SEXUALITY DEFINED: PAGAN-POLYTHEISTIC INFLUENCES - ROMAN SEXUALITY
Although there is reasonable agreement among most authorities regarding the characteristics of Greek sexuality, Roman customs and values are a matter of considerable debate. Conventional wisdom holds that the Roman society was as sexually promiscuous as the Greek; and it is popularly believed that the collapse of the Roman Empire was due, in no small part, to the sexual excesses of its citizens (Canter, 1963). These views have been challenged, however, on the grounds that the sexual excesses of Roman society have been greatly exaggerated and that the accounts of these events are biased and inaccurate (Bullough, 1976). Whatever the actual case, certainly Roman culture was more complicated and multidimensional than Greek society. The Roman Empire endured for a relatively long period of time; and, whereas the Greeks retained their beliefs and customs, Roman culture changed in the light of the changing empire and in the face of continuous exposure to other cultures.
The Romans, of course, shared the polytheistic religion of the Greeks, as well as the sexuality of their deities. Thus, they shared the Grecian religious approval of sex. As Grimal states:
To love was to obey the gods and achieve one of the requisites of the human condition. Chastity could be required by religious rites in certain cases, but it was not a good thing in itself; not even a desirable thing; it was rather an impairment of what was good and desirable for among the gifts of the gods to man, love is always to be found. [Grimal, 1967, p. xiii]
Men's Health-Erectile Dysfunction