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He was selected for his good looks and grace to serve at his master's side, where he is often depicted in art.Among his duties, at a convivium he would enact the Greek mythological role of Ganymede, the Trojan youth abducted by Zeus to serve as a divine cupbearer.His Latin name and free-born status subvert pederastic tradition at Rome.

'Greece' as the historical memory of a treasured past was romanticised and idealised as a time and a culture when love between males was not only tolerated but actually encouraged, and expressed as the high ideal of same-sex camaraderie. If tolerance and approval of male homosexuality had happened once—and in a culture so much admired and imitated by the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—might it not be possible to replicate in modernity the antique homeland of the non-heteronormative?

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.

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.

Ficino maintained that men could use each other's beauty and friendship to discover the greatest good, that is, God, and thus Christianized idealized male love as expressed by Socrates.

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