three pairs of lovers with space



These are arranged by the same geographical and chronological divisions as the website's history menu, and, within them, according to the rough chronological order of the periods with which they begin their serious coverage.



James Neill, The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies, 2009.  Perhaps the most exhaustive history of homosexuality ever attempted, and accordingly useful, but suffers from the usual two faults of the many recent and polemical studies of the subject: the pederastic character of most pre-modern homosexuality is deliberately obscured, for instance through referring to pubescent boys as young men, and hordes of famous historical characters are claimed as homosexual on flimsy grounds.

Thorkil Vanggaard, Phallós, Denmark, 1969, translated by the author from the original Danish as Phallós. A Symbol and its History in the Male World, International Universities Press, New York, 1972. A psychologist's highly original study of the phallos as a symbol of power and dominance, arguing from a wide swathe of old literature that pederasty answered deep psychological needs in the male and that many modern ills stem from its repression.

D. M. Halperin, One hundred years of homosexuality, and other essays on Greek love, New York, 1990.

Louis Crompton, Homosexuality and Civilization, Harvard, 2003.  Excellent and thorough scholarly history of homosexuality, mostly down to around 1700.  Probably the most useful general history, slightly marred only by its attempting to obscure the pederastic character of  almost all the homosexuality described in order to set it up as a forerunner of modern androphilia.

Germaine Greer,  The Beautiful Boy,  New York, 2003.

Randy Engel, "Historical Perspectives from Antiquity to the Cambridge Spies", being vol. 1 of his The Rite of Sodomy. Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church, Pennysylvania, 2011. 

G. Rousseau (editor), Children and Sexuality: From the Greeks to the Great War, London, 2012.  Ten essays by different authors, mostly similar to what one would expect of a History of the Jewish People commissioned under the Third Reich, but of greatly variable value.  Oddly, the earliest subject matter, the Athenian Alcibiades, is treated most myopically, while the last chapter on child prostitution in late 20th-century Thailand, is the most objective and valuable.

Dr. Jacobus X..., L’amour aux colonies. Singularités physiologiques et passionnelles observes Durant trente années de séjour dans les Colonies françaises Cochin-Chine, Tonkin et Cambodge—Guyane et Martinique—Sénégal et Bivières du Sud—Nouvelle Galédonie, Nouvelles-Hébrides et Tahiti, Isidore Liseux, Paris 1893. Republished and edited by Charles Carrington in an enlarged English edition as Untrodden Fields of Anthropology: Observations on the Esoteric Manners and Customs of Semi-civilised Peoples, Being a Record by a French-Army Surgeon of Thirty Years’ Experience in Asia, Africa, America and Oceania, 2 volumes, Paris, 1898. Article linking to most of Greek love contact here. A mostly sexual and entertainingly lurid study of the peoples of the various colonies where the author worked as a doctor from about 1865. Mostly heterosexual, but an important primary source for the practice of pederasty in various lands, especially Vietnam.

Guido Franco, Desert Patrol (une aventure sous les tropiques), Les Editions de la Jungle, Paris, 1980. Translated from the French anonymously as Desert Patrol (An Aventure in the Tropics), The Vending Machine website, 2015.  A sensationalist and treacherously conducted exposé of the sexual involvement of foreigners with boys in Sri Lanka and the Philippines in the late 1970s, vociferously denounced for obvious hypocrisy in issue 7 of Pan magazine.

Guido Franco, Prières pour des paradis meilleurs (Prayers for Better Paradises) Les Editions de la Jungle, Paris, 1984. In French only. Humorous sequel to the preceding, set  in Manila, Ceylon, Europe etc., and denounced on the same grounds in issue 19 of Pan magazine.

Lloyd, Robin, Playland: A Study of Boy Prostitution, London, 1977.  A British edition of the the author's For Money or Love with added material from English cities in the 1970s.

T. Rivas, Positive Memories, 2013; 3rd enlarged edition, 2016, available online. "Cases of positive memories of erotic and platonic relationships and contacts of children with adults, as seen from the perspective of the former minor", the majority of the cases being Greek love.


Antiquity (Europe, North Africa and the Near East to AD 381)

Rudolf Beyer, Fabulae graecae quatenus quave aetate puerorum amore commutatae sint, Weida, Thuringia, 1910. In Latin only. An important source for Greek myths of love affairs between gods and boys.

