The study of the history of homosexuality attempts to catalog evidence of homosexual behavior from its earliest occurrences to the present, with this manner of perversion being manifested in different sources from ancient times. Best muslim beard styles.
Terminology relating to the history of homosexuality
The use of the term homosexuality in the study of ancient sexuality has found some dissatisfaction, due to the lack of a specific term in ancient literature corresponding to the modern concept of persons who are consistently sexually attracted to their own gender, versus the opposite sex. However, ancient literature refers to those who by their actions seem to have manifested such, especially as regards the male who played the female partner.
The primary moral authority on the subject, the Bible, does not explicitly refer to homosexual inclination, though it is reasonable to believe that the word malakos, translated effeminate (1Cor. 6:9) in the KJV may denote homosexual orientation, and men lusting after one another in Romans 1:27 is seen as a typical manifestation of homosexuality. In contrast to modern times however, to be the effeminate partner in Greece or Rome was considered shameful for a man.
The lack of terms in the Bible for certain behaviors which correspond to modern psychological diagnostics may also be explained as being due to the fact that the Bible does not justify inherently unlawful actions even if one has an inner inclination to do them, but calls and enables victory over such. (Gn. 4:7, Col. 3:5-8)
Homosexuality in the Bible
Homosexuality, as evidenced by homosexual acts, or homoeroticism, was manifested not long after the fall of man and its resultant harmful effects, with man realizing an Adamic nature and its tendency to sin, which may somewhat vary in intensity as to a type of sin.
The history of homosexuality in the Bible may begin in Genesis 9:2-24, in which many Christian scholars believe that Ham, the youngest son of Noah, committed a homosexual act on his father,
while the latter was asleep, having been overcome with wine.
Leviticus 18 universally outlaws men laying with men as with women, with this being a capital crime, (Lv. 18:22, 20:13), with an additional separate prohibition evidently forbidding homosexual religious prostitution. (Dt. 23:17) The context of these commands is one which invokes the practice of Israel's surrounding culture as an example of what not to do, thus evidencing that homosexual relations and other sexual sins were pagan cultural practices. Additional evidence shows that homosexual practice was generally not outlawed in the Ancient Near East (ANE), and was certainly tolerated in that area and time in private as well as religious life.
Miller adds that in contrast, "Israel's God condemned this behavior in EVERY culture in which it was mentioned(!): ANE (i.e. Sodom), Canaanite and Egyptian (i.e. Lev 18:3), Israelite (Lev 18, 20), Roman (Rom 1), Hellenistic (I Tim 1.9), and Greek (I Cor 6.9)."
Homosexuality is overall revealed in the Bible to be an effect of idolatry,
and which may consist of formal or informal false gods.
In Romans 1 the apostle Paul delineates stages of degeneration, with homoerotic desire and acts being a particular effect of making the God of creation, who uniquely created the women of the man and joined them in marriage, into an image of corruptible man. This type of this idolatry is yet seen to be taking place today by pro homosexual authors, such as Roman Catholic priest Daniel A. Helminiak
who assert that the incorruptible Jesus Christ engaged in homosexual relations. Such extreme blasphemous attempts are refuted by Derrick K. Olliff and Dewey H. Hodges
Homosexual behavior was especially manifest in Rome and Greece at that time, but which was and is a historical constant among all peoples, in differing but deleterious forms, and with different degrees of moral degeneration being realized. For the follower of the Bible therefore, homosexuality is not new, nor unexpected, but neither is it justified, rather it is unequivocally condemned, while God is revealed as giving man grace to resist and overcome sin. (Gn. 4:7, Ja. 1:12-15' 1Cor. 6:9-11)
Jewish and early ecclesiastical attitudes toward homosexuality
The history of homosexuality as regards the position of Judaism and Christianity is testified to by extra-biblical accounts of ancient historians, commentators and leaders. As concerns Jewish beliefs, Gagnon notes in the study of homosexuality and biblical interpretation, that "every piece of evidence that we have about Jewish views of same-sex intercourse in the Second Temple period and beyond is unremittingly hostile to such behavior.
First Century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (AD 37-100) wrote in his Commentary on the history of the Jews,
As for adultery, Moses forbade it entirely, as esteeming it a happy thing that men should be wise in the affairs of wedlock, and that it was profitable both to cities and families that children should be known to be genuine. He also abhorred men’s lying with their mothers, as one of the greatest crimes, and the like for lying with the father’s wife, and with aunts, and sisters, and sons’ wives, as all instances of abominable wickedness. He also forbade a man to lie with his wife when she was defiled by her natural purgation: and not to come near brute beasts, nor to approve of the lying with a male, which was to hunt after unlawful pleasures on account of beauty. To those who were guilty of such insolent behavior, he ordained death for their punishment.” (Antiquities, 3:12.1)
And why do not the Eleans and Thebans abolish that unnatural (para physin) and impudent lust, which makes them lie with males? For they will not shew sufficient sign of their repentance of what they of old thought to be very excellent, and very advantageous in their practices, unless they entirely avoid all such actions for the time to come: nay, such things are inserted into the body of their laws, and had once such a power among the Greeks, that they ascribed these sodomitical practices to the gods themselves, as part of their good character, and indeed it was according to the same manner that the gods married their own sisters. This the Greeks contrived as an apology for their own absurd and unnatural (para physin) pleasures. (Against Apion, 2.273-75)
More abundant are statements by early church leaders on the subject, which, though not wholly inspired as the Scriptures, are, manifest a Biblical response to homosexuality, and sometimes also testify to the existence of homosexuality among the Greeks and Romans.
You shall not commit fornication, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not be a corrupter of youth. - Letter of Barnabas 10 (A.D. 74).
