The Ancient Romans and Greeks have often been viewed as having a moral tolerance of homosexuality. There are some truths to this. But, their idea of same sex relationships was very different from our modern day views of homosexuality. A person's status in society played a significant part in how the Romans and Greeks viewed same sex relationships. Another facet was the role of a sexual partner in a homo sexual relationship. Social class mattered a great deal. The upper classes were more likely to indulge in homosexual acts than the lower class or slaves.
The Romans did not differentiate between homosexuality and heterosexuality, Bisexuality was common in both the Roman and Greek cultures. Because the roles in a same sex relationship was important, upper class Romans did not openly admit to being penetrated. If you admitted to having been penetrated you would be considered effeminate.
Bisexuality and Homosexuality: It has been noted that out of the first 16 Roman Emperors 15 were bisexual, but only the Emperor Hadrian may have actually committed a homosexual act. It has also been noted that the Spartans of Greece viewed homosexuality like a part of military training. According to the Greeks, every soldier knew it was ideal to have an older lover to train him in the art of war. Philosophers have argued that the acceptable desire was defended less by the gender of a man's partner than by the relative status and role played in the sexual act. The Emperor Nero was said to have seduced free born boys to satisfy his sexual appetite. The Emperor is alleged to have castrated a young boy to turn him into a girl, he later married the boy. Some emperors mixed homosexual acts with heterosexual with both men and women.
Some historians have laid blame on the Greeks for the decline Roman morals. The Romans never adopted the Greek custom of using adolescence males as sexual apprenticeship. The Romans chose not to... [continues]
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