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Image Index > Courtship Scenes > Gravestone Showing Youth And Boy As Lovers

A boy, who appears to be 12-13 years old, holds a fighting cock (a typical love gift) and looks up adoringly at the youth who has presented it to him. Grave markers such as this one usually show the deceased with the person or persons who are closest to him or her, normally family members. This is the only known example of a stele showing a pederastic couple. It is unclear whether the deceased is the youth or the boy, but the former seems more likely. The stele stands about 2 meters high, so the figures are life size.

Artist Unknown
Date c. 465 BCE
Museum and Inventory Number Rhodes Archaeological Museum G1640
References and Publications Eriphyle Kaninia, "An early fifth-century BC grave stele from Rhodes," in Ian Jenkins & Geoffrey B. Waywell (eds.), Sculptors and Sculpture of Caria and the Dodecanese (London: British Museum Press, 1997), 144-49 and figs. 259-62
Dr. Kaninia informs me that she is preparing a monograph length publication concerning this stele.
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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