Ancient Greece and Homosexuality

Essay by blak_smurfHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2004

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The Ancient Greeks were totally open with homosexuality. Ancient Greeks believed that the relationship between a man and a boy was the most pure form of love that existed. In addition, the word, "lesbian" comes from the island of Eastern Greece, Lesbos. This is also the birthplace of Sappho (lived during 600 BC). She was priestess of a feminine love cult and celebrated the love of women for women in poems and other writings.

Greeks believe there are many ways homosexuality was introduced, most famous belief is that homosexuals are born and not made... can be found in Aristophanes' myth of human sexual origins in Plato's Symposium which states that we were once perfect and self-sufficient physical beings. We had the circular form "similar in every direction" imagined by early philosophy to be the shape of the god. We were punished for attempting to make ourselves rulers of everything, we are creatures cut in half, separated from our other part and made, by a turning of our heads, to look always at the cut, jagged from side of ourselves that reminds us of our lack.

But to fix this we must each find the other half from which we were separated (sort of like the western belief of a soul mate).

To the Spartans, homosexuality was like a part of their military training. Every soldier knew it was ideal to have an older lover to train him in the arts of war. The young boy was referred to as the "beloved" while the older man was the "lover." Both the beloved and the lover would fight side-by-side. Since the lover did not want to shame his beloved, he fought harder. An older man would inform the family of a boy he fancied of his intentions. If the family...