The Satyricon

Educated homosexuals like to pull out the old Ancient Greco-Roman card that the liberals use. They project their values onto an idealized past that never existed in order to legitimize their lifestyles today.

Judge it by yourself. What could be more decadent in the Greco-Roman world than the homoerotic adventures recounted in a novel written in times of Nero or Caligula? However, classic pederasty was not meant for coeval adults, as is the LGBT movement of today.

Below I include my translation of the prologue by Jacinto Leon Ignacio to one of the Spanish translations of Petronius’ novel (ellipsis omitted between unquoted passages):

jefferson_petronius


Rome,
centuries ago

In the vast and important Greek and Roman literature from which we still live, there are just a few novelists. Maybe for an overwhelming majority of illiterates it would had been much more affordable the theater, which is enough to listen, that the written narrative which must be read. The same was true of poetry and the rhapsodies recited in public.

The fact is that in Greece there are only a few examples of novels, apart of Longus, and from the Romans only Apuleius and Petronius, whose work we offer here.

It appears that, at the time, the Satyricon enjoyed considerable popular success, for both Tacitus and Quintilian commented it in their manuscripts, although it is apparent that neither knew it directly, only from hearsay. It is likely that they did not grant it much literary value because its style and form collided with all the concepts in vogue.

However, the Satyricon was not lost and copies were kept in the Middle Ages, while jealously concealed because of its subject matter [pederasty] and for being the work of a pagan. The work continued to be ignored by the public to the point that only scholars knew its title, but believed it was lost.

Therefore, a scandal broke when, in 1664, appeared the first edition of Pierre Petit.

Soon after, the Satyricon was translated into several languages, including ours, with such success that has made it one of the great bestsellers in history. There were those who sought to take advantage that the work is incomplete, rewriting it to their liking. It was easy nevertheless to expose them.

Presumably, however, the author would not work at top speed like if we should go to a literary prize. He seems to have devoted years to this task. Do not forget that what is now known are only fragments of the original, estimated in twenty books. The author might have started writing when Caligula reigned and Nero followed, to see the publication during the reign of the next emperor. It can be no coincidence that the book mentions contemporary events known to all, or that the author considered worth mentioning many names.

This is a job too conscientious not to be the work of a professional. Moreover, the action does not take place in Rome, but in the provinces and almost none of the men are Latins. It seems as if the author had had an interest in showing the reality of the empire, a reality ignored in the capital.

The novel consists merely of the travel story of [Encolpius] and his servant Gitone through different locations. The incidents, sometimes unrelated, their adventures and the people they encounter are the text of the Satyricon, which lacks a plot as was the style of the epoch. We could actually say that it consists of countless short stories of the two protagonists. This technique influenced many centuries later the books of chivalry, the picaresque and even Don Quixote. Throughout many incidents the author reveals us an extraordinary real view of the life in the Roman provinces, although tinged with irony.

Petronius simply tells us what he saw. In a way, his novel was an approach to realism, leaving aside the epic tone of the tragedies to focus on current issues, as Aristophanes did in Greece. And that was the pattern followed by Petronius. There is a huge difference between his style and that of other contemporary writers.

Poets, despite their undoubted genius, are pompous and in the tragedies the dialogues are extremely emphatic. Petronius by contrast, remains accessible to everyone. He expressed himself in a conversational tone, which justifies the use of a first person that conveys the feeling that someone is telling us a live tale. That’s why today we can read his Satyricon with the same interest of his times and nothing of its freshness is lost.

Writing is, in a sense, a childbirth with the same joys and suffering. Both things must have accompanied Petronius in this trip with [Encolpius] and Gitone through the decline of Rome.

Homo debate continues

After James O’Meara told me at The Occidental Observer that “Only the Jews have demonized all forms of male affection” I responded:

HomoNegro
 
So what’s your model society?

Yesterday I watched Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 TV series) and experienced great emotion at the very end during the double marriage of Elizabeth Bennet with Mr Darcy and Jane Bennet with Mr Bingley.

