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The politics of Spartan pederasty

  • Paul Cartledge (a1)


Homosexuality, it would appear, now claims the space in the public prints that was not long ago lavished on the ‘woman question’. Its prominence in contemporary life is reflected in art. Nearly sixty current journals dealing with the subject in all its multifarious manifestations are listed in the eighteenth edition of Ulrich's International Periodical Directory (1979). The experience of homosexuals in the concentration camps and the role of the homosexual as hero in contemporary fiction have lately provided matter for books. Recent biographies of Havelock Ellis, Edward Carpenter and W. H. Auden discuss their subjects' practice of or writings on homosexual behaviour. Masters and Johnson have now applied their quantitative approach to homoerotic physical response. Christian attitudes to homosexuality, notably in mediaeval Europe, have been extensively canvassed. In a less scholarly vein Edmund White has written of his travels in gay America; he, like Jeffrey Weeks and other members of the British Gay Left Collective, is much concerned with the politics and political vocabulary of homosexuality. Many other illustrations could be given. In short, ‘the love that dared not speak its name has become … insistently communicative’.



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1. Cf. the introduction to my Spartan wives liberation or licence?’, CQ n.s. 31(1981) 84105 Since the subject-matter of this article overlaps that of the present one, an attempt has been made to avoid unnecessary duplication of references.

2. Jenkyns, R., The Victorians and ancient Greece (1980) 282 One reviewer of this much-acclaimed book, commenting on two of its themes, remarked that ‘Between the sophisticated thuggery of the Spartans and the simpler-minded buggery of English public schools a long sliding scale exists’ This is fundamentally mistaken, rather ‘La sexualité antique et la nôtre sont deux structures qui n'ont aucun rapport, qui ne sont même pas superposables’ Veyne, P., ‘La famille et l'amour sous le Haut-Empire romain’, Annales (ESC) 33 (1978) 52, cf. Sennett, R. and Foucault, M., London Rev of Books 3.9 (21 May-3 June 1981) 3, 57.

3. Dover, K. J., Greek homosexuality (1978), Buffière, F., Eros adolescent. La pédérastie dans la Grèce antique (1980) (Both cited hereafter by author's name).

4. This gulf renders pleas for the acceptability of ‘Greek love’ in our society beside the point e.g. Eglinton, J. Z., Greek love (1964, 1971), O'Carroll, T., Paedophilia: the radical case (1980).

5. ‘His’ because apart from burning Sappho no females with strong homoerotic proclivities survive to address us Female homosexuality in Sparta is considered later.

6. ‘Homosexuality’ first appeared in print, it seems, in its German form, in a pamphlet of 1869 (the author was a Hungarian physician called Kertbeny who wrote under the suitably inverted pseudonym of Benkert) Havelock Ellis, who with J. A. Symonds compiled the first scientific study of what was then generally called sexual inversion, was careful to disclaim responsibility for the word ‘homosexual’ which he dismissed as ‘a barbarously hybrid word’ and ‘a bastard term compounded of Greek and Roman elements’ Sexual inversion (1897) = Studies in the psychology of sex II ed. 3 (1925).

7. See now Boswell, J., Christianity, social tolerance and homosexuality Gay people in Western Europe from the beginning of the Christian era to the fourteenth century (1980) But Boswell underplays Christian hostility to homosexuality before the twelfth century, is quite wrong to deny that in the Graeco-Roman world most homosexual relationships were between adolescent boys and young men, and has rightly been taken to task (by a gay reviewer) for his misleadingly anachronistic use of ‘gay’.

8. Meier's contribution (pp. 3-185)to Meier, M.-H.-E. and de Pogey-Castries, L. R., Histoire de l'amour grec (1930) was originally published in German in 1837; it is still of value.

9. See generally Wilkinson, L. P., Classical attitudes to modern issues (1979) ch. 4. An extreme, perhaps the ultimate, expression of scholarly amoralism may be read in the preface to Dover; less extreme statements in ibid. 154 n. 1, 183.

10. Finley, M. I., ‘Sparta’, in The use and abuse of history (1975) ch. 10.

11. See esp. Brelich, A., Paides e parthenoi I (1969) 113207, esp. 120-1 198-9, 206 – cited by neither Dover nor Buffière After the essentials of my argument had been worked out and delivered as a paper there appeared Bremmer, J., ‘An enigmatic Indo-European rite paederastyArethusa 13 (Fall 1980) 279–98 This is often stimulating, but it unfortunately resurrects the ‘Dorian’ heresy (below) in Indo-European guise and treats the pederasty found among Dorians as a static phenomenon a form of pederasty ‘older’ than the more developed pederasty of Classical Athens.

