26 JULY 1968, Page 30

Homosexuality without cant

Sir: I appreciate and on the whole quite agree with Mr Hopcutt's expanded remarks on Greek homosexuality (Letters, 12 July). In particular I like his conclusion with regard to modern life, and would certainly never have opposed it.

I would only plead, with regard to poor Agathon, that any send-up by Aristophanes should be taken with a spoonful rather than a pinch of salt. One need only reflect how grossly (perhaps, even, lethally) he misrepre- sented Socrates. Plato thought Agathon a delightful person of exceptionally sensitive courtesy, and, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand pounds. Incidentally. Agathon's pansi- fied taste for clean shaving was shared by Alexander the Great.

Mary Renault Delos, Glen Beach, Camps Bay, Cape Province, South Africa