Fall of Roman Empire caused by rampant homosexuality


Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
Perambulating in St James' Park
According to this fellow:

Fall of Roman Empire caused by 'contagion of homosexuality' - Telegraph

Roberto De Mattei, 63, the deputy head of the country's National Research Council, claimed that the empire was fatally weakened after conquering Carthage, which he described as "a paradise for homosexuals".

The remarks prompted angry calls for his resignation, with critics saying his comments were homophobic, offensive and unbecoming of his position. The fall of the Roman Empire was a result of "the effeminacy of a few in Carthage, a paradise for homosexuals, who infected the many.

"The abhorrent presence of a few gays infected a good part of the (Roman) people," Prof Mattei told Radio Maria, a Catholic radio station. The Roman Republic achieved domination over Carthage, in present-day Tunisia, during the Punic Wars of the third and second centuries BC, during which Hannibal made his ultimately abortive crossing of the Alps with war elephants. After the third and final Punic War, Carthage fell into Roman hands, followed by most of the other dependencies of the Carthaginian Empire.

Prof Mattei claimed that it was as the capital of Rome's North African provinces that Cartagena became a hotbed of sexual perversion, gradually influencing Rome itself, which eventually fell to barbarian tribes in 410AD. The corruption and decadence of some Roman emperors has been a staple of the cinema for decades, from humorous pastiches such as Frankie Howerd's 1970s television series Up Pompeii! to the 1960 Hollywood film Spartacus. A homoerotic scene in Spartacus in which Laurence Olivier's character, the Roman General Crassus, attempts to seduce a young slave played by Tony Curtis was cut from the original film but restored in the 1990s. A more muscular portrayal of Roman manhood was offered by the 2000 film Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe as a betrayed general who comes to Rome to seek revenge as a professional fighter.

Prof Mattei, a conservative Catholic and a former adviser on international affairs to the government, drew a parallel between the supposed moral degeneracy of imperial Rome and that of contemporary Italy.

"Today we live in an era in which the worst vices are inscribed in law as human rights. "Every evil must have its punishment, either in our times or in the afterlife." Politicians and academics were left aghast by his remarks and more than 7,000 have signed a petition calling for his immediate resignation.

"His homophobic and extreme views are offensive to the organisation he leads," said Massimo Donadi, a senior member of an opposition party, Italy of Values, adding that he would refer the affair to parliament.

Anna Paola Concia, an MP from the main opposition Democratic Party, said: "A fanatic such as him cannot remain vice-president of the council in a country that has at its heart culture, human rights and respect for diversity. He is nothing other than a homophobic fundamentalist on a par with Iran's president, Ahmadinejad." Prof De Mattei, who was awarded an order of knighthood by the Vatican in recognition for his service to the Catholic Church, has previously caused controversy by speaking out about gay rights, the contraceptive pill and the alleged persecution of Christians by Muslims in Kosovo and Lebanon.

Last month he said that the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan were punishments from God and "a way of purifying human sin".

I think that last sentence sums things up pretty well that the guy is a crank and not worth listening to, altho strangely he's the deputy head of the National Research Council for some reason.

Personally I don't care either way, tho I think the Roman Empire being overcome by camp legionnaires is quite a funny prospect.


What of the Sacred Band of Thebes tho? Weren't they famous homosexual warriors? Does this lunatic have more of a point about Rome's decadence being a reason for its downfall?

Thank you my darlings!

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Forum Staff
Oct 2009
I wouldn't even attack him for being homophobic - I would attack him for being an idiot.
Nov 2013

The guy is an obvious crank; considering Carthage was burnt down by the Romans and wasn't rebuilt until roughly a century later.

It was obviously the Greeks who turned Romans in to gay pedophiles. Or at least a Tunisian city besides Carthage.

The Romans had plenty of gay influences (Etruscans, possibly Carthaginians outside of Carthage), but I think Greece was the last straw. Indeed, you'll notice a man by the name of SUlla lived quite comfortable there and established his own fabulous dictatorship at roughly this time-period.


Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
I have never bought that there was a great deal of homosexuality in Rome. I have read now 20 books of Livy, all of the works of Tacitus, works by Suetonius, Josephus, Arrian, Precopius, Plutarch, Cicero, Caesar and others, and have not found a single positive or even neutral references to homosexuality.

The greatest villains of the empire are always portrayed as homosexuals or bi-sexuals: Clodius, Cataline, Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Vitellius, Commodus, Heliogalbus... Even those villains painted as homosexuals themselves denounce others as homosexuals (Tiberius accusing one of Agrippina's sons). One of the tactics often employed by the great orator Cicero was to accuse his opponents of homosexuality, and he did so regularly.

Conversely, the emperors and great men that are well liked- Augustus, Claudius, Scipio Africanus- are portrayed as having strong sexual appetites for women.

It seems to me that Rome was an extremely conservative society that frowned on homosexuality, and people misunderstand this and believe that it was going on all of the time precisely because they were, like kids in a schoolyard, always accusing each other of it.

I, by the way, don't have a damn thing against anybody's sexual preferences. I just don't see no evidence for this wave of homosexuality in Rome.
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Aug 2014
It would explain all the pomp and ceremony...

Still, we all know that the Romans had a different concept of sexuality from modern man. Homosexuality was an action, not an identity, and as long as you were giving you were manly, and if you were receiving you were womanly.

Slightly worrying that the deputy head of the national research council doesn't know that. But as you've all said, he sounds like a complete idiot.

To balance out his homophobia, this is brilliant if you've not heard it before -


Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Of course everyone knows that Rome was really brought down by Christianity. :lol:
Don't say that ... Catholic Church doesn't allow to priests to go with women, putting together the two assumptions we could reach the conclusion that the Roman Empire fell because Roman Church endorsed homosexuality ...

Humor a part, it's always the same matter:

to get audience and to make a bit of sensationalism, analyzing the causes of a complicated and long process [the fall of Rome didn't happen in a while], you can focus on an aspect of that society beginning to build a context to give to that aspect the main place in the scenario.

We could make the pair with whom says that the United States were allowed to born by the British power because Washington was a mason.

It's true that Washington was a mason [like it's true that in Rome there was homosexuality], but to sustain that these two aspects are the main causes, the main engines of the related whole processes ...
Sep 2013
Ontario, Canada
At least this guy's getting called out for his idiocy, the Romans themselves had very different views on homosexuality which isn't comparable to how we perceive it today. In those days before the introduction of Christianity demonized the whole thing it was totally acceptable to have gay relations, so long as you were in the dominant role, and your partner was a slave, prostitute, actor or other individual of low social standing. In terms of immorality I don't believe it had any effect on the long-term health of the Roman Empire, at least not to the degree that, say, slavery or rampant greed and corruption, did.
Jun 2013
I also find it pretty self-deceptive and potentially dangerous for present day people to assume that the Romans were not racist or xenophobic in a similar manner that European imperialists of the 16th to 20th century were...