Wikipedia says: "It is a tour de force of pederastic fantasy and one of the frankest and most explicit texts on the subject to have been written before the twentieth century. It has been called "the first homosexual novel". On one hand, the authorities followed the church in denouncing and fiercely persecuting all sodomy. Rocco was the most important of a tiny number of writers who dared counter the various arguments of God, law and nature which were supposed to justify this persecution.
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Wikipedia says: "It is a tour de force of pederastic fantasy and one of the frankest and most explicit texts on the subject to have been written before the twentieth century.
It has been called "the first homosexual novel". On one hand, the authorities followed the church in denouncing and fiercely persecuting all sodomy. Rocco was the most important of a tiny number of writers who dared counter the various arguments of God, law and nature which were supposed to justify this persecution.
Those of God and the law are shown to be irrational inventions and nature is shown to favour the love of men and boys and its consummation. Rocco, or rather Philotimes, then proceeds to show how both these things are superior to the alternatives. Lest it be supposed to be a sombre treatise, the fun should be explained too.
Mostly, I think it comes from the sheer joie de vivre underlying the dialogue. There is plenty of satire ranging from the unphilosophical over-excitement of the supposed philosopher to the outrageous excess of some of his arguments.
In this it offers a valuable lesson to modern writers on sexual matters whose dour vocabulary tends to be at odds with the joy which should be at the heart of their subject. Considering all the old arguments against homosexuality have largely been abandoned in modern Europe, it is ironic that the only beneficiaries have been men loving men, described by Philotimes as "mere beasts" for their goatish tastes. Today a new Rocco is badly needed, for despite doing his best to answer all, Philotimes was unable to anticipate a day when the adolescent consent to sex he fought so hard and well to obtain would be held in contempt.
Nor could he foresee the perversity of an age which would see the sexual abuse of boys, which he fiercely denounced himself, as a justification for terrorising men and boys genuinely in love.
An excellent "Afterword" shedding light on the book by D. Mader overstates an important point: he claims it is early evidence of the modern homosexual identity explained by Foucault as having emerged in the late 19th century.
Dialogues devoted to explaining why loving boys is better than loving women go back to antiquity, and are surely far removed from claiming an identity based on an immutable orientation. Philotimes explains his preference for boys as based on reason and experience; his arguments would have had to be quite different if he thought he had no choice about it.
Alcibiades the Schoolboy (book)
According to Aristophanes the Athenian people "yearns for him, and hates him too, but wants him back". Aeschylus sees Alcibiades as a powerful creation arousing admiration, but also as a "savage figure" unacceptable and dangerous when released in the city. Some scholars, however, consider them spurious. According to Plato, Alcibiades is an extraordinary soul, an embodiment of the pursuit of worldly power. What is extraordinary for the philosopher, however, is not the deeds that result but the soul itself, especially that selfish passion for what is best for himself beyond the conventional offices and honors. For Plato, Alcibiades embodies the culmination of politics, but that culmination that seeks a grand and almost god-like superiority that transcends politics.
Jump to: navigation , search Afterword Until now, the history of Alcibiades the Schoolboy in English began, and to all intents and purposes ended, on the back cover of another work of fiction with a similar theme, the Asbestos Diary by "Casimir Dukahz. The first time this little-known 17th century classic has appeared in English. In dialogue form, it is virtually a manual on how to seduce boys. Eglinton, in his introduction, maintains that is also a deadly parody of the Machiavellian doctrine of expediency. Our edition includes the original Italian text, and a bibliographical appendix by Warren Johansson. In preparation  Regrettably, the book never appeared.
Alcibiades the Schoolboy
Set in ancient Athens , the teacher is modelled on Socrates , who so desperately wants to consummate the relationship he has with Alcibiades , one of his students, that he uses all tactics of rhetoric and sophistry at his disposal. He argues that Nature gave us sexual organs for our own pleasure, and that it would insult her to use them otherwise, citing examples from Greek mythology and culture, as well as refuting counterarguments based on the Sodom and Gomorrah story. It is "a tour de force of pederastic fantasy and one of the frankest and most explicit texts on the subject to have been written before the twentieth century. The work was first attributed to Pietro Aretino , but an article in by Achille Neri identified the author as Antonio Rocco , a libertine priest and philosopher and member of the Accademia degli Incogniti founded by Giovan Battista Loredan. The text is unashamedly explicit, and it has been argued that "it must be understood in the context of similar texts of the trend of libertinism, using the term in its original sense of a sceptical philosophical tendency.