Was Herodotus a homosexual?

Herodotus is an interesting figure, though I think the reception of his work is far more interesting. At any rate, Photius of Constantinople records in his Bibliotheca (190) that the opening lines of the Histories are not from Herodotus himself, but rather from “Plesirrhous the Thessalian, author of hymns, was loved by Herodotus and was his heir; it is he who composed the introduction of the first book of Herodotus of Halicarnassus.” In my class today on Herodotus and the Persian Wars (taught by Peter Green), he noted that the mention of Plesirrhous as a Thessalian hymnographer is so detailed that it makes little sense that this would be made up whole cloth. Likewise, it’s interesting that Herodotus is so curious about sex, and particularly women, but not a single mention of homosexual relations of any kind.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Was Herodotus a homosexual?

  1. Lucian

    Was Herodotus a homosexual?

    I think the real question is: was Homer a homer-sexual? :)

  2. hristo

    you are wrong about herodotus not mentioning hs – read histories 1.135

    • Joshua McManaway

      Hi, 1.135 reads: “καὶ ἀπ’ Ἑλλήνων μαθόντες παισὶ μίσγονται.” I’m not equating pederasty with homosexuality. Thanks for pointing this out, though.

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