Was Ancient Greek Education a Rape institution?

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,680
Australia
You could also easily use that argument in defense of Catholic priests who raped young boys. For a long period of time they raped with impunity and all their crimes were covered up by their church. Given they were never made to account for actions or suffered any consequences they probably felt they were doing nothing wrong.
I sometimes wonder if people like you even read my posts. To wit; it was already explained that the practice of homosexuality from a young age was out in the open and widely accepted in Ancient Greece, whereas the abuse of children by the clergy was covert and covered up from the general public (and even most of the church). The situations are completely different.
 
Sep 2014
995
Texas
Yes, so what? You simply cannot apply 21st century values to ancient and medieval history

Sparta sounds particularly horrific
Of course you can. If this was so perfect, Christianity would not have subplanted it.

As for Sparta, 99percent of what you see today is BS.
 
Sep 2014
995
Texas
I sometimes wonder if people like you even read my posts. To wit; it was already explained that the practice of homosexuality from a young age was out in the open and widely accepted in Ancient Greece, whereas the abuse of children by the clergy was covert and covered up from the general public (and even most of the church). The situations are completely different.
And the gay dude who hung himself because a boy he wanted did not want him? No pity here. You make men who refused to rape boys like Pericles sound heroic in their refusal to cause pain.
 
Sep 2014
995
Texas
Acibiades was from one of Athenes most prominent clan
his lifestyle was pyrotechnic , he was Socrates lover and pupil
beside his many male lovers he had plenty of women conquest , none less than a queen of Sparta
who proudly and publicly bore him a child
as part of the traditional coming of age ceremony
as the master of ceremony , he brought the 50 youths of the year to his palace and 50 beautiful prostitutes entered ,
making the delighted boys into men
those 50 hencefore were totally devoted to him .

there was no rape , that would have been very bad form , young boys are notoriously indiscriminate in their affections and desperate to be seen as "one of us"
from what I could read , it was more a rite of passing of age than a life long inclination
And yet Xenophon called Plato a liar, and when Al's wife threatened to divorce him it was over working girls. Al should have stayed gay if it's so easy for a straight man to be gay. He would have lived longer.

Just me but Athens was furious with Al and Plato's lie got Socrates killed. Plus General Nicias, a gay partier, lost the entire Athenian fleet at Syracuse. Gay history and history are often at odds when specifics are applied.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
You could also easily use that argument in defense of Catholic priests who raped young boys. For a long period of time they raped with impunity and all their crimes were covered up by their church. Given they were never made to account for actions or suffered any consequences they probably felt they were doing nothing wrong.
Straw man; Catholic priest are not under discussion.

Just because something took place or was common doesn't mean that all of society or even the majority was accepting of what happened.

As a basic argument quite right, to make such a claim is a logical fallacy; argument by consensus

However, when speaking of social norms, such as the ancient greek attitude to sexuality and sexual practice, due my own research, I will continue to hold the position.

The opposition to radically different mores isa value judgement made on the basis of Judaeo- Christian values, which I'd say are excepted by the vast majority of the population in my country.

In terms of morality and ethics I take the position of moral relativism, Perfectly Ok for you to hav e a different value system. However, when you choose to argue about normative values in an ancient society, you need to backup your argument with facts not just your own values/prejudices..


Seeing as you raised the topic: There is no doubt in my mind that at least the majority of pedophile priests were aware of "their grave sins" Many confessed their crimes against children. That's when the appalling arrogance of the Church took over: They were 'forgiven' by the sacrament of confession. Secular authorities were simply not told.

I swear this next bit is true.For confirmation, try to find a Catholic priest you trust ,and ask him: Official church doctrine: Canon law ALWAYS trumps secular law. Simple as that.The church is being slowly weaned away from that false belief, no doubt helped by having a few (not enough) priests, and I think a bishop, put in prison.

