Gay men in ancient times-History of homosexuality - Wikipedia

In classical antiquity , writers such as Herodotus , [1] Plato , [2] Xenophon , [3] Athenaeus [4] and many others explored aspects of homosexuality in Greece. The most widespread and socially significant form of same-sex sexual relations in ancient Greece was between adult men and pubescent or adolescent boys, known as pederasty marriages in Ancient Greece between men and women were also age structured, with men in their thirties commonly taking wives in their early teens. It is unclear how such relations between women were regarded in the general society, but examples do exist as far back as the time of Sappho. The ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual orientation as a social identifier as modern Western societies have done. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behavior by the gender of the participants, but rather by the role that each participant played in the sex act, that of active penetrator or passive penetrated.

Gay men in ancient times

After Dover, this exhortation sounded more dangerous. But sometimes images revealed a different picture, ie they showed unders in Humourous adult videos gymnasium being sexually abused not only by Cadets but even, very occasionally, by mature men. More importantly, the available historical sources that clearly demonstrate the beliefs of a certain culture should never be underestimated or ignored simply because they are not in agreement with our emn beliefs and practices. Reuse this content. Out of the blood that was spilt grew the first hyacinth. A common thread of constructionist argument is that no one in antiquity or the Middle Ages experienced homosexuality as an exclusive, permanent, or defining mode of sexuality. Hence, if you changed the genders in ancient Greek texts you discovered exactly the same kind of double standard the author of the Observer article had noted.

Cubicles private. A Closer Look at Homosexuality in Ancient Greece

Gay men in ancient times Pornhub team is always updating and adding more porn videos every day. Nude scene actors in Spartacus 46 sec Gaelan Phuc - Warning: either you have javascript disabled or your mej does not support javascript. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Binghamton, NY. The Laws of Manuthe foundational work of Hindu law, acient a "third sex", members of which may engage in nontraditional gender expression and homosexual activities. Sexual Inversion by Havelock Ellispublished inchallenged theories that homosexuality was abnormal, as well as stereotypes, and insisted on the ubiquity of homosexuality and its association with intellectual and artistic achievement. Online Etymology Dictionary. Male Gay young latino teen boys movies and ancient gay boys free young videos Hermionie pussy. Main article: Wolfenden report. Readers are cautioned to avoid making assumptions about the identity of historical figures based on the use of the terms mentioned above.

Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from requiring all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death.

  • Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from requiring all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death.
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Sexuality is a topic often whitewashed out of our history books, and we rarely see the place of LGBT people in the ancient world mentioned in television documentaries. Most of us know that the ancient pagan world was more tolerant of homosexuality than the one god religions that would follow.

But how tolerant were the ancient Greeks and Romans? Men were assumed to be attracted to both males and females, and to express a preference for just one sex was considered eccentric. But as both societies were intensely patriarchal what was important in sexual relationships was the status of who did the penetrating and their age. In this world the notion of sex between two grown men was deeply taboo as it was seen to reduce the passive partner to the level of a woman.

Indeed if the Greeks and Romans did not outlaw it, it was because the shame of the act was punishment enough — though the weight of shame fell mostly on the penetrated.

Contrary to popular belief, anal sex for the Greeks and Romans was primarily a heterosexual act. There was no taboo on it occurring between men and women and it was the most reliable form of contraception available so would have been a regular part of the sex lives of any married couple. In both societies youths were considered to be able to consent to sex from around their mid teens, which was similar to the age that girls were considered ready for marriage, and it was acceptable for youths to be in same-sex relationships until they could grow a full beard — and for this reason, there were all manner of depilatory products on sale in order to help you keep your boyfriend respectable!

After this age in Greece, the young man was expected to find a wife and go about starting a family, having been mentored by his older partner, with the two men staying friends. In practice, however, many of these relationships probably would have carried on behind closed doors. In Greece such relationships occurred between free born males — though there were also male prostitutes. Many of the most famous names to come down to us in history from the Greek world have been same-sex attracted — from bisexual Alexander the Great whose father Phillip destroyed the all-gay Sacred Band of Thebes to the philosophers Plato and Socrates.

Few lesbian voices come to us from the ancient world but the lyric poet Sappho is a notable exception and her love poems for other women speak down to us through the ages. But slaves and foreigners were all fair game. Male and female prostitutes openly plied their trade on the streets of Rome.

