|December 3, 1992
EARLY HELLENISTIC DYNAMISM, 323-146
Aye me, the pain and the grief of it! I have
been sick of Love's quartan now a month and
more. He's not so fair, I own, but all the ground his pretty foot covers is grace, and the smile of his face is very sweetness. 'Tis
true the ague takes me now but day on day off,
but soon there'll be no respite, no not for a
wink of sleep. When we met yesterday he gave
me a sidelong glance, afeared to look me in
the face, and blushed crimson; at that, Love
gripped my reins still the more, till I gat me
wounded and heartsore home, there to arraign
my soul at bar and hold with myself this parlance: "What wast after, doing so? whither away this fond folly? know'st thou
not there's three gray hairs on thy brow? Be
wise in time . . . (Theocritus, Idylls,
Writers about pederasty, like writers about other aspects of ancient Greek culture, have tended to downplay the Hellenistic period as inferior. John Addington Symonds, adhering to the view of the great English historian of ancient Greece, George Grote, that the Hellenistic Age was decadent, ended his Problem in Greek Ethics with the loss of Greek freedom at Chaeronea:
Philip of Macedon, when he pronounced the
panegyric of the Sacred Band at Chaeronea,
uttered the funeral oration of Greek love
in its nobler forms. With the decay of
military spirit and the loss of freedom,
there was no sphere left for that type of
comradeship which I attempted to describe
in Section IV. The philosophical ideal,
to which some cultivated Attic thinkers
had aspired, remained unrealised, except,
we may perhaps suppose, in isolated
instances. Meanwhile paiderastia as a vice
did not diminish. It only grew more wanton
and voluptuous. Little, therefore, can be
gained by tracing its historical development
further, although it is not without interest
to note the mode of feeling and the opinion
of some later poets and rhetoricians.1
Dover, who might have been forced to deal with anal penetration if he had reviewed the Hellenistic poets, recognized the essential continuity but not its changes:
Since, however, the distinctive features of
Greek civilisation were fully developed
before the end of the classical period,
I have not judged it useful to accumulate
evidence [of homosexuality] which shows
only that characteristically Greek
attitudes and behaviour survived for a
long time as ingredients of a Greco Roman
cultural amalgam, nor have I said anything
about characteristically Roman elements in
Even Licht, who was more comprehensive than either, saw pederasty declining in the Hellenistic Age:
In the post classical period of Greek
literature, which is comprised under
the name of the Hellenistic Age, and
is generally taken to begin with the
death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.),
erotic plays a great, nay, almost a
greater part than in the so called
classical period. It is a characteristic
feature that the more foreign
elements penetrate into the Greek
spirit the more pederasty retires
into the background; the female
element begins to occupy more space
when, especially in the large cities,
the intercourse of young men with
the hetairae increased.
Many poems of this age have been
lost and we are referred to their
Roman imitations by Catullus, Tibullus,
Propertius, and Ovid, from which we
are enabled to draw an a posteriori
conclusion as to the strongly marked
sensuality of those poems.3
Like Meier, whom he essentially translated and expanded, Pogey Castries did not recognize a distinct Hellenistic period as Droysen had done in the 1870s and consequently treated it without any special consideration. Only Buffiиre, himself editing the twelfth book of the Greek Anthology, the greatest monument to later Greek pederasty, who arranged his work topically, generally eschewing analysis and avoiding value judgments, did not condemn the Hellenistic period and devoted ample space to its authors. Partly this neglect stems from prejudice against a people who could no longer defend their freedom from Macedonians and Romans and partly it was owing to ignorance because the sources for Hellenistic history are more epigraphical and archeological than literary and only fully exploited in the twentieth century.
