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Vases portray numerous homoerotic relationships and hundreds of inscriptions celebrate the love of youths.Famous politicians, warriors, artists, and writers are believed to have had homosexual relationships.
The ancient Greeks are widely known for their homosexual exploits.
Many ordinary people are aware of Greek homosexual love poetry, the same-sex relations of Greek gods and heroes, and the homosexual relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion. Until the second half of the 20th century, historians avoided saying much about the sexuality of the ancient Greeks out of sense of propriety.
In 1901, an English classicist named John Addington Symonds published A Problem in Greek Ethicsaddressing homosexuality in Ancient Greece, but it was provided only to "medical psychologists and jurists" and the number of copies was intended to remain under 100. By contrast, ancient Greek homosexuality is now a popular topic, and those who argue for full acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle regularly appeal to these practices and attitudes of the widely-respected ancient Greeks.
The first major treatment of ancient Greek homosexuality in English was Greek Homosexuality by K. However, the practices of the ancient Greeks differ significantly from those generally advocated by moderns.
Greek homosexual activities were practiced as expressions of love and devotion, but were also firmly embedded in their culture of social status and therefore had distinct limitations.
Forms and Prevalence of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece Homosexual relationships seem to have been prevalent in ancient Greece.Some believe Achilles and Patroclus of Homer's Iliad were icons of male homosexuality.Aristotle stated that the Cretans encouraged homosexuality as a population controller on the island community in his Politics.Greek poets wrote of same-sex love and notable philosophers and writers such as Plato, Xenophon, Plutarch, and pseudo-Lucian discussed the topic.Plato is quoted as commenting: Homosexuality is regarded as shameful by barbarians and by those who live under despotic governments just as philosophy is regarded as shameful by them, because it is apparently not in the interest of such rulers to have great ideas engendered in their subjects, or powerful friendships or passionate love-all of which homosexuality is particularly apt to produce.Tragedies on the theme became popular, and Aristophanes made comical theater about sexual relationships between males.