That’s the world I would aspire to live in after the vindictive Day of the Rope and a brief interregnum of Lycanthropes chasing over the naughty feminists turned now into Sabine women in order to found large families. Once the violence is all over after the racial wars the Austen world makes sense in a future ethnostate, except that instead of Christianity we might have something like Nazi Aryanism as the cement for holy heterosexual marriage (as holy as the Austen series I saw yesterday; yes, traditional family values).

You propose the Athens model of Pericles? Not Spartans, who unlike the Athenians did not commit the mortal sin of mongrelization? What do you propose exactly? (The Burroughs novel you use in your blog depicts an altogether violent and degenerate, non-Athenian homo world that would be easy prey for the enemies of the white ethnostate.)

While posting this entry I’m still awaiting a response to the above. Meanwhile, this is what I responded to Lew at VNN Forum about a month ago:

I said…

I agree that the level of some criticism in this thread is 7th grade. However, why doesn’t Greg Johnson allow at Counter Currents a much more discrete criticism of the homo agenda he’s promoting by publishing James’ book? Why doesn’t he say a real word, not the evasive way he dismissed my point (“strawman”), about the problems presented in my linked article, “On classic pederasty”?

Lew said…

If a particular white male homosexual is not interested in pushing the modern gay agenda, supports traditional man / woman marriage as the societal ideal, and is willing to work for society and the collective good, what possible harm could he cause?

I said…

But there’s the rub. James O’Meara doesn’t seem to support traditional marriage (he recently published an article at Counter Currents critical of 1950s family values). Instead, he theorizes that real western families must be a kind of pagan homophiliacs.

Greg Johnson said…

James O’Meara’s startling thesis is that the male groups that create and sustain civilization have been destroyed not just with the hammer of feminism but also on the anvil of “homophobia.” For today, any all-male group is stigmatized as “homoerotic” (usually by the same people who want to normalize homosexuality). Thus, to exorcise the specter of homosexuality, male groups have been pressured to accept female members. Merely excluding actual homosexuals is not enough, because the problem is the mere possibility of homosexuality in groups of men who live, work, and fight together. Thus O’Meara points to the conclusion that the only way to maintain all-male institutions is to de-stigmatize homosexuality.

Of course this is a non-starter for the conservatives who posture as defenders of Western civilization, because there is something they want to conserve even more: Judeo-Christian “family values,” including homophobia. Thus O’Meara argues that the homophobic conservative “family values” agenda actually undermines the foundations of Western civilization. As an alternative, O’Meara urges us to look to the other West, the real West, the West before it was conquered by a Near Eastern religion, namely the pagan West, for a model of civilization that managed to integrate all-male institutions with family life, due in part to more fluid conceptions of sexual identity and tolerant attitudes toward same-sex attractions.

I said…

The above sentence demonstrates that Greg was wrong when claiming that my piece [“Gitone’s magic”] was “so off the mark, such a straw man argument” because it’s James himself who’s placing “the pagan West”, i.e., the Greco-Roman world, as a “model” of civilization: precisely the claim that I debunked in my article, insofar as classic homosexuality was mainly pederasty—not the transvestite behavior that James provocatively and unabashedly boasts visually in his blog, even in the “About me” page.

As I said in my article on classic pederasty, I read a couple of Latin-Spanish translations of the first long novel in the western world. And although Petronius depicts the Roman provinces in altogether decadent times—perhaps under the reign of Caligula—, the main character, Encolpius, and his epheboy Gitone are described as feeling a great deal of revulsion towards a queerfag who tried to seduce them (during the banquet of Trimalchio if I remember correctly). If The Satyricon is a window to the past we can conclude that, even in those degenerate times, when vomitoriums were introduced in the Roman homes as depicted in Petronius’ novel, the lovers of the story—a 25-year-old young man and a 16 year-old teen—still felt incredible revulsion for obvious queers.

It’s James the one who makes use of the classic world as his pivotal argument for his hypothesis. Thus, if I could demonstrate that he was arguing from a false analogy, I reasoned out when writing my essay, his hypothesis would be falsified by History itself.

Something similar could be said of how the pre-Christian Germanics handled the fags (say, like those who made Encolpius and Gitone almost throw up). Tacitus wrote, “Traitors and deserters are hanged; cowards and those guilty of unnatural practices are suffocated in mud under a hurdle.”

