Saturday, 8 October 2005

Sex Trivia from Ancient Rome


Priapus

To be the agressor during sexual activity was to be the one in charge, the honourable one. Thus the sex of the partner or the type of experience was not so much the issue as was the person who was doing the actual thrusting. This was an issue set in stone for the Romans, so much so that they had two different verbs to descibe vaginal, anal or oral sex; one verb to indicate the active and another the passive role in the act. This meant that the agressor would be the futuere, pedicare or irrumare, whereas the recipient of all this action was the crisare, cevere or fellare and could risk becoming an outcast of society.

The most humiliating punishment possible for an adult Roman male, was to be sexually assaulted. Statues of the god Priapus got this message across very clearly as they were painted bright red and possesed a huge and menacing erection. According to the Songs of Priapus the god would threaten anyone who stole crops or meddled with gardens (he was the protector of gardens) with the following: "I warn you, woman, you will be fucked; boy, you will be buggered; and as for the bearded man, he can give me his mouth!" says the god. And he continues: "This rod shall enter the thief's guts as far as the hair and hilt of my balls."

Similar punishment awaited a married woman's lover. The cheated husband was legally entitled to sodomize the man by force.

10 comments:

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Alterior said...

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John Doom said...

Great post! However, the statues giant cock didn't go over so well at work. Oh well, it was worth it to read the post. Thanks again for doing what you do.

orangeguru said...

"The cheated husband was legally entitled to sodomize the man by force." We should reintroduce that custom today. I am sure that adultery would drop to almost zero overnight! ;-)

Tomalak said...

After they fell out, Octavian/Augustus wrote some salacious poems about Marcus Antonius suggesting he was the happy recipient of oral sex, as a means of damaging his reputation.

Nick said...

So when Catullus says irrumabo et pedicabo . . . it's all about power not pleasure, I guess . . .

Larry Lamb said...

nick - of course: it's about humiliating hostile critics.

Nick said...

One can always take pleasure in the humiliation of critics!

Bystander said...

That warning from Priapus sure beats "Keep Off The Grass" doesn't it?

pebird said...

"I warn you, woman, you will be fucked; boy, you will be buggered; and as for the bearded man, he can give me his mouth!" says the god. And he continues: "This rod shall enter the thief's guts as far as the hair and hilt of my balls."

I believe we've recently had some court decisions in the US with similar sentences handed out.