|This book argues that humanism, in both its rhetoric and practice, attempted to transform the relationships between men that constituted the fabric of early modern society. By valourizing textual skills over martial prowess, humanism provided a new means of upward mobility for the lowborn but humanistically trained scholar: he could move into a highly intimate place in a nobleman's house that was not previously open to him. However, because of its novelty and secrecy, the intimacy between master and scholar was then vulnerable to accusations of another type of intimacy - sodomy. In comparing the ways both humanism and sodomy signalled a new economy of social relations capable of producing widespread anxiety, this book contributes to modern gay scholarship on Renaissance art and literature. The book explores the intriguing relationship between humanism and sodomy in a series of case studies: the Medici court of the 1470s; the allegation against monks on the campaign to suppress the English monasteries; the institutionalized beating of young boys; the treacherous circle of Sir Thomas Seymour; and the closet secretaries of Elizabeth's final years. The documentation comes from a wide range of materials, ranging from schoolboys' grammar books to political writings, enabling the author to reconstruct frequently misunderstood events in their original contexts.