Amores (Lucian)

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by Unknown
Original title Ἔρωτες
Written 4th Century
Language Ancient Greek

The Erōtes or Amores (Greek: Ἔρωτες; "Loves", or "The two kinds of love") is a Greek dialogue written in the Roman Empire. It is an example of contest literature, comparing the love of women and the love of boys, and concluding that the latter was preferable. The dialogue was transmitted among the works of Lucian. Most modern scholars believe that the style of the dialogue puts into question its authorship. The work is normally cited under the name of Pseudo-Lucian. The Erōtes is also famous for its vivid description of the Cnidian Aphrodite of Praxiteles.

The same subject is treated in the Amatorius of Plutarch and Leucippe and Clitophon by Achilles Tatius, but with the opposite conclusion. In terms of structure, the dialogue may be considered similar to Plato's works, in which Socrates is often in contest with another man.

The title has also been translated as "Affairs of the Heart".


The Amores begins as a dialogue between Lycinus and Theomnestus.

The second dialogue consists of a contest between Callicratidas and Charicles to decide which is the more desirable: the love for boys or the love for women (respectively).


Until 1984 when Michel Foucault examined the text in The History of Sexuality, the Amores was untended by scholars.



  • Judith Mossman, "Heracles, Prometheus, and the play of genres in [Lucian]'s Amores," in Simon Swain, Stephen Harrison and Jas Elsner (eds), Severan culture (Cambridge, CUP, 2007).
  • Jope, James. "Interpretation and authenticity of the Lucianic Erotes" (PDF). Texas Tech University Press. Retrieved 1 December 2015.