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Fall of Roman Empire caused by 'contagion of homosexuality'
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The slave's owner, however, could prosecute the rapist for property damage. Sex among fellow soldiers, however, violated the Roman decorum against intercourse with another freeborn male. A soldier maintained his masculinity by not allowing his body to be used for sexual purposes. Polybius 2nd century BC reports that the punishment for a soldier who willingly submitted to penetration was the fustuarium Roman gay, clubbing to death. A good-looking young recruit named Trebonius  had been sexually harassed over a period of time by his superior officer, who happened to be Marius's nephew, Gaius Luscius.
One night, after having fended off unwanted advances on numerous occasions, Trebonius was summoned to Luscius's tent. Unable to disobey the command of his superior, he found himself the object of a sexual assault and drew his sword, killing Luscius. A conviction for killing an officer typically resulted in execution. When brought to trial, he was able to produce witnesses to show that he had repeatedly had to fend off Luscius, and "had never prostituted his body to anyone, despite offers of expensive gifts". Marius not only acquitted Trebonius in the killing of his kinsman, but gave him a crown for bravery. A graffito from Pompeii is unambiguous: Petronius describes a man with a large penis in a public bathroom.
The first two are "sinning", while the last two are being "sinned against". History of lesbianism and Tribadism Female couple from a series of erotic paintings at the Suburban Baths, Pompeii References to sex between women are infrequent in the Roman literature of the Republic and early Principate. Ovid finds it "a desire known to no one, freakish, novel I wish I could hold to my neck and embrace the little arms, and bear kisses on the tender lips. Go on, doll, and trust your joys Roman gay the winds; believe me, light is the nature of men. According to Roman studies scholar Craig Williams, the verses can also be read as, "a poetic soliloquy in which a woman ponders her own painful experiences with men and addresses herself in Catullan manner; the opening wish for an embrace and kisses express a backward-looking yearning for her man.
Instead, they consort with women, just like men. Gender presentation[ edit ] Hercules and Omphale cross-dressed mosaic from Roman Spain3rd century AD Cross-dressing appears in Roman literature and art in various ways to mark the uncertainties Roman gay ambiguities of gender: A section of the Digest by Roman gay categorizes Roman clothing on the basis of who may appropriately wear it: No signs there of moral Roman gay any other weakness. If Mark Antony came to a bad end, it was because he married an ambitious foreign woman. A growing prejudice against all-male sex becomes visible in the fourth century, when Constantine established Christianity as the official faith.
He made the first laws against it. Within a century, the Goths were across the Rhine and had sacked Rome. The ultimate cause may have been a Roman gay global Roman gay, which lowered the Malthusian ceiling. By this, I mean that falling crop yields made it harder for populations to maintain their accustomed standards of living. There was an undoubted growth of rural impoverishment that left populations open to the pandemic diseases that swept through the Mediterranean world from late in the second century. Population decline was then worsened by various forms of misgovernment, and by the need to hold frontiers that had only made sense in an age of economic and demographic expansion.
Rather than bursting through in unstoppable floods, the barbarians seem eventually to have wandered, in small bands, into a demographic vacuum. The second false belief is that the ancient world was one big al-fresco bath house. I once watched a television documentary in which it was seriously maintained that straight sex was out of fashion in Athens during the classical period. I thought of writing in to ask what books the researchers had been reading. A better response, though, is to look at the circumstances of ancient civilisation—at the wider forces that shaped sexual morality.
Because it lasted over a thousand years, and flourished on three continents, you should be careful with generalisations about ancient civilisation. But one good generalisation is that free men were expected to marry and beget children. These were societies with high death rates. They needed high birth rates not to die out. They particularly needed large numbers of young men to fight in their endemic wars of conquest or survival. There were also strong prejudices against men who took the passive role in oral and anal sex. Take, for example, this epigram somewhere in Martial: Secti podicis usque ad umbilicum Nullas reliquias habet Charinus Et prurit tamen usque ad umbilicum.
O quanta scabie miser laborat: Culum non habet, est tamen cinaedus. And still he longs for it right up to his belly button. Hadrian hired Greek sculptors to recreate the stunning beauty of his departed sweetheart. The statues of Antinous all shared similar characteristics such as a broad swelling chest, a head of Grecian curls and his face always turned down, making them very easy to identify. When the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, most of these temples were destroyed, and many of the beautiful statues disappeared. At least 80 survive today, many of them in the Vatican museums. Alternative Facts Hadrian was a man very much ahead of his time.
