Open menu


Open menu


Open menu
three pairs of lovers with space



Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-90) was an English explorer, linguist and scholar famous for his dangerous adventures in travel and his ability to speak twenty-nine languages, who undertook the Moslem pilgrimage to Mecca in disguise and explored the African Great Lakes.

His controversial essay “Pederasty” appeared in 1886 as Section D of the “Terminal Essay” appended to the tenth and last volume of his The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, his translation of the mediaeval Arabic classic of this name, which was printed for subscribers only in order to circumvent the obscenity laws against such sexually explicit material. At the time, it was by far the lengthiest description of pederastic practise in any language.  It is important for understanding of it to note the context in which it was published, as one of a series of essays designed to elucidate for English readers of the Nights cultural topics that would have seemed very strange to them.

The copious footnotes here are all Burton’s and a characteristic feature of his scholarship. To avoid confusion with them, it had best be noted here that the term the “Sotadic Zone”, which Burton famously coined in this essay, derived from the 3rd century BC Greek poet Sotades, notable for his satirical pederastic verse.


Burton in Persian disguise as 'Mirza Abdullah the Bushiri', ca. 1849

The 'execrabilis familia pathicorum' first came before me by a chance of earlier life. In 1845, when Sir Charles Napier had conquered and annexed Sind, despite a fraction (mostly venal) which sought favour with the now defunct 'Court of Directors to the Honourable East India Company,' the veteran began to consider his conquest with a curious eye. It was reported to him that Karàchi, a townlet of some two thousand souls and distant not more than a mile from camp, supported no less than three lupanars or bordels, in which not women but boys and eunuchs, the former demanding nearly a double price,[1] lay for hire. Being then the only British officer who could speak Sindi, I was asked indirectly to make enquiries and to report upon the subject; and I undertook the task on express condition that my report should not be forwarded to the Bombay Government, from whom supporters of the Conqueror's policy could expect scant favour, mercy or justice. Accompanied by a Munshi, Mirza Mohammed Hosayn of Shiraz, and habited as a merchant, Mirza Abdullah the Bushiri[2] passed many an evening in the townlet visited all the porneia and obtained the fullest details which were duly despatched to Government House. But the 'Devil's Brother' presently quitted Sind leaving in his office my unfortunate official: this found its way with sundry other reports[3] to Bombay and produced the expected result. A friend in the Secretariat informed me that my summary dismissal from the service had been formally proposed by one of Sir Charles Napier's successors, whose decease compels me parcere sepulto. But this excess of outraged modesty was not allowed.

Subsequent enquiries in many and distant countries enabled me to arrive at the following conclusions:

  1. There exists what I shall call a 'Sotadic Zone,' bounded westwards by the northern shores of the Mediterranean (N. Lat. 43 °) and by the southern (N. Lat. 30°). Thus the depth would be 780 to 800 miles including meridional France, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and Greece, with the coast-regions of Africa from Marocco to Egypt.
  2. Running eastward the Sotadic Zone narrows, embracing Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and Chaldaea, Afghanistan, Sind, the Punjab and Kashmir.
  3. In Indo-China the belt begins to broaden, enfolding China, Japan and Turkistan.
  4. It then embraces the South Sea Islands and the New World where, at the time of its discovery, Sotadic love was, with some exceptions, an established racial institution.
  5. Within the Sotadic Zone the Vice is popular and endemic, held at the worst to be a mere peccadillo, whilst the races to the North and South of the limits here defined practise it only sporadically amid the opprobrium of their fellows who, as a rule, are physically incapable of performing the operation and look upon it with the liveliest disgust.

Before entering into topographical details concerning Pederasty, which I hold to be geographical and climatic, not racial, I must offer a few considerations of its cause and origin. We must not forget that the love of boys has its noble sentimental side. The Platonists and pupils of the Academy, followed by the Sufis or Moslem Gnostics held such affection, pure as ardent, to be the beau idéal which united in man's soul the creature with the Creator. Professing to regard youths as the most cleanly and beautiful objects in this phenomenal world, they declared that by loving and extolling the chef-d'œuvre, corporeal and intellectual, of the Demiurgus, disinterestedly and without any admixture of carnal sensuality, they are paying the most fervent adoration to the Causa causans. They add that such affection, passing as it does the love of women, is far less selfish than fondness for and admiration of the other sex which, however innocent, always suggest sexuality;[4] and Easterns add that the devotion of the moth to the taper is purer and more fervent than the Bulbul's love for the Rose. Amongst the Greeks of the best ages the system of boy-favourites was advocated on considerations of morals and politics. The lover undertook the education of the beloved through precept and example, while the two were conjoined by a tie stricter than the fraternal. Hieronymus the Peripatetic strongly advocated it because the vigorous disposition of youths and the confidence engendered by their association often led to the overthrow of tyrannies. Socrates declared that 'a most valiant army might be composed of boys and their lovers; for that of all men they would be most ashamed to desert one another.' And even Virgil, despite the foul flavour of Formosum pastor Corydon, could write:
Nisus amore pio pueri.

The only physical cause for the practice which suggests itself to me and that must be owned to be purely conjectural, is that within the Sotadic Zone there is a blending of the masculine and feminine temperaments, a crasis which elsewhere occurs only sporadically. Hence the male féminisme whereby the man becomes patiens as well as agens, and the woman a tribade, a votary of mascula Sappho,[5] Queen of Frictrices or Rubbers.[6] Prof. Mantegazza claims to have discovered the cause of this pathological love, this perversion of the erotic sense, one of the marvellous list of amorous vagaries which deserve, not prosecution but the pitiful care of the physician and the study of the psychologist. According to him the nerves of the rectum and the genitalia, in all cases closely connected, are abnormally so in the pathic who obtains, by intromission, the venereal orgasm which is usually sought through the sexual organs. So amongst women there are tribads who can procure no pleasure except by foreign objects introduced a posteriori. Hence his threefold distribution of sodomy; (1) Periphic or anatomical, caused by an unusual distribution of the nerves and their hyperaesthesia; (2) Luxurious, when love a tergo is preferred on account of the narrowness of the passage; and (3) the Psychical. But this is evidently superficial: the question is what causes this neuropathy, this abnormal distribution and condition of the nerves.[7]

As Prince Bismarck finds a moral difference between the male and female races of history, so I suspect a mixed physical temperament effected by the manifold subtle influences massed together in the word climate. Something of the kind is necessary to explain the fact of this pathological love extending over the greater portion of the habitable world, without any apparent connection of race or media, from the polished Greek to the cannibal Tupi of the Brazil. Walt Whitman speaks of the ashen grey faces of onanists: the faded colours, the puffy features and the unwholesome complexion of the professed pederast with his peculiar cachectic expression, indescribable but once seen never forgotten, stamp the breed, and Dr G Adolph is justified in declaring 'Alle Gewohnneits-paederasten erkennen sich einander schnell, oft mit einen Blick.' This has nothing in common with the féminisme which betrays itself in the pathic by womanly gait, regard and gesture: it is a something sui generis; and the same may be said of the colour and look of the young priest who honestly refrains from women and their substitutes. Dr. Tardieu, in his well-known work, 'Etude Medico-légale sur les Attentats aux Mœurs,' and Dr. Adolph note a peculiar infundibuliform disposition of the 'After' and a smoothness and want of folds even before any abuse has taken place, together with special forms of the male organs in confirmed pederasts. But these observations have been rejected by Caspar, Hoffman, Brouardel and Dr. J H. Henry Coutagne (Notes sur la Sodomie, Lyon 1880), and it is a medical questlon whose discussion would here be out of place.

The origin of pederasty is lost in the night of ages; but its historique has been carefully traced by many writers, especially Virey,[8] Rosenbaum[9] and M. H. E. Meier.[10] The ancient Greeks who, like the modern Germans, invented nothing but were great improvers of what other races invented, attributed the formal apostolate of Sotadism to Orpheus, whose stigmata were worn by the Thracian women;

Omnemque refugerat Orpheus
Foemineam venerem; -
Ille etiam Thracum populis fuit auctor, amorem
In teneres transferre mares: citraque juventam
Aetatis breve ver, et primos carpere flores.

Ovid. Met. x. 79-85.

Euripides proposed Laïus father of Oedipus as the inaugurator, whereas Timaeus declared that the fashion of making favourites of boys was introduced into Greece from Crete, for Malthusian reasons said Aristotle (Pol. ii, 10) attributing it to Minos. Herodotus, however, knew far better, having discovered (ii. c. 80) that the Orphic and Bacchic rites were originally Egyptian. But the Father of History was a traveller and an annalist rather than an archaeologist and he tripped in the following passage (i. c. 135), 'As soon as they (the Persians) hear of any luxury, they instantly make it their own, and hence, among other matters, they have learned from the Hellenes a passion for boys' ('unnatural lust' says modest Rawlinson). Plutarch (De Malig. Herod. xiii.)[11] asserts with much more probability that the Persians used eunuch boys according to the Mos Graeciae, long before they had seen the Grecian main.

In the Holy Books of the Hellenes, Homer and Hesiod, dealing with the heroic ages, there is no trace of pederasty, although, in a long subsequent generation, Lucian suspected Achilles and Patroclus as he did Orestes and Pylades, Theseus and Pirithous. Homer's praises of beauty are reserved for the feminines, especially his favourite Helen. But the Dorians of Crete seem to have commended the abuse to Athens and Sparta and subsequently imported it into Tarentum, Agrigentum and other colonies. Ephorus in Strabo (x. 4 § 21) gives a curious account of the violent abduction of beloved boys (parastothentes) by the lover (erastes); of the obligations of the ravisher (philetor) to the favourite (kleinos)[12] and of the 'marriage-ceremonies' which lasted two months. See also Plato Laws i. c. 8. Servius (Ad Aeneid. x. 325) informs us 'De Cretensibus accepimus, quod in amore puerorum intemperantes fuerunt, quod postea in Laconas et in totam Graeciam translatum est.' The Cretans and afterwards their apt pupils the Chalcidians held it disreputable for a beautiful boy to lack a lover. Hence Zeus the national Doric god of Crete loved Ganymede;[13] Apollo, another Dorian deity, loved Hyacinth, and Hercules, a Doric hero who grew to be a sun-god, loved Hylas and a host of others: thus Crete sanctified the practice by the examples of the gods and demigods. But when legislation came, the subject had qualified itself for legal limitation and as such was undertaken by Lycurgus and Solon, according to Xenophon (Lac. ii. 13), who draws a broad distinction between the honest love of boys and dishonest (aïchiostos) lust. They both approved of pure pederastia, like that of Harmodius and Aristogiton; but forbade it with serviles because degrading to a free man. Hence the love of boys was spoken of like that of women (Plato: Phaedrus; Repub. vi. c. 19 and Xenophon, Synop. iv. 10) e.g., 'There was once a boy, or rather a youth, of exceeding beauty and he had very many lovers' - this is the language of Hafiz and Sa'adi. Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were allowed to introduce it upon the stage, for 'many men were as fond of having boys for their favourites as women for their mistresses; and this was a frequent fashion in many well-regulated cities of Greece.' Poets like Alcaeus, Anacreon, Agathon and Pindar affected it and Theognis sang of a 'beautiful boy in the flower of his youth.' The statesmen Aristides and Themistocles quarrelled over Stesileus of Teos; and Pisistratus loved Charmus who first built an altar to Puerile Eros, while Charmus loved Hippias son of Pisistratus. Demosthenes the Orator took into keeping a youth called Cnosion greatly to the indignation of his wife. Xenophon loved Clinias and Autolycus; Aristotle, Hermeas, Theodectes[14] and others; Empedocles, Pausanias; Epicurus, Pytocles; Aristippus, Eutichydes and Zeno with his Stoics had a philosophic disregard for women, affecting only pederastia. A man in Athenaeus (iv. c. 40) left in his will that certain youths he had loved should fight like gladiators at his funeral; and Charicles in Lucian abuses Callicratidas for his love of 'sterile pleasures.' Lastly there was the notable affair of Alcibiades and Socrates, the 'sanctus paederasta"[15]  being violemment soupçonné when under the mantle: - non semper sine plagâ ab eo surrexit. Athanaeus (v. c. 13) declares that Plato represents Socrates as absolutely intoxicated with his passion for Alcibiades.[16] The ancients seem to have held the connection impure, or Juvenal would not have written
          Inter Socraticos notissima fossa cinaedos,
followed by Firmicus (vii. 14) who speaks of 'Socratici paedicones.' It is the modern fashion to doubt the pederasty of the master of Hellenic Sophrosyne, the 'Christian before Christianity;' but such a world-wide term as Socratic love can hardly be explained by the lucus-a-non-lucendo theory. We are overapt to apply our nineteenth century prejudices and prepossessions to the morality of the ancient Greeks who would have specimen'd such squeamishness in Attic salt.

