Gay Heroes of Ancient Greece

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Check out my latest blogpost for the Gay and Lesbian Review.  It’s about Harmodius and Aristogeiton.  Along with Achilles and Patroclus in the Iliad (whom the ancient Greeks mostly saw as a couple), Harmodius and Aristogeiton were the biggest gay heroes of ancient Greece .  Harmodius and Aristogeiton were a Greek-style male-male couple, who assassinated Hipparchus, brother of the Athenian tyrant Hippias.  This may have been a private act of revenge, and it happened more than ten years before the end of the tyranny.  But the Athenians thought of them as the founders of the democracy.  Their story shows how different cultural attitudes toward gay love can be.  The Athenians wanted a male-male couple to have founded the democracy, because they considered a certain kind of male-male love the ideal matrix for courage and loyalty to your fellow soldier!

Anyway, here is the blog post:  http://www.glreview.org/gay-lovers-were-heroes-of-athenian-democracy/

If you’re interested in this kind of gay history info, sign up for our mailing list.  Or even better, come on one of our tours!  Harmodius and Aristogeiton are a big theme in our gay history tour of Italy “Gay Italy, from Caesar to Michelangelo tour,” which will take place this year on October 9-19.  In Naples, we will see the statues illustrated in the GLR.  They are the best remaining copy of the monument to these gay heroes of ancient Greece that stood in the Athenian agora in ancient times.  Harmodius and Aristogeiton will also be a major theme in next autumn’s Greece tour, “Greece, the Homeland of Same-Sex Love.”  We will see the site in the Agora where the statues stood, plus a tiny bit of the statue base that has survived since Antiquity–and even the tomb where the couple received blood sacrifice as demigods after their death.  Finally, they even put in an appearance on our “Gay Secrets of the MFA” tour in Boston, which we did in May and hope to repeat some time this autumn.

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