Homosexuality and pedophilia in ancient Greece greatly concerned many researchers who were mainly interested in highlighting the social aspect of this phenomenon in ancient Greek society. An important source on the subject was the paintings of a man and his lover in attic black and red figured pottery, up to the end of the 5th century BC. Another main source was the information that derived from the texts of ancient Greek literature, especially poetry. Homosexuality was not only referring to relationships between males, but it was also manifested in lesbian love. It is believed that in the Homeric world homosexuality was not favored. In Greek society of the archaic period, the restriction of women at home, the satisfaction of sexual needs with courtesans, the marriage for the purpose of maintaining and managing the property, put women aside, marginalizing them in terms of social life, impeding the cultivation of emotional relationships between sexes. At the same time, in the society of those times, the aristocratic ideal, the constant communication of men during military training and the war, the male nudity in sports and the promotion of beauty and bravery in athletic contests, as well as the gatherings and the entertainment of men at the symposia, created a suitable substrate in which male homosexuality could develop. In this context, pedophile relationships were developed mainly during the archaic period, as recorded on vase paintings, where a mature man developed a special relationship with a teenager of the same social class. The mature man had the role of mentor for the juvenile, he would look after him and cover his living expenses and education cost. In this relationship, exhibiting predominantly the social dimension of an initiation process and introduction to adult life, the erotic homosexual intercourse could find a place to flourish. The above-mentioned relationship could not last forever, given that this would later transform into an emotional connection of friendship and trust. Besides, the constant homosexual relationships and male prostitution were considered to be reprehensible behaviors. Regarding the lesbian love, the main example was Sappho and her poems that praised love between women. Nevertheless, the relationship with the girls in the poems is considered to be similar to that Socrates had with his students, an intense personal relationship which would not involve sexual love and could probably be a platonic love. Ancient Greek physicians used their methodological tools in order to interpret homosexuality as a mental disease, but ancient medical dogmas such as the theory of humors, stereopathology and their variations could not offer an explanation for homosexuality.

Key words: Homosexuality, Caelius Aurelianus, Soranus of Ephesus, Aristotle.

K. Laios, M.M. Moschos, E. Koukaki, M.-I. Kontaxaki, G. Androutsos (page 60) - Full article