Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pompeii - Brothel

Pompeii, Brothel. Direction.

This shows the direction to follow.

New finds: according to the magazine, Archeology Odyssey, March/April 2005, article " 'Daphne is Mine' " --  New Inscriptions from Pompeii's Lupanar, by research journalist, Judith Harris, the brothel at Pompeii is the only brothel from antiquity to be definitely identified.  There are some 136 graffiti, the work of the workers and the clients: some 53 gents and 29 ladies. "Fudita sum hic," declares one.  Look it up. I did what here?
 The article notes that the prostitutes served both men and women. Equal opportunity pleasures. One, Mula, was a lady who was a "fututrice" -- acting the male role with women. This is not an unusual reference.  See article.

Antonio Varone, then an archeologist with the "Superindendency" of Pompeii is cited for other references from antiquity to female-female activities. He notes a 1st century AD poem by Martial *; and that people could rent rooms like a motel at the Lupanar. What is the name?  From a she-wolf in heat, says the article, thus the lupus lupa. Other buildings in the area also fostered brothel activities.

Another issue, September-October 2002, describes three days of hot ash and cinders falling on the 2,000 Pompeiians who did not escape.  Death came by 200 mph winds, a "surge of super-heated gas." They were buried under 20 feet of debris.  With exposure, and insufficient funds for conservation, the site is at risk.

* Martial.  First century AD poet, 40-104 AD, Celtic background from Bilbilis, Spain, moved to Rome and cultivated patronage there, including from emperors and others he flattered.  He was a master of the pun, the pithy saying, often ribald.  See Archeology Odyssey, "In the Here and Noww: The First Century AD poet Martiadfl wryly -- and tirelessly -- observes life in ancient Rome," September-October 2002 at p.42.  The following samples are not related to Pompeii, but to practices. See more on practices pornographic at the Naples Archeological Museum, including art and etc. from Pompeii. Archeology Odyssey has illustrations, September-October 2000 issue at p.18 ff. "Ancient Smut". Many were excavated beginning 250 years ago, but considered too racy for showing or publication.
 Epigrams 1.90:

QUOD numquam maribus iunctam te, Bassa, videbam
quodque tibi moechum fabula nulla dabat,

omne sed officium circa te semper obibat
turba tui sexus, non adeunte viro,

esse videbaris, fateor, Lucretia nobis : 5

at tu, pro facinus, Bassa, fututor eras.


Translated at the same site (fair use of huge work)
IN that I never saw you, Bassa, intimate with men,
and that no scandal assigned you a lover, but every
office a throng of your own sex round you performed
without the approach of man you seemed to me, I
confess, a Lucretia ; yet, Bassa oh, monstrous !

 "Monstrous" is not the translation elsewhere of "fututor eras" - do a search.  For Bassa, do a "find" at the Epigrams site.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Venice. Venice and the Crusades

Venice Deflects a Crusade
And Makes Money

It pays to go your own way.  At the time of the Crusades, Italy was not the one-nation of today. Instead, it was comprised of separate and rival city-states.  That meant, among other things, that when a Pope in Rome declared a Crusade, the rest of Italy may or may not go along.  That was the case here, where the calling for Crusades, on the supposedly religious principle of access for Christians to the Holy Land, brought in so many, but not Venice.  Was that quest in the Holy Land, questionable as it may be as to motivation, in light of other motivations at the time (new power and profits to the newly separate Roman sect), worth sacrificing profits?  Venice said no.

From the 9th Century to 1797, the Republic of Venice ran its own show and to great profit.  See Republic of Venice, Arts, Other at

This interest of both sides in the power aspects of the Crusades suggests that rivalries among power areas was not entirely spiritual, including as to the Vatican.

There is a clear and concise summary of the Crusades, era est 1090-1290 AD, at  There were many crusades that the Pope ordered: against Muslims in the Middle East; and against any peoples who were not Latin-Church Roman Branch Christians, or where indeed "Christian" but opposed Papal supremacy. Once the Roman branch split with the Eastern Orthodox, who did not recognize the Pope as supreme, the game was on.  The identity crisis began.

Crusades.  The motivations for crusades were not just spiritual.  There were nine crusades in the Middle East, see, without reference to the Northern Crusades that were launched against Europeans of the north, and Slavic people already converted by Orthodox missionaries.  

The Doge or ruler of Venice agreed, as a commercial matter, to transport Flemish and French soldiers to "Outremer", the general term for the Holy Land, "over the sea" in about 1199.  

But when they got there, the soldiers did not have the money to pay.  No pay, no travel.  Venice asked that the soldiers substitute an attack on a rival of Venice, at Zara (now Zadar, Croatia) and then part of Hungary's influence.  Zadar still is a sophisticated city.  It is not difficult to imagine it as a rival to Venice for commerce.  See it on Easter Morning with Cathedral renovations going on, at

The Siege of Zara is well presented at Wikipedia, so there we go:  1202 AD --  Siege of Zara.  This was Christian against Christian. Urbanity and sophistication against urbanity and sophistication.

And so they did. In 1202, the Venetians prevailed.

  • But Innocent was not pleased at the diversion into Croatia, taking perhaps valuable time and momentum from his objective. He excommunicated the erstwhile Crusaders who had yet to fight the Muslims.

So, was Venice behind the Sack of Constantinople?

The Venetians, pleased with their success in steering the Crusaders to serve Venetian interests, persuaded them to attack Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Orthodox Christian world.  Roman Christianity split with the rest of the Christians in The Great Schism of 1054, and was bolstering its identity as an independent and the authoritative branch of Christianity).  The attack and sacking took three days, and Venice ended up with a nice monopoly on Byzantine trade.

Enter the Latin Empire of Constantinople, lasting untiil 1261 when the Byzantines recaptured their city.

The split between East and West Christianity was, perhaps, irrevocably broken. Did the old enmity extend into Rome's looking the other way in WWII when Orthodox were subject to genocide.

And so they did.

But why didn't the Crusaders then compel the Venetians to complete the bargain and transport them to the Holy Land?  Or had they lost interest.  Need more information.

Apparently, so far it appears that the participants were satisfied to skip it.  Don't challenge the Muslims after all, but instead set up commercial ventures:  various Crusader states along the way.  See the history-world site.

Venice.  The manipulator.  Is that so?  And does economic manipulation win?  Usually.

The Uskoks, an ethnic group in Croatia, also found that Venice valued only its commercial interests when it came to fair dealing, see