But in truth any slave was a sex slave if their master so desired, and it was primarily through master-slave relationships that sex between males occurred in Ancient Rome. Thus when the emperor Hadrian took a male lover in the form of a Bythinian youth named Antinous, as a foreigner it was perfectly acceptable for Antinous to appear in public next to the emperor and his wife Vibia Sabina as his lover.

Hadrian and Antinous were lovers for five years until Antinous fell from a boat in the Nile and drowned. Some have suggested he killed himself to avoid shaming the emperor as he grew older. Heartbroken, Hadrian had Antinous declared a god, built temples to him all over the empire, named a star after him and built a city in Egypt, Antinopolis, in his honor. When the Roman Empire became Christian the temples of the cult of Antinous were destroyed — though many of the statues ended up in the Vatican art collections where they were seen by the artist Raphael, who used his likeness when painting angels as his model of male perfection.

Both the Greeks and Romans could appeal to religion in their belief that their behavior was moral, though we might have a different view on what is proper today. For the Greeks, Zeus had his male lover Ganymede, and Plato rated this love as higher than that found in marriage.

The Romans had the same gods by different names so Zeus became Jupiter and Ganymede became Catamitus. Homosexual characters were often mocked as figures of fun in bawdy Roman comedies, but at the same time same-sex couples, cross dressers and male prostitutes would have been common sights on the streets. And some couples did buck the discrimination that was thrown at them by publicly celebrating their commitment through same-sex marriage.

Such marriages were not legally recognized but by AD the dual Christian emperors Constantius and Constans had them banned on threat of death, and homosexuality in the Roman Empire was silenced for centuries to come. Certainly there was a lot of discrimination and extreme social stigma for any relationship between men that fell outside of a very tight set of parameters.

However compared to what was to follow into much of the 20th Century, they were centuries ahead of their time. Apologies to iOS and Safari users, but you may be unable to comment due to an ongoing issue with Facebook. All Rights Reserved. Designed by CK Creative. Privacy Policy Cookie Policy Contact us. Help us understand and plan.

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Tituss Burgess slams Trump in new song, Woman pushes anti-gay priest off stage in front of 50, Catholic congregants. GSN Contributor. Neither the Greeks or the Romans had a concept of homosexuality or heterosexuality. In comparison, sex between men in the Roman world was a mostly more sinister affair. These include two emperors — Nero and Elagabalus, but we know of many others. First published 26 October Got a news tip?

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Traditionally, a pederastic relationship could continue until the widespread growth of the boy's body hair, when he is considered a man. Greek colonisation. Ancient Egypt The page you're trying to access: is not part of Pornhub. However, by A. Ancient Greece.

Gay men in ancient times

Gay men in ancient times

Gay men in ancient times

Gay men in ancient times

Gay men in ancient times

Gay men in ancient times. 2. Alexander and Hephaestion

Such relationships were documented by many Greek historians and in philosophical discourses, as well as in offhand remarks such as Philip II of Macedon's recorded by Plutarch demonstrates:.

During the Lelantine War between the Eretrians and the Chalcidians , before a decisive battle the Chalcidians called for the aid of a warrior named Cleomachus glorious warrior. He answered their request, bringing his lover to watch. Leading the charge against the Eretrians he brought the Chalcidians to victory at the cost of his own life.

The Chalcidians erected a tomb for him in the marketplace in gratitude. It is said that one of the most noble things is to give one's own life to save their lover.

Although this did not occur during the Lelantine War example it was still a heroic act for Cleomachus and even a perfect time to show his lover his selfless ways. Given the importance in Greek society of cultivating the masculinity of the adult male and the perceived feminizing effect of being the passive partner, relations between adult men of comparable social status were considered highly problematic, and usually associated with social stigma.

According to contemporary opinion, Greek males who engaged in passive anal sex after reaching the age of manhood — at which point they were expected to take the reverse role in pederastic relationships and become the active and dominant member — thereby were feminized or "made a woman" of themselves.

There is ample evidence in the theater of Aristophanes that derides these passive men and gives a glimpse of the type of biting social opprobrium and shame "atimia" heaped upon them by their society.

The first recorded appearance of a deep emotional bond between adult men in ancient Greek culture was in the Iliad BC. Homer does not depict the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus as sexual. The ancient Greeks emphasised the supposed age difference between the two by portraying Patroclus with a beard in paintings and pottery, while Achilles is cleanshaven, although Achilles was an almost godlike figure in Greek society.

