Adultery, incest and making love with a completely naked women were considered taboo. All forms oral sex for the most part were also regarded as taboo. Roman culture prized machismo. It was considered humiliating and demeaning for a man to perform oral sex on a women because it demonstrated subservience and servility to a woman. Oral sex was tolerated between homosexual men and enjoyed by men when it was performed by courtesans but it was considered distasteful among married couples.

Claudine Dauphin of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris wrote: “One technique perfected by prostitutes both increased the pleasure of their partners and was contraceptive. Lucretius (99-55 B.C.)' description of prostitutes twisting themselves during coitus was echoed by the Babylonian Talmud: 'Rabbi Yose is of the opinion that a woman who prostitutes herself turns round to prevent conception'.” [Source: “Prostitution in the Byzantine Holy Land” by Claudine Dauphin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, Classics Ireland ,University College Dublin, Ireland, 1996 Volume 3 ~]

On attitudes in Christianized Rome, Dauphin wrote: “Besides the sin of lust punished by illness with which prostitutes contaminated all those who approached them physically, harlots embodied also the sin of sexual pleasure amalgamated with that of non-procreative sex condemned by the Church Fathers. The Apostolic Constitutions (dated from A.D. 375 to 380) forbade all non-procreative genital acts, including anal sex and oral intercourse. The art displayed by prostitutes consisted precisely in making full use of sexual techniques which increased their clients' pleasure. Not surprisingly therefore, Lactantius (A.D. 240-320) condemned together sodomy, oral intercourse and prostitution.” [Source: “Prostitution in the Byzantine Holy Land” by Claudine Dauphin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, Classics Ireland ,University College Dublin, Ireland, 1996 Volume 3 ~]

Websites on Ancient Rome: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” forumromanum.org; “The Private Life of the Romans” forumromanum.org|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; Lacus Curtius penelope.uchicago.edu; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org The Roman Empire in the 1st Century pbs.org/empires/romans; The Internet Classics Archive classics.mit.edu ; Bryn Mawr Classical Review bmcr.brynmawr.edu; De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors roman-emperors.org; British Museum ancientgreece.co.uk; Oxford Classical Art Research Center: The Beazley Archive beazley.ox.ac.uk ; Metropolitan Museum of Art metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/greek-and-roman-art; The Internet Classics Archive kchanson.com ; Cambridge Classics External Gateway to Humanities Resources web.archive.org/web; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy iep.utm.edu;
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy plato.stanford.edu; Ancient Rome resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library web.archive.org ; History of ancient Rome OpenCourseWare from the University of Notre Dame /web.archive.org ; United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) History unrv.com


The God Priapus has an enormous penis. He is sometimes pictured trying to chase after vestal virgins. There was secret cult that worshipped him. In classical Latin the word "vagina" means "sheath for a sword." In the Aeneid , Aeneas put his sword in his vagina.

The Priapeia is a collection of ninety-five poems in various meters on subjects pertaining to the phallic god Priapus. It was compiled from literary works and inscriptions on images of the god by an unknown editor, who composed the introductory epigram. From their style and versification it is evident that the poems belong to the classical period of Latin literature. [Source: Wikipedia]

  1. In play, Priapus (thou canst testify)
    2. Darkly might I to thee say: Oh give me for ever and ever
    3. These tablets, sacred to the Rigid God
    4. All the conditions (they say) Priapus made with the youngling
    5. Though I be wooden Priapus (as thou see'st)
    6. Oft in my speech one letter is lost; for Predicate always
    7. Matrons avoid this site, for your chaste breed
    8. 'Why be my parts obscene displayed without cover?' thou askest
    9. Why laugh such laughter, O most silly maid?
    10. 'Ware of my catching! If caught, with rod I never will harm thee
    11. A she (than Hector's parent longer aged,
    12. Thou shalt be pedicate (lad!), thou also (lass!) shalt be rogered
    13. Here' Here! nor dare expect (whoe'er thou be)
    14. Charged to my charge the fieldlet who shall dare
    15. Rare as those apples wherewith Hippomenes Schoeneïs ravished
    16. What hast thou, meddling watch, with me to do?
    17. Aye in this prickle of ours the bonniest boon to be found is
    18. Will ever Telethusa, posture-mime
    19. Thunders are under Jove; with the trident weaponed is Neptune
    20. Wealth is my loss! Do thou vouchsafe lend aid to my prayer, [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]


  1. An fro' me woman shall thieve or plunder me man or a man-child,
    22. Whoso of violets here shall pluck or rose,
    23. Here has the bailiff, now of this plentiful garden the guardian,
    24. This staff of office cut from tree as 'tis,
    25. Hither, Quirites! (here what limit is?)
    26. Well-known darling of folk in the Circus Maximus far famed,
    27. Thou, of unrighteous thought, that hardly canst
    28. Priapus! perish I an words obscene
    29. Dreadful wi' sickle and dire with thy greater part, O Priapus!
    30. Hie thee amid these vines whereof an thou gather a grape-bunch
    31. Long as thy wanton hand to pluck refrain
    32. A damsel drier than the raisin'd grape,
    33. Wont the Priapi of old were to have both Naiads and Dryads
    34. At holy offering to the Lustful GodThief, for first thieving shalt be swived, but an
    35. Thief, for first thieving shalt be swived, but an
    36. We all show special notes of bodily shape:
    37. Why on memorial tablet do they limn
    38. Simply to thee I say whatever to say shall behove me
    39. Form-charms in Mercury have might to please

    1. Yon Telethusa befamed amid the damsels Suburran
      41. Whoso comes hither shall a bard become
      42. Bailiff Aristagoras of his grapes high-pedigree'd boasting
      43. Refrain from deeming all my sayings be
      44. What shouldest say this spear (although I'm wooden) be wishing
      45. Whenas the Rigid God espied a wight
      46. Ho girl! no whiter-skinned than Moorish man
      47. Who of you people here shall come to sup
      48. Tho' see you drenchèd wet that part of me
      49. Thou, who art 'customed to view around the walls of our temple
      50. A certain person, an thou please (Priapus!)
      51. What be this pother? For what cause suspects
      52. Ho thou, which hardly thy rapacious hand
      53. Bacchus often is wont with a moderate bunch to be sated
      54. E, D, an thou write, conjoining the two with a hyphen
      55. Who could believe my words? 'Tis shame to confess that the sickle
      56. Thou too dost mock me, Thief! and the infamous
      57. A chough, a caries, an eld-worn grave
      58. Whatever thief shall trick my faith may he
      59. Know, lest due warning be denied by thee
      60. Hadst thou as many of apples as offers of verses (Priapus!)