Andrew Calimach, Lovers' Legends: The Gay Greek Myths, New York, 2002.  Review.

William Armstrong Percy, Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece, 1996. Downloadable from the author's website together with two further unpublished volumes continuing the history down to the end of the ancient era and making this by far the most thorough history of Greek love in antiquity.

Eric Bethe, "Die Dorische Knabenliebe: Ihre Ethik und Ihre Idee" (Dorian Boy-love: its Ethics and Meaning) in Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 62 (1907), pp. 438-74. A rough translation from the German as The Doric Boy-Love: Its Ethics and Ideology by Franco Luigi Viero, 2017, is online.

Kenneth Dover,  Greek Homosexuality, Harvard, 1978. The first serious and still the greatest study of Greek pederasty, refreshingly free of the ideological baggage that has burdened others before and since.

Harald Patzer, Die griechische Knabenbliebe (Greek boy-love), Wiesbaden, 1982. A work building on Dover's foregoing study, but which insists on Greek boy-love as a distinct phenomenon with clearly defined characteristics that cannot be encapsulated by terms such as homosexuality.

Thomas K. Hubbard,  Homosexuality in Greece and Rome, California, 2003.  An anthology of all the most important ancient texts shedding light on the various forms of ancient European homosexuality amongst which Greek love was easily predominant.

Eva Cantarella, Bisexuality in the Ancient World, Yale, 1992.

Andrew Lear & Eva Cantarella, Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty. Boys were their Gods, New York, 2008.

Jean Marcadé, Eros Kalos, Geneva, 1962.  Review. A well-illustrated "essay on erotic elements in Greek art" by an archaeologist.

James Davidson, The Greeks and Greek Love: a Radical Reappraisal of Homosexuality in Ancient Greece, 2007.  Review.   Only relevant in a purely negative sense, this is a rewriting of history rather than a reappraisal, denying Greek love its essential nature and purporting through invention and distortion to show that Greek homosexuality was nearly the same as 21st-century American gay culture.

Geoff Puterbaugh, The Crucifixion of Hyacinth. Jews, Christians, and Homosexuals from Classical Greece to Late Antiquity, USA, 2000. Review.

Craig A. Williams, Roman Homosexuality, 2nd edn., OUP, 2010. An exhaustive and very insightful study of Roman homosexuality laying bare its distinct and mostly pederastic character, which only falls short of being definitive in not tracing its evolution over the imperial period.

Caroline Vout, Power and Eroticism in Imperial Rome, Cambridge, 2009. 


Europe, AD 381-1662

Norman Roth, "'Deal gently with the young man': Love of Boys in Medieval Hebrew Poetry of Spain" in Spectrum, Vol. 57, No. 1 (Jan. 1982), pp. 20-51. PDF. A study with a few characteristic examples of what was evidently a popular genre accepted by the Jewish communities of mediaeval Spain and with many similarities to the Moslem boy-love poetry of the time, though the love depicted is not known to have been physically expressed beyond licit kissing.

Thomas Stehling, “To love a medieval boy” in Journal of Homosexuality 8 (1983) 151-170. A fascinating analysis of how the erotic appeal to men of boys was distinguished from that of girls in 12th-century French love poems.

James Saslow, Ganymede in the Renaissance: Homosexuality in art and society, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1986.

Guido Ruggiero, The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice, New York, 1985.  An examination of both licit and illicit sex from the records of Venetian courts, including much on then prevalent pederasty.

Michael Rocke, Forbidden Friendships. Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence, Oxford, 1996. Review.

Marcella Marongiu, Il Mito di Ganimede, Florence, 2002.

Karen Liebreich, Fallen Order: Intrigue, Heresy, and Scandal in the Rome of Gallileo and Caravaggio, 2004.  A detailed account of the teacher-boy sex scandal that led to the Papal suppression of the educational Order of the Piarists in 1646.

Cristian Berco, Sexual Hierarchies, Public Status: Men, Sodomy, and Society in Spain's Golden Age, Toronto, 2007.


Modern Europe

Wilhelm van Rosen, "Sodomy in Early Modern Denmark" in the Journal of Homosexuality XVI: 1-2 (1989), pp. 177-204. A study detailing and explaining the rarity of prosecutions for sodomy in early modern Denmark.