You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one that has been born. - Didache 2:2 (A.D. 90).
expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men, and this we have been taught lest we should do anyone harm and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution. And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy, and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods. - Justin Martyr, First Apology 27 (A.D. 151).
All honor to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the mother of the gods... condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Scythians. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks 2 (A.D. 190).
For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymede. - Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks 2 (A.D. 190).
[A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities. - Tertullian, Modesty 4 (A.D. 220).
[T]urn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle…Men are emasculated, and all the pride and vigor of their sex is effeminated in the disgrace of their enervated body, and he is more pleasing there who has most completely broken down the man into the woman. He grows into praise by virtue of his crime, and the more he is degraded, the more skillful he is considered to be. Such a one is looked upon—oh shame!--and looked upon with pleasure…nor is there wanting authority for the enticing abomination…that Jupiter of theirs [is] not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own thunders…now breaking forth by the help of birds to violate the purity of boys. And now put the question: Can he who looks upon such things be healthy-minded or modest? Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion. - Cyprian of Carthage, Letters 1:8 (A.D. 253).
"[T]he mother of the gods loved [the boy Attis] exceedingly, because he was of most surpassing beauty, and Acdestis [the son of Jupiter] who was his companion, as he grew up fondling him, and bound to him by wicked compliance with his lust…Afterwards, under the influence of wine, he [Attis] admits that he is…loved by Acdestis…Then Midas, king of Pessinus, wishing to withdraw the youth from so disgraceful an intimacy, resolves to give him his own daughter in marriage…Acdestis, bursting with rage because of the boy's being torn from himself and brought to seek a wife, fills all the guests with frenzied madness, the Phrygians shriek, panic-stricken at the appearance of the gods... [Attis] too, now filled with furious passion, raving frantically and tossed about, throws himself down at last, and under a pine tree mutilates himself, saying, `Take these, Acdestis, for which you have stirred up so great and terribly perilous commotions.'" - Arnobius, Against the Pagans 5:6-7 (A.D. 305).
“But we do not say so of that mixture that is contrary to nature, or of any unlawful practice, for such are enmity to God. For the sin of Sodom is contrary to nature, as is also that with brute beasts. But adultery and fornication are against the law, the one whereof is impiety, the other injustice, and, in a word, no other than a great sin. But neither sort of them is without its punishment in its own proper nature. For the practicers of one sort attempt the dissolution of the world, and endeavor to make the natural course of things to change for one that is unnatural, but those of the second son — the adulterers — are unjust by corrupting others’ marriages, and dividing into two what God hath made one, rendering the children suspected, and exposing the true husband to the snares of others. And fornication is the destruction of one’s own flesh, not being made use of for the procreation of children, but entirely for the sake of pleasure, which is a mark of incontinency, and not a sign of virtue. All these things are forbidden by the laws, for thus say the oracles: Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. For such a one is accursed, and ye shall stone them with stones: they have wrought abomination.” - Methodius, bishop of Olympus and Patara (AD 260-312), Commentary on the sin of Sodom.
"[H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, he [God] adds: `Do not defile yourselves with any of these things, for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it' [Lev. 18:24-25]." - Eusebius of Caesarea, Proof of the Gospel 4:10 (A.D. 319).
"“They who have committed sodomy with men or brutes, murderers, wizards, adulterers, and idolaters, have been thought worthy of the same punishment, therefore observe the same method with these which you do with others." - Basil, Letters 217:62 (A.D. 367).
"[The pagans] were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that pederasty…should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing, and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them… As for their passion for boys, whom they called their 'paedica,' it is not fit to be named." - John Chrysostom, Homilies on Titus 5 (A.D. 390]).
"[Certain men in church] come in gazing about at the beauty of women, others curious about the blooming youth of boys. After this, do you not marvel that [lightning] bolts are not launched [from heaven], and all these things are not plucked up from their foundations? For worthy both of thunderbolts and hell are the things that are done, but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile his wrath, calling you to repentance and amendment." - John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 3:3 (A.D. 391).
"All of these affections [in Rom. 1:26-27]… were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males, for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored than the body in diseases." - John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 4 (A.D. 391).
"[The men] have done an insult to nature itself. And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more shame than men." - John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 4 (A.D. 391).
"And sundry other books of the philosophers one may see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature, but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this would be worse than any punishment." - John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 4 (A.D. 391).
"[T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way." - Augustine, Confessions 3:8:15 (A.D. 400).
"[Christians] abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practiced by some contrary to nature, as wicked and impious." - Apostolic Constitutions 6:11 (A.D. 400).
Historical data concerning the history of homosexuality
The two most principal areas of historical inquiry which have been studied by historians in relation to ancient occurrences of homosexuality are Greek homosexuality and Roman homosexuality (see also Romans 1 ) but to which other societies, ancient to modern, are included.
It should be noted here that most of the research for the information referenced here comes through pro-homosexual writers, who sometimes interpret obscure or indefinite data as positively denoting homosexuality, while tending to render negative comments on homosexuality as being due to homophobia. And or as Boswell,
they may seek to contrive a history more usable to them,
(which they are not alone in doing). Some assert that in some cases, pro-homosexual authors have extrapolated prevalent homosexuality out of little real evidence.
The inclusion of these sources is for reference purposes, and not as recommended reading. However, much clear data is provided which testifies to some degree of acceptance of homoeroticism (mostly pederastic), concomitant with idolatry. Biblically, this also included Israel at times when they forsook worship of "the living and true God" (1Thes. 1:9) of the Bible, who uniquely forbade such. A primary source on the subject of history and homosexuality, pro homosexual author Dr. David E. Greenberg, noted that, other than the Jews, "none of the archaic civilizations prohibited homosexuality per se",
(though he himself forced homosexuality into the story of David and Jonathan ).
