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Sex Worship Posted by Aiwaz Thelema on November 10, 2001 @ 12:34 AM
from the separating-the-men-from-the-boys dept.

PUERILITIES - Erotic Epigrams of The Greek Anthology, translated by Daryl Hine, is a collection of short poems that once made up Book XII of an anthology of Greek literature compiled by Straton, a literary figure at the court of the Emperor Hadrian (117-138 a.d.).


This particular emperor was famous for his passionate love for his teenaged favorite Antinoüs, a love celebrated in poetry and art, and when he died while still a young man, Hadrian had towns and cities throughout the empire named or renamed after him. Near where Antinoüs died in Egypt there grew up Antinoë, Antinopolis, and Antinoüpolis.

Though not all of these 257 poems are addressed to adolescent boys, the vast majority of them are. In his translations Hine tried to be more faithful to the meaning and the music of the poems than to the exact forms and meters of the originals. He even turns a few of them into limericks! Not all of his translations work that well, but the best seem to convey the true spirit of the originals. Here's his translation of no. XCIII which was composed by Rhianus --

Boys are an inextricable maze;
Like glue they hold the transitory gaze.
Here Theodorus' carnal charms attract
You, limbs so round and firm and fully packed;
Here golden-skinned Philocles, who is all
Heavenly grace, although not very tall.
If on Leptinus' form your eyes you cast,
You cannot budge, your feet will be stuck fast
As adamant; that youngster's looks are so
Ardent they'll kindle you from top to toe.
Hail, lovely boys! May you attain your prime,
And live until your hair turns white with time.


Along with its purely literary interest a book like this also poses some difficult questions for Thelemites. At the time these poems were written the behavior and attitudes they describe were socially accepted, if not entirely approved by all segments of the Roman culture. In our present culture they would be illegal virtually everywhere and almost as universally condemned. But Thelemites are enjoined to "take your will and fill of love as ye will, when, where, and with whom ye will!". How does that jibe with a legally sanctioned age of consent? What about the protection of the vulnerable members of society? Does "stamp down thewretched & the weak" sanction the sexual exploitation of children? It's a sensitive topic among Thelemites, but books like this one remind us that it's unlikely to go away any time soon.



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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


    Re: Puerilities
    by Libanus on Sunday November 11, @01:56PM
    This isn't just an issue for Thelemites alone. There are certain Christians who are discussing it as well. Check out The Christian Boylove Forum for details.

    • Re: Puerilities
      by Aiwaz Thelema on Sunday November 11, @04:19PM
      It's true that it is an issue generally, but it's extra important to Thelemites for two reasons. 1- our combination of an antirestriction emphasis and a free love emphasis, and 2- child molestation is such a widespread accusation against fringy religions.


    Re: Puerilities
    by Fra THA;M on Tuesday November 13, @01:58PM
    Unfortunately, perhaps the only escape from this conundrum is a reliance on the integrity of individuals. Age of consent is tricky. I've met individuals of 17 who are more wary, mature and worldly than individuals of 27. If you are taking your fill of love with a CONSENTING individual, it is your obligation to discern that they are mature and cognizant of the choice they are making. If your actions move from celebration and love into predation and victimization; if one's desire is to abuse those who are unaware of the consequences of their actions...if sexual encounters must be levered from an individual by coercion, then woe be upon you. With the fires of RaHoorKhuit being stoked in my chest I desire to meet up with such persons, and tear their fucking hearts out.

    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


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