I've never claimed Augustus sought total power, or tgat Julius Caesar had it either; I'm holding to a ancient school of statecraft and sociology in examining the morphology of a state, the "kyklos cycle". In order for it to be a cycle, it means the morphology has to be interchangeable.... organs of state in a resurgent monarchy over a republic that was once a monarchy isn't going to completely erase it's republican institutions anymore than the republican stage completely erased the monarchical.
This being said, they did aim for a absolute monarchy. Monarchies tend to have ministers, and many even some sort of expanded court or parliament. The Romans under Caesar and Augustus were just starting down that road. Augustus' only claim to not being a tyrant was he allowed people to be cheeky and offered retorts back himself about his status as a tyrant.
Auris..... you just helped me figure out an aspect of the Satyricon that never occurred to me. Hopefully I'll remember to thank you in a essay on it someday.
As for Caldrail.... men come with two probable holes.... I think homosex isn't that hard of a concept to figure out.... it's either handjobs, BJs, or Anal. People tend to figure this sorta thing out on their own, like masturbation. I never needed a instruction manual, as I figured that one out on my own (quite literally alone).
I think some guy sucking off another guy, whatever the era or cultural norms or deeper esoteric meanings, can still pass off safely as a rather obvious gay act. Even if that culture otherwise didn't have a awareness such a thing coukd be abstractly (which I severely doubt), it becomes rather obvious within seconds of walking in what's going on.
It's sorta like that barn scene in season 2 of Deadwood, where the white guy was pants down behind the horse, as the black stable head walked up silently behind thinking it was a thief.... stopping dumbstuck not immediately interpreting the scenerio. Only took a few seconds to register.... he was all weirded out and dead set on the moral imperative of killing him for it, nit fir being criminal but rather too damn strange to be allowed to live.
But in societies where these alternative sex acts occur on a more open and higher frequency, the more acceptable and common place, no doubt. But perverted sex acts involving the penis are never that alien to begin with, and I doubt any society would truly draw a blank or have literally NO OPINION about sexual relation outside of heterosexuality.
If I recall, even medieval japan mocked male homosexuals, including women doing the mocking, in the story of Genji. Confucians barely tolerated it in China, and the singke tempke in China allowed for Sidomy was dedicated to King Zhou of Shang after the collapse of the Shang Empire, in a retort similar to Seneca in "The Pumpinfication of the Divine Claudius" in a mocking deification of a emperor to a God.
Reason why is.... society is literally built around heterosexuality. In every persons place prior to test tube babies, a man and a woman got it on, and made a baby. Whatever the attractions and paraphilia a indivudual or culture adopts, whatever cunning sex cults they developed in ancient times (and they had quite a few) everyone had a awareness of sex. We're not sexless Pandas, were the species clisely related to sex crazed bonobo chimps. We have a nack for figuring out penis politics.
It's why the ambiguous "beyond good and evil" arguments Nietzscheans push don't hold.... the dominate Nietzscheans.... the mist famous from Japan to England, had a assortment of odd sexual fetishes, that leaned Sadistic. When I first explored and listed their biographies, it was pointed out to be they just were not perverts, but gad "penis magic" fixations (to borrow a awkward yet perfect phrase from a Bosnian).
Human sexuality, the libido, isn't terra incognito until it passes into a dictionary. Were flexible in terms of mores, but hardly infinitely. Only a couple of responses really possible.
I think two gay greek guys doing it 2500 years ago isn't unrecognizable from two guys today. You can safely apply the word, and can predictably detect the range of reactions (acceptance and rejection) then as now, just differing in quantity, with each locale putting emphasis on sliding scales of cultural acceptance.
In San Francisco, I saw a guy in leather whip another man in the park infront of the house they filmed the TV Show "Full House" in. Was very strange, but I sorta got used to it. Never completely.... but would be shocked to see it happen here in West Virginia. However, despite the likely much harsher reaction likely to occur in West Virginia to witnessing such a event.... nit to mention a leaner vocabulary to expresses it, people here would instantly grasp what is happening as in San Francisco where that happens way too often.