Sexual slavery, orgies, legalized pedophilia: how the ancient Romans would shock a modern personPictolic
Ancient Rome is the foundation of modern civilization. The Eternal City has given us jurisprudence, principles of government, and a great philosophy. Almost all modern cities of Western, Central and Southern Europe stand on the site of Roman settlements and military camps, and the highway network is laid along the old imperial roads. However, there was something in Rome that would make a modern person's hair stand on end. In those days, a brother could punish his sister for disobedience by raping her, and pedophilia was legal and did not shock anyone.
According to Roman law, the father of the family had unlimited power over all household members. He could banish a disobedient son and daughter or sell them into slavery for a certain period. If the contract of sale was concluded more than three times, the father was deprived of parental rights. The child became free and "without parents".
A parent could also legally kill their children. This law was repealed only in the I century AD. But fathers were left with the right to execute their son for a crime, and their daughter for having an affair with a lover. In case of adultery of the spouse, the patriarchs had a legitimate algorithm of action. The husband had to order the slaves, under threat of death, not to let the lovers caught in the hot out of the room.
During the day, he was supposed to gather all the neighbors and call them to witness his wife's shameful crime. In such a situation, the deceived husband filed for divorce or he could be accused of illegal pimping. If the spouse's lover turned out to be a slave, then he was killed, and if a patrician, then the deceived husband turned to his father-in-law. According to Roman law, the girl's father has the right to kill her lover. Male infidelity in ancient Rome was not punished in any way.
The attitude of the Romans to same-sex relationships varied depending on the historical period and the province of the empire. At the time of the Republic, the very concept of heterosexuality and homosexuality did not exist. Sexual relations were characterized by an active-male and passive-female role. Homosexual relations were allowed for a free citizen, but only in an active role.
Acting as a liability, a man lost his masculinity and was censured by society. Slaves, who in ancient Rome were perceived as soulless furniture and male prostitutes, could act as a host. Boys aged from 12 to 20 years were especially appreciated. At the same time, the law protected the children of free citizens from sexual harassment. The connection with the wife and daughter of a man of the same social class was considered shameful for a patrician.
Amulets in the form of a male phallus. Such amulets were worn by teenage boys and triumphant generals
Sexual promiscuity flooded Rome during the reign of the emperors. For example, there was a saying among contemporaries about Gaius Julius Caesar that he was: "The husband of all women and the wife of all men." Homosexuality has become common among both plebeians and patricians. Historians believe that of the first 15 emperors, only Claudius did not have male lovers.
In the modern world, prostitution does not surprise anyone, but in Rome it flourished especially luxuriantly. Prostitutes were everywhere in the Eternal City. Corrupt women offered love even in cemeteries and were called bustuaries (from the word "busta" - grave).
In ancient Rome, special bronze coins were minted – spintrii, which were used to pay for the services of prostitutes. Instead of the emperor's profile, various erotic scenes were displayed on them. In order for a potential client to identify a prostitute in a crowd, they were supposed to wear high-heeled shoes and dye their hair white.
An illustrative story of the wife of the Emperor Claudius Messalina, who, according to historians Tacitus and Suetonius, kept her own hangout in the city and often personally served visitors. Of course, not because of earnings, but for the sake of pleasure. The Empress's record is 50 lovers per shift.
Mass orgies, which were arranged in honor of the goddess Venus, were popular. During these events, Roman youth lost their virginity. Even for those liberated times, orgies turned out to be too frank and outside the walls of the temple they were prohibited by law.
The gladiators of the Colosseum for Roman citizens were analogous to modern "stars" of pop and cinema. The plebeians idolized the best fighters, and the wives and daughters of noble patricians paid a lot of money for the opportunity to spend the night with their idol. However, Roman young ladies needed more than just sex from the heroes of the arena.
The victorious gladiator, after the fight, covered his body with fragrant oil and a special tool called a strigil scraped off sweat, dead skin and dirt of the arena. The resulting mass was placed in small bottles and sold to patricians as an aphrodisiac, which women applied to their bodies, hoping to attract the attention of men.
The blood of gladiators killed during battles was also collected and used as medicine. With its help, Roman doctors treated epilepsy. To do this, the patient was required to drink this blood for several days in a row. Roman women added turpentine to their drinks, which gave their urine a light scent of roses.
According to the texts of the ancient Roman writer Pliny the Elder, goat manure was a valuable resource for the inhabitants of Italy, which was applied to wounds to stop blood and heal an abrasion or cut as soon as possible. The material collected in the spring and dried in the summer sun was best suited.