Arthur N. Gilbert, "Buggery and the British Navy, 1700-1861" in Journal of Social History, 10 (1), Fall 1976, pp. 72-98.  An excellent survey, which makes it clearly that even in this late period buggery at sea was usually of a boy by a man: in 18 of the 19 cases cited where the age of the passive participant was indicated, he was a boy. Also offers some original and fascinating explanations for the navy's extreme antipathy to buggery then.

Ronald Hyam, Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience, Manchester, 1990. Review.

Barry Ric. Burg, Boys at Sea, 2007.

John Chandos, "A Demon Hovering", being chapter 14 of his Boys Together: English Public Schools 1800-1864, London, 1984. Read on this website.

Alisdare Hickson,  The Poisoned Bowl. Sex and the public school, London, 1996. A history of homosexuality in British public schools in the 19th and 20th centuries, priceless as a primary source because most of it is devoted to witness accounts elicited by the author from the old boys of the many schools covered.

Alex Renton, Stiff Upper Lip: Secrets, crimes and the schooling of a ruling class, London, 2017.  A polemic about the harmful effects of attending British boarding-school in the late 19th and 20th centuries, of which chapters 28, 31 and 33 are all or mostly about sex in them between older and younger boys, and chapters 34, 36-9, 41 and 43-4 about the same between boys and masters. Some valuable information is disfigured by the author's unfair dismissal of narratives that do not fit with the 21st-century dogma he takes for granted as definitive wisdom.

Michael Matthew Kaylor, Secreted Desires. The Major Uranians: Hopkins, Pater and Wilde, Brno, 2006.

Timothy D’Arch Smith, Love in Earnest: Some Notes on the Lives and Writings of the English “Uranian” Poets, 1970.

Morris Kaplan, Sodom on the Thames, 2005.

H. Montgomery Hyde, The Cleveland Street Scandal, London, 1976. Review.

Joseph Kiermeier-Debre & F.F.Vogel, Wilhelm von Gloeden – auch ich in Arkadien, 2007.

Trobriands collective of authors, The (editors), Forbrydelse uden offer, En bog om paeofili, Denmark, 1986. Translated from the Danish by Dr. Edward Brongersma as Crime Without Victims. A book about paedophilia, Global Academic Publishers, Amsterdam in 1993. Description with links to Greek love content. Despite the secondary title, mostly about sexual relationships between men and boys of 12 to 14. The second and much more valuable half of the book is made up of interviews with those involved in such relationships in Denmark between ca. 1943 and 1986.

Sandfort, Dr. Theo, Boys on their Contacts with Men: A Study of Sexually Expressed Friendships, New York, 1987.  Based on interviews conducted 1977-9 with 25 Dutch boys involved in Greek love.

Michael C. Baurmann, Sexualität , Gewalt und psychische Folgen (Sexuality, Violence and Psychological Consequences), Wiesbaden, 1983. A translation into English by Jeff Nickel is available online. A study, extremely rare of its kind, produced by the West German government of all 8,058 sexual "victims" known to the police in Lower Saxony 1969-73, which, emphasised self-evaluation as well as using other criteria, and found that not one of the boys under 14, as opposed to the girls, had been injured. 

Glenn D. Wilson and David N. Cox, The Child Lovers, Peter Owen, London, 1983.  An investigation by psychologists in 1978-9 into 77 British men mostly, despite the title, attracted only to pubescent boys. Rare for the era in being based on a non-prisoner sample, and unusually objective, its value was obfuscated by its fashionable insistence on conflating Greek love with other forms of child-love.

Van Naerssen, Alex, "Man-Boy Lovers: Assessment, Counseling and Psychotherapy," in Journal of Homosexuality, volume 20, nos. 1-2, 1990, pp. 175-188. A sex therapist's study of sixteen men in the Netherlands in the early 1980s who had come to him for help coping with their sexual preference for adolescent boys.

Wolf Vogel, Heimliche Liebe: Eros zwischen Knabe und Mann (Secret Love: Eros between Boy and Man), Jahn & Ernst, Hamburg, 1997. True stories of love affairs between German boys and men told to the author in interviews or letters by the former boys and, in a few cases their parents. The earliest story stretches back to 1966 and most are from the 1970s.

