Pompeii – orașul sexului | Documentar Subtitrat History Channel


[Music] the subject of this program is sexuality it contains explicit images and content meant for a mature audience viewer discretion is advised August 24th 79 ad in central Italy Mount Vesuvius erupted within a day the nearby city of Pompeii is buried under hot lava for 1,500 years the city lies forgotten until an accidental discovery slowly leads to excavations revealing haunting images of Pompey’s sudden painful demise the world’s most vivid picture of life in ancient Rome emerges a key part of that picture was hidden from the public until now from its drinking cups to its streetlights Pompeii was swimming insects instead of being a proper Roman city these people are up this is a seething world of sex and and filth and squalor new evidence of widespread prostitution orgies and sex clubs women selling themselves to men men to other men and men to women was there a secret sex trade in Pompeii and if so who controlled it was this city of one of a kind hotbed of sin or does it offer us the truest picture of sets in ancient Rome a picture hitherto hidden and not for the first time revealed [Music] the sex life of Pompeii is a mystery and like many mysteries it begins with a cover-up here at the Archaeological Museum of Naples is a room called the secret captain for hundreds of years this room was locked and sealed it contains relics and artwork from Pompeii considered to profane for public consumption what could have been so shocking perhaps it was the dozens of erotic frescoes the phallic Street lanterns the sexually explicit drinking cups or the many representations of Priapus the fertility God whose striking features pop up in artwork all over town it was really difficult for people to come and be confronted with what ran against Christian morality of the day and the sexual elements came out very starkly from a very early stage there’s a story told of how Charles the third is having a wonderful sort of court picnic and they’re excavating and they bring up a statue and there’s great excitement among the court circle and the statue is the famous one of Penn making love to a nanny goat and there was horror among everyone and the king said right excavations closed even today Pompey’s sexual artefacts provoke embarrassment and controversy and these objects are just the tip of the iceberg they reveal a more shocking side of Pompeii the deeper historians dig the more unsettling details emerge of an elaborate system of sex in this ancient city the clues are everywhere from stone phalluses on public streets to crude graffiti carved into granite walls they appear to reveal a population trading in decadence perversion prostitution and sexual slavery Professor Andrew Wallace had rules groundbreaking research has forced us to rethink the way we look at the Roman Empire Wallace had rule has uncovered secrets that the city itself didn’t want to disclose this isn’t how a Roman city wanted to present itself to posterity not the big public writings inscribed in marble and bronze the great rhetorical statements that a city wanted to make about itself these are the trivial scribblings that weren’t meant to be heard and we’re suddenly were allowed in on a conversation we weren’t meant to hear one message emerges very clearly Pompey was in the business of selling sex and on a large scale the action ranged from fast and inexpensive curbside sex to private sex parties with the Roman equivalent of call girls but given that 80% of the population was poor it’s safe to say that most of the sex was quick and dirty professor Thomas McGann is an authority on the economics of prostitution in ancient Rome we’re standing in front of a crib a small room lying off of a street or an alley where a prostitute would have conducted business the prostitute or her pimp would have been outside in the street soliciting customers perhaps either directly in front or in a bar or some other place close by bringing them through a patchwork curtain or a small wooden door into this room where you see a stone bed with a stone pillow in ancient times there would have been a mattress some cushions perhaps strudel or the stone in order to make it a bit more comfortable 13 of these curbside cribs have been identified all nearby Pompey’s 153 local taverns but the undisputed central location for paid sex was here on a Main Street in the center of town near the Forum and the marketplace this is the loop Inara grande the oldest known brothel in the world it’s a treasure trove of information not just about Pompeii but also about human sexuality in the ancient classical world lupine aura means den of the she-wolves and roman expression for a house of prostitution when it was unearthed in 1862 pious Catholic authorities immediately sealed it off they even plastered over many of its explicit frescoes until recently this historical treasure remained closed to the public it was finally opened in 2006 after an extensive renovation touched up its frescoes and restored the wooden beams and rafters burned away by lava nearly 2,000 years ago there’s nothing else like it on earth [Music] the loop Inara provides a window into the past that before could only be imagined it’s the only place in the world where you can actually see smell and touch the place where ancient prostitutes plied their trade but how can we be certain this building was used solely for sex they’re probably three ways that people have traditionally identified sexual activity the first is pornographic pictures where you have concentration of pornographic pictures maybe there’s prostitution second graffiti of an erotic nature you’ve got the highest concentration of the Latin for I in the whole site over a hundred occasions it’s it’s scribbled on the walls and thirdly structures if you have a room shaped in such a way that all you can do is go to bed in it and yet it isn’t a bedroom part of a residential unit this is an indication of a space made for the sale of sex the thing about the urinary