On classic pederasty

This article has been edited in September 2017.
For a longer version of this article see: here

 
Julian Jaynes argued in The Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind that Homeric Greeks were, psychologically, vastly different from historical Greeks. Semitic cultures were even more different. In the online edition of my Day of Wrath I refrained to reproduce this image for the simple reason that it would have meant retro-projection.

In the image we see women, presumably the mothers, trying to rescue their children from a propitiatory child sacrifice to Moloch Baal. The disturbing truth is that, in real life, the parents themselves handed over their crying children to the assistants of the priest, hence the inflammatory sentence with which I ended one of my books (“In the final book of this work I’ll go back to my autobiography, and we shall see if after such grim findings mankind has the right to exist”).

In Hollywood such sort of retroprojections are ubiquitous in movies about the historical past. For instance, Australia, a pro-aboriginals film set before the Second World War, had an upset Nicole Kidman telling another white person, “No mother would leave her child!” when in real life, as recounted in Day of Wrath, quite a few Australian abbos not only abandoned some of their babies, but killed and ate them (for scholarly references supporting this claim see Day of Wrath).
 
Psycho-classes

By “retroprojection” I mean projecting one’s own morals and frame of mind onto the Radical Other, insofar as most people are unaware of the existence of “psychoclasses.”

Westerners, and incredibly, child abuse researchers included, have not awakened to the fact that there have been very dissimilar psychoclasses or ways of childrearing in the world; and that this has had enormous implications for the mental health of a people, primitive or modern. For example, in my Day of Wrath I said that Rhea hid Zeus and presented a stone wrapped in strips, which Cronus took as a swaddled baby and ate it. Cronus represents the pre-Homeric Greeks, the archaic Hellas. After the breakdown of the bicameral, or schizoid mind, historical Greeks considered barbarous the practice of child sacrifice, symbolized in Zeus’ successful rebellion against his filicidal father. Though they still practiced the exposure of unwanted babies, the historical Greeks at least stopped sacrificing them in horrible ways: a practice that their neighbors continued. Nonetheless, if films on both Homeric and post-Homeric Greeks were historically accurate, the exposure of babies, which was practiced even in Roman times, would be visually depicted.

Recently I saw two films that I had not watched for a long time. In the 1959 Hollywood interpretation of Ben-Hur starring Charlton Heston, Tiberius’ Rome and Jerusalem are idealized far beyond what those cities looked like in the times of Jesus. Think of how, to impress the audience with the grandeur of the Roman circus in a Hollywoodesque Palestine, for the chariot race sequence the director made it look as large as Constantinople’s circus! Conversely, in Fellini’s 1969 Satyricon, freely based on Petronius’ classic, the Roman Empire is oneirically caricaturized to the point that the film’s extreme grotesqueries bear no visual relationship whatsoever to the empire of historical time. Both extreme idealization and oneiric caricature constitute artistic ways to understand the soul of Rome. One may think that an Aristotelian golden mean may lie somewhere between Ben-Hur and Fellini-Satyricon, but not even in HBO’s Rome, a purportedly realistic TV series that claimed paying more attention to historical women, dared to show that such women abandoned their babies who died on the hills, roads and the next day were found under the frozen streets: a custom approved even by Plato and Aristotle.

Growing in a “late infanticidal” culture, to use Lloyd deMause’s term, makes members of that psychoclass greatly different compared to our modern western psychoclass. (One could easily imagine what a shock for the modern mind would represent the spectacle of white babies dying on the streets of Vermont, Bonn or Florence with nobody bothering to rescue them.) So different that I believe that the hostile takeover I do of deMause’s Psychohistory to deliver it to the nationalist community will revolutionize the understanding of history once it is properly digested and understood.

In my Day of Wrath I quoted psychohistorian Henry Ebel (no ellipsis added between unquoted sentences):

DeMause’s argument had a breathtaking sweep and grandeur such as we associate with the work of Hegel, Darwin and Marx. Moreover, it seemed to be a valid response and interpretation of a series of gruesome facts that had been consistently understated or suppressed by conventional historians. “The Evolution of Childhood” has proved a morsel too large, too complete, too assertive, and in many ways too grim for the historical profession to digest. Since adult styles and roles, including the academic and professional, are mainly denial-systems erected against those early needs and terrors, the academic consideration of deMause’s argument has been, understandably enough, of less than earthshaking intelligence.

