Athenian pederasty entailed a formal bond between an adult man and an adolescent boy outside his immediate family, consisting of loving and often sexual relations. As an erotic and educational custom it was initially employed by the upper class as a means of teaching the young and conveying to them important cultural values, such as bravery and restraint.
Athenian society generally encouraged the erastes to pursue a boy to love, tolerating up to sleeping on the youth's stoop and otherwise going to great lengths to make himself noticed. At the same time, the boy and his family were expected to put up resistance and not give in too easily, and boys who succumbed too readily were looked down upon. As a result, the quest for a desirable eromenos was fiercely competitive.
Other articles related to "athenian pederasty, athenians":
... him by Thucydides, Pericles exhorts the Athenians to "gaze day after day on the power of the city and become her erastai", interpreted to mean "that ... love the city without calculation, more than life itself." Athenian pederasty is a major theme in the historical novel The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault ...
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