But among the Spartans, as Agnon the Academic philosopher tells us, girls and boys are all treated in the same way before marriage: for the great lawgiver Solon has said—
Admiring pretty legs and rosy lips;—as Aeschylus and Sophocles have openly made similar statements; the one saying, in the Myrmidons—
You paid not due respect to modesty,and the other, in his Colchian Women, speaking of Ganymede, says—
Led by your passion for too frequent kisses;—
Inflaming with his beauty mighty Jove.But I am not ignorant that the stories which are told about Cratinus and Aristodemus are stated by Polemo Periegetes, in his Replies to Neanthes, to be all mere inventions. But you, O Cynulcus, believe that all these stories are true, let them be ever so false. And you take the greatest pleasure in all such poems as turn on boys and favourite; of that kind; while the fashion of making favourites of boys was first introduced among the Grecians from Crete, as Timæus informs us. But others say that Laius was the originator of this custom, when he was received in hospitality by Pelops; and that he took a great fancy to his son, Chrysipps, whom he put into his chariot and carried off, and fled with to Thebes. But Praxilla the Sicyonian says that Chrysippus was carried off by Jupiter. And the Celtæ, too, although they have the most beautiful women of all the barbarians, still make great favourites of boys . . . . . And the Persians, according to the statement of Herodotus, learnt from the Greeks to adopt this fashion.