The Spartans, according to Agnon the Academic (confirmed by Plato, Plutarch and Cicero), treated boys and girls in the same way before marriage: hence Juvenal (xi. 173) uses 'Lacedaemonius' for a pathic and other writers apply it to a tribade. After the Peloponnesian War, which ended in 404 B.C., the use became merged in the abuse. Yet some purity must have survived, even amongst the Boeotians who produced the famous Narcissus,[17] described by Ovid (Met. iii. 339):

Multi illum juvenes, multae cupiere puellae;
Nulli illum juvenes, nullae tetigere puellae:[18]

for Epaminondas, whose name is mentioned with three beloveds, established the Holy Regiment composed of mutual lovers, testifying the majesty of Eros and preferring to a discreditable life a glorious death. Philip's reflections on the fatal field of Chaeroneia form their fittest epitaph. At last the Athenians, according to Aeschines, officially punished Sodomy with death; but the threat did not abolish bordels of boys, like those of Karachi; the Porneia and Pornoboskeia, where slaves and pueri venales 'stood,' as the term was, near the Pnyx, the city walls and a certain tower, also about Lycabettus (Aesch. contra Tim.); and paid a fixed tax to the state. The pleasures of society in civilized Greece seem to have been sought chiefly in the heresies of love - Hetairesis[19] and Sotadism.

It is calculated that the French of the sixteenth century had four hundred names for the parts genital and three hundred for their use in coition. The Greek vocabulary is not less copious and some of its pederastic terms, of which Meier gives nearly a hundred, and its nomenclature of pathologic love are curious and picturesque enough to merit auotation.

  • To live the life of Abron (the Argive) i.e. that of a paschon, pathic or passive lover.
  • The Agathonian song.
  • Aischrourgia = dishonest love, also called Akolasia, Akrasia, Arrenokoitia, etc.
  • Alcinoan youths, or 'non-conformists,'
  • In cute curandâ plus aequo operata Juventus.
  • Alegomenos, the 'unspeakable,' as the pederast was termed by the Council of Ancyra: also the Agrios, Apolaustus and Akolastos.
  • Androgyne, of whom Ansonius wrote (Epig. lxviii. 15):
  • Ecce ego sum factus femina de puero.
  • Badas and badizein = clunes torquens: also Batalos = a catamite.
  • Catapygos, Katapygosyne = puerarius and catadactylium from Dactylion, the ring, used in the sense of Nerissa's, but applied to the corollarium puerile.
  • Cinaedus (Kinaidos), the active lover (poion) derived either from his kinetics or quasi kun aidos = dog-modest. Also Spatalocinaedus (lasciviâ fluens) = a fair Ganymede.
  • Chalcidissare (Khalkidizein), from Chalcis in Euboea, a city famed for love a posteriori; mostly applied to le léchement des testicules by children.
  • Clazomenae = the buttocks, also a sotadic disease, so called from the Ionian city devoted to Aversa Venus; also used of a pathic,
  • -et tergo femina pube vir est.
  • Embasicoetas, prop. a link-boy at marriages, also a 'night-cap' drunk before bed and lastly an effeminate; one who perambulavit omnium cubilia (Catullus). See Encolpius' pun upon the Embasicete in Satyricon, cap. iv.
  • Epipedesis, the carnal assault.
  • Geiton lit. 'neighbour' the beloved of Encolpius, which has produced the Fr. Giton = Bardache, Ital. bardascia from the Arab. Baradaj, a captive, a slave; the augm. form is Polygeiton.
  • Hippias (tyranny of) when the patient (woman or boy) mounts the agent. Aristoph. Vesp. 502. So also Kelitizein = peccare superne or equum agitare supernum of Horace.
  • Mokhtheria, depravity with boys.
  • Paidika, whence paedicare (act) and paedicari (pass): so in the Latin poet:
    PEnelopes primam DIdonis prima sequatur,
    Et primam CAni, syllaba prima REmi.
  • Pathikos, Pathicus, a passive, like Malakos (malacus, mollis, facilis), Malchio, Trimalchio (Petronius), Malta, Maltha and in Hor. (Sat. ii. 25)
  • Malthinus tunicis demissis ambulat.
  • Praxis = the malpractice.
  • pygisma = buttockry, because most actives end within the nates, being too much excited for further intromission.
  • Phœnicissare (phoinikizein) = cunnilingere in tempore menstruum, quia hoc vitium in Phoenicia generata solebat (Thes. Erot. Ling. Latinae); also irrumer en miel.
  • Phicidissare, denotat actum per canes commissum quando lambunt cunnos vel testiculos (Suetonius): also applied to pollution of childhood.
  • Samorium flores (Erasmus, Prov. xxiii.) alluding to the androgynic prostitutions of Samos.
  • Siphniassare (siphniazein), from Siphnos, hod. Sifanto Island) = digito podicem fodere ad pruriginem restinguendam, says Erasmus (see Mirabeau's Erotika Biblion, Anoscopie).
  • Thrypsis = the rubbing.

Pederastia had in Greece, I have shown, its noble and ideal side: Rome, however, borrowed her malpractices, like her religion and polity, from those ultra-material Etruscans and debauched with a brazen face. Even under the Republic Plautus (Casin. ii. 21) makes one of his characters exclaim, in the utmost sang-froid, 'Ultro te, amator, apage te a dorso meo!' With increased luxury the evil grew and Livy notices (xxxix. 13), at the Bacchanalia, plura virorum inter sese quam foeminarum stupra. There were individual protests; for instance, S. Q. Fabius Maximus Servilianus (Consul U.C. 612) punished his son for dubia castitas; and a private soldier, C. Plotius, killed his military Tribune, Q. Luscius, for unchaste proposals. The Lex Scantinia (Scatinia?), popularly derived from Scantinius the Tribune and of doubtful date (226 b.c.?), attempted to abate the scandal by fine and the Lex Julia by death; but they were trifling obstacles to the flood of infamy which surged in with the Empire. No class seems then to have disdained these 'sterile pleasures:' l'on n'attachoit point alors à cette espèce d'amour une note d'infamie, comme en pais de chrétienté, says Bayle under 'Anacreon.' The great Caesar, the Cinaedus calvus of Catullus, was the husband of all the wives and the wife of all the husbands in Rome (Suetonius, cap. lii.); and his soldiers sang in his praise "Gallias Caesar subegit, Nicomedes Caesarem" (Suet. cies. xlix.); whence his sobriquet 'Fornix Bithynicus.' Of Augustus the people chanted
          Videsne ut Cinaedus orbem digito temperet?

Tiberius, with his pisciculi and greges exoletorum, invented the Symplegma or nexus of Sellarii, agentes et patientes, in which the spinthriae (lit. women's bracelets) were connected in a chain by the bond of flesh[20] Seneca (Quaest. Nat.): Of this refinement, which in the earlier part of the nineteenth century was renewed by sundry Englishmen at Naples, Ausonius wrote (Epig. cxix. 1),
          Tres uno in lecto: stuprum duo perpetiuntur;

And Martial had said (xii. 43)
          Quo symplegmate quinque cupulentur;
          Qua plures teneantur a catena; etc.

Ausonius recounts of Caligula he so lost patience that he forcibly entered the priest M. Lepidus, before the sacrifice was completed. The beautiful Nero was formally married to Pythagoras (or Doryphoros) and afterwards took to wife Sporus who was first subjected to castration of a peculiar fashion; he was then named Sabina after the deceased spouse and claimed queenly honours. The 'Othonis et Trajani pathici' were famed; the great Hadrian openly loved Antinous and the wild debaucheries of Heliogabalus seem only to have amused, instead of disgusting, the Romans.

Uranopolis allowed public lupanaria where adults and meritorii pueri, who began their career as early as seven years, stood for hire: the inmates of these cauponæ wore sleeved tunics and dalmatics like women. As in modern Egypt pathic boys, we learn from Catullus, haunted the public baths. Debauchees had signals like freemasons whereby they recognized one another. The Greek Skematizein was made by closing the hand to represent the scrotum and raising the middle finger as if to feel whether a hen had eggs, tâter si les poulettes ont l'œuf: hence the Athenians called it Catapygon or sodomite and the Romans digitus impudicus or infamis, the 'medical finger[21]' of Rabelais and the Chiromantists. Another sign was to scratch the head with the minimus - digitulo caput scabere (Juv. ix. 133).[22] The prostitution of boys was first forbidden by Domitian; but Saint Paul, a Greek, had formally expressed his abomination of Le Vice (Rom. i. 26; i. Cor. vi. 8); and we may agree with Grotius (de Verit. ii. c. 13) that early Christianity did much to suppress it. At last the Emperor Theodosius punished it with fire as a profanation, because sacro-sanctum esse debetur hospitium virilis animae.

In the pagan days of imperial Rome her literature makes no difference between boy and girl. Horace naïvely says (Sat. ii. 118):
          Ancilla aut verna est praesto puer;

and with Hamlet, but in a dishonest sense:
          - Man delights me not
          Nor woman neither.

Similarly the Spaniard Martial, who is a mine of such pederastic allusions (xi. 46):
          Sive puer arrisit, sive puella tibi.

That marvellous Satyricon which unites the wit of Molière[23] with the debaucheries of Piron, whilst the writer has been described, like Rabelais, as purissimus in impuritate, is a kind of Triumph of Pederasty. Geiton the hero, a handsome curly-pated hobbledehoy of seventeen, with his câlinerie and wheedling tongue, is courted like one of the sequor sexus: his lovers are inordinately jealous of him and his desertion leaves deep scars upon the heart. But no dialogue between man and wife in extremis could be more pathetic than that in the scene where shipwreck is imminent. Elsewhere everyone seems to attempt his neighbour: a man alte succinctus assails Ascyltos; Lycus, the Tarentine skipper, would force Encolpius and so forth: yet we have the neat and finished touch (cap. vii.): - 'The lamentation was very fine (the dying man having manumitted his slaves) albeit his wife wept not as though she loved him. How were it had he not behaved to her so well?'

Erotic Latin glossaries[24] give some ninety words connected with Pederasty and some, which 'speak with Roman simplicity,' are peculiarly expressive. 'Aversa Venus' alludes to women being treated as boys: hence Martial, translated by Piron, addresses Mistress Martial (x. 44):
          Teque puta, cunnos, uxor, habere duos.

The capillatus or comatus is also called calamistratus, the darling curled with crisping-irons; and he is an Effeminatus i.e. qui muliebria patitur; or a Delicatus, slave or eunuch for the use of the Draucus, Puerarius (boy-lover) or Dominus (Mart. xi. 71). The Divisor is so called from his practice Hillas dividere or caedere, something like Martial's cacare mentulam or Juvenal's Hesternae occurrere caenae. Facere vicibus (Juv. vii. 238), incestare se invicem or mutuum facere (Plaut. Trin. ii. 437), is described as 'a puerile vice,' in which the two take turns to be active and passive: they are also called Gemelli and Fratres = compares in paedicatione. Illicita libido is = praepostera seu postica Venus, and is expressed by the picturesque phrase indicare (seu incurvare) aliquem. Depilatus, divellere pilos, glaber, laevis and nates pervellere are allusions to the Sotadic toilette. The fine distinction between demittere and dejicere caput are worthy of a glossary, while Pathica puella, puera, putus, pullipremo, pusio, pygiaca sacra, quadrupes, scarabaeus and smerdalius explain themselves.

From Rome the practice extended far and wide to her colonies especially the Provincia now called Provence. Athenaeus (xii. 26) charges the people of Massilia with 'acting like women out of luxury'; and he cites the saying 'May you sail to Massilia!' as if it were another Corinth. Indeed the whole Keltic race is charged with Le Vice by Aristotle (Pol. ii. 66), Strabo. (iv. 199) and Diodorus Siculus (v. 32). Roman civilization carried pederasty also to Northern Africa, where it took firm root, while the negro and negroid races to the South ignore the erotic perversion, except where imported by foreigners into such kingdoms as Bornu and Haussa. In old Mauritania, now Morocco,[25] the Moors proper are notable sodomites; Moslems, even of saintly houses, are permitted openly to keep catamites, nor do their disciples think worse of their sanctity for such license: in one case the English wife failed to banish from the home 'that horrid boy'.