Once we integrate Psychohistory to our view of history, it is easy to notice that when Greg Johnson talks of Greco-Roman homosexuality he does it retroprojectively, as if it was similar to the mores of today’s world: consenting sex between adults. But if Jaynes and deMause are right, the peoples of the classical world inhabited an altogether distinct psychic universe, especially before Solon. So different that sometimes I even wonder if Francis Parker Yockey has a valid point when he wrote that the Italian Renaissance is sold as a link between two cultures that, according to him, have nothing in common.
 
The real Greco-Roman homosexuality: pederasty

A splendid example of such discontinuity is what André Gide called normal pederasty, the ancients’ infatuation for adolescents. Keep in mind that Gide did not condemn such customs. On the contrary, he considered his Corydon, published in 1924 and which received widespread condemnation, his most important work. However, since I can only understand the geist of a culture through the visual arts, before quoting Gide let me convey visually what “homo”-sexuality signified for the classical world through a couple of scenes of the Italian movie Satyricon (YouTube clip: here).

Cinematic experiences aside, what are scholars saying about what I call pseudo-homosexuality: pederasty (which must never be confused with pedophilia)? In the introduction to On Homosexuality: Lysis, Phaedrus, and Symposium, published by Prometheus Books, Eugene O’Connor wrote (again, no ellipsis added):

Benjamin Jowett’s introduction to his translation of Plato’s Symposium expresses prevalent Victorian, Edwardian, and even later attitudes, particularly in England and America, toward Greek homosexuality. Some excerpts from the introduction will illustrate this “clash of cultures.” Since Jowett’s day much has been done to counter and correct this willful distortion of ancient sexuality. We may now consult, for example, the more sober appraisals of K.J. Dover, Greek Homosexuality (1978), and Saara Lilja, Homosexuality in Republican and Augustan Rome (1983) to help us redress the oversights of earlier scholarship.

The composition of [Plato’s] Symposium owes much to the Greek tradition of “banquet literature,” often a collection of informal discussions (in prose or verse) on various topics, including the power of love and the delights of young men and boys. Indeed, a whole body of homoerotic literature grew up around the themes of male beauty and how one ought to woo and win a boy.

The customary social pattern was this: a boy in his teens or, at any rate, a younger man (called an eromenos, or “beloved”) was sought out by an older male (called an erastes or “lover”), who might be already married. Women in classical Athens were kept in virtual seclusion from everyone but their immediate families and their domestic activities were relegated to certain “female” parts of the house. As a consequence, boys and young men—partly by virtue of their being seen, whether in the gymnasium, in the streets, or at a sacrifice (as in the Lysis)—became natural love-objects.

Strict rules of conduct bound both parties: adult males could face prosecution for seducing free-born youths, while Athenian boys and young men could be censured for soliciting sexual favors for money. That would make them in effect equal to courtesans, who were hired companions and lacked citizen status.

This erastes-eromenos (lover-beloved) relationship, although it was sexual and in many ways comparable to typical, male-female relations, with the man assuming the dominant role, was meant ideally to be an educative one. The older man instilled in the younger—in essence, “made him pregnant with”—a respect for the requisite masculine virtues of courage and honor.

Socrates in the Phaedrus describes how the soul of the pederast (literally, “a lover of youths”) who is blessed with philosophy will grow wings after a certain cycle of reincarnations. In recent centuries, the word “pederast” has come to be viewed with opprobrium, fit only to describe child molesters. But in ancient Greece the word carried no such negative connotation, and was employed in a very different context.

Surrounded as he often was by the brightest young men of Athens, Socrates jokingly compared himself, in Xenophon’s Symposium, to a pander or procurer. These are witty, humorous characterizations of Socrates to be sure; yet, in the end, Socrates was the best erastes of all; the loving adult male teacher who sought to lead his aristocratic eromenoi (male beloveds) on the road to virtue.

I have read Xenophon’s Symposium and on chapter VIII it does look like Socrates and others had intense crushes with the eromenoi.

