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Andrew Lear, Eva Cantarella : Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty

Andrew Lear, Eva Cantarella : Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty

Boys Were Their Gods. UK/USA 2009, 262 pp., brochure, € 89.00
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Taylor and Francis
Greek pederasty, or »paiderastia« - the social custom of erotic relations between adult men and adolescent boys - was a central characteristic of Greek culture. Both Greeks and non-Greeks saw it, along with the gymnasium with its intimate connection to pederasty, as markers of Greek identity. It is an important theme in Greek literature, from poetry to comedy to philosophy, and in Greek art as well. In Athenian vase-painting - in particular the painted scenes that decorate clay drinking vessels produced in Athens between the 6th and the 4th centuries BC - pederasty is a major theme: indeed, pederastic courtship is one of the mortal activities most commonly depicted. Vase-painting portrayed or referred to pederasty, from scenes of courtship, foreplay, and sex, to scenes of Zeus with his boy-love Ganymede, to painted inscriptions praising the beauty of boys.
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