12. There are veiled references to these inclinations in Xen., Hell. 4.1.3940 5.3.20, Ages 8.2 (perhaps); an explicit one in Hell. Ox. 21.4. Maximus of Tyre, a second-century A. D. sophist, composed a paean to Agesilaos' sexual self-restraint which he placed higher than the bravery of Leonidas, : Diss 19 (25).5.

13. See generally Marrou, H.-I., Histoire de léducation dans l'antiquité ed. 6 (1965) 52 For a certain conflation of Agesilaos with Lykourgos (on the purpose of double mess-rations for the two kings) cf. Xen. Ages. 5.1. with Lak. Pol. 15.4.

14. For Greek moral arguments in favour of chastity, which lie at the root of the attack on Spartan sexual mores in general, see Dover 23, 164; id., ‘Classical Greek attitudes to sexual behaviour’, Arethusa 6 (1973) 61-5; Greek popular morality in the time of Plato and Aristotle (1974) 178-80, 208-9, 210.

15. ‘Probably the most entertaining efforts to conceal homosexuality from the public have been undertaken by the editors of the Loeb Classics’: Boswell (n. 7) 19.

16. The polemic is probably directed chiefly at a belief apparently widespread in Athens, or at least frequently ventilated there on the comic stage of his youth, that the Spartans were addicted to buggery The comic passages are conveniently collected by Henderson, J., The maculate muse. Obscene language in Attic comedy (1975) 218 n. 37 But it should at once be added that the Thessalians and Chalkidians were abused on precisely the same ground Jocelyn, H. D., ‘A Greek indecency and its students ΛΑΙΚΑΖΕΙΝ’, PCPS n. s 26 (1980) 32 and n. 239.

17. On this use of the word paidika see Dover 16-17 with n. 31, 204.

18. At Smp. 4.15 Xenophon does make Kritoboulos speak of kaloi as exerting a certain inspiration (empnein ti) upon the amorous, and this use of Spartan technical vocabulary has rightly been taken as evidence of his success in turning himself into a Spartiate in all but name: Bourguet, E., Le dialecte laconien (1927) 151–2 But he refrains from using what were almost certainly the Spartan equivalents of erastes and eromenos/paidika, namely eispnelas/os (‘inspirer’) and aïtas (‘hearer’) see Alkman fr. 34 Page, Theokr. 12.13; Call. fr. 68 Pfeiffer, all with the scholia. Plut. Kleom. 3.2 adds that the Spartan for ‘to act as erastes’ was empneisthai; cf. Aelian V.H. 3.12 (eispnein at Sparta); Hesych. ε 2475 (empnei – not tied to any one locality) For Cretan terminology see below, n. 78.

19. Aelian (V.H. 3.10,12) mentions but does not specify the punishment for an erastes guilty of sexual misconduct and states that pederastic hybris entailed exile or death for both partners The author of the Plutarchan, Instituta Laconica 7 (Mor. 237bc) says that any erastes against whom an accusation of inchastity was levelled was liable to be deprived, for life, of full citizen rights These sources have no independent value nor, I think, special claim to our credence.

20. This ‘solution’ has been cogently resisted by Dover 81 and n. 37, 190-1.

21. At Laws 836a-c Plato goes out of his way to impress his readers with his veracity ‘we're faced with the fact that though in several other respects Crete in general and Sparta give us pretty solid help when we frame laws that flout common custom, in affairs of the heart (ton eroton) … they are totally opposed to us’ (Penguin translation) This implies that, had Plato not firmly believed Sparta to be the scene of widespread or universal homosexual intercourse, he would have been only too happy to take it as a model in sexual as in other matters.

22. He states (Pol. 2.1272a23-6) that on Crete women are segregated to limit population and the legislator (Aristotle treats Crete as a political unit for theoretical purposes) has specifically approved male homosexual intercourse (homilia) The ritualised pederastic rape (Ephorus, FGrHist 70F149) was presumably followed by physical consummation.