  1. Why, cultivator, vainly moan to me
    62. Sleep, O ye watchdogs! safe, while aid in guarding the garden
    63. 'Tis not enough, my friends, I set my seat
    64. One than a goose's marrow softer far
    65. This, with his snout aye alert to uproot the lilies a-blowing
    66. Thou, who lest manly mark thy glances meet
    67. PEnelope's first syllable followed by firstling of DIdo
    68. An I rustical seem to have spoken somewhat unlearned
    69. What then? Had Trojan yard Taenerian dame and her Cunnus
    70. When the fig's honied sweet thy taste shall catch
    71. A starveling stranger made me laughing-stock
    72. An thou pluck of this orchard fruit to my guarding committed
    73. Of vergers diligent guard (Priapus!), threat
    74. Not to be moved am I; shouldst thou, Thief, venture on thieving
    75. Why, O ye pathic girls, with sidelong oglings observe me?
    76. Right through the middle of lads and of lasses a passage shall pierce
    77. Dodona is hallowed, Jupiter, to thee
    78. Though I be agèd now, though head and chin
    79. The Gods and Goddesses deny thy teeth
    80. Although with yard distent (Priapus!) weighted

  2. Know that this crass coarse yard nor lengthens nor stands as becomes it
    82. While there is life 'tis fitting to hope, O rustical guardian!
    83. Bailiff of house whilom, now I of fieldlet the tiller
    84. What news be here? what send those angry gods?
    85. Neither of garden nor of blessed vine
    86. Roses in spring in the autumn fruits and in summer they bring me
    87. I thuswise fashioned I by rustic art
    88. This place, O youths, I protect, nor less this turf-builded cottage
    89. This grove to thee devote I give, Priapus!
    90. Thou who with prickle affrightest men and passives with sickle!
    91. I am not hewèd of the fragile elm
    92. A robber famed for greed exceeding wonder
    93. Carved me no rustic boor his artless sickle a-plying
    94. An thou would fain go filled thou mayest devour our Priapus
    95. First a wild-fig-tree trunk was I, not useful as timber

Did Priapus Have a Penis Disorder?

Rossella Lorenzi wrote in Discovery News: “One of Pompeii's most recognized frescoes, the portrait of the Greek god of fertility Priapus, holds an embarrassing truth, according to a new study of the 1st-century A.D. wall painting. Found in the entrance hall to the House of the Vettii, perhaps the most famous house to survive Mount Vesuvius's devastating eruption, the fresco shows the ever-erect Priapus with his engorged penis. [Source: Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News, June 15, 2015]

“But this phallus-flaunting symbol of male potency and procreative power shows signs of a condition which can result in difficult sexual relations and infertility, says a study published in Urology journal. "The disproportionate virile member is distinctively characterized by a patent phimosis, more specifically a shut phimosis," Francesco Maria Galassi told Discovery News. Galassi is an M.D. now back in Italy who recently worked at Imperial College London. He co-authored the paper with his father Stefano, also an M.D. “An inability to fully retract the foreskin, phimosis was treated only with circumcision or prepuceplasty before the introduction of topical corticosteroids. "This condition presents different grades of severity, and in this specific case appears to be of the highest grade, in which there is no skin retractability on the glans," Galassi said. Defects of the genitourinary tract, including phimosis, have been depicted in artistic representation since prehistory, showing a high degree of precision.

“But why someone would portray the god of fertility with a severe phimosis? "It is not unlikely the painter might have desired to report objective evidence of a high prevalence of that anatomic defect in Pompeii, at a time mixing it with fertility attributes traditionally ascribed to Priapus," Galassi said. “In this view, widespread among the male population in Pompeii, phimosis might have been the reason for the abundance in Pompeii of anatomical votive artifacts used to dispel that anatomical and functional defect. "Anatomical votive offerings made in Italy between the fourth to second centuries B.C. do often show the penis with the foreskin closed around the top, as in the later Priapus painting from Pompeii," Jessica Hughes, lecturer in classical studies at UK’s Open University, told Discovery News.

“Hughes, co-author of a research project on votive offerings, noted these objects have sometimes been interpreted as offerings made by men suffering from phimosis, and the idea isn’t discordant with the overarching interpretation of anatomical votives as objects related to healing and fertility. “She found the interpretation of the Pompeian Priapus "very intriguing," as the image is conventionally seen as a representation of fertility, abundance and prosperity. "In this case it’s more challenging for us to understand why the artist would have chosen to represent a biological condition that may have been seen to threaten fertility and health," Hughes said. "Perhaps we need to see this painting as a comment on the power of the divine body, which didn't suffer from the same biological limitations as the mortal body," she added.”

Sex Positions in Ancient Rome

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: “In Alosiae Toletanae Satyra Sotadica examples of” the seven sex positions listed below” are given, and the reader who wishes to go further into the subject is referred to Forberg and Aretin, the former of whom enumerates ninety erotic postures (including spinthriae, from spinther (a bracelet), a group of copulators, forming a chain or bracelet by their connection with each other) whilst the latter in his Sonnetti lussotiosi describes twenty-six varieties of congress, each one accompanied by an illustrative design from the hand of Giulio Romano. [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

Gaius Valerius Catullus (85-54 B.C.) was a Latin poet of the late Roman Republic. He speaks of Novem continuas fututiones:
Sweet Hypsithilla, passion's delight,
My gleeful soul, bid me to come;
Noontide is nearing, bar not the gate--
Hence roam ye not, stay close at home.
Prepare our pleasures in nine fresh ways,
Thighs joined with thighs, nine bouts we'll try:
Instant the summons, dinner is past,
Heated with love, supine I lie,
Bursting my tunic, swollen with longing:
Leave me not thus, dear, your lover wronging.

“Of like importance is the posture too,
In which the genial feat of love we do:
For, as the females of the four-foot kind
Receive the leapings of their males behind,
So the good wives, with loins uplifted high,
And leaning on their hands, the fruitful stroke may try;
For in that posture will they best conceive;
Not when, supinely laid, they frisk and heave;
For active motions only break the blow,
And more of strumpets than of wives they show,
When, answ'ring stroke with stroke, the mingled liquors flow.
Endearments eager, and too brisk a bound
Throw off the ploughshare from the furrow'd ground:
But common harlots in conjunction heave,
Because 'tis less their business to conceive,
Than to delight, and to provoke the deed;
A trick which honest wives but little need. [Source: Dryden's Lucretius]

“Amongst the Easterns the modes of congress form the subject of an intelligent study, and their erotic works contain detailed explanations of every possible (and, to a European, impossible) position in which the act of venery can be performed. The Ananga Ranga gives thirty-two divisions; The Perfumed Garden gives forty divisions (together with six different movements during the coitus) and, in addition, describes the most suitable methods for humpbacks, corpulent men, pregnant women, &c.; and The Old Man Young Again, placing the act into six divisions: 1) the ordinary posture; 2) the sitting posture; 3) side or reclining postures; 4) the prone postures; 5) the stooping postures and 6) the standing postures — subdivides each of these into ten varieties, thus arriving at the grand total of sixty!”

Seven Sex Posture of the Thesaurus Eroticus

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: “'The Thesaurus Eroticus numbers seven different postures of coition: 1) “In the natural manner, the woman lying supine with legs stretched apart. Ovid: 'Assume different attitudes according to your shape; one style does not become every woman. She who is noteworthy in face, let her he supine.'

  1. “Women who desire to become gravid submit their back, after the fashion of the tortoise. Lucretius: 'Women are thought to conceive oftener when on all fours, because the organs can absorb the seed better when they are lying on their breast with loins upraised.'[2] Ovid: 'Thou also whose stomach Lucina has marked with wrinkles should be used with back turned, as the swift Parthian with his horses.' And the same writer: 'Let those whose backs are sightly be gazed at from behind.' Aristophanes: 'Clinging to the ground on all fours'; and in Lysistrata: 'I shall not squat down like a lioness sculptured on a knife-handle.' The Emperor Augustus, whilst his wife Livia was with child, used to approach her in this manner. And under this heading may perhaps be classed the attitude which Apuleius speaks of in the Tale of the Carpenter and his Wife: '... whilst the gallant, the handsome youth, bending over the woman lying prone along the outside of the cask, cudgelled away like the carpenter.'

  2. Tollere pedes. The woman, lying on her back, raises her feet in order to offer herself more open. Martial describes how Leda, whose husband was elderly, was cured of hysterics: 'Forthwith the physicians approach, the nurses retire, and her feet are raised in the air: O weighty medicine!' Sosipater has an epigram which alludes to this attitude:
    “When I stretched Doris with the rosy buttocks on her bed
    I felt within me rise immortal strength,
    Her little feet were tamed across my loins,
    And ne'er she moved till we had done at length.

4) Pendula Venus. The woman above, bending over the man. 5) “Mulier equitans. The woman riding.

6) Supponere femur. The woman lies partly on her side with her right thigh thrown over. Ovid: 'Let the woman who is distinguished by the length of her side press the bed with her knees, her neck slightly thrown back'; and: 'There are a thousand modes of venery; the simplest and least fatiguing is when [the woman] lies half supine on her right side.' And elsewhere he says: 'She, forsooth, cast round my neck arms white as ivory, fairer than Sithonian snow, mingled milky kisses with a passionate tongue, and upheld my thigh upon her lascivious thigh.' Catullus: 'It is no wonder, Rufas, why no woman wishes her tender thigh to be placed under thee.' Martial has an epigram on Phyllis, who, urged by two lovers each desirous of being the first to enjoy her favours, satisfies them both at the same time; one raising her leg, the other her tunic. Phyllis, lying on her side, throws her leg over the thigh of the gallant who, stretched on the couch facing her, is swiving her; at the same time offering her buttocks to her other lover.

  1. Mulier sedens. The woman is in a sitting posture with legs spread apart, whilst the man stands to her. Ovid, 'She whose thigh is youthful, and whose breasts are faultless, should stretch herself obliquely along the bed, whilst the man stands to her;': and, 'Milanion supported Atalanta's legs on his shoulders; if they are shapely they should be placed in this manner.' This last posture may either refer to a man and woman standing face to face, he supporting her in such a way that her whole body is lifted up, her thighs resting on his hips; or to the body of the woman lying along a couch whilst the man raises her legs to his shoulders. Ovid recommends to lovers the apt touches of their fingers as preparatives for the amorous encounter; and Erasmus explains the term siphniassare (French — faire postillion) as meaning to insert a finger in the anus during the venereal act to double the enjoyment; the word being derived from and this custom being in usage amongst the ancient inhabitants of Siphno, one of the Cycladean Isles.

Woman-on-Top Sex Position in Ancient Rome

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: In Martial’s Epigram 18, “reference is made to that posture 'in congress in which the man lies supine, whilst the woman mounts on him, and procures the orgasm by her movements; vulgarly called 'St George' and 'le postillon', this appears to have been a favourite position amongst the Romans, Judging from the frequent references to it in their writings. Juvenal, in speaking of the debauchery of women, says of Saufeia: ‘She challenges them, and bears off the prize of her hanging thigh; but she herself adores the undulating wriggling of Medullina's haunches.’ “The 'hanging thigh' means Saufeia's thigh, which hung over the girl who lay underneath her, the reference being to tribadism. In the same Satire, 'Inque vices equitant, ac luna teste moventur' — They [the women] ride each other in turns, with the moon witnessing their movements. [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

“In Lucilius: 'The one grinds, the other winnows corn as it were . . and: 'Crissatura, ut si frumentum vannat clunibus' — Her motion was as though she were winnowing corn with her buttocks. Martial, speaking of a Gaditanian dancing girl, says: ‘She wriggles herself so tremulously, and excites such lubricious passions, that she would have made Hippolytus himself a masturbator.’