Dynes and Donaldson also note that the literary and archaeological records of Mediterranean societies have overall revealed that the ancient patterns of same-gender sexual behavior
did not, for the most part, conform to the androphile model of modern industrial societies — a model that involves pairs of adults, both considered to be of the same gender, of roughly equal social status, and reciprocal and their behavior. Instead they generally adhered to gender-and-age differentiated patterns, Egypt being a partial exception. The best known types are the male temple prostitution of the near east and the institutionalized pederasty of Greece.
Homosexuality in Greece
The largest amount of material pertinent to the history of homosexuality is from Greece, from notable philosophers and writers such as Plato, Xenophon, Plutarch, and pseudo-Lucian, to plays by Aristophanes, to Greek artwork and vases. James B. De Young notes that homosexuality seems to have existed more widely among the ancient Greeks more than among any other ancient culture. The main form of this was pederasty, a custom that seems to have been practiced mostly among the upper classes, in which an older man (the erastest) would make a young free boy (the eromenos) his sex partner, and become his mentor. This was regulated by the State as an institution. However, this practice was usually a supplement to marriage,
and thus is seen as being done by bisexuals. The practice of pederasty is mentioned in Homer's Illiad, and is evidenced to have existed at least 4500 years ago in ancient Egypt.
Homosexuality in Rome
After Greece, Rome is the next most significant entity in the history of homosexuality, and this cultural practice in both is understood by scholars as being what the apostle Paul is immediately referring to in condemning homosexuality in Romans 1.
Romans emperors were sometimes the most notorious examples of homosexuality. Edward Gibbon, in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, wrote that "of the first fifteen emperors Claudius was the only one whose taste in love was entirely correct (not homo-sexual].
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Juvenal (60-140 A.D.) and Martial (c. 40-102 A.D.) wrote of formal marriage unions between homosexuals. Some moral philosophers around the time of the apostle Paul questioned the merits of homosexual behaviors. Seneca (4 B.C-65 A.D.), a statesmen and tutor to the homosexual emperor Nero, reproved homosexual exploitation, such which which forced a slave to shave his beard, and dress and behave as a women,
though Nero himself castrated a boy, and dressed him as female and married him, after killing his wife.
Dio Chrysostom (A.D. 40) likewise condemned such exploitation, and commended natural intercourse" and union of the male and female.
Later, in 226 B.C., the Lex Scantinia (149 B.C.) is understood to have penalized homosexual practice.
According to psychiatrist and sexual historian Norman Sussman, "In contrast to the self-conscious and elaborate efforts of the Greeks to glorify and idealize homosexuality, the Romans simply accepted it as a matter of fact and as an inevitable part of human sexual life. Pederasty was just another sexual activity. Many of the most prominent men in Roman society were bisexual if not homosexual. Julius Caesar was called by his contemporaries every woman's man and every man's woman."
Many see Rome realizing a deleterious change in aspects of social morality beginning in the second century B.C, due to the influence and adaptation of "Asiatic luxury and Greek manners", including homosexuality, resulting in a "moral crises from which she never recovered (historian D. Earl)
Edward Gibbon, stated in his “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” that marital faithfulness in the Roman Empire was virtually unknown, and that “The dignity of marriage was restored by the Christians.”
Homosexuality in China
Art, poetry, historical and legal documents infer or attest to the practice of homosexuality in China (the type or degree of which is often somewhat dependent on the bias of the researcher, with most major works today being by by pro homosexual writers). The earliest references to such are from the period of the Han Dynasty (Western: 202 B.C. to 9 A.D, Eastern: 25 to 22 A.D.) The Da-le-fu by Bo Xingjian (775-826) in an official ancient medical text History of the Former Hans Dynasty is seen by some to speak of homoeroticism, especially among emperors, in highly euphemistic language.
Heissig states that in the fourteenth century, the Chinese found homosexual Tibetan religious rites practiced at the court of a Mongol emperor.
Sex historian Arno Karlen reports that "two Arab travelers trekked through India and China m the ninth century, and in tneir chronicle said the Chinese were addicted to sodomy and even performed it in their shrines."
During the Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) Tao Gu noted in his Records of the Extraordinary
Everywhere people single out Nanhai for its 'Misty Moon Worships, a term referring the custom of esteeming lewdness. Nowadays those in the capital those who sell themselves number more than ten thousand. As to the men who offer their bodies for sale, then enter and leave place shamelessly. A law later enacted during Xhenghe reign (1111-1118) which punished male prostitutes with "one hundred strokes of a bamboo rod and a fine of fifty thousand in cash." However, it seems to have fallen into disuse over time.
Male prostitutes were known to have their own god, Tcheou—Wang.
During the latter part of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), Xie Zhaozhe, (1567-1624) - a contemporary of Shakespeare - recorded in his encyclopedia, the Wu za zu (Fivehold Miscellany),
In today's Peking, there are young boys singers who go to all the gentry's wine parties, and no matter how many official prohibitions there are, everybody uses them.
A fuller description of homosexual relations, and one that may be likened to same-sex marriage, is found in the writings of Ming commentator Shen Defu (1578-1642), which tells of homosexual relationships which sometimes were part of the family order in the southern province of Fujian. He states that among all social ranks and physical attractiveness, Fujianese men found a same sex partner of their status, with the older becoming a "brother" to the younger (a custom termed nanfeng) and paying for his later marriage to a female. "And that at the age of thirty they are still sleeping in the same bed like husband and wife." However, this is not known to have lasted more than twenty years, as they were to later marry a female.
