By Kenneth Borris
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Additional resources for Same-Sex Desire in the English Renaissance: A Sourcebook of Texts, 1470-1650 (Garland Studies in Therenaissance, 12)
35 Countering orthodox notions of “sins against nature,” such arguments as these and others in Aquinas’s text were thus certainly conceivable at least from the thirteenth century onward. The ancients’ moral philosophy and sciences afforded further means of homoerotic advocacy by allowing for the sex differences of individuals. 1–9). Such ideas were forcefully circulating from at least the thirteenth century onward, for in 1277 the bishop of Paris, Étienne Tempier (c. ” Shortly beforehand, Roger Bacon (c.
Whereas Traub sharply distinguishes nonpenetrative erotic relations of apparently “chaste” feminine friends (“femme-femme” in her terms) from definitively “unnatural” tribadism (231), I do not, for these categories interpenetrated (*Love and Friendship). Traub reserves “sapphism” for the eighteenth-century transformation of erotics between women resulting from consolidated “domestic heterosexuality” (222, 323). However, although I know of no Renaissance usage of the word to designate female homoeroticism, it aptly reflects Sappho’s powerful revival and her predominant linkage at that time, from at least the early sixteenth century, with sexual love between females (*The Sapphic Renaissance).
In a morally censorious sense, “boy” could apply to a man in his late twenties (Smith, 193–96), yet could also be used as an endearment well beyond late adolescence. Renaissance culture was Latinate, and Roman boyhood could extend to around twenty, while puer could “refer to a man’s sexual object regardless of his…actual age” (Craig Williams, 73, 77). It is often assumed that substantial age difference particularly characterized early modern sexual love between males. However, insofar as sodomites did seek adolescent male partners, that actually paralleled much heteroerotic marital and extramarital practice.
Same-Sex Desire in the English Renaissance: A Sourcebook of Texts, 1470-1650 (Garland Studies in Therenaissance, 12) by Kenneth Borris