Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty

Boys Were Their Gods

By Andrew Lear, Eva Cantarella

© 2004 – Routledge

288 pages

Purchasing Options:
New in Paperback: 9780415564045
pub: 2009-11-02
US Dollars$45.95

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

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 volume will be a much-used starting point for students and scholars of Greek male sexuality.'Times Higher Education Supplement

'Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty establishes a carefully defined approach to an important and controversial topic. The book examines a considerably wider range of images than has been previously available and locates them in a clear and engaging fashion in a cultural context.' - Helene P. Foley, Barnard College, Columbia University

‘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

'a welcome addition to the study of ancient sexuality and, more importantly, a shining example of the use of iconography and visual language – indeed, of material culture – in the study of ancient societies.'Iris

Table of Contents

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

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / Greece