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Image Index > Warrior Pairs > Ithyphallic Warriors Hold Hands

Two ithyphallic male figures hold hands. Both wear helmets, suggesting warrior status, but one is significantly shorter than the other, suggesting initiatory mentorship of a younger partner by the older. Could this represent the kind of pederastic initiation rites attested for Crete by Ephorus (2.16)?

Artist Unknown
Date 7th Century BCE
Museum and Inventory Number Iraklion Archaeological Museum. Photo courtesy of Deutsches Archaologishes Institut, Athens.
References and Publications Andrew Stewart, Art, Desire, and the Body in Ancient Greece (Cambridge 1997) 28-29, 35
Angeliki Lebesis, To Hiero tou Herme kai tes Aphrodites ste Syme Viannou: III, Ta chalkina anthropomorpha Eidolia (Athens 2002) 214-19 and plate 15.
Other Views of Same Object 205
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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