On the interior of this Athenian red-figure kylix or cup, a seated youth pulls his older male lover down toward him for a kiss. In Athenian aristocratic circles in the Archaic period, older men often courted youths. Such homosexual relationships were a key element in the socialization of young men, which involved mentoring and education as well as physical and sexual encounters.
An important setting for male relationships was the gymnasium, and the exterior of the cup depicts youths and bearded men training in various athletic activities, including the javelin, discus, and long jump. The youth in the long robe playing the flutes provides music for the training. Greek vases of the Archaic period frequently depict favorite pursuits of the aristocratic patrons who used the vessels; scenes of athletic training, another key element in the socialization of Athenian youths, are among the most common.
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