Added: February 15, 2014 – Last updated: February 15, 2014


Author: Beert C. Verstraete

Title: Reassessing Roman Pederasty in Relation to Roman Slavery

Subtitle: The Portrayal of Pueri Delicati in the Love-Poety of Catullus, Tibullus, and Horace

Journal: Uluslararası Sosyal Araştırmalar Dergisi - The Journal of International Social Research

Volume: 5

Issue: 20

Year: Winter 2012

Pages: 157-167

ISSN: 1307-9581 – Find a Library: Open Access Journal

Language: English

Keywords: Ancient Rome | Representations: Literature / Catullus, Horace, Tibullus; Types: Child Sexual Abuse; Victims: Boys


Link: Journal of International Social Research (Free Access)


Abstract: »This paper responds positively to the call issued within the past decade by other classicists that it is incumbent on scholars who study Greco-Roman civilization to foster and contribute to informed debate of an urgent and sensitive social problem of our times, i.e. the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. A close reading of the homoerotic poetry of Catullus, Tibullus, and Horace reveals that slave status should not be invariably assumed for the pueri delicati celebrated here. Catullus’ Juventius is most certainly a freeborn Roman youth, while Tibullus’ Marathus and the pueri delicati in the Odes of Horace, Ligurinus in particular, are best understood and appreciated when they are at least imagined, within the fantasy-world created in this poetry, as freeborn Roman boys rather than slaves.« (Source: Journal of International Social Research)


  I. Introduction (p. 157)
  II. Main Discussion (p. 159)
    Catullus' Juventius (p. 160)
    Tibullus' Marathus (p. 161)
    Horace's Ligurinus (and other pueri delicati celebrated or mentioned in his poetry) (p. 161)
  Conclusion (p. 164)
  References (p. 166)

Wikipedia: Catullus, Homosexuality in ancient Rome, Horace, Tibullus