Briefly: a catamitic misreading

Another “out of the corner of the eye” misreading, from the front page of the NYT yesterday (July 1st). What I thought I saw was the teaser head

A Love Tested by Catamites

As I tried to imagine how the story went, I focused more carefully on the page, and saw the head

A Love Tested by Calamities

And then I wondered about the history of catamite.

From Wikipedia (using the resources of OED3):

In its modern usage the term catamite refers to a boy as the passive or receiving partner in anal intercourse with a man.

In its ancient usage a catamite (Latin catamitus) was a pubescent boy who was the intimate companion of a young man in ancient Greece and Rome, usually in a pederastic relationship. It was usually a term of affection and literally means “Ganymede” in Latin. It was also used as a term of insult when directed toward a grown man. [A grown man should be the insertive partner, not the receptive.] The word derives from the proper noun Catamitus, the Latinized form of Ganymede, the beautiful Trojan youth abducted by Zeus to be his companion and cupbearer.

Those were different times.

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