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Some of the roots of a negative attitude to homosexuality are found in Peter Damian’s appeal to Pope Leo IX. Written 900 years ago by an Italian monk, The Book of Gomorrah asks the Pope to take steps to halt the spread of homosexual practices among the clergy and is relevant to contemporary discussion of homosexuality.

The Book of Gomorrah asks the Pope to take steps to halt the spread of homosexual practices among the clergy. The first part outlines the various forms of homosexual practice, the specific abuses, and the inadequacy of traditional penitential penances, and demands that offenders be removed form their ecclesiastical positions. The second part is an impassioned plea to the offenders to repent of their ways, accept due penance, and cease from homosexual activity.

Payer’s is the first translation of the full tract into any language from the original Latin. In his introduction to the tract Payer places The Book of Gomorrah in its context as the first major systematic treatise in the medieval West against various homosexual acts, provides a critique of Peter Damian’s arguments, and outlines his life. The annotated translation is followed by a translation of the letter of Pope Leo IX in reply to Damian’s Treatise, an extensive bibliography, and indexes.

The book will be of interest to students of medieval history and religion, to ethicists and students of social mores, and to persons generally concerned with the historical roots of present-day attitudes to homosexuality.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-5
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  1. Censures of Homosexuality Prior to 1048
  2. pp. 6-11
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  1. Early Reform Movements
  2. p. 11
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  1. Peter Damian
  2. p. 12
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  1. Book of Gomorrah
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. Concerns of the Book of Gomorrah
  2. pp. 14-15
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  1. Damian's Arguments
  2. pp. 15-19
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  1. Pastoral Concern
  2. p. 19
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  1. Was Homosexuality a Problem?
  2. pp. 20-22
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  1. Conclusion
  2. p. 22
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  1. The Translation
  2. pp. 22-24
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  1. Book of Gomorrah
  1. Preface
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. I. The Different Types of Those Who Sin against Nature
  2. p. 29
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  1. II. Excessive Piety on the Part of Superiors Fails to Exclude from Orders Those Who Fall in This Way
  2. pp. 30-31
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  1. III. Those Given over to Unclean Acts Should Not Be Promoted to Orders, and Those Already Promoted Should Not Remain in Orders
  2. pp. 32-34
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  1. IV. Whether Such Should Be Allowed to Function in This Office in the Event of Ecclesiastical Need
  2. pp. 35-36
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  1. V. Those Who Desire To Have Sacred Orders after This Vice Have Fallen into a Depraved Sense
  2. pp. 37-40
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  1. VI. Spiritual Fathers Who Are Defiled Along with Their Children
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. VII. Those Who Confess Their Crimes to the Very Ones with Whom They Fell
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. VIII. Just as the Sacrilegious Violator of a Virgin, so also the Prostitutor of a Spiritual Son Must Be Deposed by Law
  2. pp. 45-46
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  1. IX. Those Who Sin with Either a Natural or Baptismal Daughter are Guilty of the Same Crime
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. X. The Apocryphal Canons in Which Those Who Trust Are Completely Deceived
  2. pp. 49-50
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  1. XI. A Credible Refutation of the Aforesaid Canons
  2. pp. 51-54
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  1. XII. These Mockeries Are To Be Excluded from the Sacred Canons Since They Do Not Seem To Have Certain Authorship
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. XIII. "Those Who Fornicate Irrationally, That Is, Who Mix with Cattle or Who Are Polluted with Males"
  2. pp. 57-58
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  1. XIV. "Those Who Were Once Polluted with Animals or Males, or Who Still Languish in This Vice"
  2. pp. 59-60
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  1. XV. Clerics or Monks Who are Seducers of Males
  2. pp. 61-62
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  1. XVI. A Deserving Condemnation of Abominable Shamefulness
  2. pp. 63-65
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  1. XVII. A Mournful Lament for the Soul Who Is Given Over to the Filth of Impurity75
  2. pp. 66-68
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  1. XVIII. The Soul Ought To Be Mourned for Because It Does Not Mourn
  2. pp. 69-71
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  1. XIX. The Service of an Unworthy Priest Is the Ruin of the People
  2. pp. 72-73
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  1. XX. God Refuses To Accept the Sacrifice from the Hands of the Unclean
  2. pp. 74-75
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  1. XXI. No Holy Offering Which Is Soiled with the Crimes of Impurity Is Received by God
  2. pp. 76-77
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  1. XXII. All Four of the Modes Enumerated Above Are Against Nature
  2. pp. 78-80
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  1. XXIII. An Exhortation To Arise to One Fallen into Sin with Men
  2. pp. 81-83
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  1. XXIV. To Conquer Lust It Is Enough To Contemplate the Rewards of Chastity
  2. pp. 84-86
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  1. XXV. The Writer Credibly Excuses Himself
  2. pp. 87-90
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  1. XXVI. The Work is Directed to the Lord Pope
  2. pp. 91-92
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 93-98
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 99-104
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  1. Biblical References
  2. pp. 105-108
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