Musa Paidike (Greek for The Boyish Muse) is an anthology of erotic and amorous epigrams attributed to Straton of Sardis, a Greek poet and anthologist from the Lydian city of Sardis. He is thought by some scholars to have lived during the time of Hadrian, based on the authorship of a poem about the doctor Artemidorus Capito, a contemporary of Hadrian. Because of its taboo subject matter, until the mid-twentieth century Straton’s work was generally left untranslated, translated only into Latin, published in censored forms, or translated only in private editions. These translations helped form the Greek core of influential homosexual poetry anthologies, such as Elisar von Kupffer’s Lieblingminne und Freundesliebe in der Weltliteratur (1899) and Edward Carpenter’s Iolaus (1908). New translations of Straton were later published by writers including Roger Peyrefitte and Salvatore Quasimodo.
Goor was probably introduced to Straton’s work by Peyrefitte, and it would have chimed naturally with his love of classical art. The result is this wonderful series of naked gay young Greek men enjoying one another’s company.