23. I follow the conclusions of Tazelaar, C. M., ‘ΠΑΙΔΕΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΦΗΒΟΙ: some notes on the Spartan stages of youth’, Mnem. ser. 4, 20 (1967) 127–53 In technical anthropological parlance the agoge is a graded age-set system: Stewart, F. H., Fundamentals of age-group systems (1977) esp. 8-14, 28–9; cf. Baxter, P. T. W. and Almagor, U. (eds ), Age, generation and time: some features of East African age organisations (1978) 135 The pioneering work in this field was Schurtz, H., Altersklassen und Männerbünde Eine Darstellung der Grundformen der Gesellschaft (1902) (I am grateful to Dr R. Abrahams for bibliographical aid).

24. The relationship between Lysander and Agesilaos is the only explicitly attested instance: see section IV ‘Agis’ at Dover 202 is clearly a slip; a more serious error is the view of Buffière 78 that this relationship was one of adolescent homosexuality rather than pederasty No doubt there was adolescent homosexuality in Sparta: cf. Dover 193; and generally Steward, G. H., Sex and the social order (1946) 175–80.

25. Diss. 20(26).8; cf. n. 12.

26. Above, n. 19.

27. I suspect both Plutarch and Aelian may be generalising from the relationship of Lysander and Agesilaos – or rather from their conception of it.

28. Hartley, E. L. and Hartley, R. E., Fundamentals of social psychology (1952) 504, Devereux, G., ‘Greek pseudohomosexuality and the “Greek miracle”’, SO 42 (1967) 78.

29. On institutionalisation see e.g. Smith, M. G., Corporations and society (1974).

30. Dover 171: Buffière esp. 605-17.

31. For an example see below, n. 79 On the beard as terminating eromenos potential see Dover 85-6; Buffière 146, 318-19, 611-13, 617 Xen. Anab. 2.6.28 is particularly explicit.

32. The paidika who died fighting beside the Spartan harmost Anaxibios (Xen. Hell. 4.8.39) was not necessarily a Spartan, if the behaviour of another harmost (Plut. Mor 773ef) is anything to judge by A. certainly non-Spartan paidika a slave from Thracian Argilos, belonged to Regent Pausamas (Thuc. 1.132.5, with Gomme; Nepos, Paus. 4.1).

33. For completeness' sake I add the testimony of Cicero's de repubhca: 4.4 (‘in pederasty the Spartans permit everything except stuprum’, that is they allow conplexus and concubitus so long as cloaks are interposed between the lovers): 3.3 (the Greeks generally deem it shameful for adulescentes not to have amatores) The former passage suggests bundling (I am grateful to Prof. J. A. Barnes for private correspondence on this topic) but should be treated with scepticism; the latter is at best a gross simplification.

34. Thera: Dover 113, 122-3, 195, Buffière 57-9 Thasos: I am most grateful to Prof. Y. Garlan for permission to refer to this unpublished find Athens: Dover 111-24 See generally Robinson, D. M. and Fluck, E. J., A study of the Greek love-names, including a discussion of paederasty and a prosopographie (1937) 1545 (though I can hardly-agree that Thera is ‘the most appropriate place’ to study Spartan pederasty).

35. See my ‘Spartan wives’ (n. 1) 92 and n. 47 For the depiction of women (not only in Sparta) as young men plus breasts and minus external genitals see Dover 70-1; Buffière 123, 130 I agree with Dover 68 that a fragment of the laconophile Kritias (88B48 D-K) ‘cannot be used, unless it is firmly supported by independent evidence, to show that female characteristics in a youth or boy were a stimulus to homosexual desire’.

36. This expertly painted fragment is CP 16 in Dover's useful ‘List of Vases’ (212), the interpretation was suggested by Devereux, , ‘Sappho's seizure in fr 31 LP as evidence of her inversion’, CQ n.s. 20 (1970) 21 n. 1 For alleged anal penetration of parthenoi by Spartan males see below, n. 69; and on heterosexual anal intercourse generally in Dover, Sparta, ‘Eros and Nomos (Plato, Symposium 182A-185C)’, BICS 11 (1964) 37. There is no evidence for intercrural or interfemoral homosexual copulation in Sparta.

37. Dickins, G., ‘The terracotta masks’, in Dawkins, R. M. (ed ), Artemis Orthis (JHS Supp. V, 1929) ch. 5, esp. 165, 172–5 There is a sudden development in the popularity of dedicating masks in the sixth century, and Dickins notes (167) that Types B(‘Youths’) and C (‘Warriors’) standout by reason of their ‘moderate and human appearance’.

38. The figurine is on display in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, with the caption ‘Irrumator Ipsius’ On fellation generally see Dover 99, 101, 182-3; Jocelyn (n. 16) 18 and n. 66, 31-4.

