Loeb Classics

Probably the most entertaining efforts to conceal homosexuality from the public have been undertaken by the editors of the Loeb Classics, the standard collection of Greek and Latin classical texts with English translation. Until very recently many sections of Greek works in this series dealing with overt homosexuality were translated not into English but Latin, and some explicit passages in Latin found their way into Italian. In addition to the ambiguous comment this procedure makes on the morals of Italian readers, it has the curious effect of highlighting every salacious passage in the major classics, since the interested reader (with appropriate linguistic skills) has only to skim the English translation looking for Latin or Italian. The practice applied equally to profane and sacred writers: even Christian condemnations of homosexual acts were deemed too provocative for English readers.

— John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality

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