary inscription details the life and times of “M VALERIO MAXIMIANO”.

However, the ever eager epigraphists decoded the Latin to reveal the extraordinary life and times of Marcus Valerius Maximianus – a well seasoned general [with “an almost unprecedented series of legionary commands”] who entered “the Senate with praetorian rank”.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/m-for-marcus/

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4 Responses to P for Pederasty

  1. It gets even more interesting – according to historian Michael Rocke who wrote “Forbidden Friendships, homosexual and male culture in Renaissance Florence”, pederasty etc was rampant at the time in Florence, Venice and some other European cities. Most of the young men were involved in the practice but then the rampant homosexuality of the Weimar Republic Germans, in order to survive the devastation of WWI when most were close to starvation, selling themselves to simply survive, makes me wonder whether the Florence phenomena was an earlier reaction to some large catastrophe and the Florentine youth were also trying to survive by selling their sexual favours. There is also the anecdotal evidence that the Talmud was written in the 8th century CE, during the 700 phantom years, so the OT proscription of homosexuality might have been compiled during the Renaissance rather than antiquity.

  2. daveyoung52 says:

    Not surprised Helen took off for Troy, Clytemnestra took a lover and Achilles was somewhat p$$$ed over the death of Patroclus, but, more seriously, this, for me,opens up many lines of questioning over, first the switch from worship of the Earth Goddess to the patriarchal religions, when ever that actually happened in true chronology, but also the sexual problems of said, patriarchal religions and systems [particularly the Catholic church ] right up to the present day.

  3. malagabay says:

    Are the derivations of [male] putto and [female] puttana connected?

    A putto is a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually naked and sometimes winged.

    Originally limited to profane passions in symbolism, the putto came to represent the sacred cherub (plural cherubs) (plural cherubim); and in the Baroque period of art, the putto came to represent the omnipresence of God.

    The putto disappeared during the Middle Ages and was revived during the Quattrocento.

    The revival of the figure of the putto is generally attributed to Donatello, in Florence in the 1420s, although there are some earlier manifestations (for example the tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, sculpted by Jacopo della Quercia in Lucca).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putto

    English: Whore – Prostitute 
    Italian: Puttana
    French : Putain
    Spanish: Puta
    

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