The visiting Angels threatened in The Sodomites by James Tissot

Yet pederasty is torbidden by the Koran. In chapter iv. 20 we read; 'And if two (men) among you commit the crime, then punish them both,' the penalty being some hurt or damage by public reproach, insult or scourging. There are four distinct references to Lot and the Sodomites in chapters vii. 78; xi 77-84; xxvi. 160-174 and xxix. 28-35. In the first the prophet commissioned to the people says, 'Proceed ye to a fulsome act wherein no creature hath foregone ye? Verily ye come to men in lieu of women lustfully.' We have then an account of the rain which made an end of the wicked and this judgement on the Cities of the Plain is repeated with more detail in the second reference. Here the angels, generally supposed to be three, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, appeared to Lot as beautiful youths, a sore temptation to the sinners and the godly man's arm was straitened concerning his visitors because he felt unable to protect them from the erotic vagaries of his fellow townsmen. He therefore shut his doors and from behind them argued the matter: presently the riotous assembly attempted to climb the wall when Gabriel, seeing the distress of his host, smote them on the face with one of his wings and blinded them so that all moved off crying for aid and saying that Lot had magicians in his house. Hereupon the 'cities' which, if they ever existed, must have been Fellah villages, were uplifted: Gabriel thrust his wing under them and raised them so high that the inhabitants of the lower heaven (the lunar sphere) could hear the dogs barking and the cocks crowing. Then came the rain of stones: these were clay pellets baked in hell-fire, streaked white and red, or having some mark to distinguish them from the ordinary and each bearing the name of its destination like the missiles which destroyed the host of Abrahat al-Ashram.[26] Lastly the 'Cities' were turned upside down and cast upon earth. These circumstantial unfacts are repeated at full length in the other two chapters; but rather as an instance of Allah's power than as a warning against pederasty, which Mohammed seems to have regarded with philosophic indifference. The general opinion of his followers is that it should be punished like fornication unless the offenders made a public act of penitence. But here, as in adultery, the law is somewhat too clement and will not convict unless four credible witnesses swear to have seen rem in re. I have noticed (vol. i. 211) the vicious opinion that the Ghilman or Wuldan, the beautiful boys of Paradise, the counterparts of the Houris, will be lawful catamites to the True Believers in a future state of happiness: the idea is nowhere countenanced in Al-Islam; and, although I have often heard debauchees refer to it, the learned look upon the assertion as scandalous.

As in Morocco so the Vice prevails throughout the old regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli and all the cities of the South Mediterranean seaboard, whilst it is unknown to the Nubians, the Berbers and the wilder tribes dwelling inland. Proceeding Eastward we reach Egypt, that classical region of all abominations which, marvellous to relate, flourished in closest contact with men leading the purest of lives, models of moderation and morality, of religion and virtue. Amongst the ancient Copts Le Vice was part and portion of the Ritual and was represented by two male partridges alternately copulating (Interp. in Priapi Carm. xvii). The evil would have gained strength by the invasion of Cambyses (524 B.C.), whose armies, after the victory over Psammenitus, settled in the Nile-Valley, and held it, despite sundry revolts, for some hundred and ninety years. During these six generations the Iranians left their mark upon Lower Egypt and especially, as the late Rogers Bey proved, upon the Fayyum the most ancient Delta of the Nile.[27] Nor would the evil be diminished by the Hellenes who, under Alexander the Great, 'liberator and saviour of Egypt' (332 B.C.), extinguished the native dynasties: the love of the Macedonian for Bagoas the Eunuch being a matter of history. From that time and under the rule of the Ptolemies the morality gradually decayed; the Canopic orgies extended into private life and the debauchery of the men was equalled only by the depravity of the women. Neither Christianity nor Al-Islam could effect a change for the better; and social morality seems to have been at its worst during the past century when Sonnini travelled (A.D. 1717). The French officer, who is thoroughly trustworthy, draws the darkest picture of the widely-spread criminality especially of the bestiality and the sodomy (chapt. xv.) which formed the 'delight of the Egyptians.' During the Napoleonic conquest Jaubert in his letter to General Bruix (p. 19) says, 'Les Arabes et les Mamelouks ont traité quelques-uns de nos prisonniers comme Socrate traitait, dit-on, Alcibiade. Il fallait périr ou y passer.' Old Anglo-Egyptians still chuckle over the tale of Sa'id Pasha and M. de Ruyssenaer, the highdried and highly respectable Consul-General for the Netherlands, who was solemnly advised to make the experiment, active and passive, before offering his opinion upon the subject. In the present age extensive intercourse with Europeans has produced not a reformation but a certain reticence amongst the upper classes: they are as vicious as ever, but they do not care for displaying their vices to the eyes of mocking strangers.

Syria and Palestine, another ancient focus of abomlnations, borrowed from Egypt and exaggerated the worship of Androgynic and hermaphroditic deities. Plutarch (De Iside) notes that the old Nilotes held the moon to be of 'male-female sex,' the men sacrificing to Luna and the women to Lunus.[28] Isis also was a hermaphrodite, the idea being that Aether or Air (the lower heavens) was the menstruum of generative nature; and Damascius explained the tenet by the all-fruitful and prolific powers of the atmosphere. Hence the fragment attributed to Orpheus, the song of Jupiter (Air) –
          All things from Jove descend
          Jove was a male,
          Jove was a deathless bride;
          For men call Air, of two-fold sex, the Jove.

Julius Firmicus relates that 'The Assyrians and part of the Africans' (along the Mediterranean seaboard?) 'hold Air to be the chief element and adore its fanciful figure (imaginata figura), consecrated under the name of Juno or the Virgin Venus.... Their companies of priests cannot duly serve her unless they effeminate their faces, smooth their skins and disgrace their masculine sex by feminine ornaments. You may see men in their very temples amid general groans enduring miserable dalliance and becoming passives like women (viros muliebria pati) and they expose, with boasting and ostentation, the pollution of the impure and immodest body.' Here we find the religious significance of eunuchry. It was practised as a religious rite by the Tympanotribas or Gallus,[29] the castrated votary of Rhea or Bona Mater, in Phrygia called Cybele, self-mutilated but not in memory of Atys; and by a host of other creeds: even Christianity, as sundry texts show,[30] could not altogether cast out the old possession. Hence too we have an explanation of sotadic love in its second stage, when it became, like cannibalism, a matter of superstition. Assuming a nature-implanted tendency, we see that like human sacrlfice it was held to be the most acceptable offering to the God-goddess in the Orgia or sacred ceremonies, a something set apart for peculiar worship. Hence in Rome as in Egypt the temples of Isis (Inachidos llmina, Isiacae sacraria Lunae) were centres of sodomy and the rellgious practice was adopted by the grand priestly castes from Mesopotamia to Mexico and Peru.

                The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by Jules Laurens

We find the earliest written notices of the Vice in the mythical destruction of the Pentapolis (Gen. xix.), Sodom, Gomorrah ( = 'Amirah, the cultivated country), Adama, Zeboïm and Zoar or Bela. The legend has been amply embroidered by the Rabbis who make the Sodomites do everything à l'envers: e.g. if a man were wounded he was fined for bloodshed and was compelled to fee the offender; and if one cut off the ear of a neighbour's ass he was condemned to keep the animal till the ear grew again. The Jewish doctors declare the people to have been a race of sharpers with rogues for magistrates, and thus they justify the Judgement which they read literally. But the traveller cannot accept it. I have carefully examined the lands at the North and at the South of that most beautiful lake, the so-called Dead Sea, whose tranquil loveliness, backed by the grand plateau of Moab, is an object of admiration to all save patients suffering from the strange disease 'Holy Land on the Brain.[31] But I found no traces of craters in the neighbourhood, no signs of vulcanism, no remains of 'meteoric stones': the asphalt which named the water is a mineralized vegetable washed out of the limestones, and the sulphur and salt are brought down by the Jordan into a lake without issue. I must therefore look upon the history as a myth which may have served a double purpose. The first would be to deter the Jew from the Malthusian practices of his pagan predecessors, upon whom obloquy was thus cast, so far resembling the scandalous and absurd legend which explained the names of the children of Lot by Pheiné and Thamma as Moab' (Mu-ab) the water or semen of the father, and 'Ammon' as mother's son, that is, bastard. The fable would also account for the abnormal fissure containing the lower Jordan and the Dead Sea, which the late Sir R. I. Murchison used wrong-headedly to call a Volcano of Depression': this geological feature, that cuts off the river-basin from its natural outlet the Gulf of Eloth (Akabah), must date from myriads of years before there were 'Cities of the Plains.' But the main object of the ancient lawgiver, Osarsiph, Moses or the Moseidae, was doubtless to discountenance a perversion prejudicial to the increase of population. And he speaks wlth no uncertaln voice, whooso lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death (Exod. xxii. 19): If a man lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (Levit. xx. 13; where vv 15-16 threaten with death man and woman who lie with beasts). Again, There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel (Deut. xxii. 5).

The old commentators on the Sodom-myth are most unsatisfactory e.g. Parkhurst, s.v. Kadesh. 'From hence we may observe the peculiar propriety of this punishment of Sodom and of the neighbouring cities. By their sodomitical impurities they meant to acknowledge the Heavens as the cause of fruitfulness independently upon, and in opposition to Jehovah;[32] therefore Jehovah, by raining upon them not genial showers but brimstone from heaven, not only destroyed the inhabitants, but also changed all that country, which was before as the garden of God, into brimstone and salt that is not sown nor beareth, neither any grass groweth therein.' It must be owned that to this Pentapolis was dealt very hard measure for religiously and diligently practising a popular rite which a host of cities even in the present day, as Naples and Shiraz, to mention no others, affect for simple luxury and affect with impunity. The myth may probably reduce itself to very small proportions, a few Fellah villages destroyed by a storm, like that which drove Brennus from Delphi.

The Hebrews entering Syria found it religionized by Assyria and Babylonia, whence Accadian Ishtar had passed west and had become Ashtoreth, Ashtaroth or Ashirah,[33] the Anaitis of Armenia, the Phoenician Astarte and the Greek Aphrodite, the great Moon-goddess,[34] who is queen of Heaven and Love. In another phase she was Venus Mylitta = the Procreatrix, in thaldaic Mauludata and in Arabic Moawallidah, she who bringeth forth. She was worshipped by men habited as women and vice versâ; for which reason in the Torah (Deut. xx. 5) the sexes are forbidden to change dress. The male prostitutes were called Kadesh the holy, the women being Kadeshahs, and doubtless gave themselves up to great excesses. Eusebius (De bit. Const. iii. c. 55) describes a school of impurity at Aphac, where women and 'men whû were not men' practised all manner of abominations in honour of the Demon (Venus). Here the Phrygian symbolism of Kybele and Attis (Atys) had become the Syrian Ba'al Tammuz and Astarte, and the Grecian Dionaea and Adonis, the anthropomorphic forms of the two greater lights. The site, Apheca, now Wady al-Afik on the route from Bayrut to the Cedars, is a glen of wild and wondrous beauty, fitting frame-work for the loves of goddess and demigod: and the ruins of the temple destroyed by Constantine contrast with Nature's work, the glorious fountain, splendidior vitro, which feeds the River Ibrahim and still at times Adonis runs purple to the sea.[35]

The Phoenicians spread this androgynic worship over Greece. We find the consecrated servants and votaries of Corinthian Aphrodite called Hierodouli (Strabo viii. 6), who aided the ten thousand courtesans in gracing the Venus-temple: from this excessive luxury arose the proverb popularized by Horace. One of the headquarters of the cult was Cyprus where, as Servius relates (Ad Aen. ii. 632), stood the simulacre of a bearded Aphrodite with feminine body and costume, sceptered and mitred like a man. The sexes when worshipping it exchanged habits and here the virginity was offered in sacrifice: Herodotus (i. c. 199) describes this defloration at Babylon but sees only the shameful part of the custom which was a mere consecration of a tribal rite. Everywhere girls before marriage belong either to the father or to the clan and thus the maiden paid the debt due to the public before becoming private property as a wife. The same usage prevailed in ancient Armenia and in parts of Ethiopia; and Herodotus tells us that a practice very much like the Babylonian 'is found also in certain parts of the Island of Cyprus:' it is noticed by Justin (xviii. c. 5) and probably it explains the 'Succoth Benoth' or Damsels' booths which the Babylonians transplanted to the cities of Samaria.[36] The Jews seem very successfully to have copied the abominations of their pagan neighbours, even in the matter of the 'dog.'[37] In the reign of wicked Rehoboam (975 B.C.) 'There were also sodomites in the land and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel' (1 Kings xiv. 20). The scandal was abated by zealous King Asa (958 B.C.) whose grandmother[38] was high-priestess of Priapus (princeps in sacris Priapi): he 'tookawaythe sodomites out of the land' (1 Kings xv. 12). Yet the prophets were loud in their complaints, especially the so-called Isaiah (760 B.C.), 'except the Lord of Hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom' (i. 9); and strong measures were required from good King Josiah (641 B.C.) who amongst other things, 'brake down the houses of the sodomites that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove' (2 Kings xxiii. 7). The bordels of boys (pueris alienis adhaeseverunt) appear to have been near the Temple.

