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The puer delicatus was a slave chosen from the pages who served in a high-ranking household.

He was selected for his good looks and grace to serve at his master's side, where he is often depicted in art.

In his classic study Greek Homosexuality, Kenneth Dover points out that the English nouns "a homosexual" and "a heterosexual" have no equivalent in the ancient Greek language.

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One of his few surviving fragments is a poem of desire addressed to a male with a Greek name, signaling the new aesthetic in Roman culture.

and came to fruition in the "new poetry" of the 50s BCE.

Catullus's poems are more often addressed to a woman.

The literary ideal celebrated by Catullus stands in contrast to the practice of elite Romans who kept a puer delicatus ("exquisite boy") as a form of high-status sexual consumption, a practice that continued well into the Imperial era.

Greek love is a term originally used by classicists to describe the primarily homoerotic customs, practices, and attitudes of the ancient Greeks.

It was frequently used as a euphemism for homosexuality and pederasty.In Archaic and classical Greece, paiderasteia had been a formal social relationship between freeborn males; taken out of context and refashioned as the luxury product of a conquered people, pederasty came to express roles based on domination and exploitation.Effeminacy or a lack of discipline in managing one's sexual attraction to another male threatened a man's "Roman-ness" and thus might be disparaged as "Eastern" or "Greek".Fears that Greek models might "corrupt" traditional Roman social codes (the mos maiorum) seem to have prompted a vaguely documented law (Lex Scantinia) that attempted to regulate aspects of homosexual relationships between freeborn males and to protect Roman youth from older men emulating Greek customs of pederasty.The consul Quintus Lutatius Catulus was among a circle of poets who made short, light Hellenistic poems fashionable in the late Republic.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.

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