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Why Are Gays Blamed for the Fall of the Roman Empire?

I’ve heard this practically all my life and never understood how exactly we were supposed to have brought down the Romans.

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by Anonymousreply 37Last Monday at 6:01 PM

Yeah. I mean, going down on Romans is not the same as bringing them down.

by Anonymousreply 102/20/2021

Too many bottoms in positions of power.

by Anonymousreply 202/20/2021

The main reasons for the fall of Rome:

Barbarian invasions

Overreliance on slave labor



Rise of the Eastern Empire

The spread of Christianity

So, no - gay men cannot claim responsibility for the fall of Rome.

by Anonymousreply 302/20/2021

They blame us for everything, eventually.

by Anonymousreply 402/20/2021

Tell us about it R4

by Anonymousreply 502/20/2021

At least there's more than one of you R4 and R5

by Anonymousreply 602/20/2021

Caligula's emails.

by Anonymousreply 702/20/2021

A libertarian told me it’s part of some “poisoned” or “rotting” apple theory wherein gays are a symptom of a society’s decline and fall.

by Anonymousreply 802/20/2021

quote] I’ve heard this practically all my life

No you haven’t. The fall of the roman empire has always been blamed on Romans getting too. wealthy to fight in the military, so they paid barbarians to fight for them. Barbarians outnumbered citizens & marched on Rome. Also, Roman military was stretched too thin across eastern & Western Europe and couldn’t fight well farther & farther away from HQ.

Also, rich Romans — just like the global 1% — buy up working farms & turn them into vacation villas. In the Hamptons, in order for your house to have “farm field view” you spend about $3-4M for a house that is arranged in a circle with other houses looking over the remnants of a field...and looking over at the houses on the other side of the tiny field. You do away with real nearby farms & replace with an empty lot & tiure gonna pay a shitload to get fresh food into your city & throughout countrysides. Bread, bread, bread cries the crowd . Fahgeddabowit says the leader of the Roman mafia. Now it comes from Egypt, Egypt, Egypt. Costs a fuckload to bring here.

by Anonymousreply 902/20/2021

[QUOTE] No you haven’t.

How the fuck are you going to tell me, R9?

Yes, I have. From my own family members.

by Anonymousreply 1002/20/2021

And how long have your family members had this obsession with the fall of the Roman Empire, OP?

How many times a week did it come up over dinner?

by Anonymousreply 1102/20/2021

Edward Gibbon and Friedrich Nietzsche both concluded (for different reasons) that it was Christianity that brought Rome down. Gibbon, though homophobic, even highlighted the era that encompasses two of the gay emperors - Trajan and Hadrian - as being the happiest that ever existed on earth. (In refutation to the clown at r2.)

The timeline simply does not give space to the thesis that OP mentions. Fourth-century Rome, Rome that broke into pieces, had a Christian (or at least Christianized) and homophobic culture; the Roman government banned homosexuality at several different times in this century, and even pagan writers had turned against the homosexual practices of their ancestors.

The evidence that we have of tolerance and high frequency of homosexuality among the Romans comes mainly, either from the republican era, or from the first centuries of the empire. It was during this period that Catullus, Virgil, and Martial composed their homoerotic poems; that Petronius wrote his mostly gay novel, the Satyricon; that the Warren Cup was manufactured; and that the inhabitants of Pompeii scribbled both hetero and homosexual graffiti on the walls of their city.

Where does the false idea that homosexuality led to the overthrow of Rome come from? From religion or, to put it more precisely, the myth of Sodom and Gomorrah. The historical interpretation of this myth made among Christians is that tolerating the practice of homosexuality in their midst will ultimately be the cause of divine wrath against a nation and its final destruction. It was in this light that the decline of ancient empires, such as Rome and Athens, has been interpreted. What these dogmatic pseudo-historians ignore, however, is that everything in history has a beginning and an end. "Virtuous", homophobic empires, like the British empire, also end up breaking up in the end - and the British empire lasted less than the Roman.

