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Pausanias and Agathon
(ca. 448 - 400 BC) Greece


Athenian aristocrats and lovers


Pausanias appears in the dialectic as one of the most generic though equally noble characters. He, like all other participants of the Symposium, is a distinguished gentleman among Athenian aristocracy. It is in his thoughts that he best distinguishes himself in his praise of honor, virtue, and courage.


AgathonAgathon was an Athenian dramatist (c. 450-400 BC) and he was gay. His boyfriend was Pausanias and they had a 10-15 years long relationship. He was famous as an "effeminate" homosexual. It was in his house that the Dinner Party of Plato's Symposium takes place. Agathon was the younger and he shaved his body to keep the look of still being a youth in spite of his middle-age. By doing that the couple avoided criticism from the public.

He is introduced, by Plato, as a handsome young man, well dressed, of polished manners, courted by the fashion, wealth and wisdom of Athens, and dispensing hospitality with ease and refinement.

During this Dinner Party, Pausanias is advising against sexual relation with boys below puberty. His admonition is two-fold: the second part warned the would-be lover that he might be wasting "much noble enthusiasm" on someone too young to appreciate it.

see - Plato: Symposium 193C
and - Aristophanes: Thesmophoriazusae


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