The great pioneer of Hellenistic studies, especially of epigraphy, papyrology, and numismatics, Rostovsteff, who flourished in the first half of the twentieth century, redressed the balance. He redeemed Hellenism, as Hellenistic culture is often termed, from neglect and denigration. Rostovsteff and his followers such as Tarn and Cary, have held the day since the middle of this century. Scholarship on Greek pederasty, however, repressed by Hitler and the extreme homophobia that followed the Second World War, epitomized by Freudian psychology in England and America, prevented the rehabilitation of Hellenistic culture from extending to a proper reevaluation of its pederastic and other homosexual practices and its pederastic art and literature, which continued to be unjustly deemed decadent and inferior, even by Dover. The Germans even more, from Bethe to Patzer, more interested in the "pure" heroic form of Dorian love, neglected the Hellenistic Age. The old denigrating view of the Hellenistic world is not dead even among generalists:
The Hellenistic list, apart from scientists,
is remarkably short Polybius, Theocritus,
Callimachus, Zeno, Epicurus, Plutarch and
most of them lived in the first century after
Alexander. 'An observer in the third century
B.C.,' wrote E. R. Dodds, would have been
painfully surprised 'to learn that Greek
civilisation was entering . . . on a period
of slow intellectual decline which was to
last, with some deceptive rallies and some
brilliant individual rear guard actions, down
to the capture of Byzantium by the Turks; that
in all the sixteen centuries of existence still
awaiting it the Hellenic world would produce
no poet as good as Theocritus . . . no
mathematician as good as Archimedes, and that
the one great name in philosophy [Plotinus]
would represent a point of view believed to
be extinct transcendental Platonism.'4
Foucault, who did view the Hellenistic period as crucial, mistook it as an increasingly sex negative praeparatio evangelica, overemphasizing the admonitions of glum Stoics and grim physicians, totally failing to realize the continuity and grandeur of the pederastic institutions formulated in the late Archaic period:
The evolution that occurred quite slowly
at that between paganism and Christianity
did not consist in a gradual interiorization
of rules, acts, and transgressions; rather,
it carried out a restructuration of the
forms of self relationship and a transformation
of the practices and techniques on which
this relationship was based.5
One cannot pretend that little of importance happened during the three centuries from Aristotle to Seneca or that Romans had become completely Hellenized or the Greeks Latinized. The Romans absorbed and adapted this Hellenistic rather than the pure Hellenic tradition and disseminated it to Western Europe. Upper- class Greeks under Roman rule continued their patterns of late marriage as well as exuberant pederasty. Few Romans and fewer Jews imitated them. The Roman Empire had more diversity than even the Hellenistic kingdoms it annexed.
DIFFUSION AND DIVERSITY
The conquests of the homophile Alexander the Great and the subsequent propagation of Greek culture throughout the Middle East inagurated the Hellenistic Age, in some respects the apogee of Greek history. Alexander's generals deserted his heirs and fought over the spoils of his empire. By 280 these Diadochi (successors) had partitioned it into three disparate but roughly equal states: Ptolemaic Egypt, Seleucid Syria, and Antigonid Macedonia. Never before or since have Greeks ruled over such extensive lands, had such wealth and power, and syncretized so many cultures. Alexander's release of the Great King's treasure hoards stimulated commerce and investment in the vastest market yet unified.
Increased contacts with and borrowings from Egypt and the Near East inspired a burst of creativity and originality which, since the Dark Age had often underlain Greek intellectual advances. Now more than ever Oriental cultures influenced not only medicine, science, engineering, and religion, but literature, art, and philosophy. The early Hellenistic period was the golden age of Greek mathematics, astronomy, physics, medicine, botany, geography, engineering, accounting, chronology, lexicography, and literary criticism. Greek population exploded, not in the homeland which so many left but in Asia and Egypt, to which they migrated to seek greater opportunities. Many, especially the elites, in the conquered lands also Hellenized. If most Greeks lost their freedom, they gained a world.
If the Greeks could claim no other achievements than those they accomplished between the deaths of Alexander in 323 and of Antiochus IV in 163, they would rank second of ancient peoples, next only to the Romans. Depending upon one's taste in art and attitude towards religion, they might rank beneath Egyptians and Babylonians in achievements other than military, in which only the Assyrians and Persians excelled third- and second-century Hellenes.
