In Wikipedia (yes the “encyclopedia” that anyone can edit) we find an article titled “Homosexuality in ancient Greece”. Beside the obvious interest in the topic, what caught my attention was the total rejection to provide the slightest explaination to WHY quotes are taken out of context (intentionally?), distorted and presented in such a manner to support the twisted agenda that some obviously are striving to promote.
To the article…..
The first audacious claim one comes across, is that homosexual relations between men and boys were… quote “widespread” unquote. To legitimize this claim, they allegedly present quotes from various texts of the Hellenic anthology.
The first one we come across is that of Herodotus 1.135 which is already descussed in “Pederasty”, the second, is an alleged quote from Plato’s Phaedrus 227a:
The exact text according to perseus.tufts is as follows:
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
Its actually mind-boggling how on earth anyone would try to relate this quote to the notion of homosexuality, but it seems that the wonderkids at Wiki managed to do it..
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 a clear act of distorting the text’s meaning since they have intentionally nit-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 nit-picked quote, the reader will indeed comprehend that what they are talking about is nothing more than homosexual relations. BUT since this isn’t wiki and the perversion trying to be promoted is not accepted, I’ll do what they should have done and add 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 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??
We then come accross the questionable account of Atheneus. Questionable simply because the author is justfully not titled as a historian and this early Christian writter commits several mistakes, fine examples is the Bagoas issues explained in the article related to Alexander, he mentions Ulpian numerous times and mentions his death when Ulpian dies at a later date (and in a different manner) so he must be talking about some other figure without providing any info and thus misleading, he attributes a quote to Hieronymus the Peripatetic, when this quote is identical to what Plato has written, he claims that the ‘Band of Thebes’ was founded by Epameinondas when we know it was Gorgidas..etc .but anyway.
Since the band is mentioned and Atheneus uses it in his text as an example, lets look at the text.
Plutarch Pelopidas 18
δεον εραστή παρ’ ερώμενον ταττειν. φυλέτας μεν γαρ φυλετών καί φρατόρων ου πολύν λόγον εέχειν εν τοίς δυνοίς, το δ’εξ ερωτικής φιλίας συνηρμοσμένον στίφος αδιάλυτον είναικαι αρρήκτον…
but that he should have joined lovers and their beloved. For men of the same tribe or family little value one another when dangers press; but a band cemented by friendship grounded upon love, is never to be broken, and invincible; ….
Most scholars agree that Plutarch’s account originates from the text of Plato in whih we read Phaedrus statement:
Plato’s Symposium 178e-179a
[178ε] οὐδενὸς ὡς ὑπὸ παιδικῶν. ταὐτὸν δὲ τοῦτο καὶ τὸν ἐρώμενον ὁρῶμεν, ὅτι διαφερόντως τοὺς ἐραστὰς αἰσχύνεται, ὅταν ὀφθῇ ἐν αἰσχρῷ τινι ὤν. εἰ οὖν μηχανή τις γένοιτο ὥστε πόλιν γενέσθαι ἢ στρατόπεδον ἐραστῶν τε καὶ παιδικῶν, οὐκ ἔστιν ὅπως ἂν ἄμεινον οἰκήσειαν τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἢ ἀπεχόμενοι πάντων τῶν αἰσχρῶν καὶ φιλοτιμούμενοι πρὸς
[179α] ἀλλήλους, καὶ μαχόμενοί γ᾽ ἂν μετ᾽ ἀλλήλων οἱ τοιοῦτοι νικῷεν ἂν ὀλίγοι ὄντες ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν πάντας ἀνθρώπους. ἐρῶν γὰρ ἀνὴρ ὑπὸ παιδικῶν ὀφθῆναι ἢ λιπὼν τάξιν ἢ ὅπλα ἀποβαλὼν ἧττον ἂν δήπου δέξαιτο ἢ ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν ἄλλων, καὶ πρὸ τούτου τεθνάναι ἂν πολλάκις ἕλοιτο. καὶ μὴν ἐγκαταλιπεῖν γε τὰ παιδικὰ ἢ μὴ βοηθῆσαι κινδυνεύοντι— οὐδεὶς οὕτω κακὸς ὅντινα οὐκ ἂν αὐτὸς ὁ Ἔρως ἔνθεον ποιήσειε πρὸς ἀρετήν, ὥστε ὅμοιον εἶναι τῷ ἀρίστῳ φύσει:
and in the selfsame way we see how the beloved is especially ashamed before his lovers when he is observed to be about some shameful business. So that if we could somewise contrive to have a city or an army composed of lovers and their favorites, they could not be better citizens of their country than by thus refraining from all that is base
[179a] in a mutual rivalry for honor; and such men as these, when fighting side by side, one might almost consider able to make even a little band victorious over all the world. For a man in love would surely choose to have all the rest of the host rather than his favorite see him forsaking his station or flinging away his arms; sooner than this, he would prefer to die many deaths: while, as for leaving his favorite in the lurch, or not succoring him in his peril, no man is such a craven that Love’s own influence cannot inspire him with a valor that makes him equal to the bravest born
Besides the evident which is that this relationship exhalts honor. the reference to shame of being seen commiting anything shamefull ..etc
What is extremely interesting is the continuous reference to παιδικὰ which is defined in the “Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon” as:
παιδ-ικός , ή, όν,
A. [select] of a child, for or like a child, boyish.
2. playful, sportive,
So we either come to the unhistoric conclusion that children were enlisted in the ancient Hellenic military or that this is indeed nothing more than a philosophic text and should be strictly viewed as one and that the reference to “παιδικὰ” (puerile = lack of maturity) is an indication of mixing the troops and combining the strength (and lack of military matuirty) of the young with the knoledge of the old thus creating an unbeatable army.
