c. 9,600 BCE – c. 5,000 BCE – Mesolithicrock art in Sicily depicts phallic male figures in pairs that have been interpreted variously, including as hunters, acrobats, religious initiates, and depictions of male homosexual intercourse.
9th millennium BCE
90th century BCE
c. 9000 BCE – The Ain Sakhri lovers is sculpted, the oldest known representation of two persons engaging in sexual intercourse. The gender of both individuals in the sculpture is unknown.
8th millennium BCE – 2nd millennium BCE
70th century BCE – 17th century BCE
c. 7,000 BCE – c. 1700 BCE – Among the sexual depictions in Neolithic and Bronze Age drawings and figurines from the Mediterranean area, as one author describes it, a "third sex" human figure having female breasts and male genitals or without distinguishing sex characteristics. In Neolithic Italy, female images are found in a domestic context, while images that combine sexual characteristics appear in burials or religious settings. In Neolithic Greece and Cyprus, figures are often dual-sexed or without identifying sexual characteristics.
3rd millennium BCE
29th century BCE – 25th century BCE
c. 2900 BCE – c. 2500 BCE – A burial of a suburb of Prague, Czech Republic, a male is buried in the outfit usually reserved for women. Archaeologists speculate that the burial corresponds to a transgender person or someone of the third sex.
"If a man tells another man, either privately or in a brawl, “Your wife is promiscuous; I will bring charges against her myself,” but he is unable to substantiate the charge, and cannot prove it, he is to be caned, be sentenced to a month’s hard labor for the king, be cut off, and pay one talent of lead."
"If a man has secretly started a rumor about his neighbor saying, “He has allowed men to have sex with him,” or in a quarrel has told him in the presence of others, “Men have sex with you,” and then, “I will bring charges against you myself,” but is then unable to substantiate the charge, and cannot prove it, that man is to be caned, be sentenced to a month’s hard labor for the king, be cut off, and pay one talent of lead."
c. 1000 BCE – c. 500 BCE – The Vendidad dates from this period and within the text it states the following:
"Ahura Mazda answered: 'The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman lies with mankind, is the man that is a Daeva; this one is the man that is a worshipper of the Daevas, that is a male paramour of the Daevas, that is a female paramour of the Daevas, that is a wife to the Daeva; this is the man that is as bad as a Daeva, that is in his whole being a Daeva; this is the man that is a Daeva before he dies, and becomes one of the unseen Daevas after death: so is he, whether he has lain with mankind as mankind, or as womankind."
— Avesta, Vendidad, Fargard 8. Funerals and purification, unlawful sex, Section V (32) Unlawful lusts.
The guilty may be killed by any one, without an order from the Dastur, and by this execution an ordinary capital crime may be redeemed.
c. 630 BCE – Dorian aristocrats in Crete adopt formal relations between adult aristocrats and adolescent boys; an inscription from Crete is the oldest record of the social institution of paiderastia among the Greeks (see Cretan pederasty). Marriage between men in Greece was not legally recognized, but men might form lifelong relationships originating in paiderastia ("pederasty," without the pejorative connotations of the English word). These partnerships were not dissimilar to heterosexual marriages except that the older person served as educator or mentor.
Sappho, a Greek lyric poet born on the island of Lesbos, was born between 630 and 612 BCE, and died around 570 BCE. The Alexandrians included her in the list of nine lyric poets. She was famous for her lesbian themes, giving her name and that of her homeland to the very definition of lesbianism (and the lesser used term of "sapphism"). She was exiled c. 600 BCE unrelated to lesbianism. She was later permitted to return.
6th century BCE
c. 540 – 530 BCE – Wall paintings from the EtruscanTomb of the Bulls (Italian: Tomba dei Tori), found in 1892 in the Monterozzi necropolis, Tarquinia, depict homosexual intercourse. The tomb is named for the pair of bulls who watch human sex scenes, one between a man and a woman, and the other between two men; these may be apotropaic, or embody aspects of the cycle of regeneration and the afterlife. The three-chamber tomb was inscribed with the name of the deceased for whom it was originally built, Aranth Spurianas or Arath Spuriana, and also depicts Achilles killing the Trojan prince Troilus, along with indications of Apollo cult.
