Monday, December 28, 2009

Cretan Pederasty

Can we find threads of Cretan pederasty in the relationship between Captain Lefteri|Lefteri Kaptan and Petri?

The Cretans, a Dorian people described by Plutarch as renowned for their moderation and conservative ways, practiced an archaic form of pederasty in which an adult aristocrat enacted a ritual kidnapping known as the harpagmos, or "seizing" of a noble boy of his choosing, with the consent of the boy's father.

The man (known as philetor, "befriender") took the boy (known as kleinos, "glorious") into the wilderness, where they spent several months hunting and feasting with their friends. If the boy was satisfied with the conduct of his would-be comrade, he changed his title from kleinos to parastates ("sidekick" indicating he had fought in battle alongside his lover) returned to the philetor and lived in close bonds of public intimacy with him. The function of the institution, beside teaching the youth adult skills, was to confirm the status of the best men, and to offer both lover and beloved the chance to give proof of a noble character deserving of respect.

No comments: