Author Topic: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?  (Read 1420 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« on: January 25, 2013, 12:27:53 PM »
Princeton University's Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History Emeritus Dr. Peter Brown presented the 30th Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture. Starting around 13:10, Dr Brown makes an interesting claim. Brown says that Bardaisan of Edessa and his disciples, around 220 AD, in his/their "Book of the Laws of the Countries", described, for instance, the Chinese culture as one free of thieves or prostitutes, whereas the Persians practiced incest with their mothers, and the Irish (as Brown, of Irish descent, laments) "were known to have favored gay marriages".
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 03:03:43 PM »
I wonder what the rite in question actually is.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 03:31:51 PM »
I wonder what the rite in question actually is.
...and whether Bardaisan was simply dumped by an Irish ex-girlfriend.
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 03:53:13 PM »
Quote
In the North, and in the country of the Gauls and their neighbours, such youths among them as are handsome the men take as wives, and they even have feasts on the occasion; and it is not considered by them as a disgrace, nor as a reproach, because of the law which prevails among them.  But it is a thing impossible that all those in Gaul who are branded with this disgrace should at their Nativities have had Mercury posited with Venus in the house of Saturn, and within the limits of Mars, and in the signs of the zodiac to the west.  For, concerning such men as are born under these conditions, it is written that they are branded with infamy, as being like women.

Laws of the Britons.—Among the Britons many men take one and the same wife.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/008/0081486.htm
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 03:55:16 PM by Romaios »

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 04:24:12 PM »
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In the North, and in the country of the Gauls and their neighbours, such youths among them as are handsome the men take as wives, and they even have feasts on the occasion; and it is not considered by them as a disgrace, nor as a reproach....
What gall!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 04:24:39 PM by Jetavan »
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 04:34:45 PM »
Was it Bardaisan who thought something like the nature of God was water, and St. Ephraim the Syrian quipped that Bardaisan had water for brains?

Of course, the above has nothing to do with the ancient pagan Celts who had many other wonderful practices like burning people in giant wicker men.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 05:46:45 PM »
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In the North, and in the country of the Gauls and their neighbours, such youths among them as are handsome the men take as wives, and they even have feasts on the occasion; and it is not considered by them as a disgrace, nor as a reproach....
What gall!

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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 10:15:56 PM »
Quote
In the North, and in the country of the Gauls and their neighbours, such youths among them as are handsome the men take as wives, and they even have feasts on the occasion; and it is not considered by them as a disgrace, nor as a reproach....
What gall!

"Without God, gall is permitted"  :angel:

Without Caesar, Gaul is permitted...to exist free of Roman rule.
(Okay, so that was forcing it. Sue me.)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 10:17:10 PM by Shanghaiski »
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Offline theistgal

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 11:12:00 PM »
So it was a Gaul or nothing proposition?
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2013, 11:47:13 PM »
So it was a Gaul or nothing proposition?


Groan!  Too Pun-ishing! No biscuit!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 11:48:07 PM by Ebor »
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Offline brastaseptim

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 12:59:19 AM »
Frankly, culturalised homosexuality or bisexuality wasn't an uncommon thing in warrior cultures like the Celts- it was also prominent among the Greeks, Japanese, Chinese, Sub-Saharan Africans, Native Americans, and some other ancient cultures I can't think of at the moment.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2013, 01:24:01 AM »
Quote
In the North, and in the country of the Gauls and their neighbours, such youths among them as are handsome the men take as wives, and they even have feasts on the occasion; and it is not considered by them as a disgrace, nor as a reproach, because of the law which prevails among them.  But it is a thing impossible that all those in Gaul who are branded with this disgrace should at their Nativities have had Mercury posited with Venus in the house of Saturn, and within the limits of Mars, and in the signs of the zodiac to the west.  For, concerning such men as are born under these conditions, it is written that they are branded with infamy, as being like women.

Laws of the Britons.—Among the Britons many men take one and the same wife.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/008/0081486.htm
Ah, so it was pederasty. And "take as wives" could simply indicate sexual intercourse.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2013, 01:25:11 AM »
Frankly, culturalised homosexuality or bisexuality wasn't an uncommon thing in warrior cultures like the Celts- it was also prominent among the Greeks, Japanese, Chinese, Sub-Saharan Africans, Native Americans, and some other ancient cultures I can't think of at the moment.

"Prominent" is an odd word for something that has ever been a small minority--unless there was a gay ruling class, which would be weird.
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Offline brastaseptim

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2013, 01:27:07 AM »
True- though when I say "prominent" I mean simply not only heard of on the fringes of the society. Considering it was hardly a minority in the Spartan Army...
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 01:36:23 AM »
True- though when I say "prominent" I mean simply not only heard of on the fringes of the society. Considering it was hardly a minority in the Spartan Army...