A queer scholar, Stephen O. Murray, sort of following in the footsteps of Gibbon and Nietzsche, makes the opposite argument to the one you mention, OP: that when empires are expanding, there is a greater propensity to homosexuality. This argument he makes on a paper dealing with the Ottoman empire, but he's clear that this argument applies to Rome as well:

[quote]Eighteenth-century Ottoman functionaries were more uxorious than the world-conquerors of the fifteenth century and the "voluptuousness" of the last centuries of the empire was more heterosexual than it had been for the more bellicose earlier generations. Thus, any correlation between a focus on homoerotic relations and military/political decadence is negative, as it was for ancient Rome, with more pederasty among the generations of conquerors than among those of the crumbling empires.

by Anonymousreply 1202/20/2021

[quote] How the fuck are you going to tell me, [R9]?

Just the way I did,

[quote] Yes, I have. From my own imaginary family members.


by Anonymousreply 1302/20/2021

Looking at that vase I had no idea Bryan Singer was THAT old!

by Anonymousreply 1402/20/2021

OP I have never heard this. Your family is clearly nuts. Are they crazy Italians?

by Anonymousreply 1502/20/2021

Pagan Rome just happens to have been an empire tolerant of homosexuality that fell, so Christian propagandists and right-wingers since St. Augustine have been blaming the homosexuality for thousands of years. Just like when there's a hurricane and Jerry Falwell or Franklin Graham blame homosexuality.

Unfortunately, the Roman Empire converted to Christianity almost 200 years before it fell, so you can just as easily blame Christ for weakening and destroying the Romans, if you're a liar trying to distort history for your own, biased purposes.

Honest, educated people know that Rome fell because of a series of unfortunate plagues, infighting and an upper class indifferent to the needs of the masses.

by Anonymousreply 1602/20/2021

Excellent points, R3. Don’t forget the dispersion of power from central Rome to the outlying cities, which probably was the overriding reason of all.

I’ve never heard anyone make a single credible argument about homosexuality in Rome causing its downfall who didn’t also have many issues around the theme to begin with - regardless of the era.

by Anonymousreply 1702/20/2021

OP, give me my goblet back, bitch!

by Anonymousreply 1802/20/2021

The Roman Empire morphed into the Holy ROMAN empire. It is right there in the name.

by Anonymousreply 1902/20/2021

R19, the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.

by Anonymousreply 2002/20/2021

This is just something that fundamentalist homophobes repeat without knowing what they're talking about; every so often you hear it raised and refuted, but the refutations won't make any difference to religious conservatives.

In any case the idea of the "fall of the Roman empire" is misleading. The Roman Empire as an institution had a very long, slow decline, losing territory over hundreds of years, getting temporarily overthrown by Crusaders in the early 1200s, and finally being liquidated by the Ottomans in 1453, by which time it controlled only a small territory. When people talk about the "fall of the Roman empire" they're usually talking about the imperial government's definitive loss of control over its western provinces in the 5th century (Gaul, Britain, Spain, North Africa, and Italy)—a too limited, west-centered notion. The barbarians who had "invaded" had actually been accommodated and assimilated into the imperial system, but centralization there finally proved not cost-effective (the debate is over why—it was not due to homosexuality), and the different provinces spun off as independent kingdoms (with nominal dependence on the emperor in Constantinople) ruled by different Germanic-speaking groups.

by Anonymousreply 2102/20/2021

There were no gays before Rome. Rome invented us

by Anonymousreply 2202/20/2021

The possible permutations of answers to OP's question are just Byzantine.

by Anonymousreply 2302/20/2021

Roman Tolerance of homosexuality is viewed as a sign that that culture lacked basic morals, values, restraint, and decency. It’s viewed as a sign of an extremely decadent and unhinged society that lacks the values to sustain itself.

by Anonymousreply 2402/20/2021

The wealthy lost any sense of public responsibility. As noted above they refused to fight in the military, as had all male citizens of the Republic, they made it legal for a young man to send a slave in his place. So eventually, the Roman armies was made up of slaves and barbarians who had no state in the future of a healthy nation. And the wealthy started refusing to pay taxes, when the tax collector came to call they were kept out by squads of private goons, so the tax collectors literally destroyed the middle class and independent farmers to keep the state funded. And they got away with it, there was no mechanism in place to force the wealthy to contribute their share to the running of the state. And because the middle and artisan classes were being reduced to poverty or slavery by the tax collectors, they had no stake in maintaining the military or the Empire, either.

