Georgian Views of Homosexuality in the Ancient World

NOTE: The first item in the following compendiuim is interesting for demonstrating that there were behind-the-scenes discussions that took place between learned men concerning the homosexuality attributed to the ancient philosophers. This was a personal letter, not intended for publication. This extract is followed by the relevant extract from the History that is referred to. The discussion about Socrates/Sotades is also interesting for suggesting that homosexuals tried to justify themselves by suggesting that famous men were also homosexual. There then follow various extracts from historical studies throughout the eighteenth century, demonstrating their knowledge of homosexuality in the ancient world.

Fourth Letter

Dear Cousin,

I do most heartily thank you for your kind letter, especially for the observations, which you have sent me on my mistakes in the last part of my History. I must confess that about Octavius's posterity is a very great one. It is a downright blunder of my old head; and I am glad so accurate and learned a Reader has not observed more of them. This makes me hope that no more such have escaped me. I have mended this and all the others you have taken notice of; only I cannot make Socrates a Sodomite. The place in Juvenal, which you mention, reflects on him for his affection to Alcibiades, as if that were a sodomitical amour. I am past labouring any further, being now past the seventieth year of my age; if I outlive the [p.136] ensuing winter, it is more than I expect, or indeed desire; for I have now upon me those decays both of body and mind, as make me fully sensible, Gravis est & dura senectus. Every body cannot live so long as my aunt M.M. though perchance I might have lived much longer, and in full vigour, had not my great calamity come athwart me: considering that, it is much, that I have lasted so long. I bless God for all his mercies hitherto. I am,
          Dear Cousin, &c.
6, 1718. [p.137]

SOURCE: The Life of the Reverend Humphrey Prideaux, D.D., Dean of Norwich, with Several Tracts and Letters of His upon Various Subjects. London, 1748. This letter was reprinted in Walter Moyle, A Select Collection of Tracts, Dublin, 1728, where it is dated 6 September 1711 rather than 1718.

Sotades the Sodomite

Patroclus, (a chief officer of the Lacedaemonians) in his return into Egypt, having found Sotades at Caunus, a maritime City of Caria, there seized on him, and wrapping him in a Sheet of Lead cast him into the Sea. He was a lewd Poet, who having written some Satyrical verses aginst King Ptolemy, and in them bitterly reflected on him for his Marriage with Arsinoe his Sister, was fled from Alexandria to avoid the Indignation of that Prince. But Patroclus having thus met him in his flight, thought he could not better recommend himself to the favour of his Prince, than by taking this Vengeance on the Person who had thus abused him. And it was a Punishment which he well deserved. For he was a very vile and flagitious Wretch, and was commonly called Sotades Cinaedus, i.e. Sotades the Sodomite; which name was given him by way of Eminence, not only for his notorious guilt in that monstrous and abominable Vice, but especially for that he had written in Iambic verses a very remarkable Poem in commendation of it, which was in great repute among those, who were given to that unnatural and vile lust. Hence sodomites were called from him Sotadici Cinaedi, i.e. Sotadic Sodomimtes, [p.91] as in Juvenal, (o Inter Sotadicos notissima fossa Cinaedos). For so it ought to be read, and not Socraticos, as in our printed Books. For this latter was an aleration made in the Text of that Author by such as were wickedly addicted to this beastly Vice, thinking they might acquire some Credit, or at least some Excuse to this worst of Uncleaness, if they could make it believ'd that Socrates, who was one of the best of Men, had been also addicted to it. [p.92]

SOURCE: Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected to the History of the Jews and Neighbouring Nations, Eleventh Edition. London, 1749, Part II, Vol. III.