This led to a disagreement on whom to make the erastes and whom the eromenos , since the Homeric tradition made Patroclus out to be older but Achilles stronger.

Other ancients held that Achilles and Patroclus were simply close friends. Aeschylus in the tragedy Myrmidons made Achilles the protector since he had avenged his lover's death even though the gods told him it would cost his own life. Sappho , a poet from the island of Lesbos , wrote many love poems addressed to women and girls.

The love in these poems is sometimes requited, and sometimes not. Sappho is thought to have written close to 12, lines of poetry on her love for other women. Of these, only about lines have survived. As a result of her fame in antiquity, she and her land have become emblematic of love between women. In addition to being a poet, Sappho was the head of what was known as a thiasos. Critically, however, girls in these communities also experienced same-sex love, sometimes for their mistresses Sappho writes of her love for various students of hers and sometimes for each other.

As the polis evolved, however, marriage came to be an integral instrument for the organization of the culture, and women were confined to their houses; the thiasoi were no more. Girls were taught from their infancies that it was their duty and destiny in life to give their love to the men who would one day be their husbands. Female-female love had no place within the constraints of this new social organization. Pedagogic erotic relationships are also documented for Sparta , together with athletic nudity for women.

Plato's Symposium mentions women who "do not care for men, but have female attachments". After a long hiatus marked by censorship of homosexual themes, [14] modern historians picked up the thread, starting with Erich Bethe in and continuing with K. Dover and many others. These scholars have shown that same-sex relations were openly practised, largely with official sanction, in many areas of life from the 7th century BC until the Roman era.

Some scholars believe that same-sex relationships, especially pederasty, were common only among the aristocracy, and that such relationships were not widely practised by the common people demos. One such scholar is Bruce Thornton , who argues that insults directed at pederastic males in the comedies of Aristophanes show the common people's dislike for the practice. Considerable controversy has engaged the scholarly world concerning the nature of same-sex relationships among the ancient Greeks described by Thomas Hubbard in the Introduction to Homosexuality in Greece and Rome, A Source Book of Basic Documents, , p.

Some social constructionists have even gone so far as to deny that sexual preference was a significant category for the ancients or that any kind of subculture based on sexual object-choice existed in the ancient world," p. Hubbard states that "Close examination of a range of ancient texts suggests, however, that some forms of sexual preference were, in fact, considered a distinguishing characteristic of individuals. Many texts even see such preferences as inborn qualities and as "essential aspects of human identity Hubbard utilizes both schools of thought when these seem pertinent to the ancient texts, pp.

During Plato's time there were some people who had "the audacity to say" that homosexual sex was shameful in any circumstances. Indeed, Plato himself eventually came to hold this view. At one time he had written that same-sex lovers were far more blessed than ordinary mortals. He even gave them a headstart in the great race to get back to heaven, their mutual love refeathering their mottled wings. Now he seemed to contradict himself.

In his ideal city, he says in his last, posthumously published work known as The Laws , homosexual sex will be treated the same way as incest. It is something contrary to nature, he insists, and although there won't be laws against it, nevertheless a propaganda programme will encourage everyone to say that it is "utterly unholy, odious-to-the-gods and ugliest of ugly things.

The subject has caused controversy in most of modern Greece. In , a conference on Alexander the Great was stormed as a paper about his homosexuality was about to be presented. When the film Alexander , which depicted Alexander as romantically involved with both men and women, was released in , 25 Greek lawyers threatened to sue the film's makers, [18] but relented after attending an advance screening of the film.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Pederasty in ancient Greece. Main article: Homosexuality in the militaries of ancient Greece. Main article: Achilles and Patroclus. Worthen 10 June BBC News. Retrieved LGBT history. In journalism In policing History of same-sex unions Queer erasure bisexual lesbian.

The Greek emperor was smitten by Hephaestion who was his childhood friend. When Hephaestion was killed in fighting, Alexander pronounced him god and he himself died within six months.

This was one of the earliest examples of homosexuality in ancient Greece. Image Credit: advocate. Roman emperor Julius Caesar and Nicomedes IV Philopator, the ruler of Bithynia were rumored to be one of the most famous gay couples in history. Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, wrote in his biography that Caesar could never keep his hands off Nicomedes, even in the face of slander and mockery. Stories about homosexuality in ancient Rome are incomplete without the escapades of Caesar and Nicomedes.