While Plutarch’s Pelopidas is selectively quoted to support the existance of such an army, very few make reference to the quote which he puts in the mouth of Philip and by doing so overhtorwing any suspicions on what the ‘band’ was all about.
Plutarch Pelopidas 18.23-24
Απόλοιντο κακώς οι τούτους τι ποιείν ή πάσχειν αισχρόν υπονοούντες.
As we continue reading this article we find reference to Sappho which according to David M. Halperin’s (Queer studies professor well known for his class “How to Be Gay”) entry in the Oxford Classical Dictionary who the article notes as its source, was indeed a “Lesbian” (with the meaning attested in the late 1800’s)…
One can’t but wonder how this Prof. could overlook the fact that Hesychius in his Lexicon’s entry Lambda 696 clearly notes:
αίτίας είχον ατόπους αί από Λέσβου
false accusations (on the women) of Lesbos.
A similar account is found in the Suda Lexikon entry Sigma 107:
καί διαβολήν έσχέν αίσχράς φιλίας
and false accusation/slander of having shameful friendship
The Suda also tell us of her marriage to Kerkylas and of their daughter Kleis, but equally if not more interesting is entry Sigma 108 in which we read:
au(/th di’ e)/rwta Fa/wnoj tou= Mitulhnai/ou e)k tou= Leuka/tou katepo/ntwsen e(auth/n.
threw herself into the sea from the cliff of Leukates for love of Phaon of Mytilene.
Sappho’s poems aren’t actually described as erotic (not in the conventional form) but as describing a form of “terror”, she never describes the feelings as we usually see with terms of joy, happiness..etc.. but as a torment. She never describes the joyfull feeling seen in others but an emptyness, pain and misery left from emense passion…
From the above among other sources, we know for a fact that she was a mother and wife that wrote “epithalamia”= “wedding songs” that spoke, not of lesbian affairs but of the beauty of young girls that were about to become wifes and mothers themselves. But unfortunately even though her poems are lost and we only have one in whole (saved by Dionysos of Hallicarnasos).. while the rest are mere fragments that hardly allow us to understand the topic, let alone deduce alleged homosexual emotions, the “scholars” seem to insist on supporting what to the rest of us remains a huge unanswered question.
Finally a partially correct historic account in this article !!!
Even though the authors should have centralized on informing their readers of his poetic style “Cleomachean” and should have informed us where they came to the outrageous conclusion that the Chalcideans adopted “pederasty”, the reference to Cleomachus, while correctly mentioned as an example of a homosexual affairs is equally interesting, since Strabo clarifies whom the other participant is and leaves us little doubt about the distinction between his relationship and that of an “εραστής- ερώμενος”.
Strabo, Geography 14.1.47
εἰς ἔρωτα ἐμπεσὼν κιναίδου τινὸς καὶ παιδίσκης ὑπὸ [τῷ] κιναίδῳ τρεφομένης
having fallen in love with a certain cinaedus and with a young female slave who was kept as a prostitute by the cinaedus
for the meaning of “κίναιδως” see “defining homosexual”
Unfortunately one correct account doesn’t pt an end to the fallacies. This time we hear the outrageous claim of Achilles and Patroklos having a homoerotic affair. In support of this claim we read another quote from the Prof. with the agenda, David M. Halperin.
Here we learn that Plato in his Symposium and Aechines in his Against Timarchus allegedly provide us with proof of this relationship.
It seems like some are in desparate need of re-reading the text for Aeschines clarifies exactly what kind of relationship he’s talkig about when he quotes Euripides:
Aeschines Against Timarchus 151
ὁ τοίνυν οὐδενὸς ἧττον σοφὸς τῶν ποιητῶν Εὐριπίδης, ἕν τι τῶν καλλίστων ὑπολαμβάνων εἶναι τὸ σωφρόνως ἐρᾶν, ἐν εὐχῆς μέρει τὸν ἔρωτα ποιούμενος λέγει που:
“ ὁ δ᾽ εἰς τὸ σῶφρον ἐπ᾽ ἀρετήν τ᾽ ἄγων ἔρως
ζηλωτὸς ἀνθρώποισιν, ὧν εἴην ἐγώ.”
Again, Euripides, a poet than whom none is wiser, considering chaste love to be one of the most beautiful things, says somewhere, making love a thing to be prayed for:
“There is a love that makes men virtuous
And chaste, an envied gift. Such love I crave.”
Its based on this notion of love that Homer informs us of Patroklos’ obligations as the “ερώμενος”:
Homer Iliad 11.786-789:
τέκνον ἐμὸν γενεῇ μὲν ὑπέρτερός ἐστιν Ἀχιλλεύς,
πρεσβύτερος δὲ σύ ἐσσι: βίῃ δ᾽ ὅ γε πολλὸν ἀμείνων.
ἀλλ᾽ εὖ οἱ φάσθαι πυκινὸν ἔπος ἠδ᾽ ὑποθέσθαι
καί οἱ σημαίνειν: ὃ δὲ πείσεται εἰς ἀγαθόν περ.
‘My child, in birth is Achilles nobler than thou, but thou art the elder though in might he is the better far. Yet do thou speak to him well a word of wisdom and give him counsel, and direct him; and he will obey thee to his profit.’