Worth remembering that to this day the Church maintains that IN NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER may a priest reveal ANYTHING he has heard in confession to a third party., Unless of course, the sinner has given explicit permission. Countries around the world are slowly getting fed up with that attitude, and priests may be sen to prison for failing to reveal information to authorities, or charged with contempt if in court.--and about bloody time.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
"Of course you can. If this was so perfect, Christianity would not have supplanted it."

Pull puckies

Christianity is in no way more special than many other mythologies and superstitions then or now..

In the early days of Christianity, there was a point where it was almost displaced by Mithraism.

Christianity became a world religion due to some very unreligious factors:

The first was Constantine making Christianity the official state religion, which gave it enormous power and protected it from rival religions.

Christianity began officially persecuting (as in killing) pagans within a few years of Constantine making Christianity a legal religion. It became the .official state religion under Emperor Theodosius, who also sanctioned persecution of pagans.. .That persecution and murder by Christians lasted until the seventeenth century. That it stopped was only because the church lost its authority to continue.

. My position is the notion of Christian moral superiority is built on a stubborn myth. No doubt helped along by destroying any counter views, books and contrary people it could get it hands on for nearly. 2000 years


Yes, Life in Sparta was pretty nasty even compared with other Hellenistic societies of the time. Compared with Roman society though, the brutality was only a matter of degree.
 

dreamregent

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
4,410
Coastal Florida
To be honest, I've been wondering whether you have some past negative experiences with clergy that has prompted the weirdly myopic assessment of these two distinct things.
Sorry to disappoint but I have no sexual experience with any clergy. Although, I do have life experience which gives me a different perspective than you. To me, you're the one who's made the "weirdly myopic assessment". It doesn't appear that you've considered any factor except what you believe society thought of the practice at the time. In contrast, I care nothing for the value judgments of society, then or now. My concern is centered on the ramifications of impressionable children being indoctrinated to believe their proper place in life is to serve as sexual playthings for adults who occupy powerful positions of authority over them. What's worse, however, is that, not only are they indoctrinated to accept roles as playthings, it appears great importance was placed on the idea that young boys were expected to accept a sexual role which was considered shameful...again, I point to your own source:

Like later Edo same-sex practices, samurai shudō was strictly role-defined; the nenja was seen as the active, desiring, penetrative partner, while the younger, sexually receptive wakashū was considered to submit to the nenja's attentions out of love, loyalty, and affection, rather than sexual desire
There's obviously a reason for emasculating the boy part of this equation. This implies it was considered shameful for a male to derive sexual pleasure from serving as a bottom and desexualizing him served as a means to mitigate that shame. He doesn't obtain his macho qualities until he graduates to adulthood and he himself begins using the next generation of boys as sex objects. You often see the same thing with the ancient Greeks, both the desexualization of the boy and the shame associated with his assigned sexual role. This is also the reason you generally don't see gay relationships among equals celebrated in history. It was typically only unequal pairings that gained even a modicum of societal approval, with the younger party depicted as being subservient to the desires of the older. Co-equal relationships were not unheard of in history but they were certainly not the norm and often were the subject of disapproval.

I would also note that my criticism in this vein is not limited to this topic specifically. Personally, I think historical sexual practices were often harmful to women as well as children of both sexes. In general, the desires of women and children were simply not considered and they were expected to accept whatever an adult male decided their role was to be...meanwhile, adult males pretty much did whatever they wanted. I fully realize women and children probably accepted their lot without complaint and may not have contemplated any other way for life to be. No doubt many also had to scratch out a life any way they could. However, their minds were also molded into certain modes of thought as they were conditioned from young ages to believe they were destined to play certain roles. Of course, that's not limited to them either...the roles of adult males were prescribed by societal expectations as well. So, it's all a big cycle.