The list of heroes is long: Antipater, Lysimachus, Demetrius Poliorcetes, Antigonus Gonatas, Ptolemy I "Soter," Antiochus III, "World Conqueror," Philip V, Perseus, Eumenes of Pergamum, Agis IV, Cleomenes III, Aratus of Sicyon, Philopoemen. Berenice governed Egypt for Ptolemy II. Caesar's mistress Cleopatra VII was arguably the greatest female ruler of antiquity, but many other strong minded Hellenistic princesses preceded her and Agis IV's Spartan widow Agiatis, who also inspired Cleomenes III and his mother Cratesiclea, could equal any heroine in the tragedies. If the Greeks were overwhelmed by the might of Macedon and then of Rome, this does not prove that they degenerated or became effeminate. Plutarch described the people of Alexandria as cowardly for refusing to join Cleomenes III of Sparta in his heroic attempt to overthrow the effeminate Ptolemy IV in 219 (see below), but the Alexandrians showed their mettle fifty years later when they rose to depose the puppet ruler that Antiochus III, the Seleucid king, attempted to impose on them, and elected their own.6 If women in general, and princesses in particular, rose in status, this does not prove that pederasty declined. It was Hellenistic culture and manners which inspired the Romans to imitation: Catullus, Lucretius, Horace, and Virgil all used Hellenistic pederastic models. Neither Roman nor Renaissance artists and writers viewed Hellenistic models as degenerate.
The acquisition of the Persian Empire and other lands even beyond its extensive frontiers altered and diffused Hellenic culture. The Greeks who settled among subject populations in Asia and Africa and often took foreign wives changed more radically than those who returned after the campaigns and far more than those who stayed at home. But even those at home imbibed foreign influences and many emigrated to Greece from the East, sometimes involuntarily as slaves. Even the Greeks of Sicily and Italy experienced transformations before Romans annexed them that have caused historians to use "Hellenistic" or sometimes "Hellenism" to differentiate the new hybrid culture from "Hellenic." Hellenism varied in each major region: Greek and the Aegean, Magna Graecia and Sicily, and Egypt and Asia, where many ethnic local groups adhered to their old customs, languages, religions, and sexual practices under Greek rulers. Thus the Hellenistic oecumene foreshadowed in diversity the Roman Empire which absorbed it. Increasing, indeed, unceasing contact with Egyptians, Jews, Syrians, Persians, even Indians and Scythians resulted in much more diversity among Greeks.
The magnificent and munificent Diadochi and their early successors, philosopher kings and patrons of art and learning, became models for enlightened despots from Augustus and Hadrian to Frederick II and Joseph II. Never had so many prospered so much as in the third century B.C. If parts of Greece itself languished, the libraries and museums for which Alexandria provided the models allowed scientists and literary critics to scale heights undreamt and engineers, town planners, canal builders, surgeons, physicians, and estate managers to apply science and technology as never before to benefit humanity. Although heroes in the cities of Greece frequently rebelled, their attempts to regain freedom were foredoomed by the power of the bureaucratic monarchs, but Greek men and women had never been so well off.
In the new colonies, of which Alexander founded seventy and his successors hundreds more, Greeks recreated the institutions they knew at home: gymnasia, schools, symposia, and seclusion of women, with greatly expanded trade, pederasty was no longer needed for birth control. It also lost to a certain extent another of its raisons d'кtre, namely training of citizens to maintain the freedom of their city state, less necessary now that mercenaries served despots. These uprooted professional mercenaries, if they did not fail to marry, often postponed marriage or, leaving their wives at home for long periods, took up with camp followers, often as not with boys rather than women. Commanders often allowed mercenaries to keep their boys, but occasionally ordered the boys and women out, showing that they were routinely accepted. This practice foreshadowed that of the Roman legions. Though we have no instances of Hellenistic commanders suborning their subordinates, as was the case in Roman armies, the practice probably occurred without the violent objections that caused them to be recorded by Roman historians.
