Gay Warriors Documentary History

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Gay Warriors ay arriors A Documentary History from the Ancient World to the Present edited by B. R. Burg a New York University Press New York and London NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS New York and London © 2002 by New York University All rights reserved. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gay Warriors : a documentary history from the ancient world to the present / Edited by B. R. Burg. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN ––– (cloth : alk. paper) — ISBN ––– (paper : alk. paper) . Soldiers—Sexual behavior—History . Homosexuality—History. . Gay and lesbian studies. . United States Armed Forces—Gays. I. Burg, B. R. (Barry Richard), – UH .G  '.'—dc…show more content…
The purpose of Gay Warriors is to bring together in a convenient format an essential segment of the historical materials that underpin the folklore, legends, truths, and traditions of military homoeroticism through the ages. The chapters that follow, in most cases, include analytical articles, documents, and historical accounts. Articles were chosen for broad coverage of their subject, insightful scholarship, or usefulness in illuminating the documents. The process for choosing documents was more complex. An assortment of important texts from ancient Greece and Rome deal with the link between soldiers and homoerotic activities. Since none of them is of an inordinate length, chapter , on the classical world, contains the major commentaries on the subject and several less well known writings as well. Similarly, almost a score of classical writers dealt with Amazons in their histories, plays, and orations. The passages are brief in most instances, their span often being counted in sentences and paragraphs rather than pages, and almost all are included. Considerable evidence is available on homoeroticism in armed services from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century, but it survives most often only in fragmentary form. Prohibitions against sodomy were, at times, written into army and navy regulations; courts-martial occasionally dealt with such transgressions; a rare diarist wrote of shipboard…show more content…
Modern military officials tend to find this improbable or even unbelievable. But since sexual orientation was a matter of minor public and ethical concern to most of the city-states of the ancient world, and citizenship was a crucial privilege and obligation of all adult male citizens, many persons who might now be considered “gay” played prominent roles in the military, taking part in the earliest form of democracy through such involvement. A majority of the population of any ancient city-state—women, slaves, noncitizens—could not serve in the army; but they were not voting citizens anyway. Ancient city-states maintained the belief that all those who benefitted from the state had an obligation to defend it. The association of homosexuals with democracy and the military was intense and widespread, extending from Harmodius and Aristogiton, a pair of lovers who were believed to have founded the Athenian democracy by concerted violence against the last tyrant, who tried to come between them, to the noted generals Pelopidas and Epaminondas, to the great military genius Alexander and his male lover

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