Theodorus, sirnamed The Atheist, was one of the Cyrenaic Sect. Laertius says he denied all Opinions concerning the Gods, and wrote a Book out of which Epicurus borrowed all that he said upon that Subject. He approved all Crimes, and maintained that none were in their own Nature shameful, but only in the Opinion of the People, whom he called a Multitude of Ignorants. The same Laertius tells of other strange Opinions he advanced, even, That it is lawful for a wise Man to steal, commit Adultery or Sacrilege, when Opportunity offered; that he may publickly, without Scandal, keep Company with common Harlots, if his Inclinations lead him to it. – May not a beautiful Woman be made use of because she is lovely, or a Youth because he is fair? Most certainly they may. No wonder the neathen World was debauched, when the Philosophers, the Oracles of those Times, taught them so impious Lessons. Bion was another wicked Philosopher, so much given to male-Venery, even with his Scholars, that no one would acknowledge himself to have been his Disciple. [p.281]

SOURCE: Robert Millar, The History of the Church, Edinburgh, 1730.

Unnatural Lust of the Philosophers

Many of the Philosophers maintain'd the Lawfulness of Self-murder. Not only the Epicureans and others, but even Plato himself allow'd Fornication, and, which is more shocking, a Community of Wives. The most famous among them were known not onl to approve but pratise unnatural Lust. To which we may add the cynicks, who laying aside the natural Restraints of Shame and Modesty, committed the Acts of Lust, like brute Beasts, openly and in the sight of the Sun: And the Stoicks, who held that no Words or Speech of any kind ought to be avoided or censur'd as filthy and obscene. . . . [p.29]

SOURCE: Anthony Blissam, Vicar of Portsmouth, Observations on Mr. Chubb's discourse concerning Reason, London, 1731.


Being thus accustomed to the good and beautiful in Morals, he was led by an amiable Intercourse of Ideas, to look upon the Comeliness of a handsome Person as the external Mark of inward Goodness, which made itself thus visible to the Sight by the correspondent Features of an amiable Countenance. [NOTE: Maximus Tyrius thus elegantly describes Socrates's virtuous and rational Love of Alcibiades, and others of his Disciples, in Contradistinction to that unnatural Passion with which the Ancients too often disgraced their Species. . . . Plutarch says, Socrates was wont to tell young Men, that they should often regard themselves in a Looking-glass; that if they found themselves beautiful, they should take care not to stain that Beauty by Vice; and if deform'd, they should endeavour to cover their personal Imperfections by Virtue. . . .] He therefore gave the [p.67] Preference to those Youths who were the most beautiful, but above all to Alcibiades, whom he pursued with the most indefatigable Industry, to prevent him falling into those destructive Pleasures, to which he was too much subjected by the Easiness of his Temper, and uncommon Warmth of his Constitution. [NOTE: There was an Institution of Solon's at Athens, which was afterwards copied by all the States of Greece, that every Man of experienced Wisdom and Probity should take Youths under his Care, and after having gain'd their virtuous Affections, to educate them in the Principles of Justice, Honor and fortitude. A remarkable Instance of the mutual Friendship that subsisted between some Youths and their Instructors, was shewn in the Theban (Sacred Band) at the famous Battle of Chaeronea, where a Body of three hundred were killed fighting by one another's Side. Philip King of Macedon seeing them lie dead together, said weeping, Curs'd be they who suspect that these Men could either do or suffer any thing base. Plut. in vit. Pelop. A generous Testimony in an Enemy of that Bravery, which was so nobly supported by virtuous Friendship! . . .] But for all this constant Attendance on that much celebrated Nobleman, none ever accused him [NOTE: Mons. Charpentier is greatly mistaken when he says, "Ses ennimies se sont servis de cette apparance. pour l'accuser de corrompre la junesse." Who were these Enemies? none at that Time as ever I read of. "Et ceux (adds he) quii n'ont par aimes sa membire, les ont crus affez mal a propos." That I grant there were some in After-ages who were willing to calumniate him on this account thro' Malice, or ignorantly aspers'd him, for want of considering the Customs of Greece. . . .] none ever accused him of having [p.68] any unnatural Affection; for what is said of corrupting Youths in the Accusation laid by Melitus afterwards, was meant in another Sense, that is to say, their political and religious Principles, for he is allow'd on all Hands to be free from the least Suspicion of that most detestable Sin; nay even Aristophanes never so much as once hints at it, which he certainly would not have fail'd to have done, had there been the smallest Ground for such an Insinuation. [NOTE: I must here take notice, that the tenth Line of the second Satire of Juvenal, "Inter Socraticos notissima fossa cinaedos", is certainly, as several Commentators have observ'd, a false Reading, which was occasion'd, I suppose, by the Mistake of some illiterate Transcriber, who having head of Socrates's Esteem for Alcibiades, which perhaps was turn'd to his Discredit at that Time, and never having met with the Story of Sotades, that infamous Paederaste the Cretan Poet, from whose Name this epithet is borrowed by Juvenal, he chang'd Sotadicos for Socraticos.] Porphyry, who [p.69] was more inveterate against him than the bitterest of his Contemporaries, and who borrowed most part of his Invectives from Aridoxenos, Aristotle's Disciple, a professed Enemy of the Academy, never so much as doubted of the Innocency of Socrates in tis Respect with the Youths who frequented his Discourses. The Silence therefore of such implacable Enemies concerning so atrocious a Crime, must necessarily acquit him without farther Testimony. [p.70]