In his Corydon Gide shares the Platonic view that what he calls “normal pederasty” (to distinguish it from child molestation) is a propitious state of the mind to shed light on truth and beauty. In the last pages of his slim book Gide concludes: “I believe that such a lover will jealously watch over him, protect him, and himself exalted, purified by this love, will guide him toward those radiant heights which are not reached without love.” In the very final page Gide adds that “From thirteen to twenty-two (to take the age suggested by La Bruyere) is for the Greeks the age of loving friendship, of shared exaltation, of the noblest emulation,” and that only after this age the youth “wants to be a man”: marrying a woman.

But not only I need visuals to properly understand a culture. Narrative is fundamental too as a way to get into the unfathomed deeps of a bygone world. Below, a tale recounted by an old poet, Eumolpus in the first long novel that Western literature knows, Petronius’ Satyricon:

I relocated the hilarious, though rather long, quotation of the Satyricon as an isolated quote in another of my blogs: here

However, the erastes-eromenos relationship was not always as hilariously picaresque as Petronius depicts it. In my previous response to Johnson, when I added the image of a terracotta statuette of Zeus carrying off Ganymede, I included no references. Here I’ll add a couple of them. In the academic work that O’Connor mentioned above, Greek Homosexuality, K.J. Dover writes:

Ephoros, writing in the mid-fourth century, gives a remarkable account (F149) of ritualised homosexual rape in Crete. The erastes gave notice of his intention, and the family and friends of the eromenos did not attempt to hide the boy away, for that would have been admission that he was not worthy of the honour offered him by the erastes. If they believed that the erastes was unworthy, they prevented the rape by force; otherwise they put a good-humoured and half-hearted resistance, which ended with the erastes carrying off the eromenos to a hide-out for two months.

At the end of that period the two of them returned to the city (the eromenos was known, during the relationship, as parastatheis, ‘posted beside…’ or ‘brought over to the side of…’) and the erastes gave the eromenos expensive presents, including clothing which would thereafter testify to the achievement of the eromenos in being chosen; he was kleinos, ‘celebrated’, thanks to his philetor, ‘lover’. [p. 189]

John Boswell, a homosexual professor at YaleUniversity who died at forty-seven of complications from AIDS, specialized in the relationship between homosexuality and Christianity. For this reason alone it is interesting to compare his claims with James O’Meara’s on exactly the same subject. Boswell abstains to mention the word “rape” which Dover unabashedly used in his treatise published by Harvard University. But in Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe Boswell describes in less academic, and more colorful language, the legal arrangements regarding such abductions:

Apart from the abduction aspect, this practice has all the elements of European marriage tradition: witness, gifts, religious sacrifice, a public banquet, a chalice, a ritual change of clothing for one partner, a change of status for both, even a honeymoon.

The abduction is less remarkable, by the standards of the times, that it seems. The ruler of the gods, Zeus, mandated a permanent relationship with a beautiful Trojan prince, Ganymede, after abducting him and carrying him off to heaven; they were the most famous same-sex couple of the ancient world, familiar to all its educated residents. Zeus even gave Ganymede’s father a gift—the equivalent of a dower or “morning gift”. The inhabitants of Chalcis honored what they believed to be the very spot of Ganymede’s abduction, called Harpagion (“Place of Abduction”). Moreover, as late as Boccaccio (Decameron, Day 5, Tale 1) an abduction marriage that takes place seems to find its most natural home in Crete.

Heterosexual abduction marriage was also extremely common in the ancient world—especially in the neighboring state of Sparta, with which Crete shared its constitution and much of its social organization, where it was the normal mode of heterosexual marriage. It remained frequent well into modern times, and even under Christian influence men who abducted women were often only constrained to marry them, and not punished in any other way. In a society where women were regarded as property and their sexuality their major asset, by the time an abducted woman was returned most of her value was gone, and the more public attention was focused on the matter the less likely it was she would ever find a husband. And in a moral universe where the abduction of Helen (and of the Sabine women) provided the foundation myths of the greatest contemporary political entities, such an act was as likely to seem heroic as disreputable. The Erotic Discourses attributed to Plutarch begin with stories of abduction for love, both heterosexual and homosexual. [pp. 91-93]

This last sentence about the foundation myths of both the ancient Hellas and Rome is absolutely central to understand their moral universe. However, Boswell omits to say that Zeus would be considered a bisexual god with strong heterosexual preferences—Hera and many other consorts—according to current standards, in no way a “gay” god.

