Sunday, June 20, 2021

M/M: Money Can't Buy You Love: Luxorius XXXV.1-4

 Although the poet Luxorius is homophobic, transphobic, and xenophobic, his poetry provides great insight into society in 6th century Roman Carthage. Despite the poet's disapproval of the addressee's lifestyle [the last two lines of the poem are offensive and not published here], the fact remains that this poem preserves evidence that same-sex couples continued to live openly in a Christianized Roman society.

Divitias grandesque epulas et munera multa,

quod proavi atque atavi quodque reliquit avus

des licet in cunctos et spargas, Becca, maritos;

plus tamen ille capit cui dare saepe cupis.

--Luxorius XXXV.1-4

The wealth

that your ancestors left for your great-grandfather,

that your great-grandfather left for your grandfather,

that your grandfather left for you,

you’re squandering it all away with lavish banquets and luxurious gifts

to all your "husbands" [maritos], Becca;

the one you’re accustomed to give money to

always just wants more.



Name:  Luxorius

Date:  6th c. CE

Works:  <Poems>



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



Little is 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.



Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE

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