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“The Spirit Of Fornication, Whom The Children Of The Hellenes Used To Call Eros”: Male Homoeroticism And The Rhetoric Of Chastity In The Letters Of Nilus Of Ancyra

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Chapter Summary

This chapter intends to search for answers to some of the questions and that includes how representative was such a rejection of male homoeroticism for the society where its proponent lived? Was it so determinate only because the man who formulated it was a Christian ascetic? The main group of sources the author uses deals with male same-sex relationships and was authored by a Christian ascetic living in a monastic milieu. Foucault's theoretical formulation is well borne out in Nilus' letter to Pierius. Nilus trusted that his young friend was not one of those people "who are bent on pleasure and who are careless about the punishments to come and about that universal tribunal" and whom "the spirit of fornication, whom the children of the Hellenes used to call Eros, quite openly and rapidly and without any effort drags into the pit of wantonness".

Keywords:homoeroticism; Nilus of Ancyra; spirit of fornication



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