Before his leadership, Roman Emperors were expected to be clean shaven. Hadrian preferred a full bristling beard and made the beard so fashionable that each emperor after him also had one. The original hipster was a Roman. He also was a fan of fake news and alternative facts. Persons are not choosing evil acts. Yet persons may be expressing a diseased or pathological mental state, and hence medical intervention for a cure is appropriate. They also sought to develop techniques to prevent children from becoming homosexual, for example by arguing that childhood masturbation caused homosexuality, hence it must be closely guarded against. In the 20th century sexual roles were redefined once again.
For a variety of reasons, premarital intercourse slowly became more common and eventually acceptable. With the decline of prohibitions against sex for the sake of pleasure even outside of marriage, it became more difficult to argue against gay sex. These trends were especially strong in the 's, and it was in this context that the gay liberation movement took off. Although gay and lesbian rights groups had been around for decades, the low-key approach of the Mattachine Society named after a medieval secret society and the Daughters of Bilitis had not gained much ground.
This changed in the early morning hours of June 28,when the patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, rioted after a police raid. In the aftermath of that event, gay and lesbian groups began to organize around the country. Gay Democratic clubs were created in every major city, and one fourth of all college campuses had gay and lesbian groups Shilts,ch. Large gay urban communities in cities from coast to coast became the norm. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its official listing of mental disorders. The increased visibility of gays and lesbians has become a permanent feature of American life despite the two critical setbacks of the AIDS epidemic and an anti-gay backlash see Berman,for a good survey.
The post-Stonewall era has also seen marked changes in Western Europe, where the repeal of anti-sodomy laws and legal equality for gays and lesbians has become common. Historiographical Debates Broader currents in society have influenced the ways in which scholars and activists have approached research into sexuality and same-sex attraction. Some early 20th century researchers and equality advocates, seeking to vindicate same-sex relations in societies that disparaged and criminalized it, put forward lists of famous historical figures attracted to persons of the same sex.
Historians and researchers sympathetic to the gay liberation movement of the late s and s produced a number of books that implicitly relied on an essentialist approach. In the s and s John Boswell raised it to a new level of methodological and historical sophistication, although his position shifted over time to one of virtual agnosticism between essentialists and their critics. Essentialists claim that categories of sexual attraction are observed rather than created. Through history and across cultures there are consistent features, albeit with meaningful variety over time and space, in sexual attraction to the point that it makes sense of speak of specific sexual orientations.
According to this view, homosexuality is a specific, natural kind rather than a cultural or historical product. Essentialists allow that there are cultural differences in how homosexuality is expressed and interpreted, but they emphasize that this does not prevent it from being a universal category of human sexual expression. In contrast, in the s and since a number of researchers, often influenced by Mary McIntosh or Michel Foucault, argued that class relations, the human sciences, and other historically constructed forces create sexual categories and the personal identities associated with them.
For advocates of this view, such as David Halperin, how sex is organized in a given cultural and historical setting is irreducibly particular Halperin, In a manner closely related to the claims of queer theory, discussed below, social constructionists argue that specific social constructs produce sexual ways of being. There is no given mode of sexuality that is independent of culture; even the concept and experience of sexual orientation itself are products of history. For advocates of this view, the range of historical sexual diversity, and the fluidity of human possibility, is simply too varied to be adequately captured by any specific conceptual scheme.
There is a significant political dimension to this seemingly abstract historiographical debate. Social constructionists argue that essentialism is the weaker position politically for at least two reasons. Second, social constructionists argue that an important goal of historical investigations should be to put into question contemporary organizing schemas about sexuality. There are related queer theory criticisms of the essentialist position, discussed below. Only an essentialist approach can maintain the project of gay history, and minority histories in general, as a force for liberation.
Natural Law Today natural law theory offers the most common intellectual defense for differential treatment of gays and lesbians, and as such it merits attention. The development of natural law is a long and very complicated story, but a reasonable place to begin is with the dialogues of Plato, for this is where some of the central ideas are first articulated, and, significantly enough, are immediately applied to the sexual domain. For the Sophists, the human world is a realm of convention and change, rather than of unchanging moral truth. Plato, in contrast, argued that unchanging truths underpin the flux of the material world.
