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Philolaus and Diocles
(8th century BC) Greece

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Philolaus, born in the Corinthian family of the Bacchiadae, was the lawgiver of Thebes, and his lover Diocles was an Olympic Athlete. Their love lasted until death and even their graves were turned towards one another in token of their affection. Aristotle relates the story of how they were buried, and says that the inhabitants point out the tomb.

Contrary to many opinions, male homosexual relationships in Ancient Greece were not just an older aristocrat having crushes on boys in the gymnasia, but included also lifelong partnerships and love.

For an account of Philolaus and Diocles, see: Aristotle, Politics, ii. 9


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