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Juvenal (ca. 55 or 60 - ca. 130)  
 
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To plead in court, the lawyer Creticus wears a transparent toga, which means his genitals and buttocks can be seen through the cloth. Two of Juvenal's favorite issues appear here: effeminacy (female prostitutes wear these garments in the Eleventh Satire) and hypocrisy (Creticus pretends to have no secrets, hence his see-through toga, but shortly he will be prosecuting adulteresses, meanwhile never considering his own outrageous behavior).

Creticus later joins priests to celebrate the Bona Dea rites (to which, according to tradition, no men were admitted). To adorn themselves for the festivities, the priests put on ribbons (redimicula) and cover their necks with necklaces (monilia). They stage what Susanna Braund calls a "travesty by transvestites." One initiate drinks wine from a Priapic vessel, simulating oral sex with ejaculation of semen in his mouth; another initiate puts on make-up and applies mascara to his eyebrows, and a third one is so in love with himself that he never leaves his mirror.

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Otho seems a good military commander: he gives orders to his troops, dons a mighty armor, and courageously rides into battle--but not before making sure that his outfit looks impeccable. The world is going topsy-turvy. The bread that others eat, Otho applies to his face as a moisturizer for his delicate skin and to prevent the growth of a beard, the symbol of male power, hence his rivalry of two other beauty-queens of antiquity: Cleopatra and Semiramis. Otho is a pathicus, just one of the many Latin terms for passive homosexuals and also the worst invective that can be leveled at a Roman man.

Gracchus, a retiarius or "net-gladiator," contracted a homosexual marriage as a bride, brought a dowry, and reclined in his husband's lap. His noble birth and solemn name only heighten his depravity; he arrays himself for his fight in a tunic, an image that suggests a strip-show rather than a bloody battle; not surprisingly, Gracchus disgraces himself by fleeing the arena. The speaker is outraged: "Would you be more horrified, or think it a more ghastly / portent, if women calved, or cows gave birth to lambs?"

In the Second Satire, Juvenal does not stigmatize homosexual activity per se, but homosexual behavior that transgresses the gender boundaries male/female. He derides sexually passive Roman citizens, whom he views as fearfully effeminate, but praises homosexuals who admit their sexual inversion, because it was ordained by fate and thus forgivable and because it put them in a special category, eunuchs: "Give me the open, honest / eunuch priest: gait, gestures proclaim his twisted nature. / He's a freak of fate--indeed, his wretched self-exposure, / the very strength of his passion, demands our forgiveness / and pity." In accordance with Roman gender ideology, men who take the insertive role in homosexual intercourse are not really satirized.

The Ninth Satire

In the Ninth Satire, Juvenal presents a conversation between an active male prostitute, Naevolus ("Warty"), and his wealthy client, the sexually receptive Virro. Naevolus penetrates both him and his wife, which is hard work: "You think it's easy, or fun, this job of cramming / my cock up into your guts until it's stopped by last night's supper?"

Naevolus' profession causes little criticism; Juvenal's anger is directed at Virro, who has submitted to passivity and who has allowed Naevolus to father two children with his wife, thus seriously jeopardizing his role as pater familias. Virro also reclines, wife-like, in a woman's chair, a cathedra, thus faintly alluding to a marital bond. Virro is lustful, weak, secretive, vindictive, and mean--an ideal object of satire.

Now Naevolus has fallen out of favor because fickle Virro has met "some other two-legged donkey." Naevolus complains: "Mankind is ruled by the Fates, they even govern those private / parts that our clothes conceal. If your stars go against you / the fantastic size of your cock will get you precisely nowhere, / though Virro may have drooled at the sight of your naked charms, / though long coaxing love-letters come all begging your favours, / though--quote--What naturally draws a man is--a pansy."

At the end, the interlocutor, probably Juvenal himself, reassures Naevolus: "Never fear: so long as these Seven Hills stand fast / you'll always have friends in the trade, they'll still come flocking / from near and far, by ship or by coach, these gentry / who scratch their heads with one finger." Homosexual activity is so wide-spread that the oldest trade in the world will also be the longest-lasting.

Eva Cantarella amplifies the ideological ramifications of this sex-reversal: "Naevolus is an active homosexual. The Romans have sunk to such a level of depravity that they no longer pay to put someone else underneath them--they now pay someone to go on top. The ideology, then, has not changed: a man is only a man if he is gloriously active. But the facts show that real Roman males are getting rarer and rarer."

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