Karl Andersson,  Gay Man’s Worst Friend – the Story of Destroyer Magazine & its Appendix, Berlin, 2011. A telling account of the hypocritical animosity of the Swedish gay community in the first decade of this century to a witty and provocative magazine that unabashedly celebrated the beauty of teenage boys.


Sub-Saharan Africa

Stephen Murray, & Will Roscoe, Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies in African Homosexualities, New York, 1998.


The Near East and North Africa from AD 381

Matthew Thomas Miller, "Embodying the beloved: embodiment, (homo)eroticism, and the straightening of desire in the hagiographic tradition of Fakhr al-Dīn ʿIrāqī" in Middle Eastern Literatures 21No. 1 (2018) pp. 1-27. A study showing how erotic feeling for boys was harnessed by Sufism for spiritual ends, concentrating on the example 13th-century ʿIrāqī.

W.A. Andrews & Mehmet Kalpakli,  The Age of Beloveds, 2005.

Khaled El-Rouayheb, Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800, Chicago, 2005. An excellent and thorough study of sexual behaviour between males, almost entirely pederastic, and attitudes towards it in early modern Arabic lands, making excellent use of the author's exhaustive knowledge of manuscript, as well as published, sources.


India and Central Asia

I. Baldauf, Die Knabenliebe in Mittelasien: Bacabozlik (Boylove in Central Asia: Bacabozlik), Berlin, 1988. In German only.


The Far East

Fang Fu Ruan, "Homosexuality: From Golden Age to Dark Age", being chapter 7 of his Sex in China: Studies in Sexology in Chinese Culture, New York, 1991.

Bret Hinsch, Passions of the cut sleeve: the male homosexual tradition in China, California, 1990.

Jun'ichi Iwata 岩田準一, Honcho danshoku ko 本朝男色考 (Considerations on Japanese Homosexuality), a series of essays in Showa 5-8, 1930-33.  In Japanese only, excepting excerpts from four which appeared in English in Tsuneo Watanabe and Jun'ichi Iwata's The love of the samurai: a thousand years of Japanese homosexuality, 1989.

Tsuneo Watanabe and Jun'ichi Iwata, Histoire et histoires des homosexualités au Japon. Translated from the French by D. R. Roberts as The love of the samurai: a thousand years of Japanese homosexuality, London, 1989.

Giovanni Vitiello, The Libertine's Friend: Homosexuality in Late Imperial China, Chicago, 2011. A study of male homosexuality in China focussing on "ideologies of masculinity and romantic love" as represented in fiction printed between 1550 and 1849.

Gary Leupp, Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan, California, 1997. 

Gregory M. Pflugfelder, Cartographies of Desire: Male-Male Sexuality in Japanese Discourse, 1600–1950, Berkeley, 1999.

Timothy Screech, Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Imagery in Japan 1710-1820, 2nd edition, 2009.

Jeffrey Angles, Writing the Love of Boys: Origins of Bishonen Culture in Modernist Japanese Literature, Minneapolis, 2011.  A most valuable guide to twentieth-century Japanese literature on the love of boys, though poorly-written in academic jargon and fundamentally misguided through blindness to the differences between traditional pederasty and recent gay culture.

J.M.B. de Lyon, "Over de waroks en gemblaks van Ponorogo" in Koloniaal Tijdschrift, vol. 30 (1941), pp. 740-60.  In Dutch only.

Jerome Weiss, "The Gemblakan: kept boys among the Javanese of Ponorogo." Ph.D. dissertation, American Anthropological Association Meetings, Mexico City, 1974.

Richard Rawson, The Paggers Papers, Acolyte Press, Amsterdam, 1993. PDF. A frank first-hand account by an American of the ready acceptance by the youngsters and their parents of sex between boys and foreigners, both commercial and not, in the Philippines of the 1970s and early 1980s, concentrating on the most developed scene of boy prostitution in the Pagsanjan Falls.



Chris Brickell, “Waiting for Uncle Ben”: Age-Structured Homosexuality in New Zealand, 1920–1950" in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 21, No. 3 (2012)  467-495. Available online. A study of pederasty from richly-informative court records that pays careful attention to its distinct character in that time and place.

Gilbert H. Herdt, Guardians of the Flutes, Stanford, 1981.  An anthropological study of the institutionalised pederasty of the Sambia of Papua New Guinea.

