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He was selected for his good looks and grace to serve at his master's side, where he is often depicted in art.

It was frequently used as a euphemism for homosexuality and pederasty.

"Greek love," or the cultural model of Greek pederasty in ancient Rome, is a "topos or literary game" that "never stops being Greek in the Roman imagination", an erotic pose to be distinguished from the varieties of real-world sexuality among individuals.

According to Reeser's book Setting Plato Straight, it was the Renaissance that shifted the idea of love in Plato's sense to what we now refer to as "Platonic love"--as asexual and heterosexual.

The phrase is a product of the enormous impact of the reception of classical Greek culture on historical attitudes toward sexuality, and its influence on art and various intellectual movements.

'Greece' as the historical memory of a treasured past was romanticised and idealised as a time and a culture when love between males was not only tolerated but actually encouraged, and expressed as the high ideal of same-sex camaraderie. If tolerance and approval of male homosexuality had happened once—and in a culture so much admired and imitated by the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—might it not be possible to replicate in modernity the antique homeland of the non-heteronormative?

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