Syria has not forgotten her old 'praxis.' At Damascus I found some noteworthy cases amongst the religious of the great Amawi Mosque. As for the Druses we have Burckhardt's authority (Travels in Syria, etc., p. 202) 'unnatural propensities are very common amongst them.'

The Sotadic Zone covers the whole of Asia Minor and Mesopotamia now occupied by the 'unspeakable Turk,' a race of born pederasts; and in the former region we first notice a peculiarity of the feminine figure, the mammae inclinatae, jacentes et pannosae, which prevails over all this part of the belt. Whilst the women to the North and South have, with local exceptions, the mammae stantes of the European virgin,[39] those of Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan and Kashmir lose all the fine curves of the bosom, sometimes even before the first child; and after it the hemispheres take the form of bags. This cannot result from climate only; the women of Maratha-land, inhabiting a damper and hotter region than Kashmir, are noted for fine firm breasts even after parturition. Le Vice of course prevails more in the cities and towns of Asiatic Turkey than in the villages; yet even these are infected; while the nomad Turcomans contrast badly in this point with the Gypsies, those- Badawin of India. The Kurd population is of Iranian origin, which` means that the evil is deeply rooted: I have noted in The Nights that the great and glorious Saladin was a habitual pederast. The Armenians, as their national character is, will prostitute themselves for gain but prefer women to boys: Georgia supplied Turkey with catamites whilst Circassia sent concubines. In Mesopotamia the barbarous invader has almost obliterated the ancient civilization which is antedated only by the Nilotic: the mysteries of old Babylon nowhere survive save in certain obscure tribes like the Mandaeans, the Devil-worshippers and the Ali-ilahi. Entering Persia we find the reverse of Armenia; and, despite Herodotus, I believe that Iran borrowed her pathologic love from the peoples of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley and not from the then insignificant Greeks. But whatever may be its origin, the corruption is now bred in the bone. It begins in boyhood and many Persians account for it by paternal severity. Youths arrived at puberty find none of the facilities with which Europe supplies fornication. Onanism[40] is to a certain extent discouraged by circumcision, and meddling with the father's slave-girls and concubines would be risking cruel punishment if not death. Hence they use each other by turns, a 'puerile practice' known as Alish-Takish, the Lat. facere vicibus or mutuum facere Temperament, media, and atavism recommend the custom to the general; and after marrying and begetting heirs, Paterfamilias returns to the Ganymede. Hence all the odes of Hafiz are addressed to youths as proved by such Arabic exclamations as 'Afaka 'llah = Allah assain thee (masculine)[41]: the object is often fanciful but it would be held coarse and immodest to address an imaginary girl.[42] An illustration of the penchant is told at Shiraz concerning a certain Mujtahid, the head of the Shi'ah creed, corresponding with a prince-archbishop in Europe. A friend once said to him, 'There is a question I would fain address to your Eminence but I lack the daring to do so.' 'Ask and fear not,' replied the Divine. 'It is this, O Mujtahid! Figure thee in a garden of roses and hyacinths with the evening breeze waving the cypress-heads, a fair youth of twenty sitting by thy side and the assurance of perfect privacy. What, prithee, would be the result?' The holy man bowed the chin of doubt upon the collar of meditation; and, too honest to lie presently whispered, 'Allah defend me from such temptation of Satan!' Yet even in Persia men have not been wanting who have done their utmost to uproot the Vice: in the same Shiraz they speak of a father who, finding his son in flagrant delict, put him to death like Brutus or Lynch of Galway. Such isolated cases, however, can effect nothmg. Chardin tells us that houses of male prostitution were common in Persia whilst those of women were unknown: the same is the case in the present day and the boys are prepared with extreme care by diet, baths, depilation, unguents and a host of artists in cosmetics.[43] Le Vice is looked upon at most as a peccadillo and its mention crops up in every jest-book. When the Isfahan man mocked Shaykh Sa'adi, by comparing the bald pates of Shirazian elders to the bottom of a lota, a brass cup with a wide-necked opening used in the Hammam, the witty poet turned its aperture upwards and thereto likened the well-abused podex of an Isfahani youth. Another favourite piece of Shirazian 'chaff' is to declare that when an Isfahan father would set up his son in business he provides him with a pound of rice, meaning that he can sell the result as compost for the kitchen-garden, and with the price buy another meal: hence the saying Khakh-i-pai kahu = the soil at the lettuce-root. The Isfahanis retort with the name of a station or halting-place between the two cities where, under pretence of making travellers stow away their riding-gear, many a Shirazi had been raped: hence 'Zin o takaltu tu bi-bar' = carry within saddle and saddle-cloth! A favourite Persian punishment for strangers caught in the Harem or Gynaeceum is to strip and throw them and expose them to the embraces of the grooms and negro slaves. I once asked a Shirazi how penetration was possible if the patient resisted with all the force of the sphincter muscle: he smiled and said, 'Ah, we Persians know a trick to get over that; we apply a sharpened tent-peg to the crupper-bone (os coccygis) and knock till he opens.' A well-known missionary to the East during the last generation was subjected to this gross insult by one of the Persian Prince-governors, whom he had infuriated by his conversion-mania: in his memoirs he alludes to it by mentioning his 'dishonoured person;' but English readers cannot comprehend the full significance of the confession. About the same time Skaykh Nasr, Governor of Bushire, a man famed for facetious blackguardism, used to invite European youngsters serving in the Bombay Marine and ply them with liquor till they were insensible. Next morning the middies mostly complained that the champagne had caused a curious irritation and soreness in la parte-poste. The same Eastern 'Scrogin' would ask his guests if they had ever seen a mancannon (Adami-top); and, on their replying in the negative, a greybeard slave was dragged in blaspheming and struggling with all his strength. He was presently placed on all fours and firmly held by the extremities; his bag-trousers were let down and a dozen peppercorns were inserted ano suo: the target was a sheet of paper held at a reasonable distance; the match was applied by a pinch of cayenne in the nostrils; the sneeze started the grapeshot and the number of hits on the butt decided the bets. We can hardly wonder at the loose conduct of Persian women perpetually mortified by marital pederasty. During the unhappy campaign of 1856-7 in which, with the exception of a few brilliant skirmishes, we gained no glory, Sir James Outram and the Bombay army showing how badly they could work, there was a formal outburst of the Harems; and even women of princely birth could not be kept out of the officers' quarters.

The cities of Afghanistan and Sind are thoroughly saturated with Persian vice, and the people sing
          Kadr-i-kus Aughan danad, kadr-i-kunra Kabuli:
          The worth of coynte the Afghan knows: Cabul prefers the other chose![44]

The Afghans are commercial travellers on a large scale and each caravan is accompanied by a number of boys and lads almost in woman's attire with kohl'd eyes and rouged cheeks, long tresses and henna'd fingers and toes, riding luxuriously in Kajawas or camel-panniers: they are called Kuch-i safari, or travelling wives, and the husbands trudge patiently by their sides. In Afghanistan also a frantic debauchery broke out amongst the women when they found incubi who were not pederasts; and the scandal was not the most insignificant cause of the general rising at Cabul (Nov. 1841), and the slaughter of Macnaghten, Burnes and other British officers.

Resuming our way Eastward we find the Sikhs and the Moslems of the Panjab much addicted to Le Vice, although the Himalayan tribes to the north and those lying south, the Rajputs and Marathas, ignore it. The same may be said of the Kashmirians who add another Kappa to the tria Kakista, Kappadocians, Kretans, and Kilicians: the proverb says,
          Agar kaht-i-mardum uftad, az in sih jins kam giri;
          Eki Afghan, dowum Sindi,[45] siyyum badjins-i-Kashmiri:
          Though of men there be famine yet shun these three
          Afghan, Sindi and rascally Kashmiri.

Louis Daville describes the infamies of lajore and Lakhanu where he found men dressed as women, with flowing locks under crowns of flowers, imitating the feminine walk and gestures, voice and fashion of speech, and ogling their admirers with all the coquetry of bayadères. Victor Jacquemont's Journal de Voyage describes the pederasty of Ranjit Singh, the 'Lion of the Panjab,' and his pathic Gulab Singh whom the English inflicted upon Cashmir as ruler by way of paying for his treason. Yet the Hindus, I repeat, hold pederasty in abhorrence and are as much scandalized by being called Gand-mara (anus-beater) or Gandu (anuser) as Englishmen would be. During the years 1843-4 my regiment, almost all Hindu Sepoys of the Bombay Presidency, was stationed at a purgatory called Bandar Gharra,[46] a sandy flat with a scatter of verdigris-green milk-bush some forty miles north of Karachi the headquarters. The dirty heap of mud-and-mat hovels, which represented the adjacent native village, could not supply a single woman; yet only one case of pederasty came to light and that after a tragical fashion some years afterwards. A young Brahman had connection with a soldier comrade of low caste and this had continued till, in an unhappy hour, the Pariah patient ventured to become the agent. The latter, in Arab Al-Fa'il = the 'doer,' is not an object of contempt like Al-Maful = the 'done'; and the high-caste sepoy, stung by remorse and revenge, loaded his musket and deliberately shot his paramour. He was hanged by court martial at Hyderabad and, when his last wishes were asked he begged in vain to be suspended by the feet; the idea being that his soul, polluted by exiting 'below the waist,' would be doomed to endless transmigrations through the lowest forms of life.

Beyond India, I have stated, the Sotadic Zone begins to broaden out embracing all China, Turkistan and Japan. The Chinese, as far as we know them in the great cities, are omnivorous and omnifutuentes: they are the chosen people of debauchery and their systematic bestiality with ducks, goats, and other animals is equalled only by their pederasty. Kaempfer and Orlof Torée (Voyage en Chine) notice the public houses for boys and youths in China and Japan. Mirabeau (L'Anandryne) describes the tribadism of their women in hammocks. When Pekin was plundered the Harems contained a number of balls a little larger than the old musket-bullet, made of thin silver with a loose pellet of brass inside somewhat like a grelot:[47] these articles were placed bythe women between the labia and an up-and-down movement on the bed gave a pleasant titlllation when nothing better was to be procured. They have every artifice of luxury, aphrodisiacs, erotic perfumes and singular applications. Such are the pills which, dissolved in water and applied to the glans penis;cause it to throb and swelli: so according to Amerigo Vespucci Amerlcan women could artificially increase the size of their husbands' parts.[48] The Chinese bracelet of caoutchouc studded with points now takes the place of the Herisson, or Annulus hirsutus,[49] which was bound between the glans and prepuce. Of the penis succedaneus, that imitation of the Arbor vitae or Soter Kosmou, which the Latins called phallus and fascinum,[50] the French godemiché and the Italians passatempo and diletto (whence our 'dildo'), every kind abounds varying from a stuffed 'French letter' to a cone of ribbed horn which looks like an instrument of torture. For the use of men they have the 'merkin,'[51] a heart-shaped article of thin skin stuffed with cotton and slit with an artificial vagina: two tapes at the top and one below lash it to the back of a chair. The erotic literature of the Chinese and Japanese is highly developed and their illustrations are often facetious as well as obscene. All are familiar with that of the strong man who by a blow with his enormous phallus shivers a copper pot; and the ludicrous contrast of the huge-membered wights who land in the Isle of Women and presently escape from it, wrinkled and shrivelled, true Domine Dolittles. Of Turkistan we know little, but what we know confirms my statement. Mr. Schuyler in his Turkistan (i. 132) offers an illustration of a 'Batchah' (Pers. bachcheh = catamite), 'or singing-boy surrounded by his admirers.' Of the Tartars Master Purchas laconically says (v 419), 'They are addicted to Sodomie or Buggerie.' The learned casuist Dr. Thomas Sanchez the Spaniard had (says Mirabeau in Kadhésch) to decide a difficult question concerning the sinfulness of a peculiar erotic perversion. The Jesuits brought home from Manilla a tailed man whose moveable prolongation of the os coccygis measured from 7 to 10 inches he had placed himself between two women, enjoying one naturally while the other used his tail as a penis succedaneus. The verdict was incomplete sodomy and simple fornication. For the islands north of Japan, the 'Sodomitical Sea,' and the 'nayle of tynne' thrust through the prepuce to prevent sodomy, see Lib. ii. chap. 4 of Master Thomas Caudishe's Circumnavigation and vol. Vi of Oinckerton's Geography translated by Walckenaere.