In the latter part of the 16th century Roman Catholic missionaries commented on the perverse homosexual practices they saw in China. In a book published in 1569, Dominican Gaspar da Cruz attributed the earthquakes which had recently shaken China (its most fatal earthquake in history was in 1556  ) to being due to their indifference to sodomy. Shortly after his arrival in 1583, noted Jesuit astronomer Matteo Ricci found that male prostitution was lawful and practiced openly:
there are public streets full of boys dressed up like prostitutes. And there are people who buy these boys and teach them to play music, sing and dance. And than, gallantly dressed up and made up with rouge like women, these miserable men are initiated into this terrible vice.
He also wrote to his superior lamenting "the horrible sin to which everyone here is much given, and about which there seems to be no shame or impediment." No long before his death in 1610, he grieved that such was "neither forbidden by law nor thought to be illicit, nor even a cause of shame. It is spoken of in public, practiced everywhere, without there being anyone to prevent it."
An official Chinese historian named Mao Qiling (1623- 1716) wrote in a supplementary historical account regarding Emperor Wuzong (1491-1521), that had a passion of military uniforms and maneuvers, and broke precedent by sleeping at his new Leopard House, which accommodated his generals. He had so close friendship with one general in particular,that is recorded that they sleep and rose with together (tong wo-qi).
Open sexual expression was expanded under the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), but increasing moral disorder, and invasion by warriors who captured Peking in 1644, establishing the Qing Dynasty, worked to somewhat morally awaken China, and resulted in laws for moral reform. Chinese conservatives labored to restore the more chaste values of orthodox Confucianism, while the Manchu conquerors sought to discourage fornication, including sexual offenses between males. The second Qing Emperor, Kang Xi, was an esteemed ruler who was hostile to pederasty and child prostitution, and declared that he himself was not waited on by "pretty boys."
In 1679 extensive legislation was written and confirmed in the Qing code of 1740, which made the abduction and rape of boys under twelve a capital crime, and penalized consensual sodomy with one hundred strokes of the heavy bamboo, and the wearing of the cangue (a flat wooden board) for one month. As in Biblical law, it appears that actually being caught in the act was required, and enforcement seems to have been rather selective. However, Kang Xi's own son and heir to the throne was found to be sexually involved with palace officials, and was executed.
Despite these reforms, later some Qing rulers are said to have engaged in homosexual relationships, and China saw a resurgence of homosexuality. Even during the reign of Kang Xi a contemporary writer wrote that "it is considered bad taste not to have singing boys around when inviting guests for dinner." Art began to abandoned its discrete nature in relation to sexual expression, and began to make the sexual act explicit.
Englishman John Barrow, secretary to the Macartney Embassy of 1793, and later the founder of the Royal Geographical Society, stated in Travels in China (1806),
Many of the first officers of state seemed to make no hesitation in publicly avowing [homosexuality]!"
Barrows also wrote that the exclusion of women had the effect of
"promoting that sort of connexion which, being one of the greatest violations of nature, ought to be considered among the first of moral crimes - a connexion that sinks a man many degrees below the brute. The commission of this detestable and unnatural act is attended to with so little sense of shame, or feeling of delicacy, that many first officers of state seemed to make no hesitation in publicly avowing it. Each of these officer is attended to by his pipe-bearer, who is generally a handsome boy, from fourteen to eighteen years of age, and is always well dressed.
In Judaism's Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality, Dennis Prager also notes that the low state of women has been linked to widespread homosexuality, and writes that a French physician reported from China in the nineteenth century that, "Chinese women were such docile, homebound dullards that the men, like those of ancient Greece, sought courtesans and boys."
In contrast, a commentator of Napoleonic France provided commendation for such.
Sir Richard Burton summed up the Chinese in these words: "their systematic bestiality with ducks, goats and other animals is equaled only by their pederasty."
Eberhardt understands that "Chinese Buddhism considered homosexuality to be a minor transgression."
A western visitor to the port city of Tianjin estimated that there were approximately eight hundred boys in its thirty-five brothels, trained for pederastic prostitution.
However, homoeroticism apparently was not a religious part of Chinese folk religion, as "the Chinese were shocked and indignant at the homoerotic Tibetan rites practiced at the court of Shun-Ti Heissig, the last Mongul emperor in the fourteenth century."
During the Chinese cultural revolution (1966–76), government considered homosexuality to be a social offense or a form of mental illness, and homosexuality is said to been punished more than in all previous times.
In 1989 the "Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders", released by the Chinese Psychiatric Association, defined homosexuality as a "psychiatric disorder of sexuality", providing more tolerance toward this class of sin.
Homosexuality in Japan
Greenberg understands that during the feudal age in Japan, homosexuality flourished among military aristocracy, "with samurai sometimes fighting duels on behalf of their lovers",
and that Japanese Buddhism appears to have disregarded homosexuality.
Buddhist monks are said to not have allowed intercourse with women, though "male partners were not explicitly prohibited, and that many monks took youthful male lovers, a practice that was considered quite acceptable..." "Legal codes of the period do not even mention homosexuality."
Homosexuality among the Celts
Aristotle stated that the Celts esteemed homosexuality."
In addition, Diodorus Siculus wrote in the first century B.C., "The men are much keener on their own sex, they lie around on animal skins and enjoy themselves, with a lover on each side. Furthermore, this isn't looked down on, or regarded in any way disgraceful."
Homosexuality among the America Indians
Pre-Columbian Americas: In North America, the Spanish and French explorers and missionaries who visited the New World quickly became aware of widespread Indian transvestism (men dressing as women) and homosexuality. Writing in 1776, Father Charlevoix, a Jesuit priest, found the Iroquois to have “an excess of effeminacy and lewdness. There are men unashamed to wear women’s clothing and to practice all the occupations of women, from which follows corruption that I cannot express. They pretend that its usage comes from their religion. These effeminates never marry and abandon themselves to the most infamous passions.”
