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Table of Contents > 2.11 Aelian

2.11: Aelian, Varied History 3.12

Aelian of Praeneste was a Stoic rhetorician active around 200CE. He authored miscellanies that preserve a variety of interesting anecdotes.

Handsome Lacedaemonians are neither effeminate nor arrogant toward lovers, since it is possible to learn from them something completely different than among other ripe adolescents. For they need lovers to "inspire"30 them -- this is the term among the Lacedaemonians, meaning "love." Spartan love knows nothing shameful: whether a young man should dare to suffer outrage or a lover to give it, it would benefit neither to dishonor Sparta by doing so. For they would either have to leave their fatherland or better yet life itself.
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