Cleomachus (Greek: Κλεόμαχος) was an Ancient Greek warrior from Thessaly, notable for his defeat of the Eretrians in the Lelantine War.

Died7th century BC

Cleomachus was a widely known and celebrated soldier, and was called upon to fight by the Chalcidians in their war against the Eretrians. He agreed to fight and brought his male lover and companion to fight alongside him. Cleomachus charged the Eretrian lines and brought the Chalcidians to victory. Unfortunately, he was slain during the battle, but his courage inspired the Chalcidians and changed their opinions on homosexuality, and they erected a tomb dedicated to him in the marketplace of Chalcis, the pillar of which still stood in Plutarch's days.[1][2]

Aristotle attributed a popular local song to the legacy of Cleomachus:[3]

Ye lads of grace and sprung from worthy stock
Grudge not to brave men converse with your beauty
In cities of Chalcis, Love, looser of limbs
Thrives side by side with courage

Though largely forgotten, Cleomachus is a notable example of Ancient Greek attitudes toward homosexuality.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Eva Cantarella, Bisexuality in the Ancient World (Yale University Press, 1992, 2002, originally published 1988 in Italian), p. 71.
  2. ^ Crompton, Louis. "Early Greece." Homosexuality & Civilization. Cambridge: Belknap of Harvard U, 2006. 8-10. Print.
  3. ^ Artistotle, Eroticus fr. 98 Rose (= Plutarch, Amatorius 760f), quoted at Cantarella p. 71 and Crompton p. 10 from the translation of F.C. Babbit, Plutarch: Moralia, vol. 9. Loeb Classical Library no. 425 (London, repr. 1961) p. 377.