When Classicists Need to Speak Up: Antiquity and Present Day Pedophilia

Christian Laes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that one should not necessarily make sharp distinctions between the constructionist and the essentialist view concerning the question of boy love in Antiquity. It is possible to combine both approaches to come to a better understanding of both the past and the present. The author reveals how the practice of pederasty highlights vital ancient concepts about children, which should always be borne in mind when tempting to compare with modern society. This, however, does not mean that Antiquity can unambiguously be used to make a straightforward plea for the acceptance of what we commonly call pedophile relationships. On the other hand, ancient historians should not be restrained from calling attention to ambiguities or inconsistencies in present-day understandings
of childhood and children's sexuality. As such, the study of ancient sexuality forces us to consider whether it is possible to think in another way than we think and to perceive in another way than we are used to perceive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAeternitas Antiquitatis. Proceedings of the Symposium Held in Skopje, August 28 as Part of the 2009 Annual Conference of Euroclassica
EditorsV. Sofronievski
PublisherAssociation of classical philogists
Pages30-59
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)978-9989-2846-2-5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2010
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Conference

ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period21/09/0925/09/09

Bibliographical note

V. Sofronievski

Keywords

  • sexuality antiquity pederasty pedophilia

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