Furthermore, unlike the same-sex unions of today, the erastes-eromenos relationship wasn’t meant to be permanent. The continuance of an erotic relationship was disapproved. In dramatic contrast to contemporary “gay marriages” and the myth promulgated by James O’Meara at Counter-Currents, romantic relationships between adult coevals were disrespected. In fact, the former eromenos might well become an erastes himself with a younger youth when he got older. Boswell, who strove to use classic scholarship to support the so-called “gay marriage” of our times, overstates his case in other passages of Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. What struck me the most of his study was that on page 66 he misled the readers by claiming that the Satyricon protagonists, Encolpius and Gitone, are simply a same-sex couple. I have read a couple of translations of the Satyricon and it is all too clear that Boswell omitted two fundamental facts: Gitone’s age, an underage teen for today’s standards, and another lover of Gitone, Ascyltus (who also appears in my embedded YouTube clip way above).
 
Discussion

Classic pederasty did not resemble what currently is called the “gay movement,” let alone O’Meara’s preposterous claim that homosexuals have represented a sort of Western elite, in some ways superior to the bourgeoisie of the Christian world. The causes of pederasty are to be found not only in what O’Connor said above: women being kept in seclusion and men transferring their affections to younger boys. More serious was something that neither O’Connor nor Dover or Boswell dared to say: Infanticidal Greece and Rome produced a surplus of males as a result of the exposure of babies, especially baby girls. As I said in my Day of Wrath, it was not until 374 AD that the emperor Valentinian I, a Christian, mandated to rear all children. What apologists of homosexuality fail to understand is that that was a psychoclass distinct from our own, since for modern westerners it is unthinkable to expose baby girls.

In a nutshell, the Greco-Roman erastes-eromenos institution was not “gay” in the modern sense of the word.

White Suicide since Ancient Rome

Excerpted from the 13th article of William Pierce’s “Who We Are: a Series of Articles on the History of the White Race”:


Wealth inexorably undermined the old virtues. Decadence rotted the souls of the noble Romans. While the mongrel mobs were entertained by the debased spectacles in the Colosseum (not unlike the distraction of today’s rabble by non-stop television), the patricians indulged themselves with every new vice and luxury that money and a resourceful merchant class could provide. Pampered, perfumed, manicured, and attended by numerous slaves, the effete aristocracy of the first century A.D. was a far cry from the hard and disciplined ruling class of a few centuries earlier.

Just as there are Americans today who understand where the weakness and lack of discipline of their people are leading them and who speak out against these things, so were there Romans who tried to stem the tide of decadence engulfing the Republic. One of these was M. Porcius Cato, “the Censor” (234–149 bc), whose public career spanned the first half of the second century B.C.

Cato was born and raised on his father’s farm and then spent 26 years fighting in Rome’s legions before entering politics. Early in his career, having been appointed governor (praetor) of Sardinia, Cato set the pattern he would follow the rest of his life: he expelled all the moneylenders from the island, earning the undying hatred of the Jews and a reputation as a fierce anti-Semite.

Archreactionary

Later Cato was elected censor in Rome. The duties of a censor were to safeguard public morality and virtue and to conduct a periodic census of people and property for military and tax purposes. Cato took these duties very seriously. He assessed jewelry and other luxury items at ten times their actual value, and he dealt promptly and severely with disorder and degeneracy.

In the Senate Cato spoke out repeatedly against the foreign influences in philosophy, religion, and lifestyle which were encroaching on the traditional Roman attitudes and manners. As a result, Rome’s “smart set” condemned him (privately, for he was too powerful to attack openly) as an archreactionary and an enemy of “progress.”

In the field of foreign policy, Cato was adamantly opposed to the integration of the Semitic East into the Roman world. He wanted Rome to concentrate on the western Mediterranean and to deal with the Levant only at sword point. Unfortunately, there were few men of Cato’s fiber left among the Romans by the second century.

