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Guest ParatrooperLirelou

Bestiality in Roman Civilization-Fact or Myth?

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Guest ParatrooperLirelou

In another thread in another forum, someone posted this.

 

"Beasts were specially trained to copulate with women: if the girls or women were unwilling then the animal would attempt rape. A surprising range of creatures was used for such purposes - bulls' date=' giraffes, leopards, cheetahs, wild boar, zebras, stallions, jackasses, huge dogs, apes, etc. The beasts were taught how to copulate with a human being [whether male or female'] either via the vagina or via the anus." Representations of scenes from the sexual lives of the gods, such as Pasipha

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I know that there are several sites and books which quote passages about the various forms of possible arena 'entertainment' which may touch on this subject matter but it is not something I have ever had any great interest in researching.

 

Out of curiosity I did however do a quick search for this precise quotation and it seems to turn up on a very large number of websites. Most of the ones I saw listed on the face of it extremely questionable for any possible connection to either the Roman period or indeed the 'apparent' subject matter of the quotation.

 

I did check one site at random where the quotation was 'claimed' to have been found on Wikipedia. Having followed the link I'd be a lot happier about its 'authenticity' if it had still been there when I reached the appropriate part of Wikipedia.

 

Needless to say the fact that it was not there suggests that either it was an entirely false link or else if at one point it had been placed onto Wikipedia it's 'authenticity' has since been questioned and found extremely wanting to say the least.

 

Unless anyone recognises a possible original sourtce for this I think it can safely be categorised as a thumbs down for authenticity.

 

:hammer:

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Sounds like the sort of lurid and apocryphal tales that continually circulate on the Web. Wikipedia's Discussion page had this to say on that quote:

 

Masters nonsense

I would be interested to know who this "Masters" is (his first name is not given), and what his sources were. Our article on chimpanzees reports that they were only known to Europeans starting in the 16th or 17th century. "Chimps as well as other apes had also been purported to have been known to Western writers in ancient times, but mainly as myths and legends on the edge of European and Arab societal consciousness, mainly through fragmented and sketchy accounts of European adventurers." The word "chimpanzee" was only coined in 1738. So it's hard to imagine that chimpanzees, along with various other species from sub-Saharan Africa, were imported to the Roman Empire and trained to perform sexual acts. It sounds like modern fiction to me, perhaps inspired by ancient myths. -- Tim Starling (talk) 00:01, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Source.

 

-- Nephele

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Well, we have two mentions in the sources. Martial in 'The spectacles' says that there is no reason to disbelieve the tale of Pasiphae,as 'we have seen it with our own eyes', in a performance presented by Domitian.

 

The second is from the Golden Ass where our hero (a donkey) is required to copulate with a poisoner in the arena prior to a leopard being unleashed on both. However, as this tale has a number of magical transformations and other unlikely happenings, the reader must decide how credible this event is. Given that Roman punishment went in for maximum pain and humiliation, it seems quite possible to me.

 

Also if you ask nicely at Cologne museum you get to see a very X-rated selection of oil lamps which would probably get me arrested if I posted the images on the internet. But again, the question is whether the ladies getting intimate with swans, bulls etc are fantasy, mythological or depictions of real events.

 

However, I'll say with some confidence that the quote given at the start of this discussion is pure unadulterated BS. It either comes from Stephen Barber's 'Divine Carnage' or from a similar bit of pornography pretending to be history.

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Also if you ask nicely at Cologne museum you get to see a very X-rated selection of oil lamps which would probably get me arrested if I posted the images on the internet. But again, the question is whether the ladies getting intimate with swans, bulls etc are fantasy, mythological or depictions of real events.

 

You've got a good point with the mythology there; the swan is a typical example (Leda and the Swan), the bull likewise (although I've read somewhere about a episode with a bull in the arena). Zeus had a fetish for that kind of stuff.

 

Then again, the Romans had a thing for recreating myths in the arena, executing prisoners as if they were (failed) mythical heroes, e.g. Icarus and Orpheus.

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Had the author of that...interesting...quote ever thought of how a giraffe would copulate with a human :blink:

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Had the author of that...interesting...quote ever thought of how a giraffe would copulate with a human :blink:

 

From what I remember from zoo visits giraffes are not the most aggressive of animals except possibly amongst themselves or defending their young. However I suppose an 18 foot tall giraffe could well bring tears ... at the very least ... to the eyes! :unsure:

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From what I remember from zoo visits giraffes are not the most aggressive of animals except possibly amongst themselves or defending their young.

Giraffe are widely claimed to decapitate lions with their kick - I even heard this from guides in Kenya. So I googled for confirmation, and poked around just enough to be sickened by a bunch of youtube scenes of lions battling with various animals with various degrees of success and failure. Some have the air of artificial herding together combatants in some perverse revival of Roman setups (no stage or anything, just suspicious).

 

Anyway, what I gather is small giraffe are brutally dominated by a lion looking for food. Medium size giraffe can be killed by a pack of lions, but risking injuries. A large (bull) giraffe utterly dominates even a pack of lions and some are gonna die.

 

I never saw a forward kick, which I thought would be so effective with that long leverage over a heavy hoof. There were vicious rearward kicks, but the intent seemed to be to fling the lunging lion away. The most aggressive was a weird high stomping action with giraffe front legs, which terrorized even packs of lions. I think it was aiming at the backbone which is right near the lion skin on the top, with all the protective muscle on sides or bottom.

 

The term decapitation refers to the way giraffes seperate the lion skull from the backbone. I don't know if they ever snap off soft tissue. Now I see thru giraffe eyes (one who has been terrorized by lions while growing up) that the lions backbone looks like a fragile cantilever (protruding, actually), hung off it's front haunches... just asking to be snapped.

 

P.S. on animal kicks and linguistics: I heard that the slow drawl way of speaking in Texas, the midwest, and parts of northeast US come from working close to large cattle and milkcows and reassuring them so they don't kick or stomp you. Just yesterday I was smiling at a newsclip of a Texan cop who was somehow putting across urgency but in a voice that was very monotone and exactly steady in volume. It's a type of voice that is taken as slow witted, but might have hidden wisdom even when around people that might act like animals.

Edited by caesar novus

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The second is from the Golden Ass where our hero (a donkey) is required to copulate with a poisoner in the arena prior to a leopard being unleashed on both. However, as this tale has a number of magical transformations and other unlikely happenings, the reader must decide how credible this event is. Given that Roman punishment went in for maximum pain and humiliation, it seems quite possible to me.

 

To add to this, there is also the instance where Lucius (as the donkey) is being brutally abused by a boy who lies to the caretakers that Lucius the donkey has been attacking young girls and women attempting to rape them. Everyone who hears the story believes it. While this novel is fantasy, I believe it was also written with enough truth, autobiographical or otherwise, to give the audience something to latch their laughs onto. It is possible that Romans believed animals did hold tendencies to desire human women.

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