Image Credit: jonhaines. Their relationship is proof that brainy men have irresistible appeal. Socrates, the classical Greek philosopher , widely acknowledged as one of the leading founders of Western philosophy, was a fat old man, by the time he developed a liking for Phaedo.

The night before his execution, Socrates summoned Phaedo for some public display of affection, playing with his hair. The Greek philosopher spent some intimate moments with Phaedo and invited him to fight the forces of ignorance. Image Credit: nydailynews. Both remained with Leonardo until his death. Caprotti, nicknamed Salai, is widely believed to have been the greater object of affection of Leonardo.

Image Credit: ancientrome. The two together were the symbol of democracy in ancient Athens. Harmodius and Aristogeiton came to be known as Tyrannicides because they killed Peisistratid tyrant Hipparchus.

Talk of gay couples , Harmodius and Aristogeiton will be there on the list. They built statues all across Greece within their lifetime. Ancient historians Thucydide and Herodotus have mentioned about the homosexual love between Harmodius and Aristogeiton. Symposium, a text by classical Greek philosopher Plato , also reportedly mentions about their homosexual relationship. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. First things first, Achilles and Patroclus were never cousins, regardless of what the films say.

But their relationship was more than just a friendship. There are several myths associated with the two.

All the Periods in History When Homosexuality Was Celebrated

Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from requiring all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death. In a study, Gwen Broude and Sarah Greene compared attitudes towards and frequency of homosexuality in the ethnographic studies available in the Standard cross-cultural sample.

They found that out of 42 communities: homosexuality was accepted or ignored in 9; 5 communities had no concept of homosexuality; 11 considered it undesirable but did not set punishments; and 17 strongly disapproved and punished.

Of 70 communities, homosexuality was reported to be absent or rare in frequency in 41, and present or not uncommon in It was accepted in some forms in ancient Greece. However, in later cultures influenced by Abrahamic religions , the law and the church established sodomy as a transgression against divine law or a crime against nature. Many historical figures, including Socrates , Lord Byron , Edward II , and Hadrian , [3] have had terms such as gay or bisexual applied to them; some scholars, such as Michel Foucault , have regarded this as risking the anachronistic introduction of a contemporary social construct of sexuality foreign to their times, [4] though others challenge this.

A common thread of constructionist argument is that no one in antiquity or the Middle Ages experienced homosexuality as an exclusive, permanent, or defining mode of sexuality. John Boswell has countered this argument by citing ancient Greek writings by Plato , [8] which describe individuals exhibiting exclusive homosexuality.

Among Indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a number of Nations had respected ceremonial and social roles for homosexual, bisexual, and gender-nonconforming individuals in their communities; in many contemporary Native American and First Nations communities, these roles still exist. The Spanish conquerors were horrified to discover sodomy openly practiced among native peoples, and attempted to crush it out by subjecting the berdaches as the Spanish called them under their rule to severe penalties, including public execution , burning and being torn to pieces by dogs.

In East Asia , same-sex love has been referred to since the earliest recorded history. Homosexuality in China , known as the pleasures of the bitten peach, the cut sleeve, or the southern custom, has been recorded since approximately BCE. However, the instances of same-sex affection and sexual interactions described in the classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber seem as familiar to observers in the present, as do equivalent stories of romances between heterosexual people during the same period.

Homosexuality in Japan , variously known as shudo or nanshoku , has been documented for over one thousand years and had some connections to the Buddhist monastic life and the samurai tradition. This same-sex love culture gave rise to strong traditions of painting and literature documenting and celebrating such relationships. Similarly, in Thailand , kathoey , or "ladyboys," have been a feature of Thai society for many centuries, and Thai kings had male as well as female lovers. While kathoey may encompass simple effeminacy or transvestism , it most commonly is treated in Thai culture as a third gender.

They are generally accepted by society, and Thailand has never had legal prohibitions against homosexuality or homosexual behavior. The earliest Western documents in the form of literary works, art objects, and mythographic materials concerning same-sex relationships are derived from ancient Greece. The formal practice, an erotic yet often restrained relationship between a free-born i.

Plato praised its benefits in his early writings [19] but in his late works proposed its prohibition. Aristotle, in his Politics , dismissed Plato's ideas about abolishing homosexuality 2. Little is known of female homosexuality in antiquity. Sappho , born on the island of Lesbos , was included by later Greeks in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. The adjectives deriving from her name and place of birth sapphic and lesbian came to be applied to female homosexuality beginning in the 19th century.

