as ealy as man could scribble on claytablets, weave, make coins, he depicted sexuality, aroused men and homosexuality.
Long before the bible or koran were written. To be complete I start with some of that imagery here. There are hundreds of other archeology finds. I will suffice with the ones here now, unless ultra spectaculars turn up.
egyptian acrobatBabilonia, current Iraq, 2000 BC ruler Gilgamesh and lover Enkidu, also priests of Ishtar, god of guilt-free love, included homosexual men, that is untill Zaratustra preached the most homofobic faithpersian seal 700 BCPushing boundaries, medal, Not really old, linking to modern olympicsnot really, but fantasies of history are part of these pages too


It was revealed that this unique tomb had been built for two men to cohabit and that both shared identical titles in the palace of King Niuserre of the Fifth Dynasty. The relationship between the two men is not clear. Egyptologists consider it "problematical." Are they brothers? Could they be twin brothers? Are they close friends or are they lovers ? Are they all of the above?
embrace 1



history 1

Not going to copy here what you can find in musea, on university-websites. Just look around the ages to find signs, however hidden or concealed, of genuine arousing male imagery. There are very few pieces of evidence of real homosexual activity apart from the greek pottery, and even that I've never thought of as very dickstirring

We modern sissies may shy away from masculine superstud behavior, but when it comes to genitalia we want size: veins, throbbing, overpowering.
Not until much, much later we dared to speak of our true desire.

the image presented at the right as a reproduction of a greek plate obviously is a collage, photoshopped to cater to the vast number of gay tourists visiting Greece and its islands. Both the "top's" genitals as well as the dildo have been increased in size to stay in step with current norms in gay erotica. Also the boy seems to be circumsised, a practice that was known, but not common in ancient Greece. tourist postcard
SilenusMan and BoyPhalli statues DelosGreek orange plateMan and Boy B&W
The greek gods in marble already did a bit better than the pottery;
technically and in study of anatomy those greek artists had made some giant leaps forward.
apart from some drowned statues, recovered from the bottom of the mediteranian not much in original greek sculpture has survived undamaged. Luckily a lot of it was copied and taken further by the Romans.

pergamon altardetail
young rivergod
You thought the period around the life of the first known homo world ruler, Alexander the Great, is missing. It's not; it has a special page in the masterclass.
We homo's have just this one major problem with all these works: dicksize!
oh how we would have loved to dig up archeological treasures in the way french/hungarian photo-artist Miklos shows them:
Yes bigger dicks were found in works that was purely meant as sexual stimulus; fertility gods, amulets, dildo's, etc.
pompeii6b pompeii1k pompeii6k pompeii7 pompeii8 pompeii2
for completeness I added a carload of Pompeian finds and for fun an 1998 neoclassic work by Jack Cowan too: back to Pompeii

many pages on the whealth of homo eroticism in Japanese history
and the glorification of male heroism, and violent (self) sacrifice have a multitude of dedicated pages in the masterclass.
a review of early chinese, indian and african erotic art and an overview of homoeroticism in islamic culture is also online within the masterclass.
Mind you, nothing significant on the latter is in evidence untill they first dared to entrust their inner thoughts to paper or silk around 1600.

Like the greeks the romans had their pots and pans:

apollo doryphoros
No I would never fall for the Apollo type with the kid dick. Give me the solid heavymetal meat of heracles (right) or even better :the white marbles of Doryphoros, who was the freedman of emperor Nero, a freedman is a slave set free as reward for sexual services. It was not uncommon that masters fell in love with their slaves, thus roles reversed and as imperial loverboy he was given the official status of a god.

