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by Archaeology Newsroom

Sexual love in Byzantium

The appearance of Christianity brought with it a new ethical code and a new way of life. The continence and purity implicit in Christianity are altogether different to the liberalism of antiquity. Byzantium becomes the vehicle of Christianity, while the duality of the Church state, closely interrelated, stands as the main support of the Byzantine world. Therefore, whatever does not fit into the ethical model determined by this duality is looked upon as contemptible and condemnable. The erotic mood of the Olympic pantheon which mirrors the approach and mentality of the ancient Greeks is in direct conflict with the instructions of Christian ethics. Sex can no longer be accepted as a source of pleasure and is justified only as a means of procreation. This could be considered characteristic of contemporary ethics, as far as the attitude towards the manifold variations of sexuality is concerned.