Declining Birthrate

One of the most fateful effects of decadence was the drastic decline in the birthrate of the Roman nobility. Decadence is always accompanied by an increase in egoism, a shifting of focus from race and nation to the individual. Instead of looking on bearing and raising children as a duty to the state and a necessity for the perpetuation of their gens and tribe, upper-class Romans came to regard children as a hindrance, a limitation on their freedom and pleasure. The “liberation” of women also contributed heavily to this change in outlook.

The failure of the patrician class to reproduce itself alarmed those Roman leaders with a sense of responsibility to the future. Emperor Augustus tried strenuously to reverse the trend by issuing several decrees regarding family life. Heavy penalties were set for celibacy or for marriage with the descendants of slaves. Eventually, Augustus ordered that every noble Roman between the ages of 25 and 60 must be married or, at least, betrothed.

Suicide of the Nobility

In 9 A.D. tax advantages and other preferences were granted to the parents of three or more children; unmarried persons were barred from the public games and could not receive inheritances, while the childless married person could receive only half of any inheritance left to him.

All these measures failed. Augustus’ own daughter, Julia, was a thoroughly liberated member of the “jet set” of her time, who considered herself far too sophisticated to be burdened with motherhood. In embarrassment, Augustus banished her to an island.

From the dictatorship of Julius Caesar to the reign of Emperor Hadrian, a century and a half, one can trace the destinies of 45 leading patrician families: all but one died out during that period. Of 400 senatorial families on the public records in 65 A.D., during the reign of Nero, all trace of half of them had vanished by the reign of Nerva, a single generation later.

Rise of Capitalism

As the patricians declined in numbers, the Roman peasantry also suffered, but for a different reason. The later years of the Republic saw the rise of agricultural capitalism, with wealthy entrepreneurs buying up vast estates, working them with slaves and driving the freeborn small farmers out of the marketplace.

By the tens of thousands the Latin and Sabine yeomen were bankrupted and forced to abandon their farms. They fled to the city, where most of them were swallowed up in the urban mob.

“New Romans”

The capitalist nouveaux riches who came to wield much of the power and influence in Rome lost by the dwindling patricians were an altogether new type of Roman. Petronius’ fictional character Trimalchio is their archetype. Tenney Frank wrote of these “new Romans”:

It is apparent that at least the political and moral qualities which counted most in the building of the Italian federation, the army organization, the provincial administrative system of the Republic, were the qualities most needed in holding the Empire together. And however brilliant the endowment of the new citizens, these qualities they lacked. The Trimalchios of the Empire were often shrewd and daring businessmen, but their first and obvious task, apparently was to climb by the ladder of quick profits to a social position in which their children, with Romanized names, could comfortably proceed to forget their forebears. The possession of wealth did not, as in the Republic, suggest certain duties toward the commonwealth.

Different Spirit

Many historians have remarked on the fact that the entire spirit of the Roman Empire was radically different from that of the Roman Republic. The energy, foresight, common sense, and discipline which characterized the Republic were absent from the Empire. But that was because the race which built the Republic was largely absent from the Empire; it had been replaced by the dregs of the Orient.

The change in attitudes, values, and behavior was due to a change in blood. The changing racial composition of Rome during the Republic paved the way for the unchecked influx of Levantine blood, manners, and religion during the Empire.

But it also set the stage for a new ascendancy of the same Northern blood which had first given birth to the Roman people. We will look at the conquest of Rome by the Germans. First, however, we must backtrack and see what had been happening in the North during the rise and fall of Rome.

Gitone’s magic

My response to Greg Johnson and James O’Meara about the latter’s new book defending homosexuality is available in the addenda to this blog. My article “On classic pederasty” takes issue with them. The Greco-Roman “lover-beloved” institution was not “gay” in the modern sense of the word.

An expanded version of “On classic pederasty” was chosen for my collection of the 2014 edition of Day of Wrath. But I discarded it for the 2017 edition of the same book. However, it can still be read as a PDF: pages that I stole from the now unavailable edition of Day of Wrath:

https://chechar.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/gitone_s-magic.pdf