Pompeii: Roman Sodom and Gomorrah?en

Some writers speculate that Pompeii was the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah, and the destruction of the city was divine and forthcoming. This is due to the fact Rome have sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple of Solomon. Some Christian tourists even today often don't visit this wonderful and colorful part of history because of the sexual nature of the ruins.

Imagine living in one of the richest city of ancient times. Resources are bountiful and life is grand. Every amenity and luxury surrounds you, and unlike in other cities during this time, simple plumbing, plenty of food and other convenience is everywhere.
Such was the life for those who lived in Pompeii, Italy in the late part of 70 AD. There was even ancient pornography and gentlemen entertainment, brothel houses to suit every taste.

It was a town full of aristocrats and artisans. Artisans, who were previously slaves, gained freedom in Pompeii and became wealthy merchants. Pompeii was a place for the super-rich! Pompeii is the Palm Beach or Malibu of the Roman world. It was a place known for sexual indiscretions. One could choose his or her desires from a list of murals, pointing in the direction of their sexual perseverance. You would hang your belongings on a peg, a peg conveniently located near an erotic scene, a reminder of where you left your things. Then you would proceed with your indiscretions in secret rooms or bathhouses.

Sex was a completely normal and fulfilling experiencing in Pompeii, and most of what we know about the eroticism that took place there was left on the walls. For 1700 years, this Greco-Roman town lay buried in a blanket of ash and pumice, until archaeologists unearthed a town home to 20000 people. Beginning excavations were haphazard and damaging, yet while methods of archaeology were more refined, more artifacts more discovered. Some of the most recognizable and erotic art and archaeological finds in Pompeii were statues, large pools, and several murals of Priapus, God of Sex and Fertility.

Sex was less inhibited in Pompeii than it is today in most countries. There were few prohibitions and sex was just one aspect, albeit a very significant one, of human nature. The motto in Pompeii, which could be found on the erotic art and walls, drinking vessels, as well as plaques, read "enjoy life while you can for tomorrow is uncertain". Sex ranked as a great way to enjoy oneself and others, and while the stereotypical Roman orgies were most likely not part of daily life, certainly sex was acceptable, practiced, and celebrated.

To be fair, prostitutes in Pompeii made three times more than the average laborer or worker in the city. The sexual acts were particularly cheap for the males (or johns) in this city – in contrast to all other European towns. It is important to note that even a low priced prostitute earned more than three times the wages of an unskilled urban laborer. However, it was unlikely a freed woman would enter the profession in hopes for wealth because most women declined in their economic status and standard of living due to demands on their appearance as well as their health. The inscriptions above the brothel houses, which were quite large and roomy, are too graphic to repeat. Children weren't shielded from the constant imagery of penises at the time. In fact, it was common to put depictions of children and penises together because of fertility and the phallus god being one and the same.


  1. Love this teaching today. I would have loved it back then. Having sex as the greastest pleasure one can do. I woul dhave a room all to myself and a open one as well.



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