As Eromenos ( Greek ἐρώμενος , plural ἐρώμενοι eromenoi , "beloved") in ancient Greece (especially in Athens ) one referred to the adolescent partner in a pederastic relationship. The adult partner was referred to as Erastes ( ἐραστής , "lover").
The age at which boys were courted ranged from the onset of puberty to adulthood, i.e. from about 12 to 18 years of age. If the Eromenos showed the external signs of a grown man, the sexually motivated part of the relationship with an Erastes usually ended. The first fluff was not one of these signs; a spiky growth of beard and significant body hair on legs and buttocks were considered to be the hallmarks of adulthood. Within the relationship it was considered improper if the sexual desire, which every Erastes showed to a greater or lesser extent, although a relationship does not necessarily have to have been characterized by practiced homosexuality , was also displayed by Eromenos. Rather, he had the role of the tolerant, who looked up to his Erastes with admiration and appreciation. In order to avert possible shame from himself, the Eromenos should voluntarily engage in the act, but experience it purely passively: "Because the boy - unlike the woman - does not share the delights of love with the man, but rather sees a sober sense of love Intoxicated. "
The leg transport was the most widespread method of realizing the sexual act. Anal intercourse , on the other hand, was reserved for prostitution , frowned upon among men and a reason for ridicule (e.g. in Attic comedy). With women and slaves, however, he was allowed and not disreputable. The reason for the social outlawing of anal intercourse in the Eromenos-Erastes relationship is to be seen in the fact that in Athens a relationship between Erastes and Eromenos could only come about between free citizens, and Eromenos consequently a future free citizen of his polis and as a rule was also a member of his class, especially since such relationships were only cultivated within the upper class. Anal intercourse, on the other hand, was seen as an act of submission, which placed the penetrated person on the social level of women. For a future member of society, from whom one expected to take on tasks in the service of the community, this was unimaginable and undesirable because of the associated loss of social prestige.
Since an Eromenos himself could already be Erastes for an even younger one, there were a significantly larger number of potential Erastai than of coveted boys. The promotion of Eromenos was a prerequisite for the establishment of a relationship. The value of gifts made in the context of advertising was less important than social rank, virtue and education of the applicant, because the Eromenos should be able to benefit from this relationship: education, contacts, offices. An applicant therefore always had to convince the family of the desired person. If this was not the case, Eromenos could refuse to accept the gifts and thus refuse the relationship. If a father wanted to prevent a rapprochement from the outset, he would only let the son leave the house accompanied by slaves. However, if there was an Eromenos-Erastes relationship, it would ideally last a lifetime. However, this ideal was seldom achieved and changing relationships were common. At the same time, the relationship could change to a real friendship among equals, to a hetairos relationship.
- Carola Reinsberg : marriage, hetarianism and boy love in ancient Greece . CH Beck, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5
- Anthologia Palatina 12.41; Anja Hoppe: On the role of the dog in courtship on Attic vase pictures between the 6th and 4th centuries BC Chr. Dissertation Erlangen 2010, p. 16 ( PDF print ).
- Anja Hoppe: On the role of the dog in courtship on Attic vase pictures between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Chr. Dissertation Erlangen 2010, p. 15.
- Socrates in Xenophon , Symposium 8.21.
- Aristophanes , Die Thesmophoriazusen 35.200.201. 206.
- Anette Köster: Drinking and meal communities in archaic and classical Greece. Functions, Mechanisms and Contexts. Dissertation Free University of Berlin 2011, p. 122 f. ( PDF print )
- Plato , Symposium 184a – b.
- Anette Köster: Drinking and meal communities in archaic and classical Greece. Functions, Mechanisms and Contexts. Dissertation Free University of Berlin 2011, p. 122 f.
- Plato, Symposium 183c-d.
- Plato, Symposium 181d.
- Theognis 1151 f.
- Theognis 1314-1316.