Reality, including eternal moral truths, is a matter of phusis. Even though there is clearly a great degree of variety in conventions from one city to another something ancient Greeks became increasingly aware ofthere is still an unwritten standard, or law, that humans should live under. In the Laws, Plato applies the idea of a fixed, natural law to sex, and takes a much harsher line than he does in the Symposium or the Phraedrus.
In Book Eight, the Athenian speaker considers ggay to have legislation banning homosexual acts, masturbation, and illegitimate procreative sex widely accepted. He then states that this law is according to nature d. Probably Romman best way of understanding Plato's discussion here is in the context of his overall concerns with the appetitive part of the soul and how best to control it. Plato clearly sees same-sex passions as especially strong, and hence particularly problematic, although in the Symposium that erotic attraction could be the catalyst for a life of philosophy, rather than base sensuality Cf.
For Rlman, all-male sex should have accused out of picture much more than seems to be the scale after the active of Al, when there Romman new orleans opportunities, and everyone every that populations were in tune. I once oversaw a luxury documentary in which it was not maintained that not sex was out of work in Athens during the superb period. Hadrian white a full real beard and made the truth so horny that each scene after him also had one.
Other figures played important roles gayy the development Roamn natural law theory. Romaan, in his approach, did allow for change to occur according to nature, and therefore the way that natural law is embodied could itself change with time, which was an idea Aquinas later incorporated into his own natural law theory. Aristotle did not write extensively about sexual issues, since he was less concerned Rlman the appetites than Plato. Probably the best reconstruction of his views places him in mainstream Greek society as outlined above; the main issue is that of active versus a passive role, with only the latter problematic for those who either are or will become citizens.
Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, was, according to his contemporaries, only attracted to men, and his thought had no prohibitions against same-sex sexuality. In contrast, Cicero, a later Stoic, was dismissive about sexuality in general, with some harsher remarks towards same-sex pursuits Cicero, The most influential formulation of natural law theory was made by Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. Integrating an Aristotelian approach with Christian theology, Aquinas emphasized the centrality of certain human goods, including marriage and procreation. While Aquinas did not write much about same-sex sexual relations, he did write at length about various sex acts as sins. For Aquinas, sexuality that was within the bounds of marriage and which helped to further what he saw as the distinctive goods of marriage, mainly love, companionship, and legitimate offspring, was permissible, and even good.
Aquinas did not argue that procreation was a necessary part of moral or just sex; married couples could enjoy sex without the motive of having children, and sex in marriages where one or both partners is sterile perhaps because the woman is postmenopausal is also potentially just given a motive of expressing love. So far Aquinas' view actually need not rule out homosexual sex. For example, a Thomist could embrace same-sex marriage, and then apply the same reasoning, simply seeing the couple as a reproductively sterile, yet still fully loving and companionate union. Aquinas, in a significant move, adds a requirement that for any given sex act to be moral it must be of a generative kind.
The only way that this can be achieved is via vaginal intercourse.
That is, since only the emission of semen in a vagina can result in natural reproduction, only sex acts of that type are generative, even if a given sex act does not lead to reproduction, and Roman gay if it is impossible due to infertility. The consequence of this addition is to rule out the possibility, of course, that homosexual sex could ever be moral even if done within a loving marriagein addition to forbidding any non-vaginal sex for opposite-sex married couples. What is the justification for this important addition? This question is made all the more pressing in that Aquinas does allow that how broad moral rules apply to individuals may vary considerably, since the nature of persons also varies to some extent.
Unfortunately, Aquinas does not spell out a justification for this generative requirement. The first is that sex acts that involve either homosexuality, heterosexual sodomy, or which use contraception, frustrate the purpose of the sex organs, which is reproductive. It has, however, come in for sharp attack see Weitham,and the best recent defenders of a Thomistic natural law approach are attempting to move beyond it e. If their arguments fail, of course, they must allow that some homosexual sex acts are morally permissible even positively goodalthough they would still have resources with which to argue against casual gay and straight sex.
Although the specifics of the second sort of argument offered by various contemporary natural law theorists vary, the common elements are strong Finnis, ; George, a.