Thursday 13 May 2010

The Girls of Sparta

Plutarch records Philip II of Macedonia saying that forms of homosexual love are only found among the most warlike races, including the Spartans. It would hardly be surprising in the Spartan case, considering males had to live together for prolonged periods without female company. But, as always, it is best to treat such generalisations with a degree of caution. Xenophon, one of the best sources on ancient Sparta, specifically denies the existence of widespread homosexuality; and Aristotle noted that the power of women in Sparta was typical of militaristic societies without a strong emphasis on male homosexuality. In addition to this, the first recorded heterosexual love poem was written by a Spartan, expressing his admiration for Spartan girls. And what girls they were!


  1. No room for Arthur Balfour then? Oh my, thou art impish!

  2. Oh, no, not amongst my Spartan girls. :-))

  3. As you know I love 1970s telly. I reckon that there is a subtle reference to Ted Heath's homosexuality in almost everything aired between 1967 and 1975. Some of them are quite good though, Lady 1: "Mr. Heath isn't married".
    Lady 2: "That's because he's a bachelor".
    Lady 1: "Ah, that explains it".

  4. I view homosexuality as a genetic dysfunction that effects a small proportion of society.
    That's why discriminating or baning it is like outlawing blind or handicapped people.
    Mind you some of the girls I pick up from certain nightclubs would be proud to wear the "Spartan" label. And the gears as well, I guess.

  5. Love poems in Sparta seem oxymoronic. Maybe I should read up more on their culture.

  6. Rainer, Spartans like me!

    Coll, there was love all right, tough love, perhaps, but still love. :-)

  7. Nulli se dicit mulier mea nubere malle My woman quam mihi, non si se Iuppiter ipse petat.
    dicit: sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti,
    in vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua.