Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece

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University of Illinois Press, 1998 - Social Science - 260 pages
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Combining impeccable scholarship with accessible, straightforward prose, Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece argues that institutionalized pederasty began after 650 B.C., far later than previous authors have thought, and was initiated as a means of stemming overpopulation in the upper class. William Armstrong Percy III maintains that Cretan sages established a system under which a young warrior in his early twenties took a teenager of his own aristocratic background as a beloved until the age of thirty, when service to the state required the older partner to marry. The practice spread with significant variants to other Greek-speaking areas. In some places it emphasized development of the athletic, warrior individual, while in others both intellectual and civic achievement were its goals. In Athens it became a vehicle of cultural transmission, so that the best of each older cohort selected, loved, and trained the best of the younger. Pederasty was from the beginning both physical and emotional, the highest and most intense type of male bonding. These pederastic bonds, Percy believes, were responsible for the rise of Hellas and the "Greek miracle": in two centuries the population of Attica, a mere 45,000 adult males in six generations, produced an astounding number of great men who laid the enduring foundations of Western thought and civilization.
 

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Contents

IndoEuropean Pederasty
15
Dorian Knabenliebe
27
PrePederastic Immortals
36
Situational Homosexuality and Demography
42
The Institutionalization of Pederasty
51
The Immortals Become Pederasts
53
Cretan Knights and Renowned Ones
59
Spartan Hoplite Inspirers and Their Listeners
73
The Mainland Athletes and Heroes
122
Amorous Aeolia
142
Insouciant Ionia
149
Outre Tyrants and Eccentric Philosophers in the Archaic West
162
Archaic Athens
171
Epilogue
185
Notes
193
Bibliography
217

Diffusion
93
Gymnasia Symposia and Pederastic Art
95

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About the author (1998)

Percy is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

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