In Roman patriarchal society, it was socially acceptable for an adult male citizen to take the penetrative role in same-sex relations. The common age stratification in homosexual Renaissance relationships parallels norms of heterosexual relationships as well, as men typically married women half their age Ibid. The Spanish Inquisition begins in , sodomites were stoned, castrated, and burned. One of the most famous examples is a tongue-in-cheek philosophic defense of the practice provided by Antonio Rocco , in his infamous L'Alcibiade, fanciullo a scola Alcibiades the Schoolboy , in English a dialogue in which a teacher seeks to use philosophy to convince a male student to have sex with him. Michelangelo Buonarroti, David,
Naturally, with this newfound emphasis on beauty and aestheticism came a wave of fine art unlike those seen in any era before or after. All the emperors, with the exception of Claudius , took male lovers. The Roman emperor Elagabalus is depicted as transgender by some modern writers. Statue of Antinous Delphi , polychrome Parian marble depicting Antinous , made during the reign of Hadrian r. Sexual behaviour between women was illegal during the time, however, definitions of sex during the Renaissance were centered only around phallic penetration. Michelangelo Buonarroti, David, According to Chauncey et al. This familiarity allows an ease with which North-American and European citizens may overlook how different modern culture is from that of the Renaissance, which can cause one to attempt to apply modern notions and ideals when examining the time period Reed, Christopher, Art and Homosexuality: In a homoerotic context, this distinct age dynamic was especially present within the artwork of the time. This is one of the many examples of discrepancies that must be kept in mind when working with the art of the time and its erotic appeal. However, given the tongue-in-cheek nature of the writing, it seems unclear whether it is meant to be satire or genuine under the pretense of a joke. This is a large part of the appeal of this type of study, as a diversity in opinions, while occasionally causing difficulties in study, more often paves the way for the most engaging and interesting academia. Men were fined or jailed; boys were flogged. Contrary to what facts may imply, charges of sodomy in Florence did not always lead to persecution and were generally only met with fines. Yet while religious and legal powers officially disapproved of homosexual practices, sermons and laws seemed to do little to change behaviour, even during their most intense periods. While this fact may strike some as implying difficulties in study of the field, as consensus in expert opinion is often thought to represent academic success, this is not necessarily true. Between and , more than 1, people were prosecuted for sodomy. Women caught in same-sex acts would be mutilated and executed as well. Florentines have always been adventurers: History - A city not only of artists but also of merchants and bankers, Florence has always been very liberal and tolerant of the world's many diversities. Patrons of the Molly house would sometimes enact mock weddings, sometimes with the bride giving birth. In , the current mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, issued a call for social housing for all couples: The very nature of sexuality and art allow much room for personal interpretation. Church leaders worried about lesbian sex; women expressed, practiced, and were sometimes imprisoned or even executed for same-sex love; and some women cross-dressed in order to live with other women as married couples. Homoerotic themes were present in poetry and other literature written by some Muslims from the medieval period onwards and which celebrated love between men.
Video about homosexuality in the renaissance:
100 years of gay art history, from repression to liberation
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