Greenberg reports that there was widespread male homosexuality among the Mayans in Central America: “A strong homosexual component pervades close friendships of young married Mayan men as well as bachelors in southern Mexico and among Guatemalan Indians.”
Among the Aztecs, “Sodomy was virtually universal, involving even children as young as six. Cortez also found sodomy to be widespread among the Aztecs, and admonished them to give it up – along with human sacrifice and cannibalism. One of the Aztec gods, Xochipili, was the patron of male homosexuality and male prostitution.”
Homosexuality in ancient Mesopotamia
Certain other ancient societies provide some evidence in regards to the history of homosexuality. Gordon J Wenham in "The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality" refers to Homosexualität Reallexicon der Assyriologie (4. 559-68) as a prime source, and states,
From iconographic evidence dating from 3000 BC to the Christian era it is clear that homosexual practice was an accepted part of the Mesopotamian scene. This conclusion is confirmed by many literary and legal texts in which homosexual activity is mentioned.
Within the Middle Assyrian Laws (c. 1450-1250 B.C.) does seem to provide one or two relevant laws. MAL 19 provides a penalty for false accusation of passive homosexuality, requiring the false witness to be beaten, fined and suffer a mark of shame on him.
MAL 20 is more specific, "If a man has lain with his male friend and a charge is brought and proved against him, the same thing shall be done to him and he shall be made a eunuch."
This is what Cardascia, Les lois assyriennes, 134-35 suggests. Bottero and Petschow in Reallexicon der Assyriologie 4, 462 are more dogmatic. 'The verb niku/ náku... implies a certain constraint on the part of the protagonist. Its literal translation would be "to do violence to" and almost "violate". It is precisely because the victim submits to violence that obliges its author to submit in his turn to violence himself.
Unlike in the Bible where both parties are guilty and are to be punished, (Lv. 18:22, 20:13) here only the active male partner is punished.
Nor were homosexuals shut away in Mesopotamia. There were homosexual cult prostitutes, who took part in public processions, singing, dancing, wearing costumes, sometimes wearing women's clothes and carrying female symbols, even at times pretending to give birth...Sometimes they are called 'dogs'. 'It therefore appears that these types of person, as in other places and periods including our own, formed a shady sub-culture where all sorts of ambiguities, mixtures and transformations were possible.
Greenberg states that in Mesopotamiam Hammurabi, the author of the famous legal code bearing his name, had male lovers (Greenberg, p. ,126)
In addition, it is understood that Assyrian men prayed for divine blessing on homosexual love.
This is seen to stand in contrast to the Bible, which nowhere offers sanction for homoeroticism, in contrast to its explicit Divine blessing on heterosexual relations in marriage. The Bible is also seen to separately forbid homosexual activity near the Temple, (Dt. 23:17,18) this likely being homosexual prostitutes, called dogs.
The Reallexicon der Assyriologie concludes:
Homosexuality in itself is thus nowhere condemned as licentiousness, as immorality, as social disorder, or as transgressing any human or divine law. Anyone could practise it freely, just as anyone could visit a prostitute, provided it was done without violence and without compulsion, and preferably as far as taking the passive role was concerned, with specialists.
The Bible states that because of such immorality the Lord drove out the people whose land Israel possessed. (Dt. 9:3-5, 18:12)
Among the Hittites, Law 189 states, If a man violates his daughter it is a capital crime. If a man violates his son, it is a capital crime. However, the violation here may be more due to its incestuous nature, than the homosexual aspect.
Homosexuality among the Jews
As Leviticus 18 and other texts evidence, homosexuality was forbidden among the Jews, with violation being a capital offense. In providing Israel with a superior moral standard, as well in other areas, God invoked the example of immoral nations, fitted for destruction, as manifesting the behavior which Israel was not to follow. This means of contrast, which does not limit the forbidden behavior to only that culture, is seen in the New Testament as well. (Rm. 1:19-32, Eph. 5:1-7) 1Pt. 4:2-4)
Israel was established as an overall victorious nation as they overall followed God, as He promised. (Dt. 28) However, when Israel backslid into idolatry then homosexuality was seen among them, though it is not evidenced to have degenerated past the stage of idolatrous ceremony, (Dt. 23:17,18) into pederasty and household homoeroticism. What was sanctioned by the temple set the moral example for the rest of the nation, and when Israel responded to the chastening of God under good kings, then cultic prostitutes were driven out of the land. (1Kg. 14:24, 15:12, 22:46, 2Kg. 23:7)
The terrible chastisements Israel suffered, after being warned by God for hundreds of years to return to obedient faith, appears to have cured them from outward idolatry, and homosexuality in any form. The author of the Syballine Oracles, thought to be an Egyptian Jew (approx. 163 - 45 B.C.), compared Jews to the other nations, stating,
The Jews "are mindful of holy wedlock, and they do not engage in impious intercourse with male children, as do Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Romans, specious Greece and many nations of others, Persians and Galatians and all Asia."
In contemporary times, according to sex researcher sex historian Arno Karlen, Alfred Kinsey (who was an atheist ) stated that "homosexuality was phenomenally rare among Orthodox Jews" (even though his flawed research otherwise exaggerated the number of homosexuals).
Homosexuality in Egypt
The Old Testament of the Bible mentions Egypt as one of the nations exampling sins which Israel is to avoid, including homosexuality. (Lv. 18:3) While no legal texts are yet possessed, other stories testify of homosexual acts and attitudes.