Good citizens were needed as much as ever and if mercenaries took over most of the fighting, citizen hoplites mounted many revolts against kings and tyrants or served along with mercenaries as allies or subjects of monarchs. Military training remained part of a gentleman's education. At home and now in Asia and Egypt as well ephebes continued to be trained and taught manners by erastei. Besides, even classical Athens had its areas for casual cruising and its male prostitutes of every type. Modern authors overstate the degree to which casual sex increased over the classical type. Citizen levies did not disappear entirely. The Achaean and Aetolian leagues acquitted themselves valiantly, and in Sparta Agis and Cleomenes attempted to revive Spartan militarism along with the "Lycurgan constitution." In Athens, where from time to time militias rebelled, and most other poleis, militias became primarily social clubs and ephebes served more often to aid their former eromenoi in courts than in phalanxes. The professionalization of armies and schools diminished the strength of the one to one pedagogical relationship of erastes and eromenos.
Hellenistic writers from the early Alexandrian scholars to the latest contributors to the Greek Anthology speak more of boys picked up on the street, of lower class youths whom they did not intend to instruct or mold, than of the upper class boys courted in gymnasia and symposia as in the Archaic and classical periods. Yet symposia and gymnasia continued, and indeed multiplied. Gymnasia became more splendid, with elaborate buildings, baths, and often libraries, surpassing those of the homeland. Along with the formal schools, which were more emphasized than earlier, gymnasia and symposia remained essential for the training of the elite. Pederasty flourished in gymnasia and symposia across Asia and Egypt. Syracuse, ruled by the tyrant Agathocles, who had begun as a call boy, reached its acme of prosperity and there Archimedes, perhaps the greatest Greek scientist, worked until he was slain by a soldier during the Roman conquest.
The increasing education of upper class women, especially in Egypt and even Asia, perhaps because they were richer there, along with the power of princesses, who had never been very oppressed in Macedonia and now often dominated royal courts, upgraded women's status and the intimacy of the relationship between husband and wife, so eloquently testified to on grave stones and vase paintings. Gentlemen ordinarily continued to wait, however, until 30 to marry and to prefer brides of 15 to 18. Ordinary men, at least during the century of economic boom following Alexander's death, married earlier, perhaps in their mid or even early twenties, women (still 15 to 18) but therefore nearer their own age, as had long been the normal practice of the Macedonian royal and noble houses, anxious for heirs.
Ptolemy I, Alexander's successor in Egypt (304 285), transferred the capital from Memphis to the city at the Nile's western mouth founded by Alexander to accommodate large fleets and thus secure his communications with Europe. This Alexandria, which soon became the greatest metropolis and emporium of the Mediterranean, with between 500,000 and 1,000,000 inhabitants, far greater than that of Athens at its zenith, linked Europe, where Ptolemaic fleets often ruled even the Aegean, with Africa, and via the canal built by the ancient Pharaohs that the Ptolemies reopened between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea also with India. In its harbor was the great Pharos, a lighthouse accounted one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, symbolizing its maritime dominance.
Ptolemy II (285 246) and Ptolemy III (246 221) made Alexandria the world's intellectual capital by endowing the Museum as well as the great Library and the Serapeum, a temple created for a new cult, with a smaller library. The original research the Ptolemies funded was technical. After his exile from Athens, Aristotle's student Demetrius of Phalerum helped inspire Ptolemy II to found the Library, which grew to contain, according to a scholion of the twelfth-century Byzantine scholar Tzetzes, 490,000 volumes, apparently by the time of Callimachus, its second director. Even the Serapeum library contained, according to Tzetzes, 42,800 volumes.
Like Samos and Athens in their heyday, Alexandria achieved its eminence through the influx of йmigrйs. Callimachus as well as Apollonius and Theocritus, all outsiders, vied with one another in editing classical Greek texts in the Library and in writing pederastic verses. Like New York, with a true cacophony of languages, Alexandria became the largest Greek as well as the largest Jewish city. It attracted Jews from Palestine even before their homeland fell into Seleucid hands (198) and the zealous hellenizer Antiochus IV (175 163) began to persecute them and the Diaspora began in earnest, continuing during and after the Maccabean uprisings. In the first century A.D. Josephus preserved a condensed version of the letter of Aristeas, which conveyed the legend that in Alexandria, whose synagogues overshadowed those in Jerusalem, Ptolemy II commissioned seventy two Jewish scholars to translate the Pentateuch into the koine, as the simplified Greek of the newly acquired colonial regions was called. Alexandria outdistanced its rival Antioch, founded on the Orontes in Syria by the second ruler of the Seleucid dynasty.
Seleucus I, who had been appointed satrap of Babylonia in 321, managed to reconstitute the bulk of Alexander's empire, stretching from Asia Minor almost to the Indus, and ably ruled his variegated lands until his assassination in 281. His son by the elder of his father's two wives, Antiochus I (281 261) founded more colonies, often founded near native settlements and thus serving as centers of Hellenization, than any Hellenistic king except Alexander himself. The early Seleucids tried to encourage Greek settlement in poleis or military colonies across their huge domain of western Asia (1,500,000 square miles at its height). The new poleis contained all the appurtenances of Greek culture: gymnasia, temples, altars, schools, and symposia but of course they also imbibed much oriental influence.
Antiochus moved the new capital he founded on the left bank of the Orontes and named it for himself. Like Alexandria a great trade emporium, Antioch, however, never became a seat of learning. Perhaps its greatest luminary was Euphorion of Chalcis, whom Antiochus III made director of its Library, whose verses influenced Catullus and Vergil. Antioch gained notoriety as a city of pleasure, particularly in its park, Daphne. The other great Seleucid foundation was Seleucia, on the Tigris. The Seleucids attempted to revive Babylonia, of whose culture they were as much in awe as were the Ptolemies of that of Egypt, and supported the old Babylonian religion to counteract the nationalistic Zoroastrianism of their Persian subjects. Babylon itself, ravaged by Antigonus I of Macedonia, was refounded a century later, probably by Antiochus IV.7
The sprawling dominions of the Seleucids, which gradually contracted as one area after another on its perimeter declared itself independent, differed from compact Ptolemaic Egypt or the ethnically homogeneous Macedonia. The Seleucids fought four wars with Egypt over the control of Syria and Palestine (273 200), which Antiochus III (223 187) finally obtained in 198. Only Roman intervention prevented him from partitioning Egypt with Philip V of Macedonia (221 179). Richer than any Seleucid from his control of the trade outlets of Syria and Palestine but ignominiously thwarted by Rome when he too attempted to annex Egypt, Antiochus IV (175 163) launched an aggressive campaign of hellenization, founding new cities or hellenizing established ones, in a belated effort to unify his empire. His attempt forcibly to hellenize his Jewish subjects led to the Maccabean revolt. Although the Jews eventually acknowledged Seleucid suzerainty in 161, for all intents and purposes they had won their independence. After Antiochus IV, internal dissension and external aggression from Rome in the West and Parthia in the East hastened the collapse of the Seleucid realm.
Founded by Antigonus I, the "One Eyed" (382 301), and his son Demetrius Poliorcetes (336 283) but reconstituted by Demetrius' son Antigonus II Gonatas (c.320 239), the Antigonid dynasty in Macedonia lasted until 168 when the Romans defeated and took captive Perseus, the last king. Macedonia was the least populous, smallest, and because it lacked major cities, commerce, and industry, the poorest of the three great Hellenistic monarchies. Because of its ethnic unity and tradition of free soldiers and gallant noble cavalry, it was able to rival them in power. Usually, the Antigonids could control Greece with the aid of allied cities and leagues, although it had to contend there with hostile elements, often of democratic or even communistic leanings, which the Ptolemies with their far ranging fleets often supported, before Rome seriously began to interfere across the Adriatic in 201.