“Arnobius calls this posture, inequitatio — a riding upon. Lucretius says, 'For the woman prevents and resists conception if wantonly she continues coition with a man with her buttocks heaving, and fluctuates her whole bosom as if it were boneless.' (That is, whilst the woman bends over the man and continually curves herself as if she had no spine or bone in her back.) 'For she thrusts out the ploughshare from the right direction and path of her furrow and turns aside the stroke of the semen from her parts. And the harlots think to move in this manner for their own sake, lest they should be in continual pregnancy and at the same time that the coition might be more pleasing for their men.'

Apuleius (A.D. 125-170) has several passages bearing upon this posture. In his Metamorphoses we read, 'As she spoke thus, having leapt on my bed, she repeatedly sank down upon me and sprang upwards, bending inwards; and, wriggling her flexible spine with lubricious movements, glutted me with the enjoyment of a pendant coition, until fatigued, with our passions enervated and our limbs languid, together we sank panting in a mutual entwinement.' This passage refers to the posture practised by the man lying on his back, with the woman upon him, her back turned towards him; but from the words pygisaca sacra the meaning may be that Eumolpus did not swive, but sodomised the young girl.

“In the Errones Venerii appears this fragment by the same author: ‘Gladsome now do I return to amorous sportings, and the furtive delights of love-liesse. My Muse delights to toy, so fare thee well, Melpomene. Now will I tell of the fullness of Arethusa's hair, one while restrained, anon loosely streaming. And but now at night time, with signal tap at my threshold, a fair one is skilled to tread with fearless step in the darkness. Now with her soft arms wound round my neck, and lying half-upturned, let her curve her snowy side. And, having imitated in their every mode the joyous tablets, let her change posture and herself hang o'er me on the couch. Let naught shame her, but e'en more abandoned than myself, let her, unsated, gambol o'er the whole couch. There will ne'er be wanting a poet to bewail Priam or to narrate the deeds of Hector. My Muse delights to toy, so fare thee well, Melpomene.’”

More on a Woman Riding a Man in Ancient Rome

“In the Satyricon of Petronius we read: ‘Eumolpus, who was so incontinent that even I was a boy in his eyes, lost no time in inviting the girl to the pygiacic mysteries.[1] But he had told everybody that he was gouty and crippled in the loins, and if he did not fully keep up the pretence, he ran great risk of ruining the whole drama. In order to preserve an appearance of truthfulness, he prayed the damsel to seat herself on the goodness which had been commended to her, and commanded Corax to get under the bed on which he was lying, and with his hands pressed on the floor, to assist his master by the movement of his loins. Ordered to move gently, he responds with slow undulations, equal in speed to those of the girl above. The orgasm approaching, Eumolpus with clear voice exhorted Corax to hasten his movements. And so, placed between the servant and the damsel, the old man enjoyed as if in a swing. In this manner amidst our great laughter, in which he joined, Eumolpus furnished more than one course. [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

“Horace in the Satires says: ‘When keen nature inflames me, any lascivious slut who, naked under the light of the lanthorn, takes the strokes of my swollen tail, or wriggles with her buttocks on her supine horse. ‘And in the same book he uses the phrase 'peccat superne' in speaking of a woman who will not gratify her lover with this posture. Martial says, 'The Phrygian slaves masturbated themselves behind the door when ever his wife seated herself on the Hectorean horse.' But Ovid recommends this posture to little women, and states that on account of her tall figure Andromache never assumed this attitude with Hector. In the 'Essai sur la Langue Erotique' which is prefixed to Liseux's edition of Blondeau, the following passage from Ovid is cited as an example of the above posture: Thou also whose stomach Lucina has marked with wrinkles (i.e. by child bearing) should be used with back turned, as the swift Parthian with his horses.

“I am, however, inclined to think that this passage has reference to the posture called by the Arabs el kebachi (after the fashion of the ram), and described as follows: 'The woman is on her knees, with her forearms on the ground; the man approaches her from behind, kneels down, and lets his member penetrate into her vagina, which she presses out as much as possible; he will do well in placing his hands on die woman's shoulders.' — The Perfumed Garden of the Sheikh Nefzaoui.]

Arnobius writes: “to move in swinging motion with upraised thighs and a curling, tremulous movement of the loins” and “to fluctuate with wriggling buttocks.” Afranius, Donatus and Plautus also mention the subject. Aristophanes, in the Wasps, describes the wrath of the woman who, when asked by Xanthias to mount him, demanded of him if he wished to re-establish the tyranny of Hippias (playing on the double sense of the word Hippias, which means also a horse). Similar references occur in another of the same author's plays, Lysistrata; and in the Analecta of Brunck are several epigrams of Asclepiades, in which the fair votaries boast of their prowess in the art of riding their gallants.

“Many of these courtesans dedicated as ex-votos to Venus a whip, a bridle or a spur, as tokens of their inclination for the attitude here noted. In the Decameron of Boccaccio we read: ‘The girl, who was neither iron nor adamant, readily enough lent herself to the pleasure of the abbot, who, after he had clipped and kissed her again and again, mounted upon the monies pallet, and having belike regard to the grave burden of his dignity and the girl's tender age and fearful of irking her for overmuch heaviness, bestrode not her breast, but set her upon his own and so a great while disported himself with her.’”

Masturbation in Ancient Rome

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: “'Veneri servit amica manus'--'Thy hand serves as the mistress of thy pleasure,' writes Martial (See Epigram 33). Elsewhere he speaks of the Phrygian slaves masturbating themselves to overcome the amorous feelings which the sight of their master having connection with his wife provoked in them. Martial has many allusions to the subject, which is treated at some length by Forberg and Mirabeau, the latter of whom tells us that Mercury taught the art to his son Pan, who was distracted by the loss of his mistress, Echo, and that Pan afterwards instructed the shepherds. Further on, Mirabeau mentions a curious practice which he declares to be prevalent amongst the Grecian women of modern times: that of using their feet to provoke the orgasm of their lovers. [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

“Pacificus Maximus says, 'Is there no boy nor girl to hear my prayers? No one comes? then my right hand must perform the accustomed office.' Juvenal deplores the habit amongst schoolboys of mutually rendering this service to one another. Aristophanes, in the Wasps, touches on the subject, and one of the most charming of the shorter poems of Catullus contains an allusion: “O Caelius, our Lesbia, Lesbia, that Lesbia whom Catullus more than himself and all his kin did love, now in the public streets and in alleys husks off the magnanimous descendants of Remus.”