this one called "Socrates' Athens School" looks like a school-history-plate from early last century, but in fact it's by the hero of hairy men
Roger Paine
figleaf only for middle guy

over the ages the role of same sex physical attraction between adolescents and educators in greek civilization has been romantisized by a multitude of artists. Above Delville's portrayal of Plato lecturing, below William Blake
and one more on the great philosophers and their impact below is by Sir Alma Tadema:
called 'reading from Homer'
my research is not such that I can say whether the sculpture is originally greek, a roman copy or a roman original as they did take over most of the greek gods. It gets more misterious below here:
the filename of the Lacoon on the left sais 'greek original', while I also have an image of the same subject without the figleaf hiding the dick of the main subject. To my knowledge the greeks never once used a figleaf other then in their dolmas.
figleaf only for middle guy free swinging dick
Without a doubt the most sculpted person from the roman empire was and is to this day Antinoos, the loverboy of emperor Hadrianus. In my research I saw at least 300 different ones, copies not counted. A small sample is shown:
Given the Godly status Antinoos attained and the far superior craftmanship of Roman artists over Christians an Jews of the period, as well as the similarities in basic face features we probably are talking about the most true to life imagery of any person that has survived from that long ago. Here Antinoos far exeeds the images that remain of Jesus Christ. Which cannot be said about the facts of his ancestry and early greek upbringing. But then, would you expect gay men of the first century to handle things fundamentally different from us in the 21 century?
the true history is that Antinoos and the emperor became lovers straight after the boy arrived from Greece in Rome at age 12. They stayed very close until the emperor got very ill during a trip to Egypt. Legend has it that he would gain eternal life if his husband would drown in the Nile, so to save Hadrianus Antinooos drowned himself and indeed, the emperor got better, but was forever in mourning and missing his lover. He declared him a god and had monuments built in all the countries that were then ruled in the vast Roman Empire. He built a temple for him at Villa Hadriana, his summer home. True is that he drowned in the Nile and Hadrian mourned him the rest of his life.
the images show that Antinoos indeed was an exceptionally beautiful person, which cannot be said for his emperor friend, to whose defence we may add that he lived to be portrayed at a much older age.
A great piece of erotic fiction about the two is here.
Another webpage honoring antinous as a god who spreads divinity to modern day gay culture is here.
Lots more about the fantasywold the Roman Empire formed in the minds of many homo artists is on a special section of the masterclass.
to end each of the historypages we delve into an historic list of queer moments, sadly without illustrations:
Long before the Christian era, Jewish scholars had used the Sodom story as a kind catch-all morality fable, demonstrating the folly of provoking God's anger by not following his rules. That homosexuality was one of the sins these scholars hoped to suppress by the story's retelling, is likely. That it was the only sin attributed to Sodom and Gomorrah is simply inaccurate. It was the First Century AD Jewish philosopher, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria who indelibly lay the sin of Sodom at the door of the homosexual. As uncomfortable with the thriving homosexuality they encountered in the Ancient Mediterranean world, the early church fathers were quick to adopt Philo's interpretation of the sins of Sodom. Except for very ancient times, and very recent times most of what we known about homosexuals, is in their role as outcast and victim. What we have very little record of is an indifference towards, if not tolerance for homosexuality, that, as now, likely co-existed with the more stident official view. What we know the least about for most of our history is how we found one another, what kinds of social groups we may have formed, what kinds of personal relations we entered into, or what we thought about ourselves and the other homosexuals we came into contact with, or what our families and friends knew about us, and how they reacted to that knowledge. This kind of information will be infinitely more difficult to find, and for many periods of history may not exist. At any rate it must be remembered that our information is skewed, and that as a result any theories we base upon them will reflect those distortions. I hope the chronology below will help encourage an ongoing inquiry into our history.
This bit of historic overview was put together by Len Evans, Ventura, California