The earliest and longest version of the Contendings of Horus and Seth (Greek transliterations, or Heru and Set from Egyptian), dated c. 1160 B.C., late in the 20th Dynasty in the New Kingdom, with elements of religious mythology which are likely older, tells of Set, who is before manifested as heterosexual, perpetrating a homosexual act upon Horus. This is seen as shameful by Ruler Ennead. Seth is also said to have become pregnant by eating lettuce with the semen of Horus on it, placed there by his mother.
An earlier version (est. 2,000 B.C.) is similar.
Historians see this indicating that to be anally penetrated was looked upon as humiliating and shameful.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead (c. 14.50 century B.C.) is the name given by Egyptologists to a collection of mortuary texts written on sheets of papyrus covered with magical texts and accompanying illustrations. The earliest record of Book of the Dead is dated from approx. 1650-1550 B.C., though it is thought that some of the spells originated in the Pyramid Texts carved more than 1000 years earlier.
In chapter 125 are two sets of “negative confessions”, in which the deceased was to testify before Osiris and forty-two other gods of his righteousness and worthiness of eternal life. In the first set of declarations (before Osiris) is the statement (as translated), I have not penetrated the penetrater of a penetrater,
while in the second set (before the 42 judges) it is declared (as translated), I have committed no acts of impurity nor have I had sexual intercourse with a man.
Part of an incomplete text dating from approximately 2200 B.C. has been termed, Neferkare’s Affair with General Sisene. It tells of a common man discovering that King Neferkare (Pepi 2) was making regular nightly visit to a man living without a wife,
and which may imply a homosexual affair as part of royal corruption.
The Teaching of Vizier Ptahhotep (c. 2200 B.C.), has a difficult to translate text (32) which may read, Do not copulate with a woman-boy,for You know that one will fight against the water upon her heart.
Later, a homosexual liaison is described between the Governor of Egypt C. Vibius Maximus (103-107 A. D.) and a 17 year old still handsome youth who ate and traveled with him rather than attending school and the gymnasium. His sexual relations with the politician were known, and the young man is described as exhibiting an attitude often seen in contemporary society today:
Once accustomed to this shame this handsome and rich young youth gave himself airs and became so the presence of everyone, and laughed long and freely in the middle of the clients.
Partly because of this conduct the Governor incurred damnatio memoriaem, with his name being removed from public documents.
Homosexuality in the Arab and Islamic worlds
Greenberg contends that male homosexuality has been "pervasive and highly visible" in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
A Dutch traveler among the Moguls (Muslims who ruled in India), wrote that male homosexuality "is not only universal in practice among them, but extends to a bestial communication with brutes, and in particular with sheep."
John Chardin, a visitor to Persia the late seventeenth century, reported that he had found "numerous houses of male prostitution, but none offering females," and "some of the greatest Persian love poetry is written to boys."
Louis Dupree, perhaps the West's leading scholar on Afghanistan, wrote in his 1973 book on Afghanistan chat male homosexuality remains common there. (Louis Dupree, Afghani- stan, Princeton University, 1973, p. ,198.)
Khaled El-Rouayheb in Before homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic world, 1500-1800" states that "Arabic literature of the Ottoman period (1516-1798) is replete with causal and sometimes sympathetic references to homosexual love", most of it pederastic in content, such as between poets and young boys.
In his Music from a Distant Drum, Bernard Lewis writes that
Homosexuality is condemned and forbidden by the holy law of Islam, but there are times and places in Islamic history when the ban on homosexual love seems no stronger than the ban on adultery in, say, Renaissance Italy or seventeenth century France. Some [of the Arabic, Persian and Turkish] poems are openly homosexual, some poets, in their collected poems, even have separate sections for love poems addressed to males and females.
In The Venture of Islam author Marshal Hodegson wrote that in medieval Islamic civilization,
despite strong Shari disapproval, the sexual relations of a mature man with a subordinate youth were so readily accepted in middle class circles that there was little or no efforts to conceal their existence. The fashion entered poetry, especially the Persians.
Records from European travelers attest to the prevalence such, with the content of some revealing the distinction in cultural attitudes. One example is from Englishman Joseph Pitts, a sailor who was captured and sold into slavery at Algiers in 1678 but escaped fifteen years later. He later stated,
The horrible sin of Sodomy is so far from being punish'd among them, that it is part of their ordinary Discourse to boast of their detestable Actions of that kind. 'Tis common for Men there to fall in love with Boys, as 'tis here in England to be in love with Women.
The French traveler C. S. Sonnini, after visiting Egypt between 1777 and 1780, similary noted,
The passion contrary to inconceivable appetite which dishonored the Greek and Persians of antiquity, constitute the delight, or, to use a juster term, the infamy of the Egyptians. It is not for the women that that their amorous ditties are composed: it is not on them that tender caresses are lavished, far different objects inflame them.
Affirming this contrast, Muslim travelers who "rediscovered Europe" in the first half of the 1800s found it notable that the European men were not found courting or eulogizing male youth.
Moroccan scholar Muhammad Al-Saffar, who visited Paris in 1845-46, recorded,
Flirtation, romance, and courtship for them take place only with women, for they are not inclined to boys or young men. Rather, that is extremely disgraceful to them.
Likewise, El-Rouayheb also writes that Egyptian scholar Rifa'ah Rafi' al-Tahtaw who was in Paris between 1826 and 1831, noted,
Amongst the laudable traits of their character, similar really to those of the Bedouin, is their not being inclined to toward loving male youths and eulogizing them in poetry, for this is something unmentionable for them and contrary to their nature and morals. One of the positive aspects of their language and poetry is that it does not permit the saying of love poetry of someone of the same sex.
