Gay History: August 24, 79 AD
Mt Vesuvius erupts burying Pompeii and preserving the city forever. The ash preserves homoerotic frescoes that Christianity would no doubt have destroyed had they not been covered. When the artwork was first discovered, people found it so scandalous that much of it was locked away in the National Museum of Naples, where it remained hidden from view for over 100 years. In the year 2000, the art was finally made view-able to the public, but minors must be accompanied by an adult.
The volcanic ash also saved graffiti found centuries later by archaeologists. One scratching on a wall reads, ” Phoebus the perfume sellers sucks real good.”
Others walls around Pompeii read like a truck stop bathroom, including some colorful gay comments. As they appeared on August 24, 79 AD:
On the bar-brothel of Innulus and Papilio:
Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!
On the house of the Citharist below a drawing of a man with a large nose:
Amplicatus, I know that Icarus is buggering you. Salvius wrote this.
On the basilica:
Phileros is a eunuch!
On the Eumachia Building:
Secundus likes to screw boys.
On the house of Orpheus:
I have buggered men.
Another surprising find in April of 2017 was that two bodies found wrapped in a poignant embrace in their final moments as they were covered beneath molten rock and layers of ash after Vesuvius erupted which were originally thought to be two women embracing at the time of their tragic deaths has been discovered to actually be two men.
The bodies were originally dubbed “The Two Maidens” when they were first discovered but in a startling discovery this week scientists found the two bodies were actually male – raising speculation that they may have been gay lovers.
“We always imagined that it was an embrace between women. But a CAT scan and DNA have revealed that they are men. “You can’t say for sure that the two were lovers. But considering their position, you can make that hypothesis. It is difficult to say with certainty.” said Massimo Osanna, director-general of the world-famous archaeological site.
The bodies of the “Two Maidens” were discovered in the House of the Cryptoporticus during excavations at the World Heritage site led by archaeologist Vittorio Spinazzola when he was superintendent at Pompeii in the early 20th century.
One of the two bodies is lying at a right angle to the other and seen with his head resting on the other’s chest in search of comfort and perhaps protection.
Extensive anthropological tests of the duo’s bones and teeth have revealed that one of the them was a young man aged about 18 years of age while the second was probably an adult male aged 20 years or older.
“The use of anthropological and DNA research always reveals more,” Osanna said. “It is a fundamental instrument for scientific knowledge because it gives us certainty in the archaeological field in what would otherwise be only hypothesis.”
“What is certain is that the two parties were not relatives, neither brothers, nor a father and son.” stated Professor Stefano Vanacore, head of the Pompeii research team.
Additional source material and pictures: Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum