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Image Index > Age-Equal Adolescent Interactions > 3 Youths With Staffs Compete For 2 Others

Five age-equal youths in a gymnastic setting, as suggested by the hanging sponge and reticule. Although they are equal in age and stature, the possession of staffs appears to mark three of the youths as lovers or potential lovers. The youth in the center is left out and vainly gestures for attention; the others form pairs. On the left, the courted youth remains tightly wrapped in his cloak, as is typical of beloveds, but he looks straight ahead and reciprocates his lover's gaze (Note the inscription above his head, "the boy is beautiful");the courted youth on the right may be holding a bag containing a gift.

Artist Douris
Date c. 485 BCE
Museum and Inventory Number British Museum E52.
References and Publications ARV2 432.59
CVA (British Museum 9) 30-31, D. Buitron-Oliver, Douris: A Master-Painter of Athenian Red-Figure Vases (Mainz 1995) no. 105
T.K. Hubbard, "Pindar, Theoxenus, and the Homoerotic Eye," Arethusa 35 (2000) 273-75.
Other Views of Same Object 50 52
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This website makes available to the public the first two chapters of Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents, edited by Thomas K. Hubbard and published by University of California Press in April 2003. The index also lists the rest of the sourcebook's contents; the book may be ordered at, list price $34.95 paperback. In addition, a file of close to 200 pertinent artistic images is assembled, including those published in the sourcebook and many others. Acknowledgement is made to University of California Press for permission to reproduce this material, as well as to the various museums that have granted permission to use their photographic images. Comments may be directed to Prof. Hubbard at