8th Century BC c743 GreeceActeon of Corinth is torn to pieces in a brawl by his jealous lovers. This led to the exile of Achies and his subsequent founding of Syracuse.
7th Century BC c650 SicilyThe Greek colonial lawgiver Zaleucus introduces the institution of pederasty to Sicily.
6th Century BC GreeceIn order to stay the plague sent by Athena, whose altar had been violated, Epimenides calls for human sacrifices. The lovers Cratinus and Aristodelmus volunteer, thus becoming Athenian heroes.
GreeceThe Attic lawgiver Solon considers homosexuality too elevated for slaves, and prohibits sex between a slave and free-born, there were laws discouraging free-born boys from selling their charms, and the death penalty for adult men found on the premises of schools where the boys would be below the age of puberty.
585 GreeceThe tyrant of Corinth, Periander, considered one of the seven wise men of ancient Greece, is killed by a youth he had taken advantage of.
c530 SicilyThe Greek exile Pythagoras founds a pederastic school of philosophy at Croton.
c522 GreeceThe gymnasia and baths become so notorious that political reformers agitate to close them. One such reformer is Polycates of Samos.
c514 GreeceThe love between the aristocratic Athenian Aristogiton and the young Harmodius turns tragic when the reigning tyrant Hipparchus becomes infatuated with Harmodius. When the tyrant publicly insults Harmodius' sister, he is assassinated by Aristogiton and Harmodius. The two lovers are executed for the deed, and become Athenian heroes and martyrs.
 5th Century B C IsraelThe Book of Leviticus, probably compiled in its present form in the fifth century, states in (Leviticus 20:13) "If a man lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them." Most later laws prescribing the death penalty for homosexuality in Western Christian culture can trace their origin to the Leviticus sanction.
c470 GreeceThe Spartan General Pausanias was betrayed to his enemies by the object of his affection, the youth Agilus.
403 RomeIn order to increase the birth rate, Rome legislates against celibacy.
4th Century BC GreeceAristotle says the homosexual disposition "occurs in some people naturally...and whether the individual so disposed conquers or yields to it is not properly a moral issue.
399 GreeceSocrates is condemned for corrupting the youth of Athens.
395 GreeceThe favorite of the Spartan Naval commander and diplomat Lysander is the boy Aegesilaus -small, lame, mean-looking and deformed - Lysander nonetheless exerted his authority to put Aegislaus on the throne as his successor.
355 GreeceThe historian Xenophon tells of the organization of a corps of lover-soldiers by the artistic Episthenes of Olynthus, himself the object of Xenophon's affection.
347 GreecePlato who first praised, then condemned man-boy love, was partial to the youths Aster and Agathon.
338 GreeceThe Theban lawgivers Diocles and Philolaus were famous for their affection. Out of their example and laws they instituted the Sacred Band of Lovers slaughtered at Chaeronea by the Macedonians. They were buried in the same grave.
336 GreeceA Macedonian youth named Pausenia taking offense at the advances of Attalus, a soldier and friend of King Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, reported the outrage to the king, but Philip having similar tastes, took the complaint lightly. Pausania soon after assassinated the king. It is believed that more than resentment and wounded honor were involved, and that Queen Olympias and Alexander the Great were also involved.
3rd Century BC c226 RomeLex Scantinia - The only law which might have regulated homosexual practices is enacted about 226 BC. No text survives and it is uncertain exactly what it did regulate. While the law likely regulated some aspect of sexual activity, it is doubtful that it prohibited homosexual behavior as has been assumed by some scholars.
1st Century BC c50 RomeCicero asserts that the Emperor Clodius always kept a number of male prostitutes with him.
44 RomeJulius Caesar as a youth openly lived with Nicomedes, King of Bithynia, as a girl, "the queen's rival" as one Senate attack on Caesar stated. In his edicts, the tribune Bebulus called him "the Queen of Bithynia", and added "he had formerly been in love with a King, and now sought a kingdom. Once on mentioning in the Senate the kindness he had received from Nicomedes, Cicero interrupted saying, "Pray tell us more of that; for it is well known what he gave you, and you gave him." Curio the elder proclaimed in the Senate of Caesar that, "He was every woman's man , and every man's woman." The Roman Legions used to recite the following chant: Gallias Caesar subegit, Nicomedes Caesarem
Ecce Caesar nunc triumphat, qui subegit Gallias
Nicomedes non triumphat, quit subegit Caesarem
RomeAugustus Caesar, Julius' nephew owed his inheritance of wealth, prestige and name of Caesar to compliance as a youth to the sexual advances of his uncle. In Spain, he sold his favors to the nobleman Aulus Hirtus for 300,000 sesterces.
