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Re: Eros as patron of Homosexuals?

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  • Ruadhan
    ... As best as I can tell, this probably started with His worship in Boeotian gymnasia and, if I recall correctly, at the tomb of Hylas around Thebes (in
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 19, 2010
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      --- In thiasos-eros@yahoogroups.com, "Chris" <wishcaster134@...> wrote:
      >
      > How did this actually begin? I cant find any myths on Eros having a
      > gay love affair of any kind which would suggest his involvement in
      > that portfolio. (Unless his playmate Ganymede was more than just a
      > playmate. But thats the only thing I can think of.) Im just really
      > curious as to this as a gay man myself trying to understand it.
      >

      As best as I can tell, this probably started with His worship in Boeotian gymnasia and, if I recall correctly, at the tomb of Hylas around Thebes (in Boeotia, not Egypt -- I know that can make things a mite confusing), regarded as Herakles' eromenos in the Heraklean mythos, male-male couples would pledge themselves to eachother before Eros.

      Also, Eros was a major deity in Boeotia, especially the city of Thespiae, and I know Attikans tended to regard Boeotians (in a vaguely disdainful way) as more accepting of "age matched" and "class matched" homosexual couples (rather than the "genteel" Athenian pederastic standard for the middle and upper-classes or the general acceptability of "Topping" some-one of a lower class than yourself); there is no real evidence that Boeotians actually *were* more accepting of this "egalitarian" same-sex love, but then this wouldn't be something that there would necessarily be laws about, nor would there necessarily be any surviving texts, but male couples in Boeotian did receive a ceremony, and it may have been regarded as being on a similar social function as a marriage.

      Give me some time to pull quotes (if you need them), but I recall that the male-male paired Sacred Band of Thebes (or the "Army of Lovers") were pledged to Eros, as well.

      Mythologically, I really can't think of anything other than the later tale of Ganymedes, which probably serves as little more than to mythologically confirm an already established practise -- that doesn't necessarily make the mythology wrong, it just means that the mythos came after the custom was already established.
    • Christopher Davis
      Thank you so much for the insight.  I, recently, read in one mythology book that Eros possibly was in a relationship with his father Ares, which might have
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 30, 2010
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        Thank you so much for the insight.  I, recently, read in one mythology book that Eros possibly was in a relationship with his father Ares, which might have started the reasoning of why male male couples began pledging in the first place.  What do you think?


        From: Ruadhan <ruadhan@...>
        To: thiasos-eros@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sun, September 19, 2010 5:35:53 PM
        Subject: [thiasos-eros] Re: Eros as patron of Homosexuals?

         



        --- In thiasos-eros@yahoogroups.com, "Chris" <wishcaster134@...> wrote:
        >
        > How did this actually begin? I cant find any myths on Eros having a
        > gay love affair of any kind which would suggest his involvement in
        > that portfolio. (Unless his playmate Ganymede was more than just a
        > playmate. But thats the only thing I can think of.) Im just really
        > curious as to this as a gay man myself trying to understand it.
        >

        As best as I can tell, this probably started with His worship in Boeotian gymnasia and, if I recall correctly, at the tomb of Hylas around Thebes (in Boeotia, not Egypt -- I know that can make things a mite confusing), regarded as Herakles' eromenos in the Heraklean mythos, male-male couples would pledge themselves to eachother before Eros.

        Also, Eros was a major deity in Boeotia, especially the city of Thespiae, and I know Attikans tended to regard Boeotians (in a vaguely disdainful way) as more accepting of "age matched" and "class matched" homosexual couples (rather than the "genteel" Athenian pederastic standard for the middle and upper-classes or the general acceptability of "Topping" some-one of a lower class than yourself); there is no real evidence that Boeotians actually *were* more accepting of this "egalitarian" same-sex love, but then this wouldn't be something that there would necessarily be laws about, nor would there necessarily be any surviving texts, but male couples in Boeotian did receive a ceremony, and it may have been regarded as being on a similar social function as a marriage.

        Give me some time to pull quotes (if you need them), but I recall that the male-male paired Sacred Band of Thebes (or the "Army of Lovers") were pledged to Eros, as well.

        Mythologically, I really can't think of anything other than the later tale of Ganymedes, which probably serves as little more than to mythologically confirm an already established practise -- that doesn't necessarily make the mythology wrong, it just means that the mythos came after the custom was already established.


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