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Alcman wrote hymns known as partheneia, At roughly the same time, Sappho's poems discuss her love for both men and women.

It is noticeable that the fragment describes Sappho both giving to and receiving from the same partner, in contrast with the rigid active/passive partner dichotomy observed in Greek male homosexual relationships.

Later references to female homosexuality in Greek literature include an epigram by Asclepiades, which describes two women who reject Aphrodite's "rules" but instead do "other things which are not seemly".

At least among these Athenian men, the discussion and depiction of female homosexual activity seems to have been taboo.

Kenneth Dover suggests that, due to the role played by the phallus in ancient Greek men's conceptions of sexuality, female homosexual love was not conceivable as a category to the authors of our surviving sources.

Another example of the gender-sexual worldview of the times was documented in Lucian's Dialogues of the Courtesans, in which Megilla renames herself Megillus and wears a wig to cover her shaved head.

She marries Demonassa of Corinth, although Megillus is from Lesbos.

Sappho is the most often mentioned example of an ancient Greek woman who may have actually engaged in female homosexual practices.

Her sexuality has been debated by historians, with some such as Denys Page arguing that she was attracted to women, while others, such as Eva Stigers, arguing that the descriptions of love between women in Sappho's writings are not evidence for her own sexuality.

And other men and women being cast down from a great rock fell to the bottom, and again were driven by them that were set over them, to go up upon the rock, and thence were cast down to the bottom and had no rest from this torment.

And these were they that did defile their bodies behaving as women: and the women that were with them were they that lay with one another as a man with a woman.

Dover comments on the "striking" hostility shown in the epigram to female homosexuality, contrasting it with Asklepiades' willingness to discuss his own homosexual desire in other works, suggesting that this apparent male anxiety about female homosexuality in ancient Greece is the reason for our paucity of sources discussing it.

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