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Romans Enjoyed Sexuality Openly and For Luck


On Sunday night, BBC-4 spent the evening at the ruined Roman City of Pompeii, which was engulfed and buried by a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in August 79CE.  As a result of this historical tragedy, we now have an incredibly well preserved Roman City during the height of the Empire, one of the mightiest the world has ever seen.  In the exploration of Sin and Sexuality in a Roman City, the programme explored a great deal about the sexual morality of the Romans.  We learned that sexuality flourished and that male homosexuality was permitted for all men so long as they remained the active partner.  Magnificent erotic frescoes in houses and public places depicted sexuality of all types and images of erect penises brought good luck and fortune into the household.  Sex work was common in the city and many brothels catered for the population. 

Roman Empire
Ancient World

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