Passing over to America we find that the Sotadic Zone contains the whole hemisphere from Behring's Straits to Magellan's. This prevalence of 'mollities' astonishes the anthropologist, who is apt to consider pederasty the growth of luxury and the especial product of great and civilized cities, unnecessary and therefore unknown to simple savâgery where the births of both sexes are about equal and female infanticide is not practised. In many parts of the New World this perversion was accompanied by another depravity of taste - confirmed cannibalism.[52] The forests and campos abounded in game from the deer to the pheasant-like penelope, and the seas and rivers produced an unfailing supply of excellent fish and shell-fish;[53] yet the Brazilian Tupis preferred the meat of man to every other food.

Burton in the Illustrated London News, 22 Jan. 1887

A glance at Mr. Bancrofts[54] proves the abnormal development of sodomy amongst the savages and barbarians of the New World. Even his half-frozen Hyperboreans 'possess all the passions which are supposed to develop most freely under a milder temperature' (i. 58). 'The voluptuousness and polygamy of the North American Indians, under a temperature of almost perpetual winter is far greater than that of the most sensual tropical nations' (Martin's Brit. Colonies iii. 524). I can quote only a few of the most remarkable instances. Of the Koniagas of Kadiak Island and the Thinkleets we read (i. 81-82), 'The most repugnant of all their practices is that of male concubinage. A Kadiak mother will select her handsomest and most promising boy, and dress and rear him as a girl, teaching him only domestic duties, keeping him at women's work, associating him with women and girls, in order to render his effeminacy complete. Arriving at the age of ten or fifteen years, he is married to some wealthy man who regards such a companion as â great acquisition These male concubines are called Achnutschik or Schopans' (the authorities quo ed being Holmberg, Langsdorff, Billing, Choris, Lisiansky and Marchand). The same is the case in Nutka Sound and the Aleutian Islands, where 'male concubinage obtains throughout, but not to the same extent as amongst the Koniagas.' The objects of 'unnatural' affection have their beards carefully plucked ouc as soon as the face-hair begins to grow, and their chins are tattooed like those of the women. In California the first missionaries found the same practice, the youths being called Joya (Bancroft, i. 415 and authorities Palon, Crespi, Boscana, Motras, Torquemada, Duflot and Fages). The Comanches unite incest with sodomy (i. 515). 'In New Mexico according to Arlegui, Ribas, and other authors, male concubinage prevails to a great extent, these loathsome semblances of humanity, whom to call beastly were a slander upon beasts, dress themselves in the clothes and perform the functions of women, the use of weapons being denied them' (i. 585). Pederasty was systematically practised by the peoples of Cueba, Careta, and other parts of Central America. The Caciques and some of the headmen kept harems of youths who, as soon as destined for the unclean office, were dressed as women. They went by the name of Camayoas, and were hated and detested by the goodwives (i. 773-4) Of the Nahua nations Father Pierre de Gand (alias de Musa) writes; 'Un certain nombre de prêtres n'avaient point de femmes, sed eorum loco pueros quibus abutebantur. Ce péché était si commun dans ce pays que, Jeunes ou vieux, tous étaient infectés; ils y étaient si adonnés que mêmes les enfants de six ans s'y livraient' (Ternaux-Campans, Voyages, Série i. Tom. x. p. 197). Among the Mayas of Yucatan Las Casas declares that the great prevalence of 'unnatural' lust made parents anxious to see their progeny wedded as soon as possible (Kingsborough's Mex. Ant. viii. 135). In Vera Paz a god, called by some Chin and by others Cavial and Maran, taught it by committing the act with another god. Some fathers gave their sons a boy to use as a woman, and if any other approached this pathic he was treated as an adulterer. In Yucatan images were found by Bernal Diaz proving the sodomitical propensities of the people (Bancroft v. 198). De Pauw (Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains, London, 1771) has much to say about the subject in Mexico generally: in the northern provinces men married youths who, dressed like women, were forbidden to carry arms. According to Gomara there were at Tamalipas houses of male prostitution; and from Diaz and others we gather that the pecado nefando was the rule Both in Mexico and in Peru it might have caused, if it did not justify, the cruelties of the Conquistadores. Pederasty was also general throughout Nicaragua, and the early explorers found it amongst the indigenes of Panama.

We have authentic details concerning Le Vice in Peru and its adJacent lands, beginning with Cieza de Leon, who must be read in the original or in the translated extracts of Purchas (vol. v. 942, etc.), not in the cruelly castrated form preferred by the Council of the Hakluyt Society. Speaking of the New Granada Indians he tells us that 'at Old Port (Porto Viejo) and Puna, the Deuill so farre prevayled in their beastly Deuotions that there were Boyes consecrated to serue in the Temple; and at the times of their Sacrifices and Solemne Feasts, the Lords and principall men abused them to that detestable filthinesse;' i e. performed their peculiar worshlp. (generally in the nlll-countrles the Devil, under the show of holiness, had introduced the practice; for every temple or chief house of adoration kept one or two men or more which were attired like women, even from the time of their childhood, and spake like them, imitating them in everything; with these, under pretext of holiness and religion, their principal men on principal days had commerce. Speaking of the arrival of the Giants[55] at Point Santa Elena, Cieza says (chap. Iii.), they were detested by the natives, because in using their women they killed them, and their men also in another way. All the natives declare that God brought upon them a punishment proportioned to the enormity of their offence. When they were engaged together in their accursed intercourse, a fearful and terrible fire came down from Heaven with a great noise, out of the midst of which there issued a shining Angel with a glittering sword, wherewith at one blow they were all killed and the fire consumed them.[56] There remained a few bones and skulls which God allowed to bide unconsumed by the fire, as a memorial of this punishment. In the Hakluyt Society's bowdlerization we read of the Tumbez Islanders being 'very vicious, many of them committing the abominable offence' (p. 24); also, 'If by the advice of the Devil any Indian commit the abominable crime, it is thought little of and they call him a woman.' In chapters lii. and lviii. we find exceptions. The Indians of Huancabamba, 'although so near the peoples of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil, do not commit the abominable sin;' and the Serranos, or island mountaineers, as sorcerers and magicians inferior to the coast peoples, were not so much addicted to sodomy.

The Royal Commentaries of the Yncas shows that the evil was of a comparatively modern growth. In the early period of Peruvian history the people considered the crime 'unspeakable:' if a Cuzco Indian, not of Yncarial blood, angrily addressed the term pederast to another, he was held infamous for many days. One of the generals having reported to the Ynca Ccapacc Yupanqui that there were some sodomites, not in all the valleys, but one here and one there, 'nor was it a habit of all the inhabitants but only of certain persons who practised it privately,' the ruler ordered that the criminals should be publicly burnt alive and their houses, crops and trees destroyed: moreover, to show his abomination, he commanded that the whole village should so be treated if one man fell into this habit (Lib. iii. cap. 13). Elsewhere we learn, 'There were sodomites in some provinces, though not openly nor universally, but some particular men and in secret. In some parts they had them in their templesa because the Devil persuaded them that the Gods took great delight in such people, and thus the Devil acted as a traitor to remove the veil of shame that the Gentiles felt for this crime and to accustom them to commit it in public and in common.'

During the times of the Conquistadores male concubinage had become the rule throughout Peru. At Cuzco, we are told by Nuno de Guzman in 1530, 'The last which was taken, and which fought most couragiously, was a man in the habite of a woman, which confessed that from a childe he had gotten his liuing by that filthinesse, for which I caused him to be burned.' V. F. Lopez[57] draws a frightful picture of pathologic love in Peru. Under the reigns which followed that of IntiKapak (Ccapacc) Amauri, the country was attacked by invaders of a giant race coming from the sea: they practised pederasty after a fashion so shameless that the conquered tribes were compelled to fly (p. 271). Under the pre-Yncarial Amauta, or priestly dynasty, Peru had lapsed into savagery and the kings of Cuzco preserved only the name. 'Toutes ces hontes et toutes ces misères provenaient de deux vices infâmes, la bestialité et la sodomie. Les femmes surtout étaient offensées de voir la nature frustrée de tous ses droits. Elles pleuraient ensemble en leurs réunions sur le misérable état dans lequel elles étaient tombées, sur le mépris avec lequel elles étaient traitées.... Le monde était renversé, les hommes s'aimaient et étaient jaloux les uns des autres.... Elles cherchaient, mais en vain, les moyens de remédier au mal; elles employaient des herbes et des recettes diaboliques qui leur ramenaient bien quelques individus, mais ne pouvaient arrêter les progrès incessants du vice. Cet état de choses constitua un véritable moyen age, qui dura jusqu'à l'établissement du gouvernement des Incas' (p. 277).

When Sinchi Roko (the xcvth of Montesinos and the xcist of Garcilazo) became Ynca, he found morals at the lowest ebb. 'Ni la prudence de l'Inca, ni les lois sévères qu'il avait promulguées n'avaient pu extirper entièrement le péché contre nature. Il reprit avec une nouvelle violence, et les femmes en furent si jalouses qu'un grand nombre d'elles tuèrent leurs maris. Les devins et les sorciers passaient leurs journées à fabriquer, avec certaines herbes, des compositions magiques qui rendaient fous ceux qui en mangaient, et les femmes en faisaient prendre, soit dans les aliments, soit dans la chicha, à ceux dont elles étaient jalouses' (p. 291).

I have remarked that the Tupi races of the Brazil were infamous for cannibalism and sodomy; nor could the latter be only racial as proved by the fact that colonists of pure Lusitanian blood followed in the path of the savages. Sr. Antonio Augusto da Costa Aguiars[58] is out-spoken upon this point. 'A crime which in England leads to the gallows, and which is the very measure of abject depravity, passes with impunity amongst us by the participating in it of almost all or of many (de quasi todos, ou de muitos). Ah! if the wrath of Heaven were to fall by way of punishing such crimes (delictos), more than one city of this Empire, more than a dozen, would pass into the category of the Sodoms and Gomorrahs (p- 30)- Till late years pederasty in the Brazil was looked upon as a peccadillo; the European immigrants following the practice of the wild men who were naked but not, as Columbus said, 'clothed in innocence'. One of Her Majesty's Consuls used to tell a tale of the hilarity provoked in a 'fashionable' assembly by the open declaration of a young gentleman that his mulatto-'patient' had suddenly turned upon him, insisting upon becoming agent. Now, however, under the influences of improved education and respect for the public opinion of Europe, pathologic love amongst the Luso-Brazilians has been reduced to the normal limits.

Outside the Sotadic Zone, I have said, Le Vice is sporadic, not endemic: yet the physical and moral effect of great cities where puberty, they say, is induced earlier than in country sites, has been the same in most lands, causing modesty to decay and pederasty to flourish. The Badawi Arab is wholly pure of Le Vice; yet San'a the capital of Al-Yaman and other centres of population have long been and still are thoroughly infected. History tells us of Zu Shanatir, tyrant of 'Arabia Felix,' in 478, A.D. who used to entice young men into his palace and cause them after use to be cast out of the windows: this unkindly ruler was at last poinarded by the youth Zerash, known from his long ringlets as 'Zu Nowas.' The negro race is mostly untainted by sodomy and tribadism. Yet Joan dos Sanctos[59] found in Cacongo of West Africa certain 'Chibudi, which are men attyred like women and behaue them selves womanly, ashamed to be called men; are also married to men, and esteem that vnnaturale damnation an honor.' Madagascar also delighted in dancing and singing boys dressed as girls. In the Empire of Dahomey I noted a corps of prostitutes kept for the use of the Amazon-soldieresses .

North of the Sotadic Zone we find local but notable instances. Master Christopher Burrough[60] describes on the western side of the Volga 'a very fine stone castle, called by the name Oueak, and adioyning to the same a Towne called by the Russes, Sodom, . . . which was swallowed into the earth by the iustice of God, for the wickednesse of the people' Again: although as a rule Christianity has steadily opposed pathologic love both in writing and preaching, there have been remark able exceptions. Perhaps the most curious idea was that of certain medical writers in the middle ages: 'Usus et amplexus pueri, bene temperatus, salutaris medicina' (Tardieu). Bayle notices (under 'Vayer') the infamous book of Giovanni della Casa, Archbishop of Benevento 'De laudibus Sodomiae,'[61] vulgarly known as 'Capitolo del Forno.' The same writer refers (under 'Sixte iv') to the report that the Dominican Order, which systematically decried Le Vice, had presented a request to the Cardinal di Santa Lucia that sodomy might be lawful during three months per annum, June to August; and that the Cardinal had underwritten the petition 'Be it done as they demand.' HencetheFaeda Venus of Battista Mantovano. Bayle rejects the history for a curious reason, venery being colder in summer than in winter, and quotes the proverb 'Aux mois qui n'ont pas d' R, peu embrasser et bien boire. ' But in the case of a celibate priesthood such scandals are inevitable. Witness the famous Jesuit epitaph Ci-gît un Jésuite, etc.

In our modern capitals, London, Berlin and Paris for instance, the Vice seems subject to periodical outbreaks. For many years, also, England sent her pederasts to Italy, and especially to Naples whence originated the term 'Il vizio Inglese.' It would be invidious to detail the scandals which of late years have startled the public in London and Dublin: for these the curious will consult the police reports. Berlin, despite her strong flavour of Phariseeism, Puritanism and Chauvinism in religion, manners and morals, is not a whit better than her neighbours. Dr. Gaspar,[62], a well-known authority on the subject, adduces many interesting cases especially an old Count Cajus and his six accomplices. Amongst his many correspondents one suggested to him that not only Plato and Julius Caesar but also Winckelmann and Platen (?) belonged to the Society; and he had found it flourishing in Palermo, the Louvre, the Scottish Highlands and St. Petersburg, to name only a few places. Frederick the Great is said to have addressed these words to his nephew, 'Je puis votls assurer, par mon expérience personelle, que ce plaisir est peu agréable à cultiver.' This suggests the popular anecdote of Voltaire and the Englishman who agreed upon an 'experience' and found it far from satisfactory. A few days afterwards the latter informed the Sage of Ferney that he had tried it again and provoked the exclamation, 'Once a philosopher: twice a sodomite!' The last revival of the kind in Germany is a society at Frankfort and its neighbourhood, self-styled Les Cravates Noires in opposition, I suppose, to Les Cravates Blanches of A. Belot.

Paris is by no means more depraved than Berlin and London; but, whilst the latter hushes up the scandal, Frenchmen do not: hence we see a more copious account of it submitted to the public. For France of the xviith century consult the Histoire de la Prostitution chez tous les Peuples du Monde, and La France devenue Italienne, a treatise which generally follows L'Histoire Amoureuse des Gaules by Bussy, Comte de Rabutin.[63] The headquarters of male prostitution were then in the Champ Flory, i.e., Champ de Flore, the privileged rendezvous of low courtesans In the xviiith century, 'quand le Français à tête folle,' as Voltaire sings, invented the term 'Péché philosophique,' there was a temporary recrudescence; and, after the death of Pidauzet de Mairobert (March, 1779), his Apologie de la Secte Anandryne was published in L'Espion Anglais. In those days the Allée des Veuves in the Champs Elysées had a 'fief reservé des Ebugors'[64]- 'veuve' in the language of Sodom being the maîtresse en titre, the favourite youth.

At the decisive moment of monarchical decomposition Mirabeau[65] declares that pederasty was reglementée and adds, 'Le goût des pédérastes, quoique moins en vogue que du temps de Henri III. (the French Heliogabalus), sous le règne desquel les hommes se provoquaient mutuellement[66] sous les portiques du Louvre, fait des progrès considérables. On sait que cette ville (Paris) est un chef-d'œuvre de police; en conséquence, il y a des lieux publics autorisés a cet effet. Les jeunes gens qui se destinent à la profession, sont soigneusement enclassés; car les systèmes réglementaires s'étendent jusques-là. On les examine; ceux qui peuvent être agents et patients, qui sont beaux, vermeils, bien faits, potelés, sont réservés pour les grands seigneurs, ou se font payer très cher par les évêques et les financiers. Ceux qui sont privés de leurs testicules, ou en termes de l'art (car notre langue est plus chaste qui nos mœurs), qui n'ont pas le poids du tisserand, mais qui donnent et reçoivent, forment la seconde classe; ils sont encore chers, parceque lesfemmes en usent tandis qu'ils servent aux hommes. Ceux qui ne sont plus susceptibles d'érection tant ils sont usés, quoiqu'ils aient tous ces organes nécessaires au plaisir, s'inscrivent comme patiens purs, et composent la troisieme classe: mais celle qui préside à ces plaisirs, vérifie leur impuissance. Pour cet effet, on les place tout nus sur un matelas ouvert par la moitié inférieure; deux filles les caressent de leur mieux, pendant qu'une troisième frappe doucement avec des orties naissantes le siège des désirs vénériens. Après un quart d'heure de cet essai, on leur introduit dans l'anus un poivre long rouge qui cause une irritation considérable; on pose sur les échauboulures produites par les orties, de la moutarde fine de Caudebec, et l'on passe le gland au camphre. Ceux qui résistent à ces épreuves et ne donnent aucun signe d'érection, servent comme patiens à un tiers de paie seulement'.[67]

The Restoration and the Empire made the police more vigilant in matters of politics than of morals. The favourite club, which had its mot de passe, was in the Rue Doyenne, old quarter St. Thomas des Louvre; and the house was a hôtel of the xviith century. Two street-doors, on the right for the male gynaeceum and the left for the female, opened at 4 p.m. in winter and 8 p.m. in summer. A decoy-lad, charmingly dressed in women's clothes, with big haunches and small waist, promenaded out side; and this continued till 1826 when the police put down the house.

Under Louis Philippe, the conquest of Algiers had evil results, according to the Marquis de Boissy. He complained without ambages of mœurs Arabes in French regiments, and declared that the result of the African wars was an éffrayable débordement pédérastique, even as the vérole resulted from the Italian campaigns of that age of passion, the xvith century. From the military the fléau spread to civilian society and the Vice took such expansion and intensity that it may be said to have been democratized in cities and large towns; at least so we gather from the Dossier des Agissements des Pédérastes. A general gathering of 'La Sainte Congrégation des glorieux Pédérastes' was held in the old Petite Rue des Marais where, after the theatre, many resorted under pretext of making water. They ranged themselves along the walls of a vast garden and exposed their podices: bourgeois, richards and nobles came with full purses, touched the part which most attracted them and were duly followed by it. At the Allée des Veuves the crowd was dangerous from 7 to 8 p.m.: no policeman or ronde de nuit dared venture in it; cords were stretched from tree to tree and armed guards drove away strangers amongst whom, they say, was once Victor Hugo. This nuisance was at length suppressed by the municipal administration.

The Empire did not improve morals. Balls of sodomites were held at No. 8 Place de la Madeleine where, on Jan. 2, '64, some one hundred and fifty men met, all so well dressed as women that even the landlord did not recognize them. There was also a club for sotadic debauchery called the Cent Gardes and the Dragons de l'Impératrice.[68] They copied the imperial toilette and kept it in the general wardrobe: hence 'faire Impératrice) meant to be used carnally. The site, a splendid hotel in the Allée des Veuves, was discovered by the Procureur-Général who registered all the names; but, as these belonged to not a few senators and dignitaries) the Emperor wisely quashed proceedings. The club was broken up on July 16, '64. During the same year La Petite Revue, edited by M. Loredan Larchy, son of the General, printed an article, 'Les échappés de Sodome': it discusses the letter of M. Castagnary to the Progrès de Lyons and declares that the Vice had been adopted by plusieurs corps de troupes. For its latest developments as regards the chantage of the tantes (pathics), the reader will consult the last issues of Dr. Tardieu's well-known Etudes.[69] He declares that the servant-class is most infected; and that the Vice is commonest between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five.

The frontispiece of the first volume of Burton's The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, 1885

The pederasty of The Nights may briefly be distributed into three categories. The first is the funny form, as the unseemly practical joke of masterful Queen Budur (vol. iii. 300-306) and the not less hardi jest of the slave-princess Zumurrud (vol. iv. 226). The second is in the grimmest and most earnest phase of the perversion, for instance where Abu Nowas[70] debauches the three youths (vol. v. 64-69); whilst in the third form it is wisely and learnedly discussed, to be severely blamed, by the Shaykhah or Reverend Woman (vol. v. 154).

To conclude this part of my subject, the éclaircissement des obscénités. Many readers will regret the absence from The Nights of that modesty which distinguishes Amadis de Gaul; whose author when leaving a man and a maid together says, 'And nothing shall be here related; for these and suchlike things which are conformable neither to good conscience nor nature, man ought in reason lightly to pass over, holding them in slight esteem as they deserve.' Nor have we less respect for Palmerin of England who after a risqué scene declares, 'Herein is no offence offered to the wise by wanton speeches, or encouragement to the loose by lascivious matter.' But these are not oriental ideas and we must e'en take the Eastern as we find him. He still holds 'Naturalia non sunt turpia,' together with 'Mundis omnia munda'; and, as Bacon assures us the mixture of a lie doth add to pleasure, so the Arab enjoys the startling and lively contrast of extreme virtue and horrible vice placed in juxtaposition.

Those who have read through these ten volumes will agree with me that the proportion of offensive matter bears a very small ratio to the mass of the work. In an age saturated with cant and hypocrisy, here and there a venal pen will mourn over the 'Pornography' of The Nights, dwell upon the 'Ethics of Dirt' and the 'Garbage of the Brothel'; and will lament the 'wanton dissemination (!) of ancient and filthy fiction.' This self-constituted Censor morum reads Aristophanes and Plato, Horace and Virgil, perhaps even Martial and Petronius, because 'veiled in the decent obscurity of a learned language;' he allows men Latinè loqui; but he is scandalized at stumbling-blocks much less important in plain English. To be consistent he must begin by bowdlerizing not only the classics, with which boys' and youths' minds and memories are soaked and saturated at schools and colleges, but also Boccaccio and Chaucer, Shakespeare and Rabelais; Burton, Sterne, Swift and a long list of works which are yearly reprinted and republished without a word of protest. Lastly, why does not this inconsistent puritan purge the Old Testament of its allusions to human ordure and the pudenda; to carnal copulation and impudent whoredom, to adultery and fornication, to onanism, sodomz, and bestiality? But this he will not do, the whited sepulchre! To the interested critic of the Edinburgh Review (No. 335 of July, 1886), I return my warmest thanks for his direct and deliberate falsehoods: - lies are one-legged and short-lived, and venom evaporates.[71] It appears to me that when I show to such men, so 'respectable and so impure, a landscape of magnificent prospects whose vistas are adorned with every charm of nature and art, they point their unclean noses at a little heap of muck here and there lying in a field-corner.


[1] This detail especially excited the veteran's curiosity. The reason proved to be that the scrotum of the unmutilated boy could be used as a kind of bridle for directing the movements of the animal. I find nothing of the kind mentioned in the Sotadical literature of Greece and Rome, although the same cause might be expected everywhere to have the same effect. But in Mirabeau (Kadhésch) a grand seigneur moderne, when his valet-de-chambre de confiance proposes to provide him with women instead of boys, exclaims, 'Des femmes! eh! c'est comme si tu me servais un gigot sans manche.' See also infra for 'Le poids du tisserand.'

