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Timaeus of Tauromenium (c.356-260 BCE)
History of Sicily


Timaeus seems to have been the one who invented the system of dating by Olympiads later popularized by Eratosthenes. He wrote a 38 book history of Sicily, his homeland (although he lived in Athens for fifty years). Polybius praised him, but also accused him of falsification. [Ref. Oxford Companion to Classical Literature]

This passage is printed in W. Churchill: Homosexual Behaviour Among Males, (New York: 1967), p. 77 but without a specific citation. It is significant because of his specific claim that "active" and "passive" homosexual activity were not objectionable.

On Homosexuality among the Tyrrhenians

It is not considers objectionable among the Tyrrhenians to have to do with boys openly, whether actively or passively, for paederasty is a custom of the country…

When they are with friends or relatives their custom is the following. When they have stopped drinking and are going to bed, servants bring into them courtesans, beautiful boys, or women, while the lamps are still burning. When they have enjoyed themselves sufficiently with these, they fetch young men in their prime and let them enjoy themselves with these courtesans, beautiful boys, or women. They pay homage to love…

They are very find of women, but find more pleasure with boys and with young men. These are very beautiful since they take the greatest care of their persons and remove all troublesome hairs from their bodi.



The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 20 January 2021 [CV]