Any of that sound familiar? You paid more taxes than Trump, right?

Yes, the rich also fucked who they liked, owned slaves including sex slaves, and overate and threw up and ate more, but that had nothing to do with the destabilization of the Empire. No, the greed, corruption, and irresponsibility of the wealthy extended into the financial, political, and military worlds, and ruined everything that had made Rome great. Sound familiar?

by Anonymousreply 2502/20/2021

[quote]So, no - gay men cannot claim responsibility for the fall of Rome.

OP didn’t say, claim, he said blamed.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Monday at 11:41 AM
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by Anonymousreply 27Last Monday at 12:07 PM

OP, you aren't alone. I come from an extremely religious family and heard this as well from them.

Not sure why. I'm thinking the church put out this idea as a way to warn folks away from the sins of Homosexuality. It wasn't until I studied history in school that I realized my uneducated hick family was fucking looney.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Monday at 12:09 PM

Christianity ruins everything.

by Anonymousreply 29Last Monday at 12:15 PM

When I hear people say something stupid like this I just reply that all empires eventually fall, you can't blame gays, it was going to happen eventually.

The greatest western empire prior to the Roman empire was the Greek empire which led to its greatest expansion under a leader who had a male lover, Alexander.

I do hope that some day it is homosexuality that leads to the demise of Christianity though.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Monday at 12:20 PM

I think the Church pushed the narrative that debauched Roman homosexuals had been critical in the downfall of the Empire. Also, because of traditional lax attitudes toward Gaiety in Roman society the Church was able to make this an issue of Christian morality vs. Pagan wickedness. Plus some of the more debauched Emperors like Caligula, Nero and Tiberious were known to be enthusiastically bisexual or gay. Egagabalus has been called the world’s first transsexual as he/she offered a bounty to anyone who could perform a sex change on his body. (God: the Trans haters will love this) Pagan Emperors with tolerant or supportive attitudes toward Gaiety thus made easy and convincing targets for the Clergy seeking to turn people away from Animism. So this was never really a serious critique of historians-it tended to be a religious and cultural argument rooted in the Church.

In the end, as others have suggested Rome fell for a variety of reasons; over expansion, inability to recruit enough Italian/Roman soldiers, the rise of the Germans and others, political instability, weak bureaucratic superstructure, etc.

by Anonymousreply 31Last Monday at 12:26 PM


by Anonymousreply 32Last Monday at 12:27 PM

The advent of Jesus Christ and the formation of the Christian religion signaled the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire. Rome was basically corrupt, with few morals, having human beings and animals fighting to the death in the public Arena, indulged in terrible forms of suffering and execution such as crucifixtion, as well as the slavery of human beings, etc. In many ways it was a barbaric empire, with too many twisted rulers, doomed itself and deserved to fall. Sexual orientation had nothing to do with their list of offences.

by Anonymousreply 33Last Monday at 12:28 PM

The emperors of the Holy Roman Empire once elected were blessed by the pope.

Did that make them holy? Talk amongst yourselves.

by Anonymousreply 34Last Monday at 12:47 PM

R33 welcome to the ancient world.

by Anonymousreply 35Last Monday at 1:24 PM

They loved the homosex.

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by Anonymousreply 36Last Monday at 4:37 PM

And non-sequitur reasoning, r24, that homosexuality "is a sign that that culture lacked basic morals, values, restraint, and decency" or that it "lacks the values to sustain itself" is a sign of a self-righteous, Abrahamic practitioner who lacks basic intellect, honesty and knowledge.

Homosexuality has always been an anomaly in every human population — it never came close to overtaking the heterosexuality and breeding behavior of any country. And lots of homos are decent, hard-working, brave, etc.

by Anonymousreply 37Last Monday at 6:01 PM
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