[2] See Falconry in the Valley of the Indus, London, John Van Voorst, 1852.

[3] Submitted to Government on Dec. 31, '47 and March 2, '48, they were printed in Selections from the Records of the Government of India. Bombay, New Series, No. xvii, Part 2, 1855. These are (1) Notes on the Population of Sind, etc., and (2) Brief Notes on the Modes of Intoxication, etc., written in collaboration with my late friend Assistant-Surgeon John E. Stocks, whose early death was a sore loss to scientific botany.

[4] Glycon the Courtesan in Athen. xiii. 84 declares that 'boys are handsome only when they resemble women;' and so the Leamed Lady in The Nights (vol. v, 160) declares 'Boys are likened to girls because folks say, Yonder boy is like a girl.' For the superior physical beauty of the human male compared with the female, see The Nights, vol. iv. 15; and the boy's voice before it breaks excels that of any diva.

[5] 'Mascula,' from the priapiscus, the over-development of clitoris (the veretrum muliebre, in Arabic Abu Tartur, habens cristam) which enabled her to play the man. Sappho (nat. 612 B.C.) has been retoillée like Mary Stuart, La Brinvilliers, Marie Antoinette and a host of feminine names which have a savour not of sanctity. Maximus of Tyre (Dissert. xxiv.) declares that the Eros of Sappho was Socratic and that Gyrinna and Atthis were as Alcibiades and Chermides to Socrates: Ovid, who could consult documents now lost, takes the same view in the Letter of Sappho to Phaon and in Tristia ii. 265
--- Lesbia quid docuit Sappho nisi amare puellas?
Suidas supports Ovid. Longinus eulogises the
erotike mania (a term applied only to carnal love) of the far-famed Ode to Atthis
---Ille mî par esse Deo videtur . . .
---Heureux! qui près de toi pour toi seule soupire
---(Blest as th' immortal gods is he, etc )
By its love symptoms, suggesting that possession is the sole cure for passion Erasistratus discovered the love of Antiochus for Stratonice. Mure (
Hist. of Greek Literature, 1850) speaks of the Ode to Aphrodite (Frag. 1) as 'one in which the whole volume of Greek literature offers the most powerful concentration into one brilliant focus of the modes in which amatory concupiscence can display itself.' But Bernhardy, Bode, Richter, K. O. Muller and esp. Welcker have made Sappho a model of purity, much like some of our dull wits who have converted Shakespeare, that most debauched genius, into a good British bourgeois.

[6] The Arabic Sahhákah, the Tractatrix of Subigitatrix, who has been noticed in vol. iv. 134. Hence to Lesbianise (lesbizein) and tribassare (tríbesthai) the former applied to the love of woman for woman and the latter to its mécanique: this is either natural, as friction of the labia and insertion of the clitoris when unusually developed; or artificial by means of the fascinum, the artificial penis (the Persian 'Mayájang'); the patte de chat, the banana-fruit and a multitude of other succedanea. As this feminine perversion is only glanced at in The Nights I need hardly enlarge upon the subject.

[7] Plato (Symp.) is probably mystical when he accounts for such passions by there being in the beginning three species of humanity, men, women and men-women or androgynes. When the latter were destroyed by Zeus for rebellion, the two others were individually divided into equal parts. Hence each division seeks its other half in the same sex; the primitive man prefers men and the primitive woman women. C'est beau, but - is it true? The idea was probably derived from Egypt which supplied the Hebrews with androgynic humanity and thence it passed to extreme India, where Shiva as Ardhanarl was male on one side and female on the other side of the body, combining paternal and maternal qualities and functions. The first creation of humans (Gen. i. 27) was hermaphrodite (= Hermes and Venus) masculum et foeminam creavit eos -- male and female created He them - on the sixth day, with the command to increase and multiply (ibid. v. 28) while Eve the woman was created subsequently. Meanwhile, say certain Talmudists, Adam carnally copulated with all races of animals. See L'Anandryne in Mirabeau's Erotika Biblion, where Antoinette Bourgnon laments the undoubling which disfigured the work of God, producing monsters incapable of independent self-reproduction like the vegetable kingdom.

[8] De la Femme, Paris, 1827

[9] Die Lustseuche des Alterthum's, Halle, 1839.

[10] See his exhaustive article on (Grecian) 'Paederastie' in the Allgemeine Encyclopaedie of Ersch and Gruber, Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1837. He carefully traces it through the several states, Dorians, Aeolians, Ionians, the Attic cities and those of Asia Minor. For these details I must refer my readers to M. Meier; a full account of these would fill a volume not the section of an essay.

[11] Against which see Henri Estienne, Apologie pour Hérodote, a society satire of xvith century, lately reprinted by Liseux

[12] In Sparta the lover was called eispnylas or eïopnylas and the beloved as in Thessaly aïtas or aïtes.

[13] The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himselfi Zeus, who became Jupiter, was an ancient king, according to the Cretans, who were entitled liars because they showed his burial-place. From a deified ancestor he would become a local god, like the Hebrew Jehovah as opposed to Chemosh of Moab; the name would gain amplitude by long time and distant travel and the old island chieftain would end in becoming the Demiurgus. Ganymede (who possibly gave rise to the old Lat. 'Catamitus') was probably some fair Phrygian boy ('son of Tros') who in process of time became a symbol of the wise man seized by the eagle (perspicacity) to be raised amongst the Immortals; and the chaste myth simply signified that only the prudent are loved by the gods. But it rotted with age as do all things human. For the Pederastia of the Gods see Bayle under Chrysippe.

[14] See Dissertation sur les idées morales des Grecs et sur les danger de lire Platon. Par M. Audé, Bibliophile, Rouen, Lemonnyer, 1879. This is the pseudonym of the late Octave Delepierre, who published with Gay, but not the Editio Princeps - which, if I remember rightly, contains much more matter.

[15] The phrase of J. Matthias Gesner, Comm. Reg. Soc. Gottingen i. 1-32. It was founded upon Erasmus' 'Sancte Socrate, ora pro nobis,' and the article was translated by M. Alcide Bonmaire, Paris, Liseux, 1877.

[16] The subject has employed many a pen, e.g. Alcibiade Fanciullo a Scola, D. P. A. (supposed to be Pietro Aretino - ad captandum?), Oranges, par Juann VVart, 1652: small square 8vo. of pp. 102, including 3 preliminary pp. and at end an unpaged leaf with 4 sonnets, almost Venetian, by V. M. There is a re-impression of the same date, a small 12mo. of longer format, pp. 124 with pp. 2 for sonnets: in 1862 the Imprimerie Raçon printed 102 copies in 8vo. of pp. iv.-108, and in 1863 it was condemned by the police as a liber spurcissimus atque execrandus de criminis sodomici laude et arte. This work produced Alcibiade Enfant à l'école, traduit pour la première fois de l'Italien de Ferrante Pallavicini, Amsterdam, chez l'Ancien Pierre Marteau, mdccclxvi. Pallavicini (nat. 1618), who wrote against Rome, was beheaded, aet. 26(March 5, 1644) at Avignon in 1644 by the vengeance of the Barberini: he was a bel esprit déréglé, nourri d'études antiques and a Memb. of the Acad. Degl' Incogniti. His peculiarities are shown by his Opere Scelte, 2 vols. 12mo, Villafranca, mdclxiii.; these do not include Alcibiade Fanciullo, a dialogue between Philotimus and Alcibiades which seems to be a mere skit at the Jesuits and their Péché philosophique. Then came the Dissertation sur l'Alcibiade fanciullo a scola traduit de l'Italien de Giambattista Baseggio et accompagnée de notes et d'une post-face par un bibliophile français (M. Gustave Brunet, Librarian of Bordeaux), Paris. J. Gay, 1861 - an octavo of pp. 78 (paged), 254 copies. The same Baseggio printed in 1850 his Disquisizioni (23 copies) and claims for F. Pallavicini the authorship of Alcibiades which the Manuel du Libraire wrongly attributes to M. Girol. Adda in 1859. I have heard of but not seen the Amator fornaceaus, amator ineptus (Palladi, 1633) supposed by some to be the origin of Alcibiade Fanciullo: but most critics consider ita poor and insipid prodcution.

[17] The word is from narke, numbness, torpor, narcotism: the flowers, being loved by the infernal gods, were offered to the Furies. Narcissus and Hippolytus are often assumed as types of morosa voluptas, masturbation and clitorisation for nymphomania: certain mediaeval writers found in the former a type of the Saviour; and Mirabeau a representation of the androgynous or first Adam: to me Narcissus suggests the Hindu Vishnu absorbed in the contemplation of his own perfections.

[18] The verse of Ovid is parallel'd by the song of Al-Zahir al-Jazari (Ibn Khall. iii. 720).
          Illum impuberem amaverunt mares; puberem feminae.
          Gloria Deo! nunquam amatoribus carebit.

[19] The venerable society of prostitutes contained three chief classes. The first and lowest were the Dicteriads, so called from Diete (Crete) who imitated Pasiphaë, wife of Minos, in preferring a bull to a husband; above them was the middle class, the Aleutridae who were the Almahs or professional musicians and the aristocracy was represented by the Hetairai, whose wit and learning enabled them to adorn more than one page of Grecian history. The grave Solon, who had studied in Egypt, established a vast Dicterion (Philemon in his Delphica), or bordel, whose proceeds swelled the revenue of the Republic.

[20] This and Saint Paul (Romans i. 27) suggested to Caravaggio his picture of St Rosario (in the museum of the Grand Duke of Tuscany), showing a circle of thlrty men turpiter ligati.

[21] Properly speaking 'Medicus' is the third or ring-finger, as shown by t e o d Chiromantlst verses:
          Est pollex Veneris; sed Jupiter indice gaudet
          Saturnus medium; Sol medicumque tenet.

[22] So Seneca uses digito scalpit caput. The modern Italian does the same by inserting the thumb-tip between the index and medius to suggest the clitoris.

[23] What can be wittier than the now trite 'Tale of the Ephesian Matron', whose dry humour is worthy of The Nights? No wonder that it has made the grand tour of the world. It is found in the neo-Phaedrus, the tales of Musaeus and in the Septem Sapientes as the 'Widow which was comforted'. As the 'Fabliau de la Femme qui se fist putain sur la fosse de son Mari,' it tempted Brantôme and La Fontaine; and Abel Rémusat shows in his Contes Chinois that it is well known to the Middle Kingdom. Mr. Walter K. Kelly remarks that the most singular place for such a tale is the Rule and Exercise of Holy Dying by Jeremy Taylor, who introduces it into his chapt. v - 'Of the Contingencies of Death and Treating our Dead.' But in those days divines were not mealy-mouthed.

[24] Glossarium eroticum linguae Latinae, sive theogoniae, legum et morum nuptialium apud Romanos explanatio nova, auctore P. P. (Parisiis, Dondey-Dupré, 1826, in 8vo). P. P. is supposed to be Chevalier Pierre Pierrugues, an engineer who made a plan of Bordeaux and who annotated the Erotica Biblion. Gay writes, 'On s'est servi pour cet ouvrage des travaux inédits de M. Ie Baron de Schonen, etc. Quant au Chevalier Pierre Pierrugues, qu'on désignait comme l'auteur de ce savant volume, son existence n'est pas bien avérée, et quelques bibliographes persistent à penser que ce nom cache la collaboration du Baron de Schonen et d'Éloi Johanneau.' Other glossicists as Blondeau and Forberg have been printed by Liseux, Paris.

[25] This magnificent country which the petty jealousies of Europe condemn, like the glorious regions about Constantinople, to mere barbarism, is tenanted by three Moslem races. The Berbers, who call themselves Tamazight (plur. of Amazigh), are the Gaetulian indigenes speaking an Africo-Semitic tongue (see Essai de Grammaire Kabyle, etc. par A. Hanoteau, Paris Benjarnin Duprat). The Arabs, descended from the conquerors in our eighth century, are mostly nomads and camel-breeders. Third and last are the Moors proper, the race dwelling in towns, a mixed breed originally Arabian but modified by SiX centuries of Spanish residence and showing by thickness of feature and a parchment-coloured skin, resembling the American Octaroon's a negro innervation of old date. The latter are well described in Morocco and the Moors, etc. (Sampson Low and Co., 1876), by my late friend Dr. Arthur Leared, whose work I should like to see reprinted.

