Agathon and Pausanias

The History of Homosexuality: Ancient Greece

Kiss Briseis Painter Louvre G278

Wikimedia Commons

Ancient Greece stands as something of a shorthand whenever we think today of a “history” or even “origin” of homosexual behaviour. On the surface, the correlation is a fair one. There’s enough in the written record — to say nothing of statues, art, and pottery — to convince us that male same-sex sexuality was known and frequently celebrated. To call such conduct “homosexual” as we recognise that meaning today is, however, not only anachronistic, but simply wrong.

For starters, “Ancient Greece” wasn’t one nation the way modern Greece is, but was constructed of numerous self-governing states, all of which had different cultures and traditions, and were frequently at odds with each other, if not at outright war. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in History, Queer Blogging