Homosexuality in England
Homosexuality was known to occur to certain degrees in England. Saint Boniface wrote in 744 that the people of England "have been leading a shameful life, despising lawful marriages, committing adultery and lusting after the fashion of cutlic people of Sodom. "
Yet especially in latter times England is evidenced to possesses a healthy abhorrence of homosexuality, with both laws and the public attitude being contrary to it.
Sodomy (buggery) was described as "a sin against nature" and was prohibited as a capital offense along with bestiality from 1533 until 1861, which saw the penalty reduced to 10 years to life in prison. Later legislation broadened the description while lessening the penalty.
Muslim beard styles pictures
Prior to this a number of medieval legal sources do discuss "sodomy."
A German traveler wrote in 1768,
The English women are so handsome, and the desire to please them, and to obtain their favours, is so ardent and so general, that it is not in the least surprising, that those islanders should hold a certain unnatural crime in the utmost abhorrence. They speak in no part of the world with so much horror of this infamous passion, as in England. The punishment by law is imprisonment, and the pillory. It is very uncommon to see a person convicted, and punished for this crime, not on account of the paucity of the numbers charged with perpetrating it, but because they never yield to such a brutal appetite but with the utmost precaution.
The Societies for Reformation of Manners was founded in 1690, and by 1701 there were about twenty such Societies. They purposed to clean up public vice, particularly prostitution. Eight or nine members of the society worked undercover to observe gay cruising areas and attract solicitation. From 1707 through 1709, one cleric, "Reverend Bray," directed several raids, in affiliation with Constables who were also members of the Societies. By their annual meeting in 1710 they were able to attest that "our streets have been very much cleansed from the lewd night-walkers and most detestable sodomites."
Attitudes regarding homosexuality varied throughout the history of England, depending on its spiritual condition, and while sodomy between men remained unlawful until the 1930s, increased tolerance toward homosexuality was seen in post World War 1 The precursor to modern sexual revolution is understood by some to have begun among an intellectual class in England termed the Neo-Pagans, whose lifestyle was one of worship of the body, freedom of sexual expression, nudism, etc.
This lifestyle was one which would later characterize the sexual revolution of the 1960s in the West. As seen in Romans 1:25, referring to "those who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen", this resulted in a modern prevalence of homosexuality in the United States and England, with its resultant deleterious effects.
Lesbianism was termed lesbian passion by the Greeks, being derived from the name of the Greek island Lesbos, after its female poet Sappho wrote about love between women.
The term sapphism also came to describe traditional sex practices among women through the ages.
However, this is not seen as obtaining the same-sex social sanction as pederasty. Nor does Greek mythology offers legends of the goddesses which parallel the homosexual acts seen as having occurred between male Greek gods.
In Lucian's Amores 28, the Greek character Charicles states that it would be better for a women to invade the dominion of male wantonness (homosexuality) than for men to become effeminate, and also warns of lesbianism: If you concede homosexual love to males, you must in justice grant the same to females, you will have to sanction carnal intercourse between them, monstrous instruments of lust will have to be permitted, in order that their sexual congress may be carried out, that obscene vocable, tribad, which so rarely offends our ears--I blush to utter it--will become rampant, and Philænis will spread androgynous orgies throughout our harems.
Romans 1 of the New Testament clearly refers to lesbianism, as even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature, as a result of rejecting the creational revelation given them.
Ancient laws against homosexual acts
Greek laws existed which regulated pederasty, while later Romans laws went further in restricting it. Although there is some debate among scholars, Roman literature of the republic and early empire may indicate that men who engaged in consensual homosexual relations were often mocked as effeminate, but such was not illegal. Laws instituted in the later Roman Empire would change explicitly outlaw such.
On Dec 16, 342 A.D., Constantius and Constans issued a legal decision which was included in the later Theodosian Code:
Cod.Theod. IX. Viii. 3: (Cod. Justin IX.ix.31):
When a man marries in the manner of a woman, a woman about to renounce men (quum vir nubit in feminam viris porrecturam), what does he wish, when sex has lost all its significance, when the crime is one which it is not profitable to know, when Venus is changed to another form, when love is sought and not found? We order the statutes to arise, the laws to be armed with an avenging sword, that those infamous persons who are now, or who hereafter may be, guilty may be subjected to exquisite punishment.
The meaning of this is somewhat obscure, more explicit is the law issued by Valentinian II, Theodoisus and Arcadius on Aug 6, 390, and which also survives in the Theodosian Code:
All persons who have the shameful custom of condemning a man's body, acting the part of a woman's to the sufferance of alien sex (for they appear not to be different from women), shall expiate a crime of this kind in avenging flames in the sight of the people.
During the Roman Imperial period the Lex Julia de adulteris (originally of c. 17 B.C.) was expanded by legal commentators to include first offenses against boys, and possibly all male homosexual acts. Under Justinian, the Eastern Roman Emperor from 527 A.D. to his death, historical accounts in Procopius and Malalas indicate that there was punishment of some homosexuals. In addition, under Justinian's legislative activity there was the strict Institutes of the Corpus Juris Civilis (effective Dec 30, 533), which is understood by some to sum up the legal opinons:
In criminal cases public prosecutions take place under various statutes, including the Lex Julia de adulteris, "…which punishes with death (gladio), not only those who violate the marriages of others, but also those who dare to commit acts of vile lust with [other] men (qui cim masculis nefandum libidinem exercere audent)."
More significantly, two "Novels" by Justinian issued were directed against homosexual activity:
…since certain men, seized by diabolical incitement practice among themselves the most disgraceful lusts, and act contrary to nature: we enjoin them to take to heart the fear of God and the judgment to come, and to abstain from suchlike diabolical and unlawful lusts, so that they may not be visited by the just wrath of God on account of these impious acts, with the result that cities perish with all their inhabitants. For we are taught by the Holy Scriptures that because of like impious conduct cities have indeed perish, together with all the men in them.
