Sunday, 3 July 2011
Naked Spartan Youth Sculpture created by Lidbury:
Naked Sparta Youth Sculpture created by Lidbury:
A sculpture which I recently completed:
The Spatan Youth
When male Spartans began military training at age seven, they would enter the Agoge system. The 'Agoge' was designed for military discipline and physical toughness. Male youths lived in communal military quarters and were underfed deliberately, to encourage them in the skill of stealing food. Besides physical and weapons training, male youth studied reading, writing, music and dancing.
Beginning at the age of 12 Spartan boys would be given only one item of clothing per year — a red cloak known as a 'Phoinikis'. At the age of twelve, the Agoge obliged Spartan boys to take an older male mentor, usually an unmarried young man. The older man was expected to function as mentor to his junior partner; however, it is also reasonably certain that they had sexual relations (the exact nature of Spartan pederasty is fiercely debated).
At the stage of paidiskoi, around the age of 18, the Sparta students became reserve members of the Spartan army. Some became part of the Crypteia, a type of 'Secret Police' testing their skills by targeting the helot slave population.
The Sacred Band of Thebes.
The Sacred Band of Thebes was a troop of picked soldiers, consisting of 150 pederastic (age-structured) male couples which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC.
Plutarch recorded that the Sacred Band was made up of male couples (lovers). The Sacred Band originally formed of hand-picked men who were couples, each lover and beloved selected from the ranks of the existing Theban citizen-army. The pairs consisted of the older "heníochoi", or charioteers, and the younger "parabátai", or companions, all housed and trained at the states expense in order to fight as hoplites. The firmly held belief was that male lovers would fight more fiercely and cohesively to defend their male lover beside them in battle, than would strangers who had no ardent bonds.
In about 300 BC, the town of Thebes erected a giant stone lion on a pedestal at the burial site of the Sacred Band. This monument was restored in the 20th Century and still stands today. Although Plutarch claims that all three hundred of the Band's warriors died that day, excavation of the burial site at the Lion Monument in 1890 turned up 254 skeletons, arranged in seven rows.
The film 300 made in 2007 is a fictionalized retelling of the Spartan warrior Battle of Thermopylae.
Yet another example of my male nude sculptures which are banned from display or exhibition as being too homoerotic at Cornwall 'gay?' Pride 2011. If the chairperson of Cornwall Pride 2011 sees 'sex' through his eyes in my sculptures, then like beauty, sexual arousal must also be in the eye of the beholder?
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