LGBT themes in classical mythology

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Greco-Roman mythology features male same-sex love in many of the constituent myths. These myths have been described as being crucially influential on Western LGBT literature, with the original myths being constantly re-published and re-written, and the relationships and characters serving as icons.[1] In comparison, lesbianism is rarely found in classical myths.[2]

The patron god of intersex and transgender individuals is Dionysus, a god gestated in the thigh of his father Zeus, after his mother died from being overwhelmed by Zeus's true form.[3] Other gods are sometimes considered patrons of homosexual love between males, such as the love goddess Aphrodite and gods in her retinue, such as the Erotes: Eros, Himeros and Pothos.[4][5] Eros is also part of a trinity of gods that played roles in homoerotic relationships, along with Heracles and Hermes, who bestowed qualities of Beauty (and Loyalty), strength, and eloquence, respectively, onto male lovers.[6] In the poetry of Sappho, Aphrodite is identified as the patron of lesbians.[4] Aphroditus was an androgynous Aphrodite from Cyprus, in later mythology became known as Hermaphroditus the son of Hermes and Aphrodite.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pequigney, Joseph (2002). "Classical Mythology". p. 1. Retrieved February 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ Compton, p. 97, "Rome and Greece: Lesbianism"
  3. ^ ">> arts >> Subjects in the Visual Arts: Dionysus". glbtq. 2002-09-19. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  4. ^ a b Conner & Sparks (1998), p. 64, "Aphrodite"
  5. ^ Conner & Sparks (1998), p. 133, "Erotes"
  6. ^ Conner & Sparks (1998), p. 132, "Eros"
  7. ^ a b Pequigney (2002), p.5
  8. ^ Penczak (2003), p. 17
  9. ^ Conon, 33
  10. ^ a b c Pequigney (2002), p.2
  11. ^ Virgil, Aeneid, 391-394
  12. ^ a b c d Pequigney (2002), p.4
  13. ^ a b c Pequigney (2002), p.3
  14. ^ The seduction of the Mediterranean: writing, art, and homosexual fantasy - Page 231 by Robert Aldrich
  15. ^ Madness unchained By Lee Fratantuono; p.139
  16. ^ Classical mythology By Helen Morales; p.93
  17. ^ Aelian, On Animals, 14. 28
  18. ^ Sotades By Herbert Hoffmann, p.16
  19. ^ The Vatican Mythographers By Ronald E. Pepin; p.17
  20. ^ Downing, p.198