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Pedophilia and Homosexuality in the Ancient Greek Armies

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  • Pedophilia and Homosexuality in the Ancient Greek Armies

    It really can't be found in the popular narrative of the ancient Greek armies, but the fact remains that pedophilia and homosexuality were institutionalized within the ancient Greek armies.

    For Sparta, pedophilia was the accepted norm of social life and an element in the lives of every soldier. I first learned of this while studying history as an undergraduate at the University of California. I was eighteen at the time, and you can imagine my astonishment. Even today, this very basic element of Spartan social and military life is left out of the popular narrative. I've personally written conservative commenter and classicist from Stanford University, Michael O'Hanlon, as to why he always fails to mention this fact, when he positively projects America's democracy and Western civilization back to to ancient Greco societies, which include the Spartans. He ignored me. To be sure, the movie 300 wouldn't be the same if it had included pedophilia within the background of the sacrificial scene.

    Which brings us to the point of contact between the Greeks and Persians: what must the Persian/Iranians have thought of such socio-sexual practices which were a universal norm of their adversary's societies? Actually, the Persians viewed such things as Americans today view ritualistic human cannibalism. It made no sense to them. It was ugly and repugnant, so of course they felt superior to their adversaries for this, as they also felt superior for practicing monotheism, where the Greeks worshiped a jumble.

    In the Persian/Iranian narrative, the army of Alexander is also accorded abhorrence based on the institutionalized practice of homosexuality. As is known academically, institutionalized homosexuality within Alexander's military generated an element of man-to-man social reinforcement into the phalanx formation. That their commander, Alexander, was well known to the region as a practicing homosexual and a drunkard is integral to the Persian/Iranian history of the period. Instead of "Alexander the Great" as he is referred to in the West, the Farsi translation for him is "Alexander the Homosexual Drunk".

    Times have indeed changed, as far as homosexuality in America is concerned. Not too long ago, I had an online conversation with a professor of history at Ohio State University. In it, the professor admitted to how social perspectives had changed over the years among the student body he was teaching. We remembered how, back in the 1970's, homosexuality was actually listed as a form of social decadence that was a factor in the fall of the Roman empire. Now it was socially acceptable in many parts of America, particularly among the young. However, such acceptance is nowhere near in the Islamic Middle East, particularly the Islamic Republic of Iran. And while pedophilia may be covered up at the Vatican and punishable by imprisonment in America, it is a capital offence in modern Iran.

  • #2
    Democracy is usually traced to Athens in the west, not to the spartans. The spartans are, like your mention of "300" shows, primarily seen as warriors. In this context (war fighting) sexual preferences are actually not of any interest. And it would be hard to make the coneection from spartan war-fighting to athens social developments. Not that the Athens democracy would count as a "democracy" to many people nowadays.

    Also....

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...647913,00.html

    In Turkey being in the "active" role [of homosexual sex] is considered manly enough not to be proof of homosexuality.
    It looks as if a wave of homophobia has swept over the Islamic world, a place that was once widely known for its openmindedness, where homoerotic literature was written and widely read, where gender roles were not so narrowly defined, and, as in the days of ancient Greece, where men often sought the companionship of youths.
    We know about the greeks, its just not mentioned every time, just as its not mentioned every time that germany is a predominantly christian nation. Defence: The bundeswehr is the army of a predominantly christian nation. Geography: Germany, the country between poland and france, is a predominantly christian nation.

    And in an ironic touch:

    The fact of the matter is that half of the laws across the world that prohibit homosexuality today are derived from a single law that the British enacted in India in 1860. "Many attitudes with regard to sexual morality that are thought to be identical to Islam owe a lot more to Queen Victoria than to the Koran," Rowson says.
    Last edited by Kimi; 23 May 10, 13:58.
    Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
    Wirft über Land und Meer
    Weithin der deutsche Aar
    Flammenden Blick.

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    • #3
      The Spartans were a special case. Let's face it: any wedding that had a simulated rape of the bride and then had the groom take off on a drinking binge with his army buddies is strange in anyones books.
      Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

      That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rojik View Post
        The Spartans were a special case. Let's face it: any wedding that had a simulated rape of the bride and then had the groom take off on a drinking binge with his army buddies is strange in anyones books.
        Afaik they also had to life in the barracks until they turned 30 or so. Cant succeed in sneaking out to your wife every few nights.
        Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
        Wirft über Land und Meer
        Weithin der deutsche Aar
        Flammenden Blick.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by علامت پیروز View Post
          It really can't be found in the popular narrative of the ancient Greek armies, but the fact remains that pedophilia and homosexuality were institutionalized within the ancient Greek armies.
          I think it is important that you understand that paedophilia is a sexual attraction/act with a child that has not reached puberty whereas the sexual attraction/act with a post pubescent teen is a different thing. I can't remember the exact word (but I think it is ebophilia) but it was more like what you are referring to in your post.

          Partaking in a sexual act with a 15 year old would fit what the Spartans (ebophilia?) did whereas partaking in a sexual act with a nine year old girl like Mohammed did would be paedophilia.
          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rojik View Post
            I think it is important that you understand that paedophilia is a sexual attraction/act with a child that has not reached puberty whereas the sexual attraction/act with a post pubescent teen is a different thing. I can't remember the exact word (but I think it is ebophilia) but it was more like what you are referring to in your post.

            Partaking in a sexual act with a 15 year old would fit what the Spartans (ebophilia?) did whereas partaking in a sexual act with a nine year old girl like Mohammed did would be paedophilia.
            Well, didn't girls get married by 12 or something back in the Middle Ages? So most guys would be considered pedos day. It was a strange time...
            Surrender? NutZ!
            -Varro

            Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. -Sun Tzu

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            • #7
              The concept of sexual orientation didn't exist among the Ancient Greeks. So talking about "homosexuality" in this context provides alot of problems.
              "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
              --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pilsudski View Post
                The concept of sexual orientation didn't exist among the Ancient Greeks. So talking about "homosexuality" in this context provides alot of problems.
                Absolutely correct. Pederasty was just one of many accepted social norms in ancient Greek society. It was considered totally normal for a younger male to assume the passive role in a same-sex relationship, but he was expected to assume an active role once he reached a certain age. For an older man to be passive was considered un-manly and perverse, so they did have norms relating to sexuality, just not the same norms as we have in modern western society.
                Satis elouquentiae sapientiae parum

                Diadochi Wars GAME:http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=140484

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                • #9
                  People tend to forget that there were over 300 city states in Greece. Each one was different than the others. College professors have been known to exaggerate during lecture to wake some of the students up. My first college professor opened my eyes about Richard the Lionheart of England (what he failed to mention was Richard left a Bastard daughter in Castille). I for one have read a number of accounts of Alexander and I consider him bisexual. As one of the guys Alexander fooled around with was a Persian eunich, I would say the case of Persians being homophobic may have been exaggerated.

                  Not every Spartan Knight messed around with his young protege. My guess is there was little backlash if a relationship developed. I am more worried about about the training young Spartan boys received from older teenage Spartans.

                  Lastly, most Royals that can, make their own rules of conduct. If Alex wanted to fill every hole he found, who was going to say no?

                  By the way, if one is not gay and has a position in a Phalanx, the thought of the guy behind you having no pants on and is highly "excited" about being in combat, would make me want to push just a little harder so he won't be behind me "helping" me push!

                  Pruitt
                  Last edited by Pruitt; 23 May 10, 17:31.
                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                  • #10
                    Young boys were a common tribute sent to the Persian Kings.
                    Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                    Prayers.

                    BoRG

                    http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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                    • #11
                      Much of same-sex relations occurred within the context of a man having his way with a boy.
                      "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
                      --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Salinator View Post
                        Young boys were a common tribute sent to the Persian Kings.
                        Dear FSM I need brain bleach!!
                        Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
                        But who's to judge the right from wrong.
                        When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
                        That violence breeds violence.
                        But in the end it has to be this way.

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                        • #13
                          Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the concept of homosexuality as a "sin against god" is not really known in the world until the appearance of the monotheistic religions-Hebrew, Christian, Islamic. The monotheistic religions not only take on homosexuals, but they introduce a broader new concept: shame of one's own healthy sexuality, regardless of orientation.

                          In contrast, in Japan where the monotheistic religions never really made a big impact on the society, attitudes towards sex, public nudity, etc. have always been relaxed. The Japanese culture never taught that sexual desires are shameful, their attitude has been if you need sex then get some, in the marriage or outside of marriage, because it relieves tensions and is part of optimal health.
                          Last edited by MonsterZero; 24 May 10, 00:34.

                          "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                          --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pilsudski View Post
                            The concept of sexual orientation didn't exist among the Ancient Greeks. So talking about "homosexuality" in this context provides alot of problems.
                            That depends on how one defines homosexuality. Essentially the Greeks thought all humans were bi-capable. Any person who went exclusively one way or another was considered a pervert. But there were terms for such people in 1 century Greek. It strikes many people odd that at no point in the New Testament are any known terms for homosexuality are used in the verses said to condemn it. 1 Corinthians 6:9 is the standout because the two terms used in English readings to be the mounter and the mountiee are so vague that one is seen no where else in classical Greek and the other could mean boys who pimped their own asses for 'gifts' to temple prostitutes to...well, Christianity's long track record of homophobia only starts in the middle of the 2nd century, 100 years after the events of Acts.
                            How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                            275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                              That depends on how one defines homosexuality. Essentially the Greeks thought all humans were bi-capable. Any person who went exclusively one way or another was considered a pervert. But there were terms for such people in 1 century Greek. It strikes many people odd that at no point in the New Testament are any known terms for homosexuality are used in the verses said to condemn it. 1 Corinthians 6:9 is the standout because the two terms used in English readings to be the mounter and the mountiee are so vague that one is seen no where else in classical Greek and the other could mean boys who pimped their own asses for 'gifts' to temple prostitutes to...well, Christianity's long track record of homophobia only starts in the middle of the 2nd century, 100 years after the events of Acts.
                              On what grounds do you make this claim? Homosexual acts are condemned in the Old Testament; unless you want to propagate a Marcionite line of argument here.
                              "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
                              --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

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