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Our ancestors attitudes towards homosexuality.


Protestant/Catholic=Irish

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Something which surprised me was that our Gaelic ancestors were, from what is known, very tolerant of homosexuality. This is simply amazing, showing how forward thinking the Celts were back then. I don't know if they were the only ones to be tolerant of homosexuality, but they were certainly in the minority in relation to their attitude towards it.

That said, the Gaels were always an extremely forward thinking race, treating women with far more equality than was given to them in other cultures.

Unfortunately, with the arrival of the English (and, to a lesser extent, Christians) came the destruction of our civilisation, and the tolerant attitudes of our ancestors were deemed "uncivilised" and needed to be "modernised" by the superior race that occupied our nation.

GAELIC CELTIC CULTURE Page1
 

Little_Korean

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There is also the brief statements by the Roman chroniclers which tell that it was common for
people of the same gender to share the same bed. This seems to be born out in
the story of CuChullain, as even these centuries latter, the redactors hand
aside, there is still told of Cuchullains love for and sharing the bed with
Ferdiad.
Depends on the culture in question - in some, sharing a bed with members of the same gender is common enough with no sexual implications. Likewise for warriors on campaign, where sharing a bed for warmth and space would have made sense.
 

Protestant/Catholic=Irish

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Depends on the culture in question - in some, sharing a bed with members of the same gender is common enough with no sexual implications. Likewise for warriors on campaign, where sharing a bed for warmth and space would have made sense.
True. The sharing of a bed with another man was perfectly fine, which as the link says seemed to have been "born out of Cú Chulainn" who liked sharing his bed with Ferdiad.

But Brehon Law was also tolerant of homosexual activity as long as those involved were not married.
 

Riadach

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True. The sharing of a bed with another man was perfectly fine, which as the link says seemed to have been "born out of Cú Chulainn" who liked sharing his bed with Ferdiad.

But Brehon Law was also tolerant of homosexual activity as long as those involved were not married.
Brehon law was a civil code, it involved private law. An offence was only an offence where someone was injured by it, so it's far from unusual that there would be no law against homosexual activity. The only time it came into play was in divorce cases, when homosexuality could be grounds for divorce, but similarly so was impotence. Attitudes of the Irish church towards homosexuality were considerably less favourable, and various penitentials describe what penance was due for sodomitical acts, though it certainly wasn't a capital offence. Adhamhnán speaks with horror at the instance of a Aid the Black who was apparently attached to a bishop in a carnal way, a son of perdition whose death came about eventually through the threefold death, a particularly ominous occurance. There was a prolification in Ireland of juvenile warrior bands who left their homes on the onset of puberty as a right of passage, for military training in a similar manner (and of a similar origin) to the Spartan agoge. This too could have been a hotbed for sodomy, as it seems those groups tended to transgrees sexual norms or that sexual transgression was part of the right of passage, given their liminal place in society, something that may be reflected in Cú Chulainn's relationship with Fer-dia, as they were supposed to have been trained together as well.
 

MariaMcN

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Brehon law was a civil code, it involved private law. An offence was only an offence where someone was injured by it, so it's far from unusual that there would be no law against homosexual activity. The only time it came into play was in divorce cases, when homosexuality could be grounds for divorce, but similarly so was impotence. Attitudes of the Irish church towards homosexuality were considerably less favourable, and various penitentials describe what penance was due for sodomitical acts, though it certainly wasn't a capital offence. Adhamhnán speaks with horror at the instance of a Aid the Black who was apparently attached to a bishop in a carnal way, a son of perdition whose death came about eventually through the threefold death, a particularly ominous occurance. There was a prolification in Ireland of juvenile warrior bands who left their homes on the onset of puberty as a right of passage, for military training in a similar manner (and of a similar origin) to the Spartan agoge. This too could have been a hotbed for sodomy, as it seems those groups tended to transgrees sexual norms or that sexual transgression was part of the right of passage, given their liminal place in society, something that may be reflected in Cú Chulainn's relationship with Fer-dia, as they were supposed to have been trained together as well.
So the ancient Greeks weren't the ones with formalised pederasty.
 

