Out in the World: A Global Gay History: Episode 2 (Radio 3)
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In episode two of BBC Radio 3's landmark series telling the global story of gay identity, Richard Coles travels to Greece to rediscover the ancient culture in which homoerotic love was part of a social code. He visits the plain of Chaeronea where the Sacred Band of Thebes, a military unit made up of same sex lovers, was wiped out in combat against the Macedonian forces of Philip and his son Alexander. The Lion monument overlooking the site speaks of an attitude towards the Sacred Band at odds with our modern feminised view of homosexuality. Richard then explores the impact of the Abrahamic religions. The prohibition 'thou shalt not sleep with a man as with a woman', and the story of Lot's rejection by the people of Sodom, appear unequivocal. But how did early Islamic, Judaic and Christian societies react to these texts and what are we to make of the Hebrew and Arabic homoerotic poetry of the early medieval period? Producer: Tom Alban.