Little-Known Facts About the Raunchy and Rowdy Romans

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Rome is known for its great inventions as well as for its powerful royalty. It also has quite a scandalous history involving manyRoman emperors participating in the rowdiest and raunchiest activities. Let's take a closer look at their bad behavior.

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Source: A Dark History: The Roman Emperorsby Michael Kerrigan

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1. Prostitutes of Ancient Rome

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Rome has quite a history of prostitution. In fact, there was no law against it. Actresses, bakers, barmaids and musicians would double as prostitutes. Some would even hang out in cemeteries and graveyards looking for lonely people. Some would even try to offer their services to mourners at funerals. They would also do all they could to bump up the overall number of funeral goers just to have more prospects and then they would prey on individuals in their saddened state.

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2. Scandalous Messalina

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The wife of Claudius Caesar, Messalina, once challenged one of Rome's leading prostitutes to a sex marathon. She saw the whole experience as a prize worth winning especially for an empress. After having coitus (as they once referred to it) day and night, she was finally victorious after the 25th go around. She was so proud, they say.

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3. Naughty Nero

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Despite his upbringing in the imperial palace and constantly being surrounded by other royals, Nero liked to parade around as if he were of a much lower class. He would brawl in taverns and beat up anyone he crossed paths with, certainly not the behavior people expected of a future emperor.

He would have liaisons with young boys of nobility as well as married women. He went as far as to have a young boy, Sporus, castrated and he tried to turn his young lover into a woman. He dressed the boy in a wedding gown and veil and they actually went through with a marriage ceremony. Nero would also parade around the city with the boy in a litter, which was a portable bed/chair. Nowadays, this behavior would get you arrested for statutory rape or pedophilia, but in those days pretty much anything went.

Nero also took another young lover, Doryphorus, but this time the future emperor took on the female role himself. He was the "bride" and Doryphorus was the "husband" and Nero would publicly let his "husband" sodomize him. Nero was also known to bound naked male and female victims to stakes. Then he would dress in the fur of a predatory beast and fling himself at his victims and their intimate areas.

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4. Caligula and Wild Sex Parties

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Caligula was known for putting anything and everything on display, especially his incestuous passions. He would have sex with his sisters at public formal banquets and ask his wife of the moment to join in if he was in the mood.

Roman ladies and gentlemen were basically required to attend these gatherings or risk being tortured or put to death. If they did not attend, it would offend the emperor. He would appraise the other men's wives as if they were livestock and point out what features struck his fancy. He would later have a slave summon the woman and he would make a big show of retiring to a room with her. Afterwards, the husband would have to grin and bear it as Caligula spoke in detail about the woman's sexual performance as well as her assets and flaws. Could you imagine being the husband in this scenario?

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5. Eccentric Elagabalus

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Emperor Elagabalus' generosity knew no bounds and he entertained very lavishly. After attending one of his parties, a guest was likely to leave with a four-horse chariot, a slave, or a hundred pounds in silver.

He was also known for tricking and/or astounding his guests. He was a big time practical joker who delighted in playing games with others. He once had his chef serve mice and weasels to everyone as a joke. At another "feast," he offered up every type of food imaginable but all made of glass. On a different occasion, pictures of food were given rather than actual meals, so guests went hungry.

Elagabalus also was known for his large-scale themed parties, where he would invite guests just to embarrass them. For example, he would invite all bald men, or all fat men, or all one-eyed men and take pleasure once the theme sank in for everyone.

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