Ib Latin Internal Assessment

In: Social Issues

Submitted By bongsies
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“You’re gay,” a term now used so freely to not only insult peers but to take a stab at the homosexual community. But was this homosexual stigma always prevalent in history? Over two thousand years ago, the ancient Roman state ruled most of the known world. During those five hundred years, emperors rose to power and fell, a republic formed and was destroyed but what perhaps is one the most important aspects of Roman society is free love.
Homosexuality was not considered different nor was it considered an atrocity in the common roman man. In Rome, there was no special attention given to homosexuals or heterosexuals for that matter.[1]
“…Roman men were not encouraged by their cultural heritage to categorize, much less evaluate or judge, sexual acts and agents on the basis of whether only males or females were involved…A study of Roman homosexuality would seem as incomplete and as peculiar to an ancient Roman as would a study of heterosexuality.”[2]
The problem of same-sex activity lied within the persons committing the act and who was acting as the dominant one during the activity. It was very common for dinner guests or even the owners to take a young slave boy to bed and coerce him into a passive role. The passive role was considered akin to a woman’s role in sexual activity, which was considered below men. The men who engaged in the passive role are often referred to as cinaedus.
“Here a second protocol governing men’s sexual behavior concerned the status of their partners, and here too the rule applied regardless of partner’s sex: apart from his wife, freeborn Romans both male and female were officially off-limits sexual partners for a Roman man. As always, it is worth bearing in mind that the existence of rules implies their violation, but here we are not concerned with what men actually did as much as we are as with what they were supposed to do.…...

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