Wikipedia fallacies #2 Athenean Pederasty.

Athenean Pederasty

The first contradiction one comes accross when reading this entry in wiki is that the common and widespread practice of “pederasty” as presented in the entry titled “Homosexuality in ancient Greece” became an “upper class” custom only to again change and just 2 lines down become “encouraged by the Athenean society” .

Anyway, I guess they’ll eventually make up their minds.

We then hear the outrageous claim that it was Solon hat founded the tradition of homosexual relations among Athenean men and youth (still not clarified if this took place among the “upper class” or was a “widespread” custom). A Solon who as we know was the very founder of the laws which Aeschines cites in his Against Timarchus” (see related article pertaining to Laws against homo- and pederastic ralations. In their 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 appear as “boy in the lovely flower of youth, desiring his thighs and sweet mouth.” when in reality the text states:

Deipnosophists 13.79.5

Original:
“μηρών ίμείρων και γλυκερού στοματός”

Translation:
“longing for thighs and sweet mouth”

The authors then try 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 (Cabridge 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:

Original:
[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.

Translation:
[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 although provides a questionable account on his death, 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 tyrany 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 philosophic discussion which is by no means an accurate source for deducting conclusions upon everyday realities ?
Aeschines, Against Timarchus 140

Original:
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.

Translation:
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.

We then move on to the claim of vase paintings suggesting the “dominant status of pederasty in Athenian social life”.. One can’t but wonder how on earth a total of some 30 vases (A.Georgiades “Debunking the Myth of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece”) which indeed do depict a homosexual scene and are presented by K.J.Dover, a Dover that is considered an authority in the field, can justify the outreageous claim of “dominant status”?

One of the most important and prestigious publishing houses in Hellas 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 of vases unearthed in Athens alone reaches 80.000!!!, 80.000 vases from Athens and despite the fact that Dover managed to find a total of 30, (the rest are either non-related to the subject or simply based on wild assumptions, they dare distort history by claiming “dominant status”.

Of course Dover attempts through mistaken interpretations to find homosexual scenes, for example, according to Dover the well known “Achilles mending Patroklos’ wound” is related to homosexuality.

Accoding to Dover the painter was under great pressure to conceal Patroklos’ genitals.

or this fine example (seen on Dover’s book cover)

In which the hoop, holds a symbolism of its own !!!

We could continue with suggestions that a tiny scortum and large penis or the opposite are such indications or that a boy is standing in a “pose of embarassment” while a man is conversing with a woman, indicates either jealousy or that he wished he had taken the initiative himself !!
The fact of the matter is that 30 vases or even if we were to raise this number to 100, 200 or even 500 or 1000.. are under no condition an amount that could justify the outrageous claim of “dominant status” simply becuase they do not even constitute 1% of the total vases unearthed in Athens alone.

After such exaggerations, distorting the purpose of the paidagogos is no real suprize. According to the “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’.

While they continue by noting the existance of laws, they, either due to ignorance or mallicious intent, jump to totally flawed 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

Original:
[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.

Translation:
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 traslation 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, they could have read Demosthenes’ “Against Midias”

Demosthenes, Against Midias 47

Original:
[47] “Νόμος

ἐάν τις ὑβρίζῃ εἴς τινα, ἢ παῖδα ἢ γυναῖκα ἢ ἄνδρα, τῶν ἐλευθέρων ἢ τῶν δούλων, ἢ παράνομόν τι ποιήσῃ εἰς τούτων

Translation:
[47] “Law

If anyone assaults any child or woman or man, whether free or slave, or commits any unlawful 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 indicate.

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

Original:
τα περί Κρατίνον και Αριστόδημον πεπλάσθαι φύσιν

Translation:
(the story) of Cratinus and Aristodemus is fiction

Why on earth totally disregard what your source clearly notes about the couple if not to intentionally promote the notion of acceptance of homosexual relations?

They the rediculously attempt to find proof of acceptance of homosexual relations in the speech of Perikles noted in Thucydides. But as already explained in the article “Pederasty“, Perikles’ 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 charater, his spiritual elevation, that will allow him to accomplish truelly greaty 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.

Yet another intentionally distorted quote to present acceptance of homosexual relations, this time even implicating the father. The authors selectively quote and intentionally take out of context a quote from Xenophon’s Symposium and present it as follows:

Wikipedia’s 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

Original:
[10] 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.

[11] 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.

Tranlsation:
[10] One might conjecture, also, that different types of love come from the different sources, carnal love from the ‘Vulgar’ Aphrodite, and from the ‘Heavenly’ spiritual love, love of friendship and of noble conduct. That is the sort of love, Callias, that seems to have you in its grip.

[11] 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 carnal lust. To the disappointment of the wiki authors, their notion of homosexuality being accepted is but a conveniently constructed myth by homosexuals in their attempt to legitimize same sex.

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. Unfortunately the verse in question has nothing to do with the notion in question but actually states:

Aelianus Various History 11.11

Original:
Ότι Διονύσιος Σικελός περί την ίατρικήν εσπούδασε καί αύτος, και ίατο και έτέμνε και έκαε και τα λοίπα.

Tranlation:
Dionysus Sicelus also had studied medicine, and cured and cut (as a surgeon) and burnt ..etc

While the verse is indeed found only a couple of lines down, the whole point which they neglect to mention is that the Atheneans literally detested him for his defection and siding with Sparta, an action which literally changed the outcome of the war.
The very fact that no 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 propaganda.
Had Alcibiades been implicated in such relations, we know that 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.

Nice try “boys”, keep them coming.

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