Homosexuality in the Ancient Rome
It is not always so clear how was conceived homosexuality in ancient times, and especially in the Ancient Rome.
We have several examples of homosexuality in the past centuries thanks to writings, images and architectural sites and today we can have a wide panorama of what homosexual relationship in the world was spread.
Although historiography attempted to define Julius Caesar’s homosexual relationships as a ‘youth mistake’, there is no longer any doubt that the great leader of the Roman Republic most certainly loved to have relations with other men.
One of his great loves was Nicomedes IV, the king of Bithinya. Caesar was attracted by his oriental beauty and started a secret affair with him, even if it was scoffed by his enemies.
One among these, Dolabella, referred to the Roman as the “rival of the queen and inner edge of the regal litter”, while Curione talked about the “brothel of Nicomedes”, till Bibulus, who used to call Caesar the “queen of Bithinya” Even Cicero, while speaking at the Roman Senate, said Caesar defended the daughter of the Bithynian king for “obvious reasons.”
There is the proof also provided by the troops of Caesar in Gaul, who were singing (whispering) in triumph this verses: “Gallias Caesar subegit, Nicomedes Cesarem”, that means: “Caesar has dominated the Gauls, Nicomedes has dominated Caesar”
We also have Plutarco who spoke about a youth crush of Caesar with Sarmentus, while Catullus talks about a guy called Mamurras.
Nero married the beautiful Sporo and then Doriforo, and is proven the gay love Hadrianus the Emperor had with Antinoo, for whom he built also a temple in one of his Villas in Tivoli to honour him after his death.