Roman and Greek Homosexuality

Explores and compares the differing opinions of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations on the issue of homosexuality.

Ancient civilizations have had a diverse history in respect to homosexuality. Two of the most dominant civilizations of the early Western civilizations were also quite different in how they perceived homosexuality. The Greeks saw a loving, often sexual, relationship between an older man and a younger man or boy to be a nurturing part of citizen-building. The Romans, however, perceived all sex and all male behavior as an opportunity for establishing domination over others. While both cultures accepted homosexuality to differing degrees and for different reasons, it was during the course of the Roman Empire that homosexuality became more frequently unacceptable in an increasing number of contexts. It is the purpose of this paper to examine the differences between Greek and Roman homosexuality.