Through his encounters with beautiful young men, Winckelmann becomes a Socratic figure who transfers the practices of ancient paiderastia
to a modern setting: 'knowing' young men, he starts on the path to knowledge of the philosophic lover, which in the Phaedrus is described through the mythic imagery of the soul growing back its wings.
As Veyne and Cantarella have insisted, those Roman texts that explicitly identify certain sexual practices as `Greek', simultaneously implying disapproval,(38) refer not to male homosexual behaviour as a whole but specifically to the Greek tradition of paiderastia or pederasty: romantic and sexual relations with free-born young men that came equipped with an entire array of expectations and conventions, including an educational and sometimes specifically philosophical overlay.
67) The relationship with Juventius is on the model of Greek paiderastia, yet Catullus does not capitalise on that fact by endowing the Juventius poems with more of a `Greek' colouring than he gives the Lesbia poems.
Here, Hedwig suggests that modern appropriations of paiderastia are doomed to failure.
Hedwig's critique of American versions of Athenian paiderastia continues when Hedwig meets her next lover, Tommy, by highlighting the ways in which the age differences in ancient practice do not map onto current erotic configurations.