[26] Thus somewhat agreeing with one of the multitudinous modern theories that the Pentapolis was destroyed by discharges of meteoric stones during a tremendoues thunderstorm. Possible,. but where are the stones?

[27] To this Iranian domination I attribute the use of many Persic words which are not yet obsolete in Eygpt. 'Bakhshish,' for instance, is not intelligible in the Moslem regions west of the Nile-Valley and for a present the Moors say Hadiyah, regalo or favor.

[28] Arnobius and Tertullian, with the arrogance of their caste and its miserable ignorance of that symbolism which often concealed from vulgar eyes the most precious mysteries, used to taunt the heathen for praying to deities whose sex they ignored: 'Consuistis in precibus "Seu tu Deus seu tu Dea," dicere!' These men would know everything- they made God the merest work of man's brains and armed him with a despotism of omnipotence which rendered their creation truly dreadful.

[29] Gallus lit.=a cock, in pornologic parlance is a capon, a castrato.

[30] The texts justifying or conjoining castration are Matt. xviii. 8-9 Mark ix. 43-47, Luke xxiii. 29 and Col. iii. 5. St. Paul preached (I Corin. vii. 29) that a man should live with his wife as if he had none. The Abelian heretics of Africa abstained from women because Abel died virginal. Origen mutilated himself after interpreting too rigorously Matth. xix. 12, and was duly excommunicated But his disciple, the Arab Valerius founded (A.D. 250) the castrated sect called Valerians who, persecuted and dispersed by the Emperors Constantine and Justinian, became the spiritual fathers of the modern Skopzis. These eunuchs first appeared in Russia at the end of the xith century, when two Greeks, John and Jephrem, were metropolitans of Kiew: the former was brought thither in 1089 A.D. by Princess Anna Wassewolodowna and is called by the chronicles Nawjè or the Corpse. But in the early part of the last century (1715-33) a sect arose in the circle of Uglitseh and in Moscow, at first called Clisti or flagellants which developed into the modern Skopzi. For this extensive subject see De Stein (Zeitschrift für Ethn. Berlin, 1875) and Mantegazza, chapt. Vi.

[31] See the marvellously absurd description of the glorious 'Dead Sea' in the Purchas v 84.

[32] Jehovah here is made to play an evil part by destroying men instead of teaching them better. But, 'Nous faisons les Dieux à notre image et nous portons dans le ciel ce que nous voyons sur la terre.' The idea of Yahweh, or Yah is palpably Egyptian, the Ankh or ever-living One: the etymon, however, was learned at Babylon and is still found amongst the cuneiforms.

[33] The name still survives in the Shajarat al-Ashara, a clump of trees near the village Al-Ghajar (of the Gypsies?) at the foot of Hermon.

[34] I am not quite sure that Astarte is not primarily the planet Venus; but I can hardly doubt that Prof. Max Muller and Sir G. Cox are mistaken in bringing from India Aphrodite the Dawn and her attendants, the Charites identified with the Vedic Harits. Of Ishtar in Accadia, however, Roscher seems to have proved that she is distinctly the Moon sinking into Amenti (the west, the Underworld) in search of her lost spouse Izdubar, the Sun-god. This again is pure Egyptianism.

[35] In this classical land of Venus the worship of Ishtar-Ashtaroth is by no means obsolete. The Metawali heretics, a people of Persian descent and Shilte tenets, and the peasantry of 'Bilad B'sharrah,' which I would derive from Bayt Ashlrah, stlll pilgrlmage to the ruins and address their vows to the Sayyidat al-Kabirah, the Great Lady. Orthodox Moslems accuse them of abommable orgies and point to the lamps and rags which they suspend to a tree entitled Shajarat al-Sitt - the Lady's tree - an Acacia Albida which, according to some travellers, is found only here and at Sayda (Sidon) where an avenue exists. The people of Kasrawan, a Christian province in the Libanus, inhabited by a peculiarly prurient race, also hold high festival under the farfamed Cedars and their women sacrifice to Venus like the Kadashah of the Phoenicians This survival of old superstition is unknown to missionary 'Handbooks,' but amply deserves the study of the anthropologist.

[36] Some commentators understand 'the tabernacles sacred to the reproductive powers of women;' and the Rabbis declare that the emblem was the figure of a setting hen.

[37] 'Dog' is applied by the older Jews to the Sodomite and the Catamite; and thus they understand the 'price of a dog' which could not be brought into the Temple (Deut. xxiii. 18). I have noticed it in one of the derivations of cinaedus and can only remark that it is a vile libel upon the canine tribe.

[38] Her name was Maachah and her title, according to some, 'King's mother': she founded the sect of Communists who rejected marriage and made adultery and incest part of worship in their splendid temple. Such were the Basilians and the Carpocratians, followed in the xith century by Tranchelin, whose sectarians, the Turlupins, long infested Savoy.

[39] A noted exception is Vienna, remarkable for the enormous development of the virginal bosom which soon becomes pendulent.

[40] Gen. xxxviii. 2-ll. Amongst the classics Mercury taught the 'Art of le Thalaba' to his son Pan who wandered about the mountains distraught with love for the Nymph Echo and Pan passed it on to the pastors. See Thalaba in Mirabeau.

[41] The reader of The Nights has remarked how often the 'he' in Arabic poetry denotes a 'she'; but the Arab, when uncontaminated by travel, ignores pederasty, and the Arab poet is a Badawi.

[42] So Moharnmed addressed his girl-wife Ayishah in the masculine.

[43] So amongst the Romans we have the Iatroliptae, youths or girls who wiped the gymnast's perspiring body with swan-down, a practice renewed by the professors of 'Massage'; Unctores who applied perfumes and essences; Fricatrices and Tractatrices or shampooers; Dropacistae, com-cutters; Alipilarii who plucked the hair. etc.

[44] It is a parody on the well-known song, Roebuck i. sect. 2, No. 1602:
          The goldsmith knows the worth of gold, jewellers worth of jewelry
          The worth of rose Bulbul can tell and Kambar's worth his lord, Ali.

[45] For 'Sindi' Roebuck (Orienta! Proverbs Part i. p. 99) has Kunbu (Kumboh) a Panjabi peasant and others vary the saying ad libitum. See vol. vi. 156.

[46] See Sind Revisited i. 133-35

[47] They must not be confounded with the grelots lascifs, the little bells of gold or silver set by the people of Pegu in the prepuce-skin, and described by Nicolo de Conti who however refused to undergo the operation.

[48] Relation des découvertesfaites par Colomb etc p 137, Bologna 1875 also Vespucci's letter in Ramusio (i. 131) and Paro's Recherches philosophiques sur les Américains.

[49] See Mantegazza loc cit. who borrows from the Thèse de Paris of Dr. Abel Hureau de Villeeneuve, 'Frictiones per coitum productae magnum mucosae membranae vaginalis turgorem, ac simul hujus cuniculi coarctationem tam maritis salacibus quaeritatam afferunt.'

[50] Fascinus is the Priapus-god to whom the Vestal Virgins of Rome professed tribades, sacrificed; also the neck-charm in phallus-shape. Fascinum is the male member.

[51] Captain Grose (Lexicon Balatronicum) explains merkin as 'counterfeit hair for women's privy parts. See Bailey's Dict.' The Bailey of 1764 an 'improved edition,' does not contain the word which is now generaliy applied to a cunnus succedaneus.

[52] I have noticed this phenomenal cannibalism in my notes to Mr. Albert Tootle's excellent translation of The Captivity of Hans Stade of Hesse, London, Hakluyt Society, mdccclxxiv.

[53] The Ostreiras or shell mounds of the Brazil, sometimes 200 feet high, are described by me in Anthropologia No. i. Oct. 1873.

[54] The Native Races of the Pacific States of South America, by Herbert Howe Bancroft, London, Longmans, 1875.

[55] All Peruvian historians mention these giants who were probably the large-limbed Caribs (Caraibes) of the Brazil: they will ie noticed in page 186.

[56] This sounds much like a pious fraud of the missionaries, a Europeo-American version of the Sodom legend.

[57] Les Races Aryennes du Pérou, Paris, Franck, 1871.

[58] O Brazil e os Brazileiros. Santos. 1862.

[59] Aethiopia Orientalis, Purchas ii. 1558.

[60] Purchas iii. 243

[61] For a literal translation see Ire Série de la Curiosité Littéraire et Bibliographique, Paris, Liseux, 1880.

[62] His best known works are (1) Praktisches Handbuch der Gechtlichener Medecin, Berlin, 1860; and (2) Klinische Novellen zur gerechtlichen Medicin, Berlin. 1863.

[63] The same author printed another imitation of Petronius Arbiter, the 'Larissa' story of Théophile Viand. His cousin, the Sévigné, highly approved of it. See Bayle's objections to Rabutin's delicacy and excuses for Petronius' grossness in his 'Éclaircissement sur les obscénités' (Appendice au Dictionnaire Antique).

[64] The Boulgrin of Rabelais, which Urquhart renders Ingle for Boulgre an 'indorser," derived from the Bulgarus or Bulgarian, who gave to Italy the term bugiardo - liar. Bougre and Bougrerie date (Littré) from the xiiith century. I cannot however, but think that the trivial term gained strength in the xvith when the manners of the Bugres or indigenous Brazilians were studied by Huguenot refugees in La France Antartique and several of these savages found their way to Europe. A grand Fête in Rouen on the entrance of Henri II and Dame Katherine de Medicis (June 16, 1564) showed, as part of the pageant three hundred men (including fifty'Bugres' or Tupis) with parroquets and other birds and beasts of the newly explored regions. The procession is given in the four-folding woodcut 'Figure des Brésiliens' in Jean de Prest's Edition of 1551.

[65] Erotika Biblion chapt. Kadésch (pp. 93 et seq.) Edition de Bruxelles wlth notes by the Chevalier P. Pierrugues of Bordeaux, before noticed.

[66] Called Chevaliers de Paille because the sign was a straw in the mouth, à la Palmerston.

[67] I have noticed that the eunuch in Sind was as meanly paid and have given the reason.

[68] Centuria Librorum Absconditorum (by Pisanus Fraxi) 4to, p. Ix. and 593. London. Privately printed, mdccclxxix.

[69] A friend learned in these matters supplies me with the following list of famous pederasts. Those who marvel at the wide diffusion of such erotic perversion, and its being affected by so many celebrities, will bear in mind that the greatest men have been some of the worst: Alexander of Macedon, Julius Caesar and Napoleon Buonaparte held themselves high above the moral law which obliges common-place humanity. All three are charged with the Vice. Of Kings we have Henri iii., Louis xiii. and xviii., Frederick ii. of Prussia, Peter the Great, William ii. of Holland and Charles ii. and iii. of Parma. We find also Shakespeare (i., xv., Edit. François Hugo) and Molière, Theodorus Beza, Lully (the Composer), D'Assoucy, Count Zintzendorff, the Grand Condé, Marquis de Villette, Pierre Louis Farnèse, Duc de la Vallière, De Soleinne Count D'Avaray, Saint Mégrin, D'Epernon, Admiral de la Susse, La RochePouchin Rochfort S. Louis, Henne (the Spiritualist), Comte Horace de Viel Castel, Lerminin, Fievée, Théodore Leclerc, Archi-Chancellier Cambacèrés Marquis de Custine, Sainte-Beuve and Count D'Orsay. For others refer to the three volumes of Pisanus Fraxi: Index Librorum Prohibitorum (London, 1877), Centuria Librorum Absconditorum (before alluded to) and Catena Librorum Tacendorums London, 1885. The indices will supply the names.

[70] Of this peculiar character Ibn Khallikan remarks (ii. 43), 'There were four poets whose works clearly contraried their character. Abu al-Atahiyah wrote plous poems himself being an atheist, Abu Hukayma's verses proved his lmpotence, yet he was more salacious than a he-goat; Mohammed ibn Hazim pralsed contentments yet he was greedier than a dog; and Abu Nowas hymned the Joys of sodomy, yet he was more sassionate for women than a baboon.'

[71] A virulently and unjustly abusive critique never yet injured its object: in fact it is generally the greatest favour an author's unfriends can bestow upon him. But to notice in a popular Review books which have been printed and not published is hardly in accordance with the established courtesies of literature.




If you would like to leave a comment on this webpage, please e-mail it to greek.love.tta@gmail.com, mentioning in the subject line either the title or the url of the page so that the editor can add it.