1st Century ADThe Epistle of Barnabas, then considered a part of the New Testament, but now considered apocryphal. The author equated Mosaic prohibition against eating certain animals with various sexual sins, i.e. "you shall not eat the hare. Why? So may not become a boy-molester." Eating hyenas makes you an adulterer, or seducer, likewise eating weasel because it engages in oral sex. This construction equating certain animals with certain sexual characteristics was to prove an important influence on early Christian thinking.
c41 RomeThe Emperor Caligulas loved to masquerade in female clothes in public.
c50 EgyptPhilo Judaeus of Alexandria, the Jewish philosopher affirms the talmudic fable that Adam was originally androgynous, and that "God separated Adam into his two sexual component parts...The longing for reunion which love inspired in the divided halves of the original dual being, is the source of the sexual pleasure." He, incorrectly interprets the story of Sodom in homosexual terms, the interpretation that is adopted by the early Christian theologians. He seems to have consciously confused child molestation and homosexuality. He believes that any use of human sexuality, potential or actual, which does not produce legitimate offspring violates "nature". Celibacy is as unnatural as homosexuality and masturbation. Philo has a great influence on early Christian theology.
c65 RomeSeneca, the most influential Stoic in the West is rumored to have had homosexual relations and to have inspired his pupil Nero along these lines as well.
68 RomeNero. "He impersonated a woman, and in that character was given in marriage to one of his infamous herd, a pathetic named Pythagoras. The Emperor of Rome, with the affected airs of a female delicacy, put on the nuptial veil...the genial bed was displayed to view; nuptial torches were lighted up; the whole was public, not even excepting the endearments which, in natural marriages, decency reserves for the shades of night" Tacitus. Suetonius adds that on this occasion Nero "imitated the cries and shrieks of young virgins when they are ravished."
96 RomeThe emperor Domitian, as a youth is lover to Senator Nerva...while as Emperor his open devotion to the pretty actor Paris becomes the subject of Juvenal's Satire. Romans who sought political favor went to Paris. Domitian discovered an intrigue between Paris and the Empress and in a rage orders Paris to be publicly executed. Paris was an acclaimed female impersonator in pantomime and dance.
2nd Century AD 130 EgyptHadrian is told by a magician that unless another man would voluntarily allow himself to be sacrificed to the Egyptian gods, the Emperor himself would die. When Antinous, the Emperor's favorite volunteered, Hadrian, himself, threw Antinious into the Nile where he drowned. On returning to Rome, Hadrian built a great temple for Antinious and had the Senate make him a god.
c165 RomeSt Justin Martyr observes of abandoned children sold into slavery, "that nearly all such children, boys as well as girls, will be used as prostitutes."
c192 RomeThe Roman Emperor Commodus adopts the dress of an Amazon in the Arena, and takes the name of Commodus Amazonia. His young lover is called Philo-Commodus, the favorite of Commodus.
3rd Century c215 EgyptClement of Alexandria is one of the earliest Christian theologians to invoke the rule that sexual intercourse must be directed towards procreation. He speaks out against the practice of homosexuality, and urges that those who practiced it be barred from the city.
c222 RomeThe Roman Emperor Heliogabalus formally marries the male slave Hierades. His plan to give this emancipated slave the tittle of Caesar and make him his successor leads to his own downfall and murder.
c235 RomeThe Emperor Marcus Aurelius considers outlawing the exoliti (male prostitutes), but decides this action would only drive it underground. He assuages his own misgivings about the practice by transferring the tax on these prostitutes to public works, instead of the imperial treasury.
c249 RomeThe Roman Emperor Philip outlaws the exoliti (male prostitutes) in the West, although they still flourish another hundred years in the Eastern Empire.
4th Century AD c300 RomeIn his Digest of Roman law, the jurist Paulus writes, that a male who voluntarily is passive to another male should lose half of his estate, and reiterates an earlier edict barring such men from the legal profession.
parthenon fries at least from this last piece we're sure it is originally greek; no figleafs in sight. To the shame of the Brits it's currently kept in London. Still surprising they did not pass around figleafs in the British museum

OK let's leave it at this, unless there is a classix authority that can contribute stuff that should be here.

go on delftboys to middle ages, the high resolution historygalleries in the masterclass, lobby, masterclass overview or links