Robert I. Levy, "The Community Function of Tahitian Male Transvestitism" in Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan., 1971), pp. 12-21. PDF. An anthropologist's study based almost entirely on a community where the mahu (institutionalised transvestite) was a boy of 16.

Thomas M. Ernst, "Onabasulu Male Homosexuality: Cosmology, Affect and Prescribed Male Homosexual Activity among the Onabasulu of the Great Papuan Plateau" in Oceania, Vol. 62, No. 1 (Sydney, Sept. 1991), pp. 1-11. PDF. An anthropological study, made in 1970-73, of the "culturally required" insemination of Onabasulu pubescent boys by men selected as their lovers through mutual choice, and achieved through the man rubbing his semen on his boy's skin after being masturbated by him.


The Americas

Steven Maynard, "'Horrible Temptations': Sex, Men and Working-Class Male Youth in Urban Ontario, 1890-1935" in The Canadian Historical Review, Volume 78, No. 2, Toronto, June 1997, pp. 191-235. PDF. A nuanced survey of criminal proceedings over pederasty, unsurprisingly including everything from rape to long-lasting love affairs, and shedding interesting light on the social and cultural conditions that gave rise to them.

Tindall, Ralph, "The Male Adolescent Involved With a Pederast Becomes an Adult", in Journal of Homosexuality, volume 3, no. 4, 1978, pp. 373-382. Read on this websiteAn American psychiatrist's study of the long-term effects of sex with men between 1946 and 1970 on nine of his boy patients (none of whom had been referred to him on account of their sexual histories).

John Gerassi, The Boys of Boise: Furor, Vice and Folly in an American City, New York, 1966. The story of the massive furor that arose 1955-7 over allegations of a sex ring In Idaho involving men and teenage boys.

Dennis Drew & Jonathan Drake, Boys for Sale. A Sociological Study of Boy Prostitution, New York, 1969. Article linking to most of content here. A racy description of the varied boy prostitution scenes in many countries around the world; unscholarly and unreliable in its forays into history, but probably priceless for its record of a trade that was flourishing almost everywhere in the 1960s, but was soon to wither from intense suppression. It is further described, with links to much of its content,

Harmon, Dennis (editor), The Boy-Lovers. Four Sociological Case-Histories of Men Who Loved Boys, Jumeaux Publishing Company, New York, 1969.  Four erotically-explicit true American stories told by men of their sexual encounters with boys presented with a view to shedding light on Greek love.

John Mitzel, The Boston Sex Scandal, Boston, 1980.  An exposé of the brutality against boys and general dishonesty deployed in an ultimately unsuccessful plot to concoct a huge man/boy sex scandal in December 1977.

Lloyd, Robin, For Money or Love: Boy Prostitution in America, New York, 1976.  A sensationalistic study of boy prostitution, mostly in American in the 1970s, which, unusually, tries at least a little to see the boy's point of view.

Silverstein, Dr. Charles, "Love Between the Generations", a chapter in his Man to Man, Morrow Quill, New York, 1981. A psychologist's conclusions on Greek love, based on interviews with homosexuals from his practice in the USA in the 1970s, and rebutting the negative assumptions about it then increasingly prevalent.

Dr. Joseph Winchester, Rites of Passage: Homosexual Histories of Six Heterosexual American Boys, Acolyte Press, Amsterdam, 1989. Interviews with boys all of whom had sexual experiences with both men and other boys, spanning a quarter of a century from the 1960s to the 1980s, none of them in large cities.

Patrick Boyle, Scout's Honor: Sexual Abuse in America's Most Trusted Institution, 1994.  A history, concentrating on then recent criminal cases, of sex between American Scout leaders and boys, much of it genuinely abusive, but including some mutual love affairs seen as abuse from the author's typically-narrow 1990s perspective.

Rind, Bruce, "Gay and bisexual adolescent boys’ sexual experiences with men: An empirical examination of psychological correlates in a nonclinical sample" in Archives of Sexual Behavior, 30, 2001, pp. 345–368. Analysis of a 1997 study of 129 American university students who had had sex with men between the ages of 12 and 17.

Thomas K. Hubbard & Beert Verstraete (editors), Censoring Sex Research; The Debate over Male Intergenerational Relations, 2013.  A detailed academic study of the ruthless suppression in the last generation of any research producing results challenging the prevailing dogma that Greek love is necessarily harmful to boys.