reply to post by Pinke
I don't think we should post all the references to gay sex in Rome..
Much of the discussion has been revolving around gay marriage and the example of Nero. Nero was actually accused of homosexuality by Tiberius in a
letter to the senate allegedly, and this was taken seriously. (Tacitus from memory but check me)
Romans didn't really have a word for homosexuality so I guess we have to refer to it as the Roman interpretation of homosexual relations - I actually
think we are both on the same page here so can leave that there.
Clubbing was reserved for men who took the female role, not the masculine role.
Plutarch's biography on Gaius Marius tells of an incident where a commander was slain for making advances on a young legionary. The legionary that
slew the commander was actually rewarded. In summary:
* I agree gay sex happened in Rome more so than today
* I disagree that gay marriage was deemed okay
* I agree regarding the attitudes towards gay sex and masculinity
* However, I think its important to note that laws were introduced to protect freemen from being considered effeminate via involuntary acts
Now to transition to 2013 and bring the same question toward today's culture, does today's culture say something is good, or is it good for
culture? As you indicated, you see no big difference from then to now, so the question is pertinent to a cultural standpoint.
My answer depends how you are framing the question ...
I don't believe religion is entirely distinct or separate from culture. Religion is merely a vehicle for the exchange of information in my mind. My
point regarding difference is all the major players are the same but we have much quicker methods of information dissemination now. I think
is far more relevant to moral change than religion is.
A lot of the base building blocks have always been there, we've just not always had the information or understanding to act on it. Men's
understanding of women has been utterly woeful up until recently as a good example. Increased understanding and a widening circle of care makes better
moral choices. Further to that, silly myths meet criticism head on now. We don't have to wait on a cultist getting an interview in the newspaper or
yelling in the local forum to tell them they're wrong - now we just continue sipping a latte and post on a forum.
Culture is just an observation of status quo. It doesn't make decisions and the reason for those decisions can be multiple. Ancient breeding
practices would be immoral today, for example, but conferred an advantage prior to more modern agriculture. Meanwhile, is software piracy a moral act?
No, but it benefits large numbers of people.
Religion doesn't have a superior stance in this space because it's part of culture, but I would point out that this doesn't mean an instant descent
into moral relativism either.
Can discuss history or anything else slightly off topic some more in another thread if you like? I don't mind, it's fun.
Do you think the thread is maybe getting too far from its original purpose?