39. Die dorische Knabenliebe Ihre Ethik und Ihre Idee’, RhM n.f. 62 (1907) 438–75.

40. E.g. Havelock Ellis (n. 6); soon to appear were Karsch-Haack, F., Forschungen über gleichgeschlechthche Liebe I. Das gleichgeschlechtliche Liebe der Naturvölker (1911, 1975), Hirschfeld, M., Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes ed. 2 (1920) E. Westermarck commented on the ‘remarkable activity’ in the field between the first and second editions of his The origin and development of the moral ideas 2 vols (1906–1908, 19121917) II 752.

41. On anthropology's contribution to changing sexual attitudes see Bullough, V. L., Sexual variance in society and history (1976) 650.

42. Gibbon, who in the Decline and fall counted pederasty ‘a more odious vice’ even than adultery, elsewhere wrote of ‘The virtuous, but almost incredible loves of the Spartans, without sensual desire or jealousy of rivals’: English essays (ed Craddock, P. B., 1972) 329.

43. Carpenter, E., Intermediate types among primitive folk. A study in social evolution ed. 2 (1919) 133; he emphasises (91) that the seventh-century Dorians probably did not draw our sharp distinction between the physical and the spiritual.

44. Hostile (not only on scholarly grounds) Semenov, A. (Semyonov), ‘Zur dorische Knabenliebe’, Philologus 70 (1911) 146–50, A. Ruppersberg, ‘Εἰσπνήλας’, ibid 151-4. Favourable: Jeanmaire, H., Couroi et Courètes. Essai sur l'éducation spartiate et sur les rites d'adolescence dans l'antiquité grecque (1939) 456–8 Middle-of-the-road Dover, ‘Eros and Nomos’ (n. 36) 37, 42 n. 35; Dover 189 n. 12, 202 n. 13.

45. Incomprehensibly, Buffière 49, 52, 89-106 persists in treating the Boiotians and Thessalians as ‘Dorians’.

46. Karsch-Haack (n. 40) wrote 400 pages on homosexuality and gave a sixty-page bibliography of items stretching back to 1533. More realistically, using the Human Relations Area Files in Yale, Ford and Beach found evidence, including negative evidence, on homosexuality in only seventy-six out of the 190 small-scale societies analysed; in forty-nine, homosexuality in some form was considered normal and socially acceptable, in the remainder it was reportedly totally absent, rare or secret: Ford, C. S. and Beach, F. A., Patterns of sexual behaviour (1951; reset edn 1965) ch 7. For rather different results obtained by using a different sample of 186 societies from the same data-base see Broude, G. J. and Greene, S. J., ‘Cross-cultural codes in twenty sexual attitudes and practices’, Ethnology 15 (1976) 409–29 (a good summary of the ‘problems with ethnographic data’ at 410-11). We can be confident that both sets of figures appreciably understate the incidence of homosexuality in these communities (I am grateful to Dr P. Spencer for a most illuminating letter on the difficulty of research in the field on this subject).

47. Finley, M. I., ‘Anthropology and the Classics’ in The use and abuse of history 116–17. This has not been appreciated by all who have applied comparative ethnographic evidence to Spartan social institutions (esp. the agoge, diamastigosis or ritual flagellation, and the Krypteia or ‘Secret Service’): Nilsson, M. P., ‘Die Grundlagen des spartanischen Lebens’, Klio 12 (1908) 308–40 = Op. Sel. II (1952) 826–69, Jeanmaire, , ‘La Kryptie lacédémonienne’, REG 26 (1913) 121–50; Decker, J., ‘La genèse de l'orgamsation civique des Spartiates’, 25th Bulletin Instituts Solvay = Archives sociologiques 4 (Brussels, 1913) 306–13, Ferguson, W. S., ‘The Zulus and the Spartans a comparison of their military systems’, Harv. Afr. Studies 2 (1918) 197234; Knauth, W., ‘Die Spartanische Knabenerziehung im Licht der Völkerkunde’, Ztschr. f. Gesch. d. Erziehung u. d. Unterrichts 23 (1933) 151–85; Jeanmaire, , Couroi 463591, Den Boer, W., Laconian studies (1954) Pt. III; Brelich (n. 11).

48. Jeanmaire, , Couroi 7, 156–71, esp. 163–4.

49. For a stimulating essay on a whole complex of phenomena involving initiation and homosexuality in the area see Dundes, A., ‘A psychoanalytic study of the bullroarer’, Man n.s. 11 (1976) 220–38, repr in his Interpreting folklore (1981) Unfortunately Herdt, G. H., Guardians of the flutes idioms of masculinity (1980) came to my notice only after the final version of this paper had been submitted for publication.

