Gerome - Snake Charmer Sir Richard Burton
(1821-1890) ( social sciences >> Burton, Sir Richard F.
) was a British explorer and writer.
While working as an intelligence officer with the British army in India, Burton was asked to investigate the boy brothels of Karachi that, reportedly, catered for British soldiers.
The army wanted to know about what went on inside three brothels that rented young boys and eunuchs. General Sir Charles Napier wanted the full details, in writing.
Burton wore various disguises during his investigation.
Burton was among the first white men to enter the more private parts of Arabia, including Mecca.
Burton translated into English a number of famous books:
The Kama Sutra,
The Hindu Art of Love,
The Perfumed Garden
The Arabian Nights
The Carmina of Gaius Valerius Catullus
Priapeia, or the Sportive Epigrams of Divers Poets on Priapus.
In the Terminal Essay of The Arabian Nights, 1885, Burton outlined his theory of a "Sotadic Zone" where homosexuality/pederasty flourished. The Sotadic Zone included most of the Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, China, Japan, the islands of the South Seas and North and South America.
Burton wrote ( terminal essay by richard francis burton
):Subsequent enquiries in many and distant countries enabled me to arrive at the following conclusions:
There exists what I shall call a 'Sotadic Zone,' (area where pederasty is common) bounded westwards by the northern shores of the Mediterranean (N. Lat. 43 °) and by the southern (N. Lat. 30°). Thus the depth would be 780 to 800 miles including meridional France, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and Greece, with the coast-regions of Africa from Marocco to Egypt.
Running eastward the Sotadic Zone narrows, embracing Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and Chaldaea, Afghanistan, Sind, the Punjab and Kashmir.
In Indo-China the belt begins to broaden, enfolding China, Japan and Turkistan.
It then embraces the South Sea Islands and the New World where, at the time of its discovery, Sotadic love was, with some exceptions, an established racial institution.
We must not forget that the love of boys has its noble, sentimental side. ThePlatonists and pupils of the Academy, followed by the Sufis or Moslem Gnostics, held such affection, pure as ardent, to be thebeau ideal which united in man's soul the creature with theCreator.
Professing to regard youths as the most cleanly and beautiful objects in this phenomenal world, they declared that byloving and extolling the chef-d'oeuvre, corporeal and intellectual, of the Demiurgus, disinterestedly and without any admixture of carnal sensuality, they are paying the most fervent adoration to the Causa causans.
They add that such affection, passing as it does the love of women, is far less selfish than fondness for and admiration of the other sex which, however innocent, always suggest sexuality; and Easterns add that the devotion of the moth to the taper is purer and more fervent than the Bulbul's love for the Rose.
Amongst the Greeks of the best ages the system of boy-favourites was advocated onconsiderations of morals and politics. The lover undertook the education of the beloved through precept and example, while thetwo were conjoined by a tie stricter than the fraternal.
Hieronymus the Peripatetic strongly advocated it because the vigorous disposition of youths and the confidence engendered bytheir association often led to the overthrow of tyrannies.
Socrates declared that "a most valiant army might be composed of boys and their lovers; for that of all men they would be most ashamed to desert one another."
And even Virgil, despite the foul flavour of Formosum pastor Corydon, could write: - Nisus amore pio pueri...
From Rome the practice extended far and wide to her colonies, especially the Provincia now called Provence. Athenaeus (xii. 26) charges the people of Massilia with "acting like women out of luxury"; and he cites the saying "May you sail to Massilia!" as if it were another Corinth. Indeed the whole Keltic race is charged with Le Vice by Aristotle (Pol. ii. 66), Strabo (iv. 199)and Diodorus Siculus (v. 32)...
In old Mauritania, now Marocco,[FN#384] the Moors proper are notable sodomites; Moslems,even of saintly houses, are permitted openly to keep catamites...
As in Marocco so the Vice prevails throughout the old regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli and all the cities of the South Mediterranean seaboard...
Beyond India, I have stated, the Sotadic Zone begins to broaden out, embracing all China, Turkistan and Japan. The Chinese, asfar as we know them in the great cities, are omnivorous and omnifutuentes: they are the chosen people of debauchery, andtheir systematic bestiality with ducks, goats, and other animals is equalled only by their pederasty...
Passing over to America we find that the Sotadic Zone contains the whole hemisphere from Behring's Straits to Magellan's... In California the first missionaries found the same practice, the youths being called Joya...