grande the big brothel of Pompeii is that all these three criteria concentrate absolutely marvelously every detail of the building’s design reveals what went on here on the ground floor we find five small rooms with stone beds this floor probably appealed to walk in Street traffic the customers of the brothel would have arrived first in the Central Corridor off of which lie the rooms where the prostitutes worked the corridor is decorated with a series of erotic panels paintings that depict in an explicit way scenes of lovemaking these were once thought to provide a menu of choices for the customers coming to the brothel various sexual acts have depicted in different paintings and it was thought that you would go to one room or the other depending on what you preferred but the the better view a more persuasive view is that these were part of what the brothel was selling they presented a fantasy of sex richly decorated beds the pillows and the the bedding is of a quality that forest surpasses anything that you would have found in these rooms with their stone beds and straw mattresses so again what you have here is a fantasy of sex what you have here is the reality the business of the brothel was to sell the customer both the Lupin R is large and distinctive second floor poses another mystery upstairs we find no erotic art no graffiti and no masonry beds it might have been filled with expensive wooden beds drapes and curtains here customers may have made the fantasy real in this room which is too big as you conceive to be a simple prostitute cell there would have been ample space for parties a place to invite friends a place where the people who rented it out could have simulated to a certain extent the atmospherics of an upper-class house an upper-class dining room but for price the Lupin r was the biggest brothel in town but it wasn’t the only one archeologists have turned up at least 41 brothels and the numbers vastly increase if you include taverns and hotels which were common sites of prostitution the sex for hire was everywhere but why was there so much of it and why was it so public why did the Empire permit and who profited from it for the answers we first need to look at the dark seldom-seen lives of the prostitutes themselves for centuries the evidence of widespread prostitution in the doomed city of Pompeii was suppressed today historians are putting together the pieces of how where and why it took place at the heart of the mystery is the Lupin era grande the biggest brothel in town 79 AD the Lupin ARA opens for business as it does every day nine hours after sunup which is why the prostitutes here are called the known rei the ninth hour girls like prostitutes through the ages they perform under assumed names we know some of them from the carvings and the lupin aris stone walls they are called khalid rome casa phobia for two not a– Nika yen you area and Mertes who specializes in oral sex there are also male prostitutes known as looper key at the loop Inara one goes by the name merit eNOS graffiti here claims his specialties include servicing virgins some of the looper key are gladiators turning tricks on the side gladiators are low on the social totem pole but they are the sport stars of their day and there are many accounts of elite Roman women taking them as paid lovers there are also accounts of aristocratic women servicing clients for kicks a dangerous pastime that can result in scandal banishment or even death if they are married but most brothel prostitutes are slaves taken from conquered lands stretching from Europe to North Africa and Asia they are forced to do whatever their masters command think all we can say confidently about the prostitutes is that they will repeat slaves naturally there their lives will have been really pretty squalid as the life of any prostitute is likely to be we can only use our imaginations really and we can only say that the sort of stories of misery that characterized the Eastern European immigrants who are effectively slave prostitutes in Western Europe at this time will have been not dissimilar to the stories of antiquity slaves are brought in from the far corners of the Empire the ones forced into prostitution trade on their exotic ism many women dye their hair blonde or red and wear silks to accentuate their attributes as the cult of Christ grows Christian women are also interned into brothels as a degrading form of punishment but some prostitutes are free women turning tricks out of desperation they are motivated by the same factors that lure men and women into prostitution today this is one of the few high-paying careers available for the lower classes even a low priced prostitute earns three times the wages of an unskilled male laborer then as now the rate depends on age skill and desirability at the low end they charge two copper coins the price of a loaf of bread these women need many customers to make a profit a high-end prostitute sees one or two clients a day and charges premium rates up to 10 times as much the male prostitute at his best earns a fraction of a woman’s price while their individual stories differ collectively these men and women fuel a powerful economic machine sex in the brothel here and elsewhere in Pompeii was relatively cheap but it was a cash-rich business which could bring in a lot of income for if not the prostitutes themselves there exploiters and who are these exploiters the most obvious is Delano the pimp who runs the brothel with an iron hand the lay no recruits the staff sets the prices enforces discipline handles rent payments and when necessary bribes the police but usually the Leino doesn’t own the brothel often he is a freed man doing the bidding of others who hide in the shadows the true owners are members of the upper classes including Wellborn noblemen they are motivated purely by profit most landowners have their money in agriculture which at best yields a 6% return every year prostitution is a cash-only business with a higher profit margin especially if you have slaves