The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love sometimes requited, sometimes not for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate. In ancient Rome , the young male body remained a focus of male sexual attention, but relationships were between older free men and slaves or freed youths who took the receptive role in sex.

However, by A. Notwithstanding these regulations, taxes on brothels of boys available for homosexual sex continued to be collected until the end of the reign of Anastasius I in During the Renaissance , wealthy cities in northern Italy — Florence and Venice in particular—were renowned for their widespread practice of same-sex love, engaged in by a considerable part of the male population and constructed along the classical pattern of Greece and Rome.

The relationships of socially prominent figures, such as King James I and the Duke of Buckingham , served to highlight the issue, including in anonymously authored street pamphlets: "The world is chang'd I know not how, For men Kiss Men, not Women now; Wilson was published in in England and was presumed by some modern scholars to be a novel.

The edition of John Cleland 's popular novel Fanny Hill includes a homosexual scene, but this was removed in its edition. Desire is an amatory Impulse of the inmost human Parts. Between and Karl Heinrich Ulrichs published a series of twelve tracts, which he collectively titled Research on the Riddle of Man-Manly Love.

In he became the first self-proclaimed homosexual person to speak out publicly in defense of homosexuality when he pleaded at the Congress of German Jurists in Munich for a resolution urging the repeal of anti-homosexual laws.

Sexual Inversion by Havelock Ellis , published in , challenged theories that homosexuality was abnormal, as well as stereotypes, and insisted on the ubiquity of homosexuality and its association with intellectual and artistic achievement. Beginning in with Homogenic Love , Socialist activist and poet Edward Carpenter wrote a string of pro-homosexual articles and pamphlets, and "came out" in in his book My Days and Dreams.

In , Elisar von Kupffer published an anthology of homosexual literature from antiquity to his own time, Lieblingminne und Freundesliebe in der Weltliteratur.

His aim was to broaden the public perspective of homosexuality beyond its being viewed simply as a medical or biological issue, but also as an ethical and cultural one.

There are a handful of accounts by Arab travelers to Europe during the mids. Two of these travelers, Rifa'ah al-Tahtawi and Muhammad sl-Saffar, show their surprise that the French sometimes deliberately mis-translated love poetry about a young boy, instead referring to a young female, to maintain their social norms and morals.

Among many Middle Eastern Muslim cultures egalitarian or age-structured homosexual practices were, and remain, widespread and thinly veiled. The prevailing pattern of same-sex relationships in the temperate and sub-tropical zone stretching from Northern India to the Western Sahara is one in which the relationships were—and are—either gender-structured or age-structured or both. In recent years, egalitarian relationships modeled on the western pattern have become more frequent, though they remain rare.

Same-sex intercourse officially carries the death penalty in several Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania , northern Nigeria , Sudan , and Yemen. Today, governments in the Middle East often ignore, deny the existence of, or criminalize homosexuality. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , during his speech at Columbia University , asserted that there were no gay people in Iran.

Gay people may live in Iran, however they are forced to keep their sexuality veiled from the society, funded and encouraged by government legislation and traditional norms. In the ancient Assyrian society, if a man were to have sex with another man of equal status or a cult prostitute , it was thought that trouble will leave him and he will have good fortune. The Laws of Manu , the foundational work of Hindu law, mentions a "third sex", members of which may engage in nontraditional gender expression and homosexual activities.

The sculptures at the Khajuraho temple in ancient India, which was built in approximately CE, depict same-sex relationships between men, indicating that homosexuality in ancient India was not necessarily repressed, and may even have been broadly accepted by the society. In many societies of Melanesia , especially in Papua New Guinea , same-sex relationships were an integral part of the culture until the middle of the last century.

The Etoro and Marind-anim for example, even viewed heterosexuality as sinful [ clarification needed ] and celebrated homosexuality instead. In many traditional Melanesian cultures a prepubertal boy would be paired with an older adolescent who would become his mentor and who would "inseminate" him orally, anally, or topically, depending on the tribe over a number of years in order for the younger to also reach puberty.

Many Melanesian societies, however, have become hostile towards same-sex relationships since the introduction of Christianity by European missionaries. Homosexuality in ancient Egypt is a passionately disputed subject within Egyptology : historians and egyptologists alike debate what kind of view the Ancient Egyptians society fostered about homosexuality. Only a handful of direct hints have survived to this day and many possible indications are only vague and offer plenty of room for speculation.

