Trigger Warning: child exposure
Ex feminis mutari
in mares non est fabulosum. Inveniemus in annalibus P. Licinio Crasso C. Cassio
Longino coss. Casini puerum
factum ex virgine sub parentibus, iussuque harispicium deportatum in insulam
desertam. Licinius Mucianus prodidit visum a se Argis Arescontem, cui nomen
Arescusae fuisset, nupsisse etiam, mox barbaram et virilitatem provenisse
uxoremque duxisse; eiusdem sortis et Zmyrnae puerum a se visum. Ipse in Africa
vidi mutatum in marem nuptiarum die L. Constitium civem Thysdriatanum...
--Pliny the Elder, Hist. Nat. VII.iv.36
It’s not impossible for women to turn into men. For I’ve
found in historical records that in 171 BCE [the year that P. Licinius Crassus and C.
Cassius Longinus were consuls], a girl turned into a boy while still living at
home,* and was abandoned on a deserted island due to religious observances. Licinius
Mucianus reports that he saw in Argos a man named Arescon, who used to be
Arescusa: she was already living as someone’s wife, but when he grew a beard
and underwent manly puberty, he married a wife of his own. He also saw the same
thing happen to a boy in Smyrna. When I was in Africa, I saw with my own eyes someone
who transformed on their wedding day, when they should have married L. Constitius
(a citizen of Thysdrus).
* before eligible for marriage, an indication of the child's age
Name: Gaius Plinius Secundus
Date: 23 – 79 CE
Pliny was an Italian-born Roman statesman
and author who lived during the reigns of the early Roman emperors. He spent
most of his life in service of his country; he ultimately gave his life in
arranging the evacuation of the regions devastated by the eruption of Mt.
Vesuvius in 79 CE. His work, the Natural History, is a 37-volume
collection of art, history, and science of the ancient world.
GOLDEN AGE ROME