350 BCE – Plato publishes Laws in which the Athenian stranger and his companions criticize homosexuality as being lustful and wrong for society because it does not further the species and may lead to irresponsible citizenry.
338 BCE – The Sacred Band of Thebes, a previously undefeated elite battalion made up of one hundred and fifty pederastic couples, is destroyed by the forces of Philip II of Macedon who bemoans their loss and praises their honour.
57 – 54 BCE – Catullus writes the Carmina, including love poems to Juventius, boasting of sexual prowess with youth and violent invectives against "passive" homosexuals.
c. 50 BCE – The Lex Julia de vi publica, a Roman Republic law, was passed to define rape as forced sex against "boy, woman, or anyone" and the rapist was subject to execution. Men who had been raped were exempt from the loss of legal or social standing suffered by those who submitted their bodies to use for the pleasure of others; a male prostitute or entertainer was infamis and excluded from the legal protections extended to citizens in good standing. As a matter of law, a slave could not be raped; he was considered property and not legally a person. The slave's owner, however, could prosecute the rapist for property damage.
42 – 39 BCE – Virgil writes the Eclogues, with Eclogue 2 a notable example of homoerotic Latin literature.
27 BCE – The Roman Empire is established under the rule of Augustus. The first recorded same-sex marriage occurs during his reign, homosexual prostitution is taxed, and if someone is caught being sexually passive with another male, a Roman citizen could lose his citizenship.
26, 25 and 18 BCE – Tibullus writes his elegies, with references to homosexuality.
5 –15 CE – The Warren Cup is made – a Roman silver drinking cup decorated in relief with two images of male same-sex acts.
Wall painting of female couple from the Suburban Baths at Pompeii
98 – Trajan, one of the most beloved of Roman emperors, begins his reign. Trajan was well known for his homosexuality and fondness for young males. This was used to advantage by the king of Edessa, Abgar VII, who, after incurring the anger of Trajan for some misdeed, sent his handsome young son to make his apologies, thereby obtaining pardon.
Publius Cornelius Tacitus writes Germania. In Germania, Tacitus writes that the punishment for those who engage in "bodily infamy" among the Germanic peoples is to "smother in mud and bogs under an heap of hurdles." Tacitus also writes in Germania that the Germanic warrior-chieftains and their retinues would "in times of peace, beauty, and in times of war, a defense". Tacitus later wrote in Germania that priests of the Swabian sub-tribe, the Naharvali or Nahanarvali, who "dress as women" to perform their priestly duties.
c. 200 – The Outlines of Pyrrhonism is published. In the book, Sextus Empiricus states that "amongst the Persians it is the habit to indulge in intercourse with males, but amongst the Romans it is forbidden by law to do so". He also stated in the book that "amongst us sodomy is regarded as shameful or rather illegal, but by the Germanic they say, it is not looked on as shameful but as a customary thing. It is said, too, that in Thebes long ago this practice was not held to be shameful, and they say that Meriones the Cretan was so called by way of indicating the Cretans' customed and some refer to this the burning love of Achilles for Patroclus. And what wonder, when both the adherents of the Cynic philosophy and the followers of Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes and Chrysippus, declare that this practice is indifferent?".
218 – 222 – Roman emperor Elagabalus's reign begins. At different times, Elagabalus marries five women and a man named Zoticus, an athlete from Smyrna, in a lavish public ceremony at Rome; but the Syrian's most stable relationship is with the chariot driver Hierocles, and Cassius Dio says Elagabalus delighted in being called Hierocles' mistress, wife, and queen. The emperor wears makeup and wigs, prefers to be called a lady and not a lord, and offers vast sums to any physician who can provide them with a vagina; for this reason, the emperor is seen by some writers as an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
305 – 306 – Council of Elvira (now Granada, Spain). This council was representative of the Western European Church and among other things, it barred pederasts the right to Communion.