Riadach

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So the ancient Greeks weren't the ones with formalised pederasty.
It may not have been pederasty as opposed to experimentation. It didn't just begin in Liberal Arts Colleges you know.
 
M

MrFunkyBoogaloo

Brehon law was a civil code, it involved private law. An offence was only an offence where someone was injured by it, so it's far from unusual that there would be no law against homosexual activity. The only time it came into play was in divorce cases, when homosexuality could be grounds for divorce, but similarly so was impotence. Attitudes of the Irish church towards homosexuality were considerably less favourable, and various penitentials describe what penance was due for sodomitical acts, though it certainly wasn't a capital offence. Adhamhnán speaks with horror at the instance of a Aid the Black who was apparently attached to a bishop in a carnal way, a son of perdition whose death came about eventually through the threefold death, a particularly ominous occurance. There was a prolification in Ireland of juvenile warrior bands who left their homes on the onset of puberty as a right of passage, for military training in a similar manner (and of a similar origin) to the Spartan agoge. This too could have been a hotbed for sodomy, as it seems those groups tended to transgrees sexual norms or that sexual transgression was part of the right of passage, given their liminal place in society, something that may be reflected in Cú Chulainn's relationship with Fer-dia, as they were supposed to have been trained together as well.
Great contribution as usual Riadach. +1

How does one pronounce that name, "Adhamnán", though? I see it, I read it but - for some reason - I can't say it (or at least don't know how to)...
 
D

Dylan2010

it seems like the Chinese were ok with it, until the people inspired by 2000 year old "fairy" stories arrived on the scene



Homosexuality in China - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Homosexuality in China historically was regarded as a normal facet of life[1] and the existence of homosexuality in China has been well documented since ancient times. Many early Chinese emperors are speculated to have had homosexual relationships, accompanied by heterosexual ones.[2] Opposition to homosexuality and the rise of homophobia did not become firmly established in China until the 19th and 20th centuries
 

MariaMcN

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It may not have been pederasty as opposed to experimentation. It didn't just begin in Liberal Arts Colleges you know.
Young boy-men where trained up by older men and part of their instruction involved sex? Yes, that's what we now know as a form of pederasty. Nothing civilised about that!
 

Riadach

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Great contribution as usual Riadach. +1

How does one pronounce that name, "Adhamnán", though? I see it, I read it but - for some reason - I can't say it (or at least don't know how to)...
He would have pronounced it adh-av-naun, but modern times it can be pronounced as Ow-nan, hence the anglicisation Eunan.
 

JCR

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Jul 22, 2009
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Something which surprised me was that our Gaelic ancestors were, from what is known, very tolerant of homosexuality. This is simply amazing, showing how forward thinking the Celts were back then. I don't know if they were the only ones to be tolerant of homosexuality, but they were certainly in the minority in relation to their attitude towards it.

That said, the Gaels were always an extremely forward thinking race, treating women with far more equality than was given to them in other cultures.

Unfortunately, with the arrival of the English (and, to a lesser extent, Christians) came the destruction of our civilisation, and the tolerant attitudes of our ancestors were deemed "uncivilised" and needed to be "modernised" by the superior race that occupied our nation.

GAELIC CELTIC CULTURE Page1
It wasn't 'our' civilisation it was whatever kind of civilisation lived in Ireland at the time. all it 'Celts' if you like, but it isn't 'ours'.

Our 'civilisation' or society has assimilated many different influences throughout history, thankfully.
 

Protestant/Catholic=Irish

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Young boy-men where trained up by older men and part of their instruction involved sex. Yes, that's what we now know as a form of pederasty. Nothing civilised about that!
What are you on about ffs? They weren't instructed to have sex, they chose to themselves, perhaps as a way to release tension/gain dominance over the others etc.

It was an acceptable thing to do. A pity it was criminalised by invaders.

EDIT: Homosexuality, not rape!
 
M

MrFunkyBoogaloo

He would have pronounced it adh-av-naun, but modern times it can be pronounced as Ow-nan, hence the anglicisation Eunan.
Brilliant, thanks. Is the "dh" silent and what does the name mean? Am I right in thinking it's an Irish version of Adam?

I know it's a side issue and I hope the OP doesn't mind me going off on this tangent (for the last time).
 
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