From: David C. Hindley (
Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 09:12:08 EST


>>So there is no other mention of ARRENOKOITHS in secular Greek? Why,
then, does it have this alternative spelling (with RR instead of RS)?<<

ARSHN, according to the abridged L&S lexicon, is the Ionic & Attic form of
the *later* ARRHN.

You can search for words in context in Perseus:

I tried to find either ARSENOKOITHS or ARRENOKOITHS in a text, but without
success. While I have not checked every spelling possible, neither of
these words seems to appear in the Perseus texts, nor does homosexual(ity)
seem to appear in the Greek or Latin dictionary definitions (which makes
me wonder how, or whether, homosexuality was given a specific label in

The LSJ lexicon had no entry for ARSENOKOITHS. For ARRENOKOITHS the
results were:

arreno-koiths, ou, ho, sodomite, AP9.686; (ars-) 1 Ep.Cor.6.9. (I do not
know what AP9.686 refers to, perhaps someone will illuminate me)

The old abridged L & S lexicon had, under ARSENOKOITHS:

arseno-koiths, ou, ho, (arshn, koith) one guilty of unnatural offenses

There was no entry for ARRENOKOITHS.

These definitions appear to be arbitrary and a bit dismissive. Steven
Miller has already got to the essential meaning (man - bed/sleep, i.e., to
"sleep" with a man). The references to "sodomite" and "unnatural offense"
seem to be associating "ARSHN" with the rectum, which is undoubtedly a
secondary association and surely late (as in, bad Victorian era erotic


Dave Hindley
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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