Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty
Boys Were Their Gods
Published April 16th 2008 by Routledge – 288 pages
This lavishly illustrated book brings together, for the first time, all of the different ways in which vase-painting portrays or refers 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. The book shows how painters used the language of vase-painting to cast pederasty in an idealizing light, portraying it as part of a world in which beautiful elite males display praiseworthy attitudes, such as moderation, and engage in approved activities, such as hunting, athletics, and the symposium. The book also incorporates a comprehensive catalogue of relevant vase-paintings, compiled by noted archaeologist Keith DeVries. It is the most comprehensive treatment available of an institution that has few modern parallels.
‘This extremely likable and well-presented book … will present essential reading for anyone working in the field of ancient sexuality and/or classical Greek iconography … This is a well-balanced and superbly written book – and one that is no doubt destined for classic status.’ – American Journal of Archaeology
'This volume will be a much-used starting point for students and scholars of Greek male sexuality.' – Times Higher Education Supplement
‘This book meets a real need. The very fact that the authors' analysis is based on study of approximately 1000 vases (111 of which they illustrate) makes Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty a valuable resource, and an appendix including a catalogue of 647 vases compiled by the late Keith DeVries only adds to its value. The book greatly expands the amount of material available to nonspecialists, demonstrating that there are considerably more pederastic scenes in the surviving vases than has generally been believed, and its balanced and articulate readings of the material--the authors carefully describe recurring patterns, make allowance for exceptions, discuss alternative interpretations, and do not press when the evidence only goes so far--make it a significant contribution to our understanding of Greek pederasty.’ – Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Introduction. Textual Evidence. The Iconography of Pederasty. What is Iconography. Elements of Iconography 1. Courtship. Courting-gift Scenes. Other Courtship Iconographies. 2. Ideals/Idealization 3. Consummation 4. Pederasty and the Gods 5. Kalos-inscriptions 6. Vase Dating 7. Fragments. Conclusion