SOURCE: John gilbert Cooper, The Life of Socrates, Collected from the Memorabilia of Xenophon and the Dialogues of Plato, London, 1749.


Nero, to demonstrate he never was more easy than at Rome, made Feasts in all the Publick Places, using the whole City as his private [p.329] House. . . . The Emperor after surfeited with all manner of Pleasures, as well lawful as forbidden, could not find a new Debauch, till to fill up the height of Infamy, he caused himself to be married in Person of a Woman to an olf Buggerer of the Troops, call'd Pythagoras. The Marriage was performed with the usual Ceremonies, and the Money deposited in the Auger's hands: He had the Veil put on which the Brides commonly wear, and a Nuptial-bed prepared; the Hymeneal Flambeau lighted; and suffer'd that to be done to him in the View of the World, which is commonly cover'd with Darkness in the Female Pleasures. [p.394]

SOURCE: The Annals and History of C. Cornelius Tacitus, Made English by Several Hands. Second Edition. London, 1741, Vol. II.

The Taste of the Greeks

Before the Pelopnesian [sic] war, an aera fatal to their virtue, what nation, what country, produced so many virtuous and great men? Yet the taste of the Greeks for the most indecent and unnatural lust is well known; and the most virtuous of the Greeks, according to our ideas of morality, would have been looked upon in Europe as most wicked and contemptible debauchees. This kind of corruption of manners was in Greece carried to the utmost excess, at the very time that country produced such great men of every kind as made Persia to tremble. We may therefore observe, that religious corruptio does not seem incompatible with the greatness and felicity of a state; but political corruption is preparative to the fall of an empire, and presages its ruin. . . . [p.157]

SOURCE: Franz Swediauer, The Philosophical Dictionary, 4 vols, London, 1786, Vol. I.

The Laws of Solon

The laws of Solon were of the most extensive nature, comprehending not only rules of right, but maxims of morality, regulations of commerce, and precepts of agriculture. To describe his institutions respecting such matters as are properly the objects of law, would be explaining those great, but familiar principles, concerening marriage, succession, testaments, the rights of persons and of things, which, through the medium of the civil law, have been conveyed into the jurisprudence of all the civilised nations of Europe. His laws concerning education and manners prove that drunkenness and unnatural love were the predominant vices of that early age. It was a particular duty of the archons, to prevent or punish offences committed in consequence of intoxication; and the regulations concerning schools, which were not to be opened till sun-rise, which were ordered to be shut before night, and into which none but such relations of the master, as were particularly specified by law, could on any pretence be admitted, marked the most solicitude to root out an evil which already infected and disgraced the manners of Greece.

