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When Dionysus visits Thebes, he entices King Penthius to view secretly the women dancing naked on the mountainside in Dionysian revelries.

Because Penthius succumbs to his desire to see “their wild obscenities,” the political order is toppled, and the queen mother, Agave, one of the bacchants, ends up with the severed head of her son Penthius in her lap — an eerie premonition of abortion.

This was the kind of mentoring relationship of which Socrates and Plato approved.

On the other hand, “he who is forced to follow pleasure and not good (239c)” because he is enslaved to his passions will perforce bring harm to the one whom he loves because he is trying to please himself, rather than seeking the good of the other.

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In other words, without households – meaning husbands and wives together in families – there is no state.

In the first place, it has been made according to nature; also, it effects a debarment from erotic fury and insanity, all kinds of adultery and all excesses in drink and food, and it makes man truly affectionate to their own wives: other blessings also would ensue, in infinite number, if one could make sure of this law.” ( The central insight of classical Greek philosophy is that the order of the city is the order of the soul writ large.

If there is disorder in the city, it is because of disorder in the souls of its citizens.

It is ironic that the proponents of homosexuality so often point to ancient Greece as their paradigm because of its high state of culture and its partial acceptance of homosexuality or, more accurately, pederasty.

Though some ancient Greeks did write paeans to homosexual love, it did not occur to any of them to propose homosexual relationships as the basis for marriage in their societies.

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