Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Myles Alexander, Sep 7, 2017.
An excellent point.
It's not quite as simple as it sounds.
He was almost certainly not bisexual, although there will never be any proof either way.
An early faux pas in his military career left him open to accusations of homosexual activity, which he vociferously denied.
Of course, the stain could never be removed, and the snide remarks never stopped.
You may think what you wish, but in my book he is unequivocally heterosexual.
But that is precisely the point... to give a sense of what these people were sexually (Caesar maybe not, but Marc Aurelius and Alexandre the Great were most surely were bi) doesn't exactly translates into our modern categories. For us bisexuality is perceived as an exception from the majority. For the Greeks (Homer times) it WAS the norm (thought that applies to paideia too, which to us would be a form of pedophilia). Well, to give a sense of that, in a novel, this is challenging. To put bisex or 'gay' people, it's just lame writing.
Yes, there is certainly plenty of potential to explore.
There is a huge difference between Greek and Roman attitudes, but different sexuality was a thing in both societies.
Sulla was undoubtedly not heterosexual (choosing my words carefully as not able to say gay or bi for certain)
As you say, for the Greeks (or certainly Athens) freedom to experiment was the norm.
It's for that reason the Romans stereotyped Greeks as gay, and therefore why they suspected Caesar of a dalliance with the King of Bythinia.
Didn’t Roman soldiers rape male soldiers after winning battles? I thought they used rape on any gender to enforce their conquests.
I haven't seen that in my research. Not that I am an expert by any means.
Basically, the Roman attitude the homosexuality was that it was alright but don't go on about it, and definitely don't be the subservient partner.
It was much more ok to be the dominant partner.
Nevertheless, it was absolutely not approved of or overtly acceptable.
In one incident an officer attempted to seduce a legionary, who killed him.
Instead of being punished, the recruit was commended.
From what I understood, for ancient Romans you were 'effeminate' if you were 'receiving' sex from a man.
If you gave it, no. Also, it was ok to have sex with boys, less so with grown men.
'Greek' to republican times Romans meant effeminate and decadent (basically the old time cliché).
Anyway, a complex subject, that doesn't translate into our modern sensibilities one way or another (they were not 'more modern' or 'more prudish' they were just very different).
There's some interesting graffiti to be found in Pompeii. It often relates to the above mentioned topics (it seems that humankind never changes...). Reading the boasting and jokes is fun though. Check it out here:
I visited Pompeii many years ago. The best thing I saw were the road signs for brothels. Google images "pompeii brothel road signs"
I also went to Pompeii.
An amazing place. Always odd when you actually stand in a place and realise how big it is.
Much amusement on going round one house overhearing a group of teenage Americans* expressing surprise that the entire house lacked a roof.
I had to explain that the rooms had roofs although the central area didn't.
Then I blew their minds when I explained they also had underfloor heating throughout.
* I'm sure they were not representative.
The sheer number of bakeries and other eating places was enlightening as well. So much of human life doesn't change, not just the filthy graffiti
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