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Within the Baha'i faith, pederasty is the only mention of any type of homosexuality by Bahá'u'lláh."We shrink, for very shame, from treating of the subject of boys....as opposed to the more restrained and cultured one valued by the Greeks.Plutarch, however, counters Herodotus by pointing out that the Persians had been castrating boys long before being exposed to the mores of the Greeks.One loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymedes. " Early legal codes prescribed harsh penalties for violators.The law code of the Visigothic king Chindasuinth called for both partners to be "emasculated without delay, and be delivered up to the bishop of the diocese where the deed was committed to be placed in solitary confinement in a prison." These punishments were often linked to the penance given after the Sacrament of Confession.The OED offers: "Homosexual relations between a man and a boy; homosexual anal intercourse, usually with a boy or younger man as the passive partner." Academic and social studies sources propose more expansive definitions of the term.The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Culture defines the term as: "The erotic relationship between an adult male and a youth, generally one between the ages of twelve and seventeen, in which the older partner is attracted to the younger one who returns his affection." The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality suggests "Pederasty is the erotic relationship between an adult male and a boy, generally one between the ages of twelve and seventeen, in which the older partner is attracted to the younger one who returns his affection, whether or not the liaison leads to overt sexual contact." In Athens, the slaves were expressly forbidden from entering into pederastic relations with the free-born boys. Attic red-figure crater, 500–490 BC; Painter of Berlin; Louvre, Paris.
Historically, pederasty has existed as a variety of customs and practices within different cultures.
In medieval Islamic civilization, pederastic relations "were so readily accepted in upper-class circles that there was often little or no effort to conceal their existence." Ganymede rolling a hoop and bearing aloft a cockerel – a love gift from Zeus (in pursuit, on obverse of vase). Plato was an early critic of sexual intercourse in pederastic relationships, proposing that men's love of boys avoid all carnal expression and instead progress from admiration of the lover's specific virtues to love of virtue itself in abstract form.
In Greek art, a cockerel was a conventional gift from an erastes to an eromenos; see J. While copulation with boys was often criticized and seen as shameful and brutish, Pederastic art shows seduction scenes as well as sexual relations.
Opposition to the carnal aspects of pederasty existed concurrently with the practice, both inside and outside of the cultures in which it was found.
Among the Greeks, a few cities prohibited it, and in others, such as Sparta, only the chaste form of pederasty was permitted, according to Xenophon Judaism and Christianity also condemned sodomy (while defining that term variously), a theme that would be promulgated by Islam and, later still, by the Baha'i Faith.
Commit not that which is forbidden you in Our Holy Tablet, and be not of those who rove distractedly in the wilderness of their desires." Within the blanket condemnation of sodomy, pederasty was a particular target.