SOURCE: John Gillies, The History of Ancient Greece, Dublin, 1786, Vol. I, p. 557.

Heathen Morals

An universal corruption of manners was the natural consequence of Heathen theology; the morals of Heathens were such, as might reasonably be expected fromt he conceptions which they formed of adulterous, incestuous, and impure gods; whom they thought it laudable to imitate in all their abominations. The Pagan gods being guilty of enormous crimes, their votaries suited their worship and practice to the ideas which they entertained of them. He who wished to commit adultery was encouraged byi the example of Jupiter, he that was delighted with unnatural love, viewed Ganymede in Jove's embraces, or Hiacinthus in Apollo's; and the horror of incest was extenuated, if not excused, by the marriage of Jupiter to his sister Juno. Venus, the patroness of strumpets, promoted numberless adulteries, rapes and incests by her example and suggestions: she had a son byi her brother Mercury . . . . [p.53]

Nor were philosophers themselves always pure in their doctines, and exemplary in their lives; on the contrary, some of the principal sages recommended and justified fornication by precept and example. Aristotle thought it lawful, to procure abortion; and Plato, to expose children. Democritus and Epicurus condemned marriage; Plato and Epicureans and Stoics, nay Socrates and Cato, allowed fornication and a community of wives. Aristippus permitted pederasty, Epicurus, Zeno and the Stoics, tolerate incest; and unnatural love is authorised by the Cynics, who were shameless in their amours. Epictetus was surprised at the self-denial of Socrates, who slighted the youth and beauty of Alcibiades; and Maximus Tyrius applauds Agesilaus for only looking at, and admiring a beautiful boy. Solon allowed the love of boys, and prohibited it to slaves as too great an indulgence; and the Cretans encouraged masculine love by law, to prevent a numerous offspring. Unnatural crimes were committed in Juno's temples, in the time of [p.64] Julius Firmicus; and Cicero's Cotta, a man of rank and refinement, acknowledges himself guilty of the crime against nature; and justifies the deed by the authority of philosophers. This offence was committed in Rome in a barefaced manner, in Seneca's time; and the Scantinian law prohibited the public marriages of men to men; which were so common in that city, and so familiar to the satirist (Juvenal, Sat. ii. 143, and Dryden's translation); that he speaks of them with less horror, than of the fights of gladiators,

Vicit et hoc monstrum tunicati fuscine Gracchi.

Yet Gracchus, thou degenerate son of fame,
Thy pranks are stigmatis'd with greater blame.

. . . p.65] Aristippus, though rich, refused to maintain his children, considering them as spittle or vermin produced by his body; kept a sraglio of boys and courtezans; and maintained that a man might lawfully commit theft, sacrilege, or adultery, as a means of gratifying his brutal appetites. Xenophon practised the most unnatural pollutions with Clinias; Crates, and the female philosopher Hipparchia, cohabited publicly, and Socrates and Plato have been accused of crimes with persons of their own sex. Such were the doctrines and lives of public teachers among the Heathens! Such were the fruits of ignorance of the doctrines and motives of true religion! . . . [p.66]

SOURCE: Edward Ryan, The History of the Effects of Religion on Mankind, London, 1788.


As Generalissimo, it was the duty of Aristides to fix the ships, men, and money, which every state should furnish. This he did with so much quity, that it was called the happy lot or arrangement for Greece. He haed also the amost singular good fortune, to retain the esteem of his countrymen to the last. And Plato afterwards said of him, that he studied to fill Athens with virtue. But even Aristides, is said to have been addicted to the unnatural lust for boys. What can [p.82] one say of a people, where this abominable vice was not even discountenanced? For my own part, when I find such a man as Aristides charged with it, I lament his living in those days. And I regret, that his otherwise unblemished name, should be contaminated by the infamous practice of his country. . . . [p.83]

SOURCE: Francis Dobbs, Second Volume of Universal History, London, 1788.


