Thoughts on ancient gospels and the like

13 August 2007

Passions of Cut Sleeves

Filed under: Chinese,islam,parallels — markandmore @ 13:47

There is a pioneering work on male homosexuality in China by Bert Hinsch called Passions of the Cut Sleeve. The title refers to the emperor Liu Xin (often referred to by his posthumous name Ai = lamentable) who lived 27-1 BCE and ruled from 7 BCE. His rule was incompetent and unpopular (hence his posthumous name), but has left one charming anecdote. His catamite Dong Xian ( 23 – 1 BCE) fell asleep with him on the same bed. Liu Xin cut off his sleeve rather than disturb the young man. Hence the Chinese idiom, duanxiu zhi pi (=passion of the cut sleeve).

Amazingly, almost the same story is told of Muhammad (570-632 CE), whose favourite cat, Muezza, slept on his robe, and he cut off the sleeve rather than disturb the cat.

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