Oh, for sure, man. Only the emperors were out. And the poets. And the men, friends as well as enemies, whom the poets wrote about (see Martial's and Statius' poems about friends of theirs and their own slave-boys). And the men who openly visited gay brothels. And also the men who boasted of having gay sex in the graffiti. But these men are exceptions - they could get away with it. No one else could! But who's even left in this "no one else"?, and it was more or less than same in the Empire (with some changes obviously, like the Emperor could get away with a bit more than most).
What absence?? This is insane.This belief by you that there is no problem with this fact, that the absence of any public homosexuals of any kind in many centuries means nothing, is pretty astoundingly uncritical of you.
From the beginning I spoke of the republican-era poets. But you and that other guy always have an excuse to ignore evidence that you don't like.
There is no evidence of this, quit bullshitting. This goes against much of what scholars today believe, many of whom I have already quoted, but whom you just ignore. IOt goes against what people said in those times, too. Like Plutarch.Obviously being a passive lover was worse; but to the average Roman on the street any sort of male love was overwhelmingly a negative attribute.
For the third time, I present what Plutarch said of Roman men, "it was neither disreputable nor shameful for the men of old to love male slaves in the bloom of youth."
"Neither disreputable nor shameful."
Do you understand what that means? It's the opposite of what you're arguing. And since he was a Roman citizen, who could see many of these facts with his own eyes rather than wish them this or that way like you're doing to win some stupid internet discussion, I'd rather rely on his testimony than on yours.
There are no "homosexual slurs" in Latin. There are not even normal words for "homosexual" in that language. There are separate words for the active partner and for the passive, which argues in favor of the thesis that you are splitting hairs to deny: that the Romans judged the active partner of homosexual encounters differently from the passive. It's societies like those based on Judeo-Christianity, in which religious prejudice attacks with equal force both partners, that forged words that apply to both: homosexual, sodomite, etc. Neither Latin nor Greek has equivalents.This combined with the fact it was always used as a slur,
The words that the Romans used to denote the active partner - "pedico", for example - were never used as slur. When they appear in Latin graffiti, "pedico" has a positive sense, conveying a masculine boast, similar to the more heterosexualized term futuitor. It is something that Roman men would employ to proudly describe themselves. Ask yourself: why are there graffiti in which men boast of ******* another, but never of being fucked, if the two positions were stigmatized among the Romans?
The words that were used as slurs, cinaedus, for example, refer only to passive partners, and, in addition, they denote all kinds of passivity, including heterosexual. And "cunnilingus", which, as said above, the Romans interpreted as passivity on the part of man, is also used in these kinds of slur. Unlike "pedico", Romans never used those words on themselves.
Cinaedus was never used for the active partner. In fact, there are Roman writers, such as Martial and Catullus, who made of the cinaedus a figure of mockery, but who never apply the term to themselves despite the fact they openly had homosexual relationships, or even preferred them, as in the case of Martial.
When Roman soldiers laughed at Julius Caesar for having had a relationship with King Nicomedes, they made a point of introducing him as the passive of the relationship - as the King's "queen". There is, on the other hand, no account of Domitian, Hadrian, or Trajan being mocked by their soldiers, at least not for their homosexuality, probably because they were not thought to be passive with their boyfriends. These emperors, after all, were older than their boyfriends, so in the Roman mind that meant they must have been in the active position. Whereas Julius Caesar, at the time of the alleged relationship with Nicomedes, was much younger, and so was assumed to be the passive.
In the Roman imaginary, there was a great distance between the active partner and the passive partner. Another proof: the Lex Scantinina, which penalized relationships between freeborn Romans, targeted only the passive, and the penalty was a fine rather than death. The person who published the law, the emperor Domitian, was himself known for homosexual relationships - only as a top, however.
That you do not know this, or any of the things I've been saying, proves only your ignorance of Roman culture and society, and that you do not accept arguments demonstrating this fact, including from experts with renowned publications and from people who lived in the Roman times, as Roman citizens, shows your dogmatism and immaturity.