“Glubit may possibly be read as referring to irrumation, the word 'husking' being appropriate in describing either action. Plutarch says that Chrysippus praised Diogenes for masturbating himself in the middle of the marketplace, and for saying to the bystanders: 'Would to Heaven that by rubbing my stomach in the same fashion, I could satisfy my hunger.'

Masturbation is generally thought to be derived from manu stuprare–“to defile with the hand.” Martial’s Epigram 33 reads:
“'Cause thou dost kiss thy boy's soft lips with thy
Rough chin, and with strip'd Ganymede dost he,
Who does deny thee this? 'tis well. At least
Frig not thyself with thy lascivious fist,
This in light toys more than the prick offends,
Their fingers hasten and the man up sends,
Hence Goatish rankness, sudden hairs, a beard
Springs forth to wond'ring mothers much admired.
Nor do they please by day when in the bath
They wash their skins. Nature divided hath
The males: half to the girls born to be shown
The other half to men: use then thy own.
[Source: translated by Robert Fletcher]

Infibulation in Ancient Rome

clay-baked vulva, a Roman votive offering

Infibulation normally refers to female circumcision — the practice of excising the clitoris and labia of a girl or woman and stitching together the edges of the vulva to prevent sexual intercourse. Here it seems to refer a kind to castration or circumcision. Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: “Holyday, in his illustrations to the sixth Satire of Juvenal, describes the fibula as a 'buckle, clasp or suchlike stay, applied to those that were employed to sing upon the stage; the Praetor, who set forth plays for the delight of the people, buying youths for that purpose. And that such might not by lust spoil their voice, their overseers dosed their shame with a case of metal, having a sharp pike of the same matter passing by the side of it, and sometimes used one of another form; or by a nearer cruelty they thrust a brazen or silver wire through that part, which the Jew did lose in circumcision.' This description is accompanied by an engraving showing two forms of the instrument, taken from Pignerius de Servis. François Noël states that they were used: 1) to prevent singers from losing their voice, 2) to keep youths from masturbating themselves, 3) to conceal the organ of generation through modesty. [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

“Roman gladiators also were frequently infibulated in order to preserve their vigour. The operation was performed by having the prepuce drawn over the glans; it was then pierced, and a thick thread was passed through it, remaining there until the cicatrising of the hole; when that had taken place a rather large ring was substituted. Juvenal speaks of the Roman ladies paying great sums of money to have these instruments removed from the persons of the comedians and singers to whom they had taken a fancy. Pliny notes the use of the fibula as a preventive of masturbation; and Martial has an epigram against Caelia whose slave's privities are concealed by a fibula whenever he accompanies his mistress to the bath--'for modesty's sake', Caelia says, but, according to the satirist, to conceal her slave's noble proportions from the envious eyes of other dames. Again he ridicules a man who wore an immense fibula to hide the fact that he was circumcised.. The practice was very common in India from religious motives.

“Celsus describes the operation; and Strabo speaks of the infibulation of women by passing a ring through the labia or outer lips of the vagina. Schurig, in his Spermatalogia and Panhenologia, treats the subject as regards both sexes. In conclusion, I may mention the 'ceinture de chasteté', or belt through whose means the jealous Italian made sure of his wife's virtue; an instrument, it is said, not altogether in disuse at the present day. This belt (made sometimes of gold or other precious metal and covered with velvet) when passed round the woman's waist, was so adjusted that two plates of metal covered not only the vagina but also the anus(!) thus serving as a double protection to the doubting husband, who alone possessed the key which unlocked this precious contrivance.

Irrumation in Ancient Rome

Irrumatio is a form of oral sex in which the man thrusts his penis into someone else's mouth — fucking the mouth so to speak — as opposed to fellatio where the penis is being actively orally stimulated by a fellator. Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: “The tertia poena (third punishment) referred to in Epigram 12 is irrumation or coition with the mouth. The patient (fellator or sucker) provokes the orgasm by the manipulation of his (or her) lips and tongue on the agent's member. Galienus calls it lesbiari (Greek lesbiázein), as the Lesbian women were supposed to have been the introducers of this practice. Lampridius says: 'Libidinosus, ore quoque pollutus et constupratus fuit' (That lecherous man, whose mouth even is defiled and dishonest) and Minutius Felix: 'Qui medios viros lambunt, libidinoso ore inguinibus inhaerescunt' (They who lick men's middles, cleave to their inguina with lustful mouth). [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

“In old Latin it was called offendere buccam, to offend the cheek. Suetonius calls the vice illudere ori — to sport with the mouth.Ausonius says that the Campanians were addicted to the practice, and calls it capitalis luxus — the debauchery of the head. Martial says: ‘O greetings raven, how is it thou art considered a sucker, though no mentule has ever entered thy mouth?’ He refers to the ancient belief that the raven ejected the semen in coition from its beak into the female. Aristotle refutes this belief.

