Another example of how Romans accepted and consumed homosexual culture comes from the example of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. He ordered the construction of a statue for the honor of his favorite slave whom he used to engage in sexual act with. The statue was erected in all of the sanctuaries and also in the major cities of the empire. The Emperor had fallen in love with the boy and used to travel with him to many destinations. It is in one of the journeys that the boy died. Conflicting theories emerged to explain what caused the death of the boy.
Some scholars argued that the boy fell in the Nile while others propose that, he was killed by the enemies of the emperor. The openness of the emperor’s affair with the boy, depicts an accurate picture showing how homosexuality was treated as normal by even the leaders of that time. The statute is associated with the unparalleled beauty which is balanced with strength and elegance and showed a dynamic interplay between the attributes of masculinity and femininity (anistor 1) The statue exhibits the exact beauty that men needed in their partners.
During the Roman times, homosexuality was celebrated as an art, and it was not viewed as a negative issue. The ancient celebration of the issue gives the current generation a hope that the current community will accept and consume the LGBTQ culture in accordance with Kerry Rourke’s theory. The gay marriage was alive and celebrated in the Roman Empire, where the Romans had embraced the pederasty of the Greeks. There was nothing shameful in the acts, as long as the boys were not freeborn. The slaves who were considered to be property were also included to the sexual property that an individual owns.
The celebration of the perfect representation of the human form which was mostly the naked male youth set the foundation of the historical gay aesthetics. The male body was celebrated, mostly in the naked form which included young boys. The commonality of male-male sexual acts in ancient Rome is depicted through plenty of artwork such as the Suburban Baths which has a total of 16 paintings of sex scenes between men and men and group sex. This discovery gives some hope to the modern gay community that someday in future, the act will be open again and practiced as an art.
Just as Rourke theorizes, the next step after consumption is a potential for backlash. This happened with the rise of Christianity in ancient Rome. The paintings in the Suburban Baths in the city of Pompeii showed the cultural and social lifestyle of the people staying at that time and illustrate how homosexual culture was widely accepted and absorbed. With the rise of Christianity, the practice started fading slowly, and most people spoke against it. A set of belief and events reset the entire sequence and soon a wave of oppression followed. The region condemned the homosexuality acts which were openly practiced.
The act was described as “sinning against nature” ( Percy and Johansson). Up to date, Christianity does not accept the same gender marriage. The rise of Christianity is a remarkable story which shows a progressively tiny group which was prosecuted to an established religion. The few Christians in the ancient Rome were prosecuted more often with death. Emperor Nero targeted and prosecuted Christians in 64 AD (Rockliffe). When the Christians refused to worship the Roman gods, they were hunted like animals. The Christians tried to convert a lot of people, and the numbers eventually grew.
While some were rich, the majority were poor because they were promised a good life in heaven. The Roman Empire adopted the Trinitarian Christianity in February 380 as the state religion. The attitude of the same sex marriage changed when the Christianity spread in the Empire. In the 3rd century of the Christian era, male prostitution was banned. Although Christianity was a small group of people, they grew and multiplied and overtook the previous dominant religions. The new religion banned the celebrated homosexuality acts and soon the people’s attitudes changed.
The Christians viewed homosexuality as a sin and advised its congregation to desist from it. Also, the Latin Christians had classified the behavior under the deadly sin luxury, lechery or lust since homosexual acts didn’t had any purpose such as reproduction and assigned it the worst form of crime against nature (Bullough and Brundage 156). ( Percy and Johansson) Notes that, “the sources of Christian intolerance were manifold” ( Percy and Johansson), indicating that, there were many reasons why Christianity was against homosexuality.
This notion used by the Latin’s was generated from the book of Genesis 19 which captures the destruction of the city of Sodom. The city was destroyed due to the wickedness of the inhabitants which stayed in it. (Bullough and Brundage 156). Christians view the homosexual behavior and act as a sin. They have for many years condemned the activity and disassociated itself with such practices. The homosexual acts are against the teaching of God regarding the nature of human relations and family. The book of Leviticus in the Bible prohibits the acts of homosexuality.
The book describes the act as the detestable act which must not be practiced at any cost. The origin of the world sexual sins and sodomy is traced back to Sodom and Gomorrah, despite God’s warning, the people continued to indulge in Godly activities which led to the destruction of the city as a warning to the future generation. 888888 Since homosexuality was widely known in the populace due to Roman culture, denial of the situation was impossible. Therefore the new Christian culture immediately began a campaign of surveillance and containment.
Influential clerics such as Augustine of Hippo tried to warn the population of committing sodomy. Augustine developed the ideas and Christian principles of the origin of sin, the divine grace and also predestination which makes the significant contribution to the religion. Augustine is seen as the Christian who was the most influential and has helped in clarification of many doctrinal issues which has shaped the modern Christian church. He describes celibacy as the most blessed state a person can be. A Latin scholar said that, “virginity makes itself equal to the angels” ( Percy and Johansson).
This shows how sexual purity is adored by the Christians. He viewed sin as an act which deserves punishment when they are committed. Just like the way Sodom was punished by God as a reminder to the future generation, nations which committed them must be held accountable and charged be the law of God. Augustine taught about the Bible as the supreme authority; just it bans homosexuality, should Christians do so. In his message of Trinity of love, he taught about equality which disregarded the slavery as a sin against the people of God.
Clerics such as Saint John Chrysostom went even further by stating “All passions are dishonorable, for the soul is even more prejudiced and degraded by sin than is the body by disease; but the worst of all passions is lust between men. ”By comparing homosexuality to a disease, he was suggesting that act is deathly and it should be contained and eradicated wherever, whenever possible. Other clerics such as Pachomius said that, “no monk may sleep on the mattress of another” ( Percy and Johansson), indicating that, no man should share the beddings with another man.
The cleric shows exactly how Christians condemned the behavior and did not want it to spread among the people. In the modern times, the homosexual acts kill and cause dangerous diseases which when left unattended, can result in a large damage to the human kind. The virus called Papilloma can be transmitted if one uses a protection or not and is most learnt to the homosexual behavior (Shoebat). The lust between men is condemned although it was practiced in the ancient Rome. The Greek Father raved, “How many hells shall be enough for such? ( Percy and Johansson).
The Father was trying to show the high number of people engaged in homosexuality and how they will go to hell. These clerics just like Augustine, describes the worst passion, as the one which includes lust between the people of the same gender. For this reason, the behavior must be contained and quarantined just like a disease. Soon the entire European peninsula desired the containment and eradication of sodomy and as their culture expanded to the world, it became a global phenomenon.