The only Macedonian monarch after Alexander with serious cultural interests was Antigonus Gonatas, a convert to Stoicism himself, who invited leading scholars to his court. Pella, however, with a population of , hopelessly small and poor in comparison with Alexandria, Antioch, Athens, and even Rhodes, could not hope to compete as a major cultural center. Its kings never established libraries or patronized schools on any significant scale. Remaining largely rural as it did, and with but little influx of Asians or Africans, indeed with Greeks themselves limited largely to coastal cities, it is likely that Macedonia maintained a separate culture. Except for its semi Hellenized upper class, Macedonians continued to practice the male adolescent bonding affections exemplified by Achilles and Patroclus, Alexander and Hephaestion.
Pergamum, in Mysia fifteen miles inland, became prominent under the Attalids, who made it the capital of their kingdom. In 263 its ruler, Eumenes I (d. 241), adoptive nephew of the eunuch Philetaerus, vassal of Seleucus who defeated the Gallic invaders (278 276), with Ptolemaic help declared his independence of the Seleucids. Eumenes' cousin and successor, Attalus I (241 197), who assumed the title of king, defeated the Gauls and allied with Rome against Philip V of Macedonia. While the Attalids allowed the constitution of the poleis to continue to exist, these monarchs in time came to resemble their Hellenistic counterparts, relying more heavily on a Greek speaking bureaucracy and a predominantly Greek semi professional army. Skilfully exploiting the silver mines and surplus grain and corn from their countryside and encouraging the textile and parchment industry, they gained great wealth which they lavished on the beautification of their capital an outstanding example of town planning with public buildings that terraced the hillsides culminating in the fortresses and palace on the acropolis.
Although Pergamum, controlling 70,000 square miles and inhabitants, ranked fourth in size and population among the Hellenistic monarchies, in culture it may have outdistanced Macedonia and was second only to Egypt. Attalus I and his successors made their court a center of learning, patronizing artists, writers, and philosophers. The Pergamene library, which swelled to 200,000 scrolls (second only to Alexandria), and the royal art collection rivaled that of the Ptolemies, and the schools of sculpture could claim first place.
Rhodes, an island of 420 square miles off the mainland of Caria, managed to avoid domination by any of the great Hellenistic powers. Escaping in 333 from over twenty years of Persian domination, the Rhodian republic achieved domestic stability by wisely compromising between the interests of the wealthy and the proletarians. Strategically located as it was on the sea routes connecting the main parts of the Hellenistic world, it gained through the carrying trade great prosperity. During the third century it became by far the richest polis, maintaining its independence as a buffer state among the four major Hellenistic kingdoms. This emporium suppressed piracy with its efficient fleet, whose officers came from the leading families and crews from the poorer citizens. With Pergamum it helped bring about Rome's first major intervention in the east in 201 and for this and later cooperation was rewarded by Rome with territory in Lysia and Caria. As punishment for its equivocation during the Third Macedonian War, Rome elevated Delos to the status of a free port in 167, whose competition along with increasing piracy reduced Rhodes' harbor dues within three years to 150,000 from 1,000,000 drachmas. It became a cultural and educational center, though clearly ranking beneath Pergamum.
By the reign of Ptolemy II and Ptolemy III, the multi ethnic metropolises of Antioch, Seleucia, and Alexandria, both rivalling Pella in power, surpassed it as well as Athens, Syracuse, and Corinth in trade and wealth, if not also knowledge. Within a hundred years of Alexander's death, Rhodes, a center of grammar, oratory, and philosophy, and Pergamum, with its Library and art, challenged Athens, Antioch, and Alexandria.8 These and other opulent cities of Asia teemed with illiterate, unscrupulous, violent mobs of paupers, mostly un Hellenized non Greeks, envious of the luxurious palaces that stood out among the slums. (Because aliens often assumed Greek names when they hellenized and because of the numerous mixed marriages, it is impossible to tell what proportion of Greek speakers were descended from Greeks.) Male and female prostitution flourished even more than it had in Athens and Corinth, whose transit trade made it alone grow wealthier and attract more foreign immigrants than other major cities of the homeland, before the Romans sacked it in 146. Life was cheap and money bought anything, as the saying went in Alexandria, "except snow." It also bought anybody except the pious.