Arnobius uses the expression stuprum oris — the defilement of the mouth. Other terms used are: to corrupt the mouth; to attack the head; to defy to one's face; not to spare the head; to split the mouth; to gain the heights; to strike higher; to compress the tongue; complacently lending the mouth; the labour of the mouth; to lick men's middles; to lick and to make silent. Suetonius relates that Parrhasius bequeathed to Tiberius a picture which he had painted, representing Atalanta kneeling before Meleager and caressing him with her mouth.[1]

“Martial writes:
I enjoyed a buxom lass all night with me,
Which none could overcome in venery.
Thousand ways tried, I asked that childish thing,
Which she did grant at the first motioning,
Blushing and laughing I a worse besought,
Which she most loose vouchsafed as quick as thought.
Yet she was pure, but if she deal with you
She'll not be so, and thou shalt pay dear too.
[Source: Fletcher's Martial]

“This picture Tiberius caused to be hung in his bedchamber. The Romans regarded irrumation as a far more shameful vice than sodomy. Martial, Petronius and other writers mention the latter with indifference, but Catullus in speaking of the abandoned profligacy of Gellius alludes to irrumation as an act of the greatest turpitude. Martial directs many epigrams against fellators, whose presence at the dinner-table was regarded by the other guests with consternation; a thing not to be surprised at when we recollect that the salute amongst the Romans was a kiss on the mouth. The Phoenicians used to redden their lips to imitate better the appearance of the vulva; on the other hand the Lesbians who were devoted to this practice whitened their lips as though with semen. “

Cunnilingus in Ancient Rome

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: “Cunnilinges — defined as causing “a woman to feel the venereal spasm by the play of the tongue on her clitoris and in her vagina” — was a taste much in vogue amongst the Greeks and Romans. Martial lashes it severely in several epigrams, that against Manneius being especially biting. [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

“Manneius, the husband with his tongue, the adulterer with his mouth, is more polluted than the cheeks of the Suburan prostitutes. The obscene bawd, when she has seen him naked from a window in the Subura, closes her door against him and prefers to kiss his middle, rather than his face. But lately he used to wander in all the cavities of the coynte [with his tongue], and could tell with certainty and knowledge whether there was in the womb a boy or a girl. (Rejoice, ye coyntes! for now all is over.) He is not able to stiffen his swiving tongue, for, whilst he sticks glued in the teeming vulva, and hears the babes whimpering within, a filthy disease paralyses this gluttonous member; and now he can neither be pure nor impure. [The translator of Martial's Expurgatorius renders this passage, 'her course came on'; and states in his note to the epigram that Martial was probably ignorant of the fact that the menses cease during pregnancy. Our translator is strangely mistaken. With many women the menses do not cease altogether during pregnancy, and there is, besides, no good reason to suppose that Martial is alluding to the menses at all. About the second or third month of pregnancy a woman is frequently troubled with a discharge in the nature of leucorrhoea or 'whites', consequent upon her monthly courses ceasing, and this discharge is quite sufficient to infect a man with gonorrhoea or 'clap'.]

“Again he says, 'Zoilus, an evil star has suddenly struck your tongue, whilst you were licking. Certes, Zoilus, you will futter now.' He also speaks of the foul breath of a coynte-licker, and in his epigram on Philaenis we read, 'She does not suck [men] — thinking this scarcely manly — but certainly devours the middles of girls. May the gods give thee sense, Philaenis, thou who imaginest it a manly thing to lick a coynte.' And he skits at Baeticus, a priest of Cybele, who, although castrated, eludes his goddess's commands by still using his tongue to fornicate with. To Gargilius he says, 'You lick, you do not fatter my girl, and you boast as though you were her gallant and a swiver. If I catch you, Gargilius, you will hold your tongue.' i.e. the luckless gallant would be irrumated by the poet. Of Linus he remarks, 'That mentule of Linus, lecherous to excess, and known to no few girls, ceases to stand. Tongue, beware!' His mentule beings no longer capable of active service, Linus's tongue would have to undertake its duties. Speaking of twin brothers, one of whom was a cunnilinge and the other a fellator, he gravely enquires whether this adds to or takes away from their resemblance to each other. Ausonius accuses Castor and Eunus of practising this vice and punningly compares the odour of the vulva to sardines and salgamas (salted roots and greens). He reproaches Eunus for licking his wife's parts during pregnancy, jocosely charging him with being in an undue hurry to teach his unborn children lessons of tongue (Eunus being a grammarian).

“According to Juvenal women were not addicted to exchanging this kind of caress with one another: 'Taedia does not lick Cluvia, nor Flora Catulla.' Juvenal's assertion may however be looked upon as a bit of special pleading required by the context, his Satire being devoted to lashing the vice of sodomy. In these matters the customs of ages gone by are repeated today, and vice versa. And it is well known that ladies of easy virtue of the present day look upon this peccadillo with a favourable eye; many of them keeping a 'companion', one of whose chief duties is to attend to this portion of her friend's daily 'toilet'.]

“The word labda (a sucker) is variously derived from the Latin labia and do, to give the lips; and from the Greek letter lambda, which, is the first letter in the word leíchein or lesbiázein, the Lesbians being noted for this erotic vagary. Ausonius says, 'When he puts his tongue [in her coynte] it is a lambda'- that is the conjunction of the tongue with the woman's parts forms the shape of the Greek letter {lambda}. In an epigram he writes:
‘Lais, Eros and Itus, Chiron, Eros and Itus again,
If you write the names and take the initial letters
They will make a word, and that word you're doing, Eunus.
What that word is and means, decency lets me not tell.’
The initial letters of the six Greek names form the word leíchei, he licks.”

Cunnilingus in the Salty Sea and Red Sea

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: ‘Suetonius speaks of the populace ridiculing Tiberius as 'an old buck licking the vulvas of goats'. Cicero also accuses Sextus Clodius of this action; and some epigrams in the Analecta of Brunck contain unmistakeable allusions to the subject, one in particular being very nearly tamed: ‘Avoid Alpheus' mouth, he loves Arethusa's bosom, And then goes and plunges into the salty sea.’ [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

“The poet here draws upon the ambiguity of the words mouth, bosom (bay), plunge, salt sea, which may refer to the river Alpheus in Arcadia, to Arethusa, a spring in Sicily, and also to the mouth of a cunnilinge plunging into a woman's vulva. Galienus calls those who practise this debauchery, coprophages (dung-eaters). Ausonius calls Eunus an Opician because these practices were, according to Festus, most common amongst the Osci or Opici. Catullus compares cunnilinges to bucks on account of their foetid breath; and Martial mocks at the paleness of Charinus's complexion, which he sarcastically ascribes to his indulgence in this respect. Maleager has a distich upon Phavorinus (Huschlaus, Anaketa Critica), and Ammianus (Brunck, Analecta) has written an epigram, both of which appear to be directed against the vice. Suetonius (Illustrious Grammarians) speaks of Remmius Palaemon, who was addicted to this habit, being publicly rebuked by a young man who in the throng could not contrive to avoid one of his kisses; and Aristophanes says of Ariphrades in Knights: ‘Whoever does not execrate that man, Shall never from the same bowl drink with us.’

