The role of the eunuch (spado) in Roman society was a complicated one; in this poem of Luxorius, we see that eunuchs were bound by strict gender roles. As usual, the poet's tone is critical, but not violent; he is following the same biting style of his predecessors Catullus and Martial.
fuerat minus quod
A young royal eunuch
Dolled up with his golden curls
With roses braided in his hair
Put a headdress* on his head.
Knowing full well that he shouldn’t,
He *knew* what he was doing,
And nobody forced him to wear it,
And he was made worse for it.
Date: 6th c. CE
known about the life of the Roman poet Luxorius except that he lived in
Carthage (modern Tunisia, northern Africa) and that his poetry was popular in
the court of the Vandal kings. His poetry provides us with rare insight into
the changing customs as the Roman Empire transitioned from a polytheistic to
a monotheistic society.
BYZANTINE / LATE LATIN