1: For, instructed by the Holy Scriptures, we know that God brought a just judgment upon those who lived in Sodom, on account of this very madness of intercourse, so that to this very day that lands burns with inextinguishable fire. By this God teaches us, in order that by means of legislation we may avert such an untoward fate. Again, we know what the blessed Apostle says about such things, and what laws our state enacts. Wherefore it behoves all who desire to fear God to abstain from conduct so base and criminal that we do not find it committed even by brute beasts. Let those who have not taken part in such doings continue to refrain in the future. But as for those who have been consumed by this kind of disease, let them not only cease to sin in the future, but let them alos duly do penance, and fall down before God and renounce their plague [in confession] to the blessed Patriarch, let them understand the reason for this charge, and, as it is written, bring forth the fruits of repentance. So may God the merciful, in abundance of pity, deem us worthy of his blessing, that we may all give thanks to him for the salvation of the penitents, who we have now bidden [to submit themselves] in order that the magistrates too may follow up our action, [thus] reconciling to themselves God who is justly angry with us.
Late Roman pagan lawyers had already applied the Lex Julia to homosexual acts when Christian emperors enacted laws and issued exhortations against homosexuals, four in a two-hundred year period, with the two by Justinian (527-565) being as much concerned with penance as penalty.
Under Roman Emperor Charles V, (A.D. 1539), Lex Carolina (Die peinliche Halsgerichtsordnung) was promulgated:
§116 Punishment of the Unchastity that occurs against Nature.
Moreover, if a human being commits unchastity with an animal, [or] a man with a man, [or] a woman with a woman, they have forfeited life, and, according to the common custom, they shall be banished from life unto death by fire.
History of homosexuality and myths
Myths play a substantial part in the study of the history of homosexuality, which is seen by many among mythological Greek gods (similar Romans gods had Latin names
). Instances and possibilities include
Heracles (or Hercules) and Hylas,
Other gods who to homosexual affairs are attributed include Orpheus ("the first man to love boys"), Boreas (god of the North Wind) and Thamyris.
An notable interesting aspect in regards to the history of homosexuality is that it has been rare in a number of cultures or been absent in some cultures. Dr. Neil Whitehead and Briar Whitehead state regarding various cultures: "If homosexuality were significantly influenced by genes, it would appear in every culture, but in twenty-nine of seventy-nine cultures surveyed by Ford and Beach in 1952, homosexuality was rare or absent."
Modern prevalence and influence
The history of homosexuality in modern times is one which evidences a growth from that which is shameful to mainstream acceptance in the West. This change may be seen as a product of the sexual revolution beginning in the 1960s, which saw widespread rebellion toward moral authority, and against prohibitions against illicit sex in particular. Gay and lesbian rights groups had existed before and grown during that time, but the rebellion which marked that era was distinctly manifested by homosexuals on June 28, 1969 in the Stonewall Riots which occurred in Greenwich Village, injuring police and bystanders. This is seen as marking the beginning of the modern organizing of gay and lesbian groups, and the promotion of what conservatives term the homosexual agenda. Gay Democratic clubs began in every major city, and one fourth of all college campuses had gay and lesbian groups.
The American Psychiatric Association was pressured to removed homosexuality from its official listing of mental disorders, and to treat it as an optional lifestyle. It is contended by some that such changes were due to pressure from the homosexual lobby, which Nicholas Cummings, former president of the APA, states, "is very strong in the APA."
Since Stonewall, the visibility of gays and lesbians has become an increasing aspect of American life, despite the fact that the homosexual lifestyle was the primary cause of the spread of AIDS, which has resulted in the death of over a half million Americans, and many more worldwide.
In addition to the decreased moral influence by Christians or others, and the increase in erotic sensuality overall, many credit effective homosexual public relations strategy for the increasing acceptance of homosexuality.
Instrumental in this strategy were Harvard trained marketing experts and social scientists Marshall Kirk (1957 - 2005) and Hunter Madsen, who advocated avoiding portraying gays as aggressive challengers, but as victims, while making those who opposed them as evil persecutors.
The widespread use of the term homophobia against any who oppose homosexuality has been effective in the latter effort.
Various estimates are given for the percentage of homosexuals (though who sexually desire their same genders over the opposite). The early figure of 10% as based upon a report by Alfred E. Kinsey, though often quoted, is not generally considered accurate by profession researchers, due to serious flaws (and even criminal practices) in his studies.
A more recent national study found that 1.51% of total U.S. population identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Various sources compiled by Thomas E.Schmidt resulted in a figure of 1.8% of the U.S. population being gay or lesbian.
With the promotion of homosexuality in schools and society, these figures are expected to rise.
Consequences of prevalent homosexuality
As with Sodom and its region, (Jude 1:7) widespread fornication and its abominable homosexual form are Biblically seen by traditional Christians as concomitant with “pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness, and selfishness. (Ezek. 16:49,50), and is a preclude to national travail and ultimate destruction, if such prevalence continued.
Historically, societies that have embraced homosexuality have perished, whereas those that have upheld traditional values have endured. For example, ancient Rome's decline and its eventual fall in A.D. 476 were due in no small part to a growing tolerance of homosexual acts beginning in the Late Republic period ending in 27 B.C.
We also see this today, both internationally and nationally. Internationally, those countries that preserve conservative social morality and family values are the leaders in both freedom and prosperity, while those that grant special rights to homosexuals lag in both areas. Nationally, in America's big cities, the "gayborhoods" have the highest rates of crime and other social dysfunctions and the lowest property values, whereas the reverse is true in neighborhoods in which socially conservative Christian churches are prevalent.