Demetrius King of Athens so admired a beautiful youth called Democles the Fair, that he left no way unattempted, either by kind words, great promises, considerable presents, and other whiles by menaces, to debauch him Sodomitically; to avoid which, the boy retired from public places, and the Bathes, and washed himself in private. Demetrius was no sooner informed where he was bathing, but he broke in upon him; and the youth finding an utter impossibility to escape the violence of the King's unnatural lust, he uncovered the furnace where the water was boiling, leapt into it, and put an end to hius life, rather than violate his chastity. – Plut. in Demetr. p. 899.

A Spanish youth, named Pelagius, of a beautiful countenance, being a hostage to the Moors, Abderamine King of Morocco was so smitten with him, that he discovered his base desires, by repeated lascivious actions; which the noble youth as frequently and scornfully rejected; [p.170] which the King resenting, resolved to gain by compulsion, what he could not obtain by persuasion; which the youth being apprehensive of, and excited by a generous indignation, struck the brutish King with his fist upon the face, saying, "Now, infidel dog, thoou mayest kill me, but thou shalt never rob me of my chastity." This blow cooled the barbarian's unnatural amours, but inflamed him with so much anger, that he caused the youth to be case into a military sling, threw him over the river Baetis, and dashed him to pieces upon the rocks on the other side. – Lips. Monit. l. 2. c. 17. p. 378. [p.171]

SOURCE: Nathaniel Wanley, The History of Man: or, The Wonders of Human Nature, 2 vols, Edinburgh, 1790 edition, Vol. I.

Harmodius and Aristogiton

(Hipparchus) was slain by Harmodius and Aristogiton, in resentment of a private injury. And notwithstanding his public virtues, and an administration which, in the language of panegyric, is said to have revived the memory of the Golden Age, so strong was the detestation of the Athenians against regal power, after they had recovered their freedom, that his murderers were long celebrated as the deliverers of their country from tyranny: and many statues were erected to perpetuate the memory of the perpetrators of the crime. – A crime, which Thucydides affirms, arose from "a competition in love"; and in that love which nature abhors. (Thucyd. lib. vi. cap. liv.)

Harmodius being in the bloom of youth and beauty, (says the Greek historian [Thycidides, lib. vi.]) Aristogiton, an Athenian citizen, of a more advanced age, doated upon him, (according to the abominable LOVE OF THE GREEks) and had him in his possession, to use the plain language of Thycydides (lib. vi.). Hipparchus, who was addicted, it seems, to the same unnatural lust, eagerly solicited the vaours of Harmodius. But although unsuccessful, he did not chuse to make use of force (Id. Ibid.). Meanwhile Aristogiton was inflamed with jealousy, and filled with terror, at the advances of so powerful a rival; and the LOVER and the BELOVED, roused to resentment by an aggravating circumstance, not connected with this infamous amour—an attempt to disgrace the sister of Harmodius, concerted and accomplished the murder of the Athenian prince.

I shall leave others (See Young's Hist. of Athens, book i. chap. viii. and Gillies's Hist. of Greece, chap. xviii.) to maintain the purity of such connexions; for to me they have always appeared suspicious. Plutarch has endeavoured to shade them under the veil of virtuous friendship; but, in relating facts, he forgets his general reasonings. [p.375]

SOURCE: William Russell, The History of Ancient Europe, London, 1793, Vol. I.

The Spartans and the Celts

Nothing proves more ruinous to a state than the defective education of the women; since wherever the institutions respecting one half of the community are faulty, the corruption of that half will gradually taint the whole. The undisciplined manners of the Spartan women are inconsistent with every wise plan of legislation, and totally adverse to the principal aim of Lycurgus; who, exacting the msot rigid temperance in his men, with a view to harden them to fortitude, has granted every indulgence to his women, and thereby corrupted them with licentiousness. In a nation of soldiers, the errors in female education, and the vicious passions resulting from that fatal source, are doubly prejudicial; for the poet had surveyed life and manners with discernment who first coupled Mars and Venus; all martial nations being immoderately amorousk and therefore particularly obnoxious to the undue influence, or rather the dominion, of women; with the exception however of the Celts, and if there be any other people who openly prefer unnatural love. It is of little consequence3 whether women rule the state, or men, governed by women, rule it in subservience to female passions. During the invasion of the Thebans, the Spartan women, instead of renderng those services which women on similar occasions have often performed, caused more evil than even the arms of the enemy; and avarice must always dmineer wherever women bear sway.

The incongruous regulations respecting the two sexes in Sparta proceeded from a natural cause. The severe duties of the field had prepared the men for submission to civil discipline; but the women, untamed and turbulent, spurned the yoke of legislation. The fault, therefore, is chargeable on themselves, rather than on Lycurgus. But we are not now inquiring who is to blame, but what is blamable?

SOURCE: Aristotle's Ethics and Politics, comprising his Practical Philosophy, Translated from the Greek, By John Gillies, London, 1797, Book II, pp. 105–106.

Julius Caesar.

THOUGH this extraordinary man triuimphed over the greater part of the then known world, he was a slave to his own lusts. . . . [p.248]

. . .

HIS amours have spread his infamy as far as ever his fame reached. His being a catamite, and guilty of sodomy with Nicomedes king of Bythinia brought upon him much raillery, and exposed hiim to the contempt of his enemies. Boasting one day in the Senate that he would run down his adversaries; they replied, that he would find that a hard task for a woman; alluding to his being prostituted by NICOMEDES. They called hiim also the queen of BYTHINIA's cuckoldmaker, and [p.250] Nicomedes's stable; – his adversary BIBULUS said of him, when he proscribed him, that formerly he affected a king, but not a kingdom. Octavius, a prating fellow whose tongue usually got the better of his wit, before a large company saluted POMPEY by the name of king,, and gave CAESAR the title of queen. CICERO upbraided him with those things in his episstles; and when Caesar, in his plea before the senate for NISA, daughter to the said NICOMEDES, insisted upon the good offices that king had done him, CICERO cut him short, saying, no more of that, let me beg you, sir; we all know very well what has passed between you two. Nay, the very soldiers who attended his chariot in his Gallic triumph, among other lampoons used upon such occasions, had this noted one:

Gallow Caesar, subegit, Nicomedes Caesarem:
Ecce Caesar nunc triumphat qui subegit Gallos,
Nicomedes non triumphat qui subegit Caesarem.

Which may be Englished thus:

For conquering Gaul, Caesar doth laurels wear,
But Nicomedes doth no tropies bear,
Tho' he made the conquest of the conqueror.

He is generally said to have been much inclined also tolust after women, and to have been very prodigal in his amours. He debauched several ladies of quality, as Posthumia the wife of Servius Sulpicius, Lollie the wife of Gabinius, Tertulla the wife of Crassus, and Mucia, Pompey's lady, insomuch that Curio upbraided Pompey, that the extravagancy of ambition should never induce him to marry the daughter of that man, for whose intimacy with his wife he was obliged to divorce her, after he had three children by her, and frequently to own himself a cuckold. [p.252]

SOURCE: Biographical Anecdotes Selected from History, Sacred and Prophane, Dublin, 1795, pp. 248-252.