314 – Council of Ancyra (now Ankara, Turkey). This council was representative of the Eastern European Church and it excluded the Sacraments for 15 years to unmarried men under the age of 20 who were caught in homosexual acts, and excluded the man for life if he was married and over the age of 50.
306 – 337 – The Life of Constantine mentions a temple at Aphaca in Phoenicia, on a remote summit of Mount Libanus, being used by effeminate homosexual pagan priests, and says that this temple was destroyed by the command of Roman emperorConstantine I. It also states that Constantine passed a law ordering the extermination of effeminate homosexual pagan priests in Egypt.
342 – The Roman emperors Constantius II and Constans I issue the following imperial decree for the Roman Empire:
"When a man marries in the manner of a woman, a woman about to renounce men, what does he wish, when sex has lost all its significance; when the crime is one which it is not profitable to know; when Venus is changed to another form; when love is sought and not found? We order the statutes to arise, the laws to be armed with an avenging sword, that those infamous persons who are now, or who hereafter may be, guilty may be subjected to exquisite punishment."
c. 380s – Ammianus Marcellinus publishes Res Gestae. In Res Gestae, Marcellinus writes that the Persians "are extravagantly given to venery, and are hardly contented with a multitude of concubines; they are far from immoral relations with boys." Also in Res Gestae, Marcellinus writes that "We have learned that these Taifali were a shameful folk, so sunken in a life of shame and obscenity, that in their country the boys are coupled with the men in a union of unmentionable lust, to consume the flower of their youth in the polluted intercourse of those paramours."
"We cannot tolerate the city of Rome, mother of all virtues, being stained any longer by the contamination of male effeminacy, nor can we allow that agrarian strength, which comes down from the founders, to be softly broken by the people, thus heaping shame on the centuries of our founders and the princes, Orientius, dearly and beloved and favoured. Your laudable experience will therefore punish among revenging flames, in the presence of the people, as required by the grossness of the crime, all those who have given themselves up to the infamy of condemning their manly body, transformed into a feminine one, to bear practices reserved for the other sex, which have nothing different from women, carried forth – we are ashamed to say – from male brothels, so that all may know that the house of the manly soul must be sacrosanct to all, and that he who basely abandons his own sex cannot aspire to that of another without undergoing the supreme punishment."
"All persons who have the shameful custom of condemning a man's body, acting the part of a woman's to the sufferance of alien sex (for they appear not to be different from women), shall expiate a crime of this kind in avenging flames in the sight of the people."
"In criminal cases public prosecutions take place under various statutes, including the Lex Julia de adulteris, "...which punishes with death, not only those who violate the marriages of others, but also those who dare to commit acts of vile lust with men."
693 – In Iberia, Visigothic ruler Egica of Hispania and Septimania, demanded that a Church council confront the occurrence of homosexuality in the Kingdom. The Sixteenth Council of Toledo issued a statement in response, which was adopted by Egica, stating that homosexual acts be punished by castration, exclusion from Communion, hair shearing, one hundred lashes, and banishment into exile.
1061 – Pedro Dias and Muño Vandilas are married by a priest at a chapel in the Kingdom of León.
1100 – Ivo of Chartres tries to convince Pope Urban II about homosexuality risks. Ivo accused Rodolfo, archbishop of Tours, of convincing the King of France to appoint a certain Giovanni as bishop of Orléans. Giovanni was well known as Rodolfo's lover and had relations with the king himself, a fact of which the king openly boasted. Pope Urban, however, didn't consider this as a decisive fact: Giovanni ruled as bishop for almost forty years, and Rodolfo continued to be well known and respected.
1140 – The Italian monk Gratian compiles his work Concordia discordantium canonum in which he argues that sodomy is the worst of all the sexual sins because it involves using the member in an unnatural way.
1164 – The English monk Aelred of Rievaulx writes his De spiritali amicitia, giving love between persons of the same gender a profound expression.