50. Strehlow, C., Die Aranda- u Loritja-Stämme in Zentral-Australien IV.1 (1913) 98.

51. Williams, F. E., Papuans of the Trans-Fly (1936) ch. 11.

52. Cf. Landtman, G., The Kiwai Papuans of British New Guinea. A nature-born instance of Rousseau's ideal community (1927) 236–7; Layard, J., The Stone Men of Malekula (1942) 489; and van Baal (n. 53) 143.

53. van Baal, J., Dema. Description and analysis of Marind-Anim culture (South New Guinea) (1966) esp. 669-72, 817-18, 950.

54. Brelich (n. 11) 113-26.

55. He thus seriously weakened his general position on the agoge by allowing for development from an original rite akin to that of (e.g.) the Marind On rites of passage generally, secular as well as sacred, see van Gennep, A., The rites of passage (1908; E.T. 1960); he stressed that ‘almost any rite can be interpreted in several ways, depending on whether it occurs within a complete system or in isolation, whether it is performed at one occasion or another’ (166) For surveys of the various modern theories of initiation, a highly contentious subject, see Allen, M. R., Male cults and sexual initiations in Melanesia (1967) 127, Brelich, , Paides 1419.

56. For the date and possible circumstances see Cartledge, , Sparta and Lakonia. A regional history c. 1300-362 BC (1979) ch. 7.

57. On the agoge see the works cited above, nn. 10, 47 For a sample of approaches to the study of socialisation see Mayer, P. (ed), Socialization: the approach from social anthropology (1970).

58. Hoplites and heroes: Sparta's contribution to the technique of ancient warfare’, JHS 97 (1977) 1127 For examples of the secularisation of initiatory rites among pre-state societies see Webster, H., Primitive secret societies. A study in early politics and religion (1908) 56-7, 80–2.

59. The second-century B.C. Sosikrates (FGrHist 461F7) reports that the Spartans sacrificed to Eros before battle in the belief that victory and safe return depended on philia (mutual affection) in the ranks, the earliest reference to Eros in a Spartan context is Alkman fr. 58 Page In Sparta even Aphrodite was represented armed (Paus. 3.14.10); and the Spartans were among the ‘most martial’ peoples who are also ‘the most devoted to pederasty’ (Plut. Mor. 761d). Pederasty, however, never became the basis of Spartan military organisation.

60. References in ‘Spartan wives’ 91 and n. 38, add Calame I.420, II.12, 86-97, 145; cf. Dover 195.

61. Calame follows Brelich in interpreting the agoge as a cycle of tribal initiation, but unlike Brelich he argues (I.350-7) for a parallel feminine cycle and so takes Plut. Lyk. 18.9 to be the female equivalent of the erastes-eromenos relationship But even if we believe Plutarch's assertion that ‘fine and upstanding women (kalas kai agathas) were in love with (eran) maidens’, we cannot definitely attribute this to the time of Alkman.

62. Dover 195 and n. 20, but he rightly notes their strongly Homeric flavour, and homosexuality does not obtrude in the Homeric poems, if indeed it is there at all Few perhaps will accept the conclusion that ‘homoeroticism, if not homosexuality, does indeed exist in the IliadClarke, W. M., ‘Achilles and Patroclus in love’, Hermes 106 (1978) 381–96 On the other hand, the silence or discretion of Homer does not in my view ‘make it reasonable to look for the point of origin of Greek homosexuality neither in the Bronze Age nor in Ionia’ (Dover 194), since Homer was not a historian but a poet.

63. The Thera graffiti (n. 34) may go back to the seventh century (but see now Graf, F., ‘Apollon Delphinios’, MH 36 (1979) 3 n. 15), and Thera was reputedly a Spartan ‘colony’, but this link can only suggest the possiblity of homosexuality in Sparta by this date and tells us nothing about its social location here.

64. Relevant here is Benedict, R., ‘Sex in primitive society’, Amer. J. of Orthopsychiatry 9 (1939) 570: ‘There is no axiom of cultural study which is more clearly established than the fact that a whole array of familial, political, economic and religious institutions mutually condition one another and conversely are unintelligible when considered in isolation’.