The best known case of possible homosexuality in Ancient Egypt is that of the two high officials Nyankh-Khnum and Khnum-hotep.

Both men lived and served under pharaoh Niuserre during the 5th Dynasty c. In this mastaba, several paintings depict both men embracing each other and touching their faces nose-on-nose.

These depictions leave plenty of room for speculation, because in Ancient Egypt the nose-on-nose touching normally represented a kiss. Egyptologists and historians disagree about how to interpret the paintings of Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep. Some scholars believe that the paintings reflect an example of homosexuality between two married men and prove that the Ancient Egyptians accepted same-sex relationships.

No matter what interpretation is correct, the paintings show at the very least that Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep must have been very close to each other in life as in death. It remains unclear, what exact view the Ancient Egyptians fostered about homosexuality. Any document and literature that actually contains sexual orientated stories, never name the nature of the sexual deeds, but instead uses stilted and flowery paraphrases. While the stories about Seth and his sexual behavior may reveal rather negative thoughts and views, the tomb inscription of Nyankh-khnum and Khnum-hotep may instead suggest that homosexuality was likewise accepted.

Ancient Egyptian documents never clearly say that same-sex relationships were seen as reprehensible or despicable. And no Ancient Egyptian document mentions that homosexual acts were set under penalty. Thus, a straight evaluation remains problematic. Albeit not as commonly, it also occurs among the Galla [Oromo] and Somal[i]. More recently, Gamst reported homosexual relations among shepherd boys of the Cushitic-speaking Qemant Kemant of central Ethiopia.

Cross-gender homosexuality not tied to possession cults has been reported in a number of East African societies. Needham described a religious leadership role called mugawe among the Meru of Kenya which includes wearing women's clothes and hairstyle.

Mugawe are frequently homosexual, and sometimes are married to a man. Bryk reported active i. The term homosexuality was invented in the 19th century, with the term heterosexuality invented later in the same century to contrast with the earlier term.

The term bisexuality was invented in the 20th century as sexual identities became defined by the predominate sex to which people are attracted and thus a label was needed for those who are not predominantly attracted to one sex. Historical personalities are often described using modern sexual identity terms such as straight , bisexual , gay or queer.

Those who favour the practice say that this can highlight such issues as discriminatory historiography by, for example, putting into relief the extent to which same-sex sexual experiences are excluded from biographies of noted figures, or to which sensibilities resulting from same-sex attraction are excluded from literary and artistic consideration of important works, and so on.

As well as that, an opposite situation is possible in the modern society: some LGBT-supportive researchers stick to the homosexual theories, excluding other possibilities. However, many, especially in the academic world, regard the use of modern labels as problematic, owing to differences in the ways that different societies constructed sexual orientation identities and to the connotations of modern words like queer.

For example, in many societies same-sex sex acts were expected, or completely ignored, and no identity was constructed on their basis at all. Academic works usually specify which words will be used and in which context. Readers are cautioned to avoid making assumptions about the identity of historical figures based on the use of the terms mentioned above. Greek men had great latitude in their sexual expression, but their wives were severely restricted and could hardly move about the town unsupervised if she was old enough that people would ask whose mother she was, not whose wife she was.

Men could also seek adolescent boys as partners as shown by some of the earliest documents concerning same-sex pederastic relationships, which come from Ancient Greece. Though slave boys could be bought, free boys had to be courted, and ancient materials suggest that the father also had to consent to the relationship. Such relationships did not replace marriage between man and woman, but occurred before and during the marriage.

A mature man would not usually have a mature male mate, but there were exceptions among whom Alexander the Great He would be the erastes lover to a young eromenos loved one. Dover suggests that it was considered improper for the eromenos to feel desire, as that would not be masculine. Driven by desire and admiration, the erastes would devote himself unselfishly by providing all the education his eromenos required to thrive in society. In recent times, Dover's theory suggests that questioned in light of massive evidence of ancient art and love poetry, a more emotional connection than earlier researchers liked to acknowledge.

Some research has shown that ancient Greeks believed semen to be the source of knowledge and that these relationships served to pass wisdom on from the erastes to the eromenos. The "conquest mentality" of the ancient Romans shaped Roman homosexual practices. In courtroom and political rhetoric, charges of effeminacy and passive sexual behaviors were directed particularly at "democratic" politicians populares such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.

Through the medieval period, homosexuality was generally condemned and thought to be the moral of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Gay men in ancient times