Putting homosexuals on the front lines of combat was a good way of getting rid of that element, according to a friend's classics professor.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 01:37:01 AM by Shanghaiski »
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Offline brastaseptim

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2013, 01:49:56 AM »
Your friend's classics professor might have a slightly homophobic slant to his teachings. The view I was taught was that it was regarded as a way to strengthtn ties among the soldiers, so they would fight their absolute hardest. Which makes sense, in retrospect- if your lover's in the ranks with you, anyone would make quite sure that he doesn't get killed- and he'll probably do likewise. If the entire front rank is made up of male lovers... you have a lot of angry lovers fighting beside angry lovers. What was the reference from the Symposium? Oh, right- "He would prefer to die many deaths: while as for leaving the one he loves in a lurch, or not succoring him in peril, no man is such a craven that the influence of Love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born."
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2013, 02:30:03 AM »
Your friend's classics professor might have a slightly homophobic slant to his teachings. The view I was taught was that it was regarded as a way to strengthtn ties among the soldiers, so they would fight their absolute hardest. Which makes sense, in retrospect- if your lover's in the ranks with you, anyone would make quite sure that he doesn't get killed- and he'll probably do likewise. If the entire front rank is made up of male lovers... you have a lot of angry lovers fighting beside angry lovers. What was the reference from the Symposium? Oh, right- "He would prefer to die many deaths: while as for leaving the one he loves in a lurch, or not succoring him in peril, no man is such a craven that the influence of Love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born."
of course, there's that nasty problem when you break up with your boyfriend, in which case you might not mind leaving him in the lurch at the front line.

And then there is jealousy.  In which case you have angry lovers fighting angry lovers-both on your side.
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Offline brastaseptim

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2013, 02:54:00 AM »
True, true. And then comes the resulting Spartan slapfest while the Persians are busy looking on with confused looks.  ;D
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2013, 03:01:02 AM »
My question is, what difference does it make if certain parts of ancient Ireland allowed homosexuality?  Sin infects the entire world, especially those ancient cultures which were pagan.  It means only that mankind has been sinning a long time, but we already knew this.  Incest is in ancient biblical times, but it's still wrong.

Offline Romaios

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2013, 03:07:46 AM »
The view I was taught was that it was regarded as a way to strengthen ties among the soldiers, so they would fight their absolute hardest.

Euboulos (cited by Athenaios in Deipnosophistai 1, 46) had a different version - according to him, it all started as a bitter necessity during the long decade of the siege of Troy:

  ἀλλ' οὐδὲ μίαν ἀλλ' ἑταίραν εἶδέ τις
  αὐτῶν, ἑαυτοὺς δ' ἔδεφον ἐνιαυτοὺς δέκα.
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« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 03:16:12 AM by Romaios »

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2013, 04:06:31 AM »
True- though when I say "prominent" I mean simply not only heard of on the fringes of the society. Considering it was hardly a minority in the Spartan Army...

Putting homosexuals on the front lines of combat was a good way of getting rid of that element, according to a friend's classics professor.
Did he support DADT?
If you will, you can become all flame.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2013, 03:51:46 PM »
Your friend's classics professor might have a slightly homophobic slant to his teachings. The view I was taught was that it was regarded as a way to strengthtn ties among the soldiers, so they would fight their absolute hardest. Which makes sense, in retrospect- if your lover's in the ranks with you, anyone would make quite sure that he doesn't get killed- and he'll probably do likewise. If the entire front rank is made up of male lovers... you have a lot of angry lovers fighting beside angry lovers. What was the reference from the Symposium? Oh, right- "He would prefer to die many deaths: while as for leaving the one he loves in a lurch, or not succoring him in peril, no man is such a craven that the influence of Love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born."

And that's a rather homophilic slant.
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2013, 04:09:58 PM »
Your friend's classics professor might have a slightly homophobic slant to his teachings. The view I was taught was that it was regarded as a way to strengthtn ties among the soldiers, so they would fight their absolute hardest. Which makes sense, in retrospect- if your lover's in the ranks with you, anyone would make quite sure that he doesn't get killed- and he'll probably do likewise. If the entire front rank is made up of male lovers... you have a lot of angry lovers fighting beside angry lovers. What was the reference from the Symposium? Oh, right- "He would prefer to die many deaths: while as for leaving the one he loves in a lurch, or not succoring him in peril, no man is such a craven that the influence of Love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born."

And that's a rather homophilic slant.

If you fall out of line, ever so slightly, with the standard spin on the matter, you have this phobia for some reason.  It is rather comical.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Ancient Irish had gay marriage?
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2013, 04:15:03 PM »
Your friend's classics professor might have a slightly homophobic slant to his teachings. The view I was taught was that it was regarded as a way to strengthtn ties among the soldiers, so they would fight their absolute hardest. Which makes sense, in retrospect- if your lover's in the ranks with you, anyone would make quite sure that he doesn't get killed- and he'll probably do likewise. If the entire front rank is made up of male lovers... you have a lot of angry lovers fighting beside angry lovers. What was the reference from the Symposium? Oh, right- "He would prefer to die many deaths: while as for leaving the one he loves in a lurch, or not succoring him in peril, no man is such a craven that the influence of Love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born."

And that's a rather homophilic slant.

If you fall out of line, ever so slightly, with the standard spin on the matter, you have this phobia for some reason.  It is rather comical.

Indeed.
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