65. I leave on one side Freudian theories of psychodynamics, mainly on the ground that the historian ‘is usually unable to penetrate the bedroom, the bathroom and the nursery’ Stone, L., ‘Prosopography’, Daedalus 100 (Winter 1971) 53. There is none the less much of interest in Slater, P., The glory of Hera (1971) esp. 3349 (narcissism), 53-63 (homosexuality); but see the comments of Bullough (n. 41) 96; Arthur, M. B., Signs 2 (1976) 395–7.

66. Gouldner, A. W., Enter Plato (1965, 1967) ch. 2; cf. Murray, O., Early Greece (1980) 49, 244 and esp. ch. 12 Worth mentioning is the Elakateia, a Spartan agon commemorating an eromenos of Herakles (Sosibios, 595F16) Discussing marriage in contemporary Mediterranean societies, J. Pitt-Rivers notes that ‘the agonistic quality of social relations has so forcibly struck the anthropologists who have worked there’ The fate of Shechem, or the politics of sex essays in the anthropology of the Mediterranean (1977) 165.

67. Fehling, D., Ethologische Ueberlegungen auf dem Gebiet der Altertumskunde (1974) 27.

68. Cf. Eyben, E., ‘Antiquity's view of puberty’, Latomus 31 (1972) 695–6Willetts, R. F., Aristocratic society in ancient Crete (1955) 11 fails to make the important distinction between social and physiological puberty, cf. van Gennep (n. 55) 65-6.

69. Dover 193 rather exaggerates the extent to which ‘the young Spartan was not involved, as he grew up, in a simple opposition between sexual love for women and sexual loyalty to the males of his own unit’ and (188, 193, 197 n. 2) places too much confidence in Hagnon's report (ap. Athen 13.602d) that ‘before marriage it is customary for the Spartans to have intercourse with maidens as with paidika’; see Brelich, , Paides 158 n. 138.

70. Jenkyns (n. 2) 283.

71. Buffière ch. 34, Wilkinson (n. 9) ch. 3, Starr, C. G., The economic and social growth of early Greece 800-500 B.C. (1977) 130–3 The earliest Greek gymnasia are either seventh- or sixth-century.

72. For relationships between a Spartiate and a non-Spartiate see above, n. 32.

73. Buffière 246.

74. The crown princes of the two royal houses were alone exempted from this requirement; but, as the son of Archidamos II's second marriage, Agesilaos had not been expected to succeed his half-brother Agis II in c. 400.

75. This holds true of Spartan pederasty generally at all periods, although it is of course a separate question whether the Spartans of the age of Xenophon viewed pederastic copulation in the way suggested by Bethe; for the growth of sexual inhibition in the fourth century, which may have unduly influenced our sources, see Dover 151, 183.

76. Gouldner (n. 66) 61, speaking of Greece generally There is also reason to believe that pederasty permitted what Gouldner (62) calls ‘mutual revelation and validation of the selves involved’ to an extent and in ways not possible in heterosexual relationships; cf. Dover 88, 201.

77. Plutarch (Lys. 1) states that Lysander, though a Heraklid by birth, had been brought up in poverty, Aelian (V.H. 12.43) specifies that he was a mothax: for a possible explanation see Cartledge(n. 56) 315.

78. The major piece of evidence for the Cretan institution (Ephorus, FGrHist 70F149) is well discussed by Jeanmaire (n. 44) 450-5. I would lay particular stress on the fact that the Cretan philetor (erastes) introduced his kleinos (eromenos) to his common mess: in Sparta admission to membership of a common mess or ‘common tent’ was a condition of full citizenship.

79. Archidamos, as heir-apparent, had not been obligated to go through the agoge(see n. 74) and so had perhaps not previously been involved in institutionalised pederasty. Sphodrias' son Kleonymos had just completed the agoge (X Hell. 5.4.25), but Xenophon's use of the imperfect suggests to me that the relationship had begun while Kleonymos was still a pais.

80. Cf. de Ste. Croix, G.E.M., The origins of the Peloponnesian War (1972) 134–5.

81. Dover 54 n. 29 points out that Xenophon's paidikoi logoi could possibly mean ‘boyish chat’ but that it would probably have been taken to mean ‘talk about paidika’ Agesilaos' own homoerotic proclivities were strong (n. 12), but they did not of course prevent him marrying, procreating and indeed taking pleasure in playing with his children.

82. The penultimate draft of this essay was astringently criticised by Moses Finley, Simon Price, and Dick Whittaker I am indebted to them, and to Michael Crawford, for their suggestions, but the end-product is my sole responsibility.

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