I realize my point-of-view is not popular as this is not the first time I've articulated a position along this line. Normally, the opposition is like yours in that only contemporaneous value judgments in societal context are considered. However, I've also heard other arguments. For instance, I've been told these phenomena were needed for safety reasons or simply necessary expedients to facilitate living life in ancient societies. There are also other factors such as shorter lifespans and the likely need to reproduce earlier. However, mitigation of those factors hardly requires men to use boys as sex objects or fathers to use their little girls to settle business transactions. The problem with any such argument is that, in general, it's only been during the last 15 minutes of history that anyone gave a thought to minimizing control over the thought processes of women and children and considering what is best for them from their own perspectives rather than the adult men around them. You can't really claim it was impossible to do things another way when, generally speaking, no other way was tried until modern times. And before you start accusing me of knocking the ancients for failing to think like we do, save it. I'm aware they were ignorant of modern thought and had no realistic way of reaching it. Suggesting that other methods could have been more beneficial to the well-being of people is not the same thing as claiming historical personages should have thought of them.

To call them the same thing though is just preposterous. You can pick some random characteristics, like you have, and compare most things. It does not follow they are the same (e.g. "they both have 4 legs, eat grass, grow hair, so my goat is a horse").
This is a misrepresentation of my argument. I never claimed they were the same. Rather, I said they shared characteristics on a macro scale.

A pretty obvious one I already outlined was that one was covert, in defiance of the morality of the time, and with no pretentions of benefit to the victims (or else they wouldn't be hiding it), and a product of a disturbing attitude towards natural human desires. The other was literally the opposite to those things; it was out in the open, embraced sexuality at a younger age, and often led to lifelong relationships. Pretty different things.
There's nothing natural about a 12-year-old being indoctrinated to content himself with performing fellatio on or accepting penetration from behind by an adult male, and certainly not when the boy is expected to perform without the sexual desire to do so. I don't care what emolument you purport to be a benefit for his acquiescence.

"I'm not sure I see how or why it was ever necessary (or beneficial) for a 13ish-year-old boy to be groomed to perform sexual favors for a 30ish-year-old man who had a great deal of psychological influence "

Logical fallacy: argument from ignorance; What you understand or do not understand is irrelevant to discussion. .
Actually, my view is not a logical fallacy as I am not ignorant of the evidence. There have been many claimed benefits but none of them are in proportion to what's expected of the child.

As has been explained more than once. Ancient Greek morality was very different from our own in may ways.
The morality of the topic is what's irrelevant.

Homosexual love was seen as the ideal. The relationship between an adolescent boy and older man was seen as a great good. The man was the boys mentor. Yes it was a sexual relationship. That was simply seen as a natural part of the relationship, which usually lasted several years.
For one thing, attitudes were mixed about this as there was also quite a bit of criticism. Further, it was considered shameful for a male to enjoy being penetrated and only the older man was supposed to enjoy the actual sex act. The boy was expected to content himself with being an emasculated sex object while enjoying only the companionship and emoluments he received in return for sexual favors. Humans being human, this turned out otherwise sometimes but that was the idealistic intention.
 
Last edited:

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,680
Australia
From skimming your post the only point I derived from it was "it shares some characteristics with [insert different thing here]". Ok. A goat shares some characteristics with a horse. They both have four legs, hair and eat grass. They're not remotely the same though, just as homosexuality in ancient Greece wasn't the same as abuse by the clergy. You apparently don't want to discuss the morality of it, but the morality of it is intertwined with understanding why it happened, so what's left to discuss? We all agree these practices have no place today and aren't good. You're spewing out walls of text to push a position that either everyone agrees with, or that is meaningless (it had "some similar characteristics"). It doesn't matter whether it was harmful or not, the question in a comparison between the two is whether society thought it was harmful. It's the same as asking if doctors in medieval times who bled patients were the same as Nazi scientists who gassed people. Well, no, because the medieval doctors thought they were curing their patients, and that different mindset colours every aspect of the behavior. It's the same reason the mental component distinguishes crimes today (e.g. you intended to kill someone it's murder, you intended to hurt someone and accidentally killed them it's manslaughter, you were defending yourself and it's self-defence up to a point, you pressed a button on a wall and unknowingly blew up a universe somewhere and it's a cosmic joke).
 

Duke Valentino

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,366
Australia
^ couldn't be said better.

Yet another case of people applying our present morality system, knowledge and context on past people, events and cultures.