The main Greek literary sources for Greek homosexuality are lyric poetry, Athenian comedy, the works of Plato and Xenophon, and courtroom speeches from Athens.
Vase paintings from the 500s and 400s BCE depict courtship and sex between males.
Evidence for same-sex attractions and behaviors is more abundant for men than for women.
Both romantic love and sexual passion between men were often considered normal, and under some circumstances healthy or admirable.
and came to fruition in the "new poetry" of the 50s BCE.
The poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus, written in forms adapted from Greek meters, include several expressing desire for a freeborn youth explicitly named "Youth" (Iuventius).
Greek love is a term originally used by classicists to describe the sexual, primarily homoerotic, customs, practices and attitudes of the ancient Greeks.
It was frequently used as a euphemism for homosexuality and pederasty.
Effeminacy or a lack of discipline in managing one's sexual attraction to another male threatened a man's "Roman-ness" and thus might be disparaged as "Eastern" or "Greek." Fears that Greek models might "corrupt" traditional Roman social codes (the mos maiorum) seem to have prompted a vaguely documented law (Lex Scantinia) that attempted to regulate aspects of homosexual relationships between freeborn males and to protect Roman youth from older men emulating Greek customs of pederasty.The literary ideal celebrated by Catullus stands in contrast to the practice of elite Romans who kept a puer delicatus ("exquisite boy") as a form of high-status sexual consumption, a practice that continued well into the Imperial era.The puer delicatus was a slave chosen from the pages who served in a high-ranking household.In 1469, In his commentary on Plato, Ficino interprets amor platonicus ("Platonic love") and amor socraticus ("Socratic love") allegorically as idealized male love, in keeping with the Church doctrine of his time.For Ficino, "Platonic love" was a bond between two men that fosters a shared emotional and intellectual life, as distinguished from the "Greek love" practiced historically as the erastes/eromenos relationship.