doing the work but although profitable it is not considered entirely respectable so the owners keep a bit of distance from the business even if sometimes that distance is only a few feet a close look at the ruins reveals two kinds of people who were secretly behind this sex trade the clues start and the carpet in a road so here rather unusually we find a phallus actually carved into the basalt of the street pavers and this Palace is the delight of every tourist who passes here and the story they all tell is that it’s a pointer to a brothel and that the brothel is two streets down on the left that this is a crazy story but how on earth can you tell that you’re meant to go to streets done to get the brothel it must refer to this house itself one possibility is it’s no more than a good luck sign palaces were good luck signs but the other possibility is that it indicates prostitution going on inside the house to find out let’s go in okay this has has got a respectable side and a less respectable side here we’re in the atrium area we’ve come in off the main road and that’s the big street the Via della bond answer we’ve got the impluvium a big space typical of a grand roman house surrounded by bedrooms here and here are some big reception rooms and all this is a standard respectable really quite grand Roman house but then tucks around the back is the other seamy side of their activity if we go through this little narrow passageway we’re back into the servants quarters let’s say of the house this is probably the kitchen and back through we’re going through quite a narrow doorway here and here we meet the prostitutes cells and we discover a bit about how the owner of the house makes his money one two there and then through the wall there is the third one here you’ve got a little entrance from the streets and stairs going up so he probably rented out rooms he may have had other girls working upstairs as well he could have had half a dozen quite easily so on the sly this guy is actually running a brothel the elite attitude towards private and public sex was complicated to say the least and it begins to explain why there was so much of it going on and so publicly for here and sex whether paid or unpaid was not just about pleasure it was also about power and with sex and power would come out right debauchery new evidence reveals that the lost Roman city of Pompeii had a thriving sex trade a trade that involved virtually every layer of society we’ve seen what happened in the brothels and back alleys that catered to working-class men but what transpired at the top the rarefied world of the elite [Music] 79ad this is the floor alia a festival of prostitutes introduced about 238 BC the festival is dedicated to flora a very successful working girl who left her estate to the people of Rome and set up an annual fund to celebrate her birthday with a wild street party the early Christian author lactantius writes disapprovingly the prostitutes at the importuning of the rabble strip off their clothing and act as mines in full view of the crowd and this they continue until full safety comes to the shameless lookers-on for upperclassmen and moralists this sort of display is considered vulgar for them sex should not be a free-for-all it should be a carefully engineered statement of honour strength and power the concept of honour was one which united both male and female virtues in the Roman world for the male’s manliness encompassed the ability to express power over one’s own emotions and also to use that power to control others in Roman literature we often learn about sexual activity as merely an expression of power whereby the person penetrating is the person who is in control and exerting a powerful identity and the person who is being penetrated is the person who has lost control and who is therefore of a degraded status wives are immune from this degradation since their role is not primarily sexual but social marriages take place to preserve status increase wealth or foster political alliances the Roman matron is a mother a hostess and manager of the household many rarely have sex with their husbands but should they take lovers they must be discreet because if caught the wives will pay a heavy price adultery was often associated with the female perpetrator rather than the male and since the head of a household the paterfamilias had the power of life and death over all members of his household he was able to exert that power to punish his wife if she were unfaithful mercilessly but according to the literature of the time that doesn’t slow them down upper-class women take lovers from all levels of society they join in orgies moonlighted brothels and also hire prostitutes themselves male or female if you are a member of the ruling class the sex trade in Pompeii offers plenty of options many husbands don’t even need to look beyond their own households and there is this whole underworld of both safe girls providing sex and even within family household providing sex and ex-slaves providing a whole world of sexual services this was certainly true of the higher levels of society but what happened at the very top the evidence at Pompeii shows us that some of the wealthiest citizens had urges that went far beyond sexually exploiting their slaves in contemporary parlance we’d call them swingers I found seven examples of explicit erotic art in the context of private houses and suggest not the presence of a brothel but that of a sex club the owner of the house would have invited his friends to party with him and women presumably prostitutes who were brought in for the occasion generally the status of the owners of these houses was very high we’re talking about the elite of Pompeii it may not be what everyone would have done but it was not something that was illegal or open to even serious moral censure but how do we tell the difference between a straightforward brothel and an elite private sex club historians look for clues starting with accessibility the harder it is to find the room the