The Ancient Philosophers

Cicero declares, that the ancient Philosophers never reformed either themselves or their disciples; and that he knew not a single instance, in which either the teacher or the Disciple was made virtuous by their principles. Lucian declares them, as a body, to have been tyrants, adulterers, and corrupters of youth. Plutarch declares Socrates and Plato to have been as incontinent, and intemperate, as any slave; and Aristole to have been a fop, a debaucher, [p.35] and a traitor. Dion Cassius gives no better character of Seneca. Diogenes and Crates committed lewdness, with a blush, in the streets; doubtless believing, with Lord Bolingbroke, that modesty was inspired by mere prejudice. Speusippus, who appears to have believed, with Mr. Hume, that adultery must be practised, if we would obtain all the advantages of life, was caught, and slain, in the act of adultery. Aristippus kept a seraglio of strumpets and catamites, and perjured himself, to cheat a friend of a sum of money, which that friend had left in his hands; and rfused also to educate his own children, styling them mere vermin. Menippus, because he had lost a sum of money, murdered himself: as did also Zeno, Cleanthes, Chrysippus, Cleombrotus, Cato the younger, and Brutus. Cato the elder parted with his wife to Hortensius, and was accused of drunkenness. Xenophon was a notorious sodomite, and said in the absense of a boy whom he kept, "I would be blind to all things else, so that I might see Clineas": and again, "thanks to the sun which discloses to me the face of Clinias." The ancient Philosophers, indeed, were generally noted for sodomy. Plutarch, acknowledging the fact, makes for them this apology, that, though they corrupted their bodies, they made amends for it by improving their souls. In truth, nothing better was to be expected from them than what is here recounted; for their doctrines warranted thse and most other crimes. . . . [p.36]

SOURCE: Timothy Dwight, The Nature and Danger of Invidel Philosophy, Bristol, 1799.

Conduct of Believers and Unbelevers



We may find in the heathen philosophers customary swearing commended, if not by their precepts, yet by the examples of their best moralists, Plato, Socrates, Seneca, and Julian the Emperor, in whose works numerous oaths by Jupiter, Hercules, the Sun, Serapis, and the like, do occur. In the same manner we see the unnatural love of boys recommended. Aristippus maintained that it was lawful for a wise man to steal, commit adultery, and sacrilege, when opportunity offeres; for that none of these actions were naturally evil, setting [p.81] aside the vulgar opinion, which was introduced into the world by silly and illiterate people – that a wise man might publicly, without shame or scandal, keep company with common harlots, if his inclination led him to it. "May not a beautiful woman be made use of, he asks, because she is fair; or a youth because he is lovely?" Certainly they may.
          If, as Voltaire asserts, it was the desire of these philosophers to make men better, assuredly they employed very extraordinary means to accomplish their desire. . . . [p.82]

The unnatural love of boys was so common in Greece, that in many places it was sanctioned by the public laws, of which Aristotle gives the reason: viz. to prevent their having too many children. Maximus Tyrius, celebrates it as a most singular heroic act of Agesilaus, that being in love with a beautiful barbarian boy, he suffered it to go no farther than looking at him, and admiring him. Epictetus also praises Socrates in this manner: "Go to Socrates, and see him lying byi Alcibiades, yet slighting his youth and beauty. Consider what a victory he was conscious of [p.120] obtaining! What an Olympic prize! So that, by heaven, one might justly salute him, Hail incredibly great, universal victor!" What an implication does such language contain of the manners of those times! . . . [p.121]

That odious and unnatural vice, which prevailed amongst the Greeks, was also common amongst the Romans. Cicero introduces, without any mark of disapprobation, Cotta, a man of the first rank and genius, freely and familiarly owning to other Romans of the same quality, that worse than beastly vice as practised by himself, and quoting the authorities of ancient philosophers in vindication of it. It appears also from Seneca, that in his time it was practised at Rome openly and without shame. He speaks of flocks and troops of boys, distinguished by their colours and [p.122] nations, and that gret care was taken to train them up for that detestable employment.
          The religious rites performed in honour of Venus in cyprus, and at Aphac on Mount Libanus, consisted in lewdness of the grossest kinds. The young people of both sexes crowded from all parts to those sinks of pollution, and filling the groves and temples with their shameless practices, committed whoredom by thousands, out of pure devotion. . . . [p.123]

SOURCE: Rev. Andrew Fuller, The Gospel Its Own Witness: or The Holy Nature, and Divine Harmony of the Christian Religion, Contrasted with the Immorality and Absurdity of Deism, Clipstone: Printed by J. W. Morris, 1799.

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