Many passages in the classics, both Greek and Roman, refer to the cunnilinges swallowing the menstrual and other secretions of women. Aristophanes frequently speaks of this. Ariphrades sods his tongue and stains his beard with disgusting moisture from the vulva. The same person imbibes the feminine secretion, 'And throwing himself on her he drank all her juice.' Galienus applies the appellation 'drinkers of menses' to cunnilinges; Juvenal speaks of Ravola's beard being all moist when rubbing against Rhodope's privities; and Seneca states that Mamercus Scaurus, the consul, 'swallowed the menses of his servant girls by the mouthful'. The same writer describes Natalis as 'that man with a tongue as malicious as it is impure, in whose mouth women eject their monthly Purgation.' In the Analecta of Brunck, Micarchus has an epigram against Demonax in which he says, 'Though living amongst us, you sleep in Carthage,' i.e. during the day he lives in Greece, but sleeps in Phoenicia, because he stains his mouth with the monthly flux, which is the colour of the purplish-red Phoenician dye.

“In Chorier's Aloisia Sigea, we find Gonsalvo de Cordova described as a great tongue-player (linguist). When Gonsalvo desired to apply his mouth to a woman's parts he used to say that he wanted to go to Liguria; and with a play upon words implying the idea of a humid vulva, that he was going to Phoenicia or to the Red Sea or to the Salt Lake--as to which expressions compare the salty sea of Alpheus and the salgamas of Ausonius and the 'mushrooms swimming in putrid brine' which Baeticus devours. As it was said of fellators (who sucked the male member) that they were Phoenicising because they followed the example set by the Phoenicians, so probably the same word was applied to cunnilinges from their swimming in a sea of Phoenician purple. Hesychius defines scylax (dog) as an erotic posture like that assumed by Phoenicians. The epithet excellently describes the action of a cunnilinge with regard to the posture assumed; dogs being notoriously addicted to licking a woman's parts.”

Sodomy in Ancient Rome

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: ““Paedico means to pedicate, to sodomise, to indulge in unnatural lewdness with a woman often in the sense of to abuse. In Epigrams 10, 16 and 31 jesting allusion is made to the injury done to the buttocks of the catamite by the introduction of the 'twelve-inch pole' of Priapus, and Ausonius speaks of the battered clazomenes (incusas clazomenas), or buttocks of a passive. By calling the clazomenes hammered (battered) Ausonius implies that they have become polished by having served as an anvil. Martial directs an epigram against Carinus, whose anus was split and lacerated by his excessive indulgence in these practices. [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

“Orpheus is supposed to have introduced the vice of sodomy upon the earth — In Ovid's Metamorphoses: ‘He also was the first adviser of the Thracian people to transfer their love to tender youths’ — presumably in consequence of the death of Eurydice, his wife, and his unsuccessful attempt to bring her to earth again from the infernal regions. But he paid dearly for his contempt of women. The Thracian dames whilst celebrating their bacchanal rites tore him to pieces. François Noël, however, states that Laius, father of Oedipus, was the first to make this vice known on earth. In imitation of Jupiter with Ganymede, he used Chrysippus, the son of Pelops, as a catamite; an example which speedily found many followers.

Amongst famous sodomists of antiquity may be mentioned: Jupiter with Ganymede; Phoebus with Hyacinthus; Hercules with Hylas; Orestes with Pylades; Achilles with Patrodes, and also with Bryseis; Theseus with Pirithous; Pisistratus with Charmus; Demosthenes with Cnosion; Gracchus with Cornelia; Pompeius with Julia; Brutus with Portia; the Bithynian king Nicomedes with Caesar.
The Gauls to Caesar yield, Caesar to Nicomede,
Lo! Caesar triumphs for his glorious deed,
But Caesar's conqueror gains no victor's meed. [Source: L. Pomponius]

“An account of famous sodomists in history is given in the privately printed volumes of 'Pisanus Fraxi', the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (1877), the Centuria Librorum Absconditorum (1879) and the Catena Librorum Tacendorum (1885), the lists there presented including such names as Alexander of Macedon, Napoleon Bonaparte, Henri III of France, Peter the Great, &c. Those interested in the subject are referred to the Thesaurus Eroticus Linguae Latinae, under articles 'Aversa Venus' and 'Paedicare', and will find the following brochures worthy of reading: 'Un Point Curieux des Moeurs Privées de la Grèce' (an essay by M. Octave Delepierre on sodomy amongst the ancients), Gay, Paris, 1861, and Socrates sanctus Paiderastes, by Gesner (translated into French under the title of Socrate et l'amour Grec, by Alcide Bonneau), Liseux, Paris, 1877.

Bestiality in Ancient Rome

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: “Although references in the classics to bestiality are not unfrequent, in Epigram 52 is the only passage I can call to mind which treats of an animal sodomising a man. In Juvenal we read, 'If he be missing, and men are wanting, she does not delay to submit her buttocks to a young ass placed over her.' This reference is, however, to copulation, not sodomy, the woman taking a kneeling posture as the one which would best enable the animal to enter her. [Source: “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus” translation by Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton, 1890, sacred-texts.com]

with a swan

“The mother of the Minotaur was Pasiphaë, the wife of King Minos. Burning with desire for a snow-white bull, she got the artificer Daedalus to construct for her a wooden image of a cow, in which she placed herself in such a posture that her vagina was presented to the amorous attack of the bull, without fear of any hurt from the animal's hoofs or weight. The fruit of this embrace was the Minotaur--half bull, half man--slain by Theseus. According to Suetonius, Nero caused this spectacle to be enacted at the public shows, a woman being encased in a similar construction and covered by a bull.