Persian, Egyptian, and Syrian customs of keeping effete boys, eunuchs, and/or pathics as well as temple prostitutes influenced the Greeks. "According to a neo Babylonian text of ca. 500 B.C., 'love of a man for a man' is governed by the constellation Scorpio. Astrological lore, with its sexual component, passed from the Near Eastern peoples to the Greeks [in this period]."9 In sex as well as in art, restraint diminished. Even in the purer Greek colonies, and by imitation also in cities of the homeland and such western centers as Tarentum and Syracuse, "Oriental degeneracy" influenced moral conduct.
No more decorous than the monarchs, many nouveaux riches and other classes of society deserted the classical ideal of the golden mean as still practiced in gymnasia and symposia for excesses and one night stands as increasingly praised by poets and condemned by philosophers. Neither always promiscuous nor mercenary, pederasty in the less cosmopolitan homeland still often decorously followed the golden mean, but even there it was not as exclusive as in classical times and more mercenary.
In graffiti, not normally stemming from the upper classes, it was almost always the elder who boasted of his triumphs; the passive younger was not supposed to enjoy it. The pederastic inscriptions discovered in August 1980 on Thasos (second half of the fourth century) were more delicate and sensitive, alluding to beauty rather than to sexual intercourse, than those of Thera.10
As in earlier times, slaves, active sailors, soldiers on campaign, or others temporarily cut off from females, must have indulged in same sex relations, not always pederastic. Cynics, Platonists, and Stoics often opposed marriage and many supposedly avoided women totally, preferring their young male disciples. Slaves, deprived of partners, always famous for masturbation, continued their old methods of sexual gratification. Like slaves, many lower class males must have been too poor to afford prostitutes, mistresses, or wives. About one-third seem never to have married.11
Three new types of homosexuality appeared alongside the old fashioned paiderasteia: boy camp followers or subordinates; effeminates and eunuchs; and slaves. They foreshadowed the practices of Romans, in whose writings they are better evidenced. It may be that pederasty differed in Alexandria and other eastern metropolises from that of small towns in old Greece, its colonies in the West, and in some of the new colonies in Syria. The masses of non Greeks, including most Jews, continued their sexual usages.
Hellenistic sexuality was as diverse as Hellenic culture. The wealthy Hellenized Jew Philo Judaeus (c.20 B.C. c.45 A.D.) of Alexandria, who persistently condemned pederasty along with venality and other "corruptions," distinguished three types, somewhat overlapping, of homosexuality in his native city: Old fashioned paiderasteia, which Philo ridiculed as mere love sickness; flamboyant effeminates, called "men women" (androgynoi) by Philo; and galli, religious ecstatic castrates. The insouciance of the Archaic lyric poets was revived, or rather continued, since it had never died out in the classical period, by Alexandrian imitators, in life as well as in verse. Cornelius Nepos (99 24) reported that "in Crete it is thought praiseworthy for young men to have had the greatest possible number of love affairs" (Praef., 4). These boy chasers were by no means necessarily effeminate.
Building on the Classical critics of pederasty, some physicians and philosophers went so far perhaps as to recommend total abstinence or mutual fidelity within heterosexual marriages, as at least one of their Stoic successors did under the Roman Empire. Foucault traced that evolution but went too far in claiming that criticism predominated. He disregarded contrary or neutral opinions such as those of the Epicureans who thought that sex was as morally indifferent as diet. He erroneously argued that criticism of pederasty, begun by the great fourth century philosophers of Athens, increased throughout the Hellenistic Age and in this respect foreshadowed and influenced even more hostile Roman imperial and Christian attitudes.6 Pederasty actually spread to the middle classes and to all areas that Greeks influenced. More and more lower-class and Hellenized people in Rome and the East, even assimilationist Jews, adopted pederasty which was increasingly divorced from its pedagogical and military functions.