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Image Index > Dionysiac Scenes > Bearded Men Court Each Other

On the left, the god Dionysus, accompanied by a fawn, offers a wine-cup to Icarius, whom he has taught the art of winemaking. In the center, two bearded men touch each others' chins (a typical courtship gesture): the fully naked and slightly shorter man holds a crown (a typical love gift). On the right, another bearded man offers a hare as a gift to his bearded partner. As in other work by this painter, we see evidence of homosexual contact among fully mature men. Are we to understand the relationship of Dionysus and Icarius as a romantic one, in light of the other couples?

Artist The Affecter
Date c. 530 BCE
Museum and Inventory Number London, British Museum B153
References and Publications ABV 243.45.
Other Views of Same Object 129 189 190 191
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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