“The amatory adventures of the Roman gods under the outward semblance of animals cannot but be regarded with the suspicion that an undercurrent of truth runs through the fable, when the general laxity of morals of that age is taken into account. Jupiter enjoyed Europa under the form of a bull; Asterie, whom he afterwards changed into a quail, he ravished under the shape of an eagle; and Leda lent herself to his embraces whilst he was disguised as a swan. He changed himself into a speckled serpent to have connection with Deois (Proserpine). As a satyr (half man, half goat), he impregnated Antiope with twin offspring. He changed himself into fire, or, according to some, into an eagle, to seduce Aegina; under the semblance of a shower of gold he deceived Danaë; in the shape of her husband Amphitryon he begat Hercules on Alcmene; as a shepherd he lay with Mnemosyne; and as a cloud embraced Io, whom he afterwards changed into a cow. Neptune, transformed into a fierce bull, raped Canace; he changed Theophane into a sheep and himself into a ram, and begat on her the ram with the golden fleece. As a horse he had connection with the goddess Ceres, who bore to him the steed Arion. He lay with Medusa (who, according to some, was the mother of the horse Pegasus by him) under the form of a bird; and with Melantho, as a dolphin. As the river Enipeus he committed violence upon Iphimedeia, and by her was the father of the giants Otus and Ephialtes. Saturn begat the centaur (half man, half horse) Chiron on Phillyra whilst he assumed the appearance of a horse; Phoebus wore the wings of a hawk at one time, at another the skin of a lion. Liber deceived Erigone in a fictitious bunch of grapes, and many more examples could be added to the list.

“According to Pliny, Semiramis prostituted herself to her horse; and Herodotus speaks of a goat having indecent and public communication with an Egyptian woman. Strabo and Plutarch both confirm this statement. The punishment of bestiality set out in Leviticus shows that the vice was practised by both sexes amongst the Jews. Pausanius mentions Aristodama, the mother of Aratus, as having had intercourse with a serpent, and the mother of the great Scipio was said to have conceived by a serpent. Such was the case also with Olympias, the mother of Alexander, who was taught by her that he was a God, and who in return deified her. Venette says that there is nothing more common in Egypt than that young women have intercourse with bucks. Plutarch mentions the case of a woman who submitted to a crocodile; and Sonnini also states that Egyptians were known to have connection with the female crocodile. Vergil refers to bestiality with goats. Plutarch quotes two examples of men having offspring, the one by a she-ass, the other by a mare. Antique monuments representing men copulating with goats (caprae) bear striking testimony to the historian's veracity; and the Chinese are notorious for their misuse of ducks and geese.”

Bestiality in The Golden Ass

Leonard C. Smithers and Sir Richard Burton wrote in the notes of “Sportive Epigrams on Priapus”: The following passage from The Golden Ass of Apuleius is left in the original Latin in the translation of that writer issued in Bohn's Classical Library. This being the only English edition of Apuleius's Metamorphoses always in print, I have translated the omitted passage, and insert it here, notwithstanding its length: “When the time came, having fed, we withdrew from my master's hall and found my lady of quality at my bedchamber, where she had long been waiting. Good gods! what glorious and excellent preparation was there! without delay four eunuchs arranged for us a bed on the ground, with many pillows swollen with tender down, as if filled with wind; evenly threw over these a coverlet embroidered with gold and Tyrian purple; and over, they strewed completely with cushions with which delicate women are wont to support their chins and necks; some of these very small though plentiful enough, others of a good size. Nor delaying the pleasure of their mistress by their long attendance, they retired, closing the doors of the bedchamber. But within, waxen tapers gleaming with a clear lustre illuinined for us the darkness of night.

“Then, having straightway stripped off the whole of her clothing, the zone, too, which had bound close her lovely breasts, standing near the light she anointed herself plentifully with balsamic unguent from a small silver vase, and rubbed me copiously with the same; but drenched especially my legs and even my buttocks. Then, pressing me closely, she gave me fond kisses; not such as are wont to be thrown to one in the brothel, either by the mercenary bawds or the tight-fisted wenchers, but pure and unfeigned, she showered on me, and most alluring coaxings. 'I love thee, and long for thee; thee, alone, I pant for, and without thee am unable to live;' and used, besides, the arts by which women declare their affection.

“Having taken me by the halter, in the manner to which I had grown accustomed, she turned me to her, when, indeed, I seemed to be about to do nothing which was either new or difficult to me; especially as after so long a time I was about to encounter the ardent embraces of a beautiful woman. For I had by this time intoxicated myself with a large quantity of most luscious wine, and had incited my lustful desires with the most fragrant perfumes. But I was greatly troubled by no small fear, thinking in what manner should I be able, with legs so many and of such a size, to mount a tender and highborn lady; or, encircle with hard hooves her limbs softened with milk and honey and so white and delicate; or how, deformed, with teeth like stones and a mouth so enormous and gaping, to kiss her daintily-shaped lips, purpled with ambrosial dew; finally, in what manner my gentlewoman could support so gigantic a genital, though itching all over from her fingertips. 'Woe is me! Shall I, having burst asunder a woman of high rank, form an addition to my master's public show by being condemned to the contest with the wild beasts?'

“Meanwhile she again and again bestowed on me tender little speeches, unremitting love kisses, and sweet groanings, together with biting kisses. And in the deed, 'I hold thee,' she said, ' I hold thee fast, my woodpigeon, my sparrow.' And with these words she showed my misgivings to have been groundless, and my fears idle. For having entwined me wholly in the closest embrace, she took in the whole of me straightforward. In truth, as often as I, wishing to spare her, bent back my buttocks, so often did she, attacking with furious exertion and clinging round my spine, glue herself to me with a yet closer pressure; so that, by Hercules, I believed some thing was wanting even to me to famish her lust with its complement; nor could I now think that the mother of the Minotaur had no reason to be delighted with her bellowing adulterer.”

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\; “The Private Life of the Romans” by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932) forumromanum.org |+|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history/ ; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; MIT, Online Library of Liberty, oll.libertyfund.org ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Live Science, Discover magazine, Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin. "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum.Time, Newsweek, Wikipedia, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, AFP, BBC, Lonely Planet Guides and various books and other publications.

Last updated October 2018

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