1260 – In the Kingdom of France, first-offending sodomites lost their testicles, second offenders lost their member, and third offenders were burned. Women caught in same-sex acts could be mutilated and executed as well.
1283 – The Coutumes de Beauvaisis dictats that convicted sodomites should not only be burned but also that their property would be forfeited.
1308–14 – Philip IV of France orders the arrest of all Templars on charges of heresy, idolatry and sodomy, but these charges are only a pretext to seize the riches of the order. Order leaders are sentenced to death and burned at the stake on 18 March 1314 by Notre Dame.
1321 – Dante's Inferno places sodomites in the Seventh Circle.
1347 – Rolandino Roncaglia is tried for sodomy, an event that caused a sensation in Italy. He confessed he "had never had sexual intercourse, neither with his wife nor with any other woman, because he had never felt any carnal appetite, nor could he ever have an erection of his virile member". After his wife died of plague, Rolandino started to prostitute himself, wearing female dresses because "since he has female look, voice and movements – although he does not have a female orifice, but has a male member and testicles – many persons considered him to be a woman because of his appearance".
1370s – Jan van Aersdone and Willem Case were two men executed in Antwerp in the 1370s. The charge against them was same sex intercourse which was illegal and strenuously vilified in medieval Europe. Aersdone and Case stand out because records of their names have survived. One other couple still known by name from the 14th century were Giovanni Braganza and Nicoleto Marmagna of Venice.
1424 – Bernardino of Siena preached for three days in Florence, Italy, against homosexuality and other forms of lust, culminating in a pyre in which burned cosmetics, wigs and all sorts of articles for the beautification. He calls for sodomites to be ostracized from society, and these sermons alongside measures by other clergy of the time strengthens opinion against homosexuals and encourages the authorities to increase the measures of persecution
1432 – In Florence the first organization specifically intended to prosecute sodomy is established, the "Night Officials", which over the next 70 years arrest about 10,000 men and boys, succeeding in getting about 2,000 convicted, with most then paying fines.
1436 – Royal Noble Consort Sun is banished from the Joseon court after it is discovered that she has been sleeping with her maid. The official decree blames her demotion on receiving visitors without her husband's permission and instructing her maids to sing men's songs.
1451 – Pope Nicholas V enables the papal Inquisition to persecute men who practice sodomy.
1471 – 1493 – According to Garcilaso de la Vega's Real Reviews of the Incas, during the reign of Sapa IncaTopa Inca Yupanqui or Túpac Inca Yupanqui, he persecuted homosexuals. Yupanqui's general, Auqui Tatu, burned alive in public square all those for whom there was even circumstantial evidence of sodomy in [H]acari valley, threatening to burn down whole towns if anyone engaged in sodomy. In Chincha, Yupanqui burned alive large numbers, pulling down their houses and any trees they had planted.
1475 – In Peru, a chronicle written under the Capac Yupanqui government describes the persecution of homosexuals with public burnings and destruction of homes (a practice usually reserved for conquered tribes).
1476 – Florentine court records of 1476 show that Leonardo da Vinci and three other young men were charged with sodomy twice, and acquitted.
1483 – The Spanish Inquisition begins. Sodomites were stoned, castrated, and burned. Between 1540 and 1700, more than 1,600 people were prosecuted for sodomy.
1492 – Desiderius Erasmus writes a series of love letters to a fellow monk while at a monastery in Steyn in the Netherlands.
1494 – Girolamo Savonarola criticizes the population of Florence for its "horrible sins" (mainly homosexuality and gambling) and exhorts them to give up their young and beardless lovers.
1497 – In Spain, the King of AragonFerdinand and Queen of Castile and LeónIsabella strengthen the sodomy laws hitherto applied only in the cities. An increase is made in the severity of the crime equating to treason or heresy, and the amount of evidence required for conviction is lowered, with torture permitted to extract confession. The property of the defendant is also confiscated.
15th century – 16th century
1493 – 1525 – According to Garcilaso de la Vega's Real Reviews of the Incas, during his reign, Sapa Inca Huayna Capac merely "bade" the people of Tumbez to give up sodomy and did not take any measures against the Matna, who "practiced sodomy more openly and shamelessly than all the other tribes."
1542 – Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca documents same sex marriages and men "who dress like women and perform the office of women, but use the bow and carry big loads" among a Native American tribe in his publication, The Journey of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and His Companions from Florida to the Pacific 1528–1536.
1561 – process of Wojciech z Poznania, who married Sebastian Słodownik, and lived with him for 2 years in Poznań. Both had female partners. On his return to Kraków, he married Wawrzyniec Włoszek. Wojciech, considered in public opinion as a woman, was burned for 'crimes against nature'.
1610 – The Colony of Virginia enacts a military order that criminalizes male sodomy, making it punishable by death. This order ends later the same year, when martial law is terminated upon the change in control of the Virginia Colony.
1648 – In Canada's first-ever criminal trial for the crime of homosexuality, a gay military drummer stationed at the French garrison in Ville-Marie, New France is sentenced to death by the local Sulpician priests. After an intervention by the Jesuits in Quebec City, the drummer's life is spared on the condition that he accept the position of New France's first permanent executioner.
1655 – The Connecticut Colony passes a law against sodomy, which includes a punishment for lesbian intercourse as well.
1781 – Jens Andersson of Norway, assigned female at birth but identifying as male, was imprisoned and put on trial after getting married to Anne Kristine Mortensdotter in a Lutheran church. When asked about his gender, the response was “Hand troer at kunde henhøre til begge Deele” (“He believes he belongs to both”).
1785 – Jeremy Bentham is one of the first people to argue for the decriminalization of sodomy in England.
^Talalay, Lauren E. (2005). "The Gendered Sea: Iconography, Gender, and Mediterranean Prehistory". The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory. Blackwell. pp. 130–148, especially p. 136. ISBN978-0-631-23267-4.
^When writing about homosexuality, Meskell calls it "Another well documented example" Meskell, Lynn (1999). Archaeologies of Social Life: Age, Sex, Class Etcetra in Ancient Egypt. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 95. ISBN978-0-631-21298-0.
^Kenneth Dover, Greek Homosexuality (Harvard University Press, 1978, 1898), pp. 205–7
^Boswell, John (1994). Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe. New York: Vintage Books
^Stephan Steingräber, Abundance of Life: Etruscan Wall Painting (Getty Publications, 2006), pp. 67, 70, 91–92; Otto Brendel, Etruscan Art, translated by R. Serra Ridgway (Yale University Press, 1978, 1995), pp. 165–170; Fred S. Kleiner, A History of Roman Art (Wadsworth, 2007, 2010), p. xxxii.
^...with whom Darius was intimate and with whom Alexander would later be intimate... "Quintus Curtius Rufus"(BOOK VI. 5.23)
^Thomas A.J. McGinn, Prostitution, Sexuality and the Law in Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 140–141; Amy Richlin, The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor (Oxford University Press, 1983, 1992), pp. 86, 224; John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 63, 67–68; Craig Williams, Roman Homosexuality: Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 116.
^Ben Nusbaum, "Some Myths and Anomalies in the Study of Roman Sexuality," in Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition (Haworth Press, 2005), p. 231.
^ abcVarner, Eric (2008). "Transcending Gender: Assimilation, Identity, and Roman Imperial Portraits". Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome. Supplementary Volume. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. 7: 200–201. ISSN1940-0977. JSTOR40379354. OCLC263448435. Elagabalus is also alleged to have appeared as Venus and to have depilated his entire body. ... Dio recounts an exchange between Elagabalus and the well-endowed Aurelius Zoticus: when Zoticus addressed the emperor as 'my lord,' Elagabalus responded, 'Don't call me lord, I am a lady.' Dio concludes his anecdote by having Elagabalus asking his physicians to give him the equivalent of a woman's vagina by means of a surgical incision.
^Theodosian Code 9.7.3: "When a man marries and is about to offer himself to men in womanly fashion (quum vir nubit in feminam viris porrecturam), what does he wish, when sex has lost all its significance; when the crime is one which it is not profitable to know; when Venus is changed to another form; when love is sought and not found? We order the statutes to arise, the laws to be armed with an avenging sword, that those infamous persons who are now, or who hereafter may be, guilty may be subjected to exquisite punishment.
^(Theodosian Code 9.7.6): All persons who have the shameful custom of condemning a man's body, acting the part of a woman's to the sufferance of alien sex (for they appear not to be different from women), shall expiate a crime of this kind in avenging flames in the sight of the people.
^Laura Swan, The Forgotten Desert Mothers (2001, ISBN0809140160), pages 72–73
^Dale Albert Johnson, Corpus Syriacum Johnsoni I (2015, ISBN1312855347), page 344-8
^Conner, Randy P.; Sparks, David Hatfield; Sparks, Mariya; Anzaldúa, Gloria (1997), Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Lore, Cassell, p. 57, ISBN0-304-33760-9
^Visigothic Code 3.5.5, 3.5.6; "The doctrine of the orthodox faith requires us to place our censure upon vicious practices, and to restrain those who are addicted to carnal offences. For we counsel well for the benefit of our people and our country, when we take measures to utterly extirpate the crimes of wicked men, and put an end to the evil deeds of vice. For this reason we shall attempt to abolish the horrible crime of sodomy, which is as contrary to Divine precept as it is to chastity. And although the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and the censure of earthly laws, alike, prohibit offences of this kind, it is nevertheless necessary to condemn them by a new decree; lest if timely correction be deferred, still greater vices may arise. Therefore, we establish by this law, that if any man whosoever, of any age, or race, whether he belongs to the clergy, or to the laity, should be convicted, by competent evidence, of the commission of the crime of sodomy, he shall, by order of the king, or of any judge, not only suffer emasculation, but also the penalty prescribed by ecclesiastical decree for such offences, and promulgated in the third year of our reign."
^David Bromell. Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, London, 2000 (Ed. Wotherspoon and Aldrich)
^PETRI DAMIANI Liber gomorrhianus, ad Leonem IX Rom. Pon. in Patrologiae Cursus completus...accurante J.P., MIGNE, series secunda, tomus CXLV, col. 161; CANOSA, Romano, Storia di una grande paura La sodomia a Firenze e a Venezia nel quattrocento, Feltrinelli, Milano 1991, pp.13–14
^Crompton, Louis. Homosexuality and Civilization. Cambridge & London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003
^Louis Crompton, Homosexuality and civilisation, Harvard University, 2003. For more documented detail about Bernardino's lengthy campaign against homosexuality, see Franco Mormando, The Preacher's Demons: Bernardino of Siena and the Social Underworld of Early Renaissance Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), Chapter 3: "Even The Devil Flees in Horror at the Sight of This Sin:' Sodomy and Sodomites."
^della Chiesa, Angela Ottino (1967). The Complete Paintings of Leonardo da Vinci. p. 83.
^Diarmaid MacCulloch (2003). Reformation: A History. pg. 95. MacCulloch says "he fell in love" and further adds in a footnote "There has been much modern embarrassment and obfuscation on Erasmus and Rogerus, but see the sensible comment in J. Huizinga, Erasmus of Rotterdam (London, 1952), pp. 11–12, and from Geoffrey Nutuall, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 26 (1975), 403"
^Michael Rocke, Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male culture in Renaissance Florence, Oxford University Press, 1996
^Alfonso G. Jiménez de Sandi Valle, Luis Alberto de la Garza Becerra and Napoleón Glockner Corte. LGBT Pride Parade in Mexico City. National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), 2009. 25 p.
^I. Arnaldi, La vita violenta di Benvenuto Cellini, Bari, 1986
Dapin, Mark, "If at first you don't secede...", The Sydney Morning Herald – Good Weekend, 12 February 2005, pp 47–50
Lattas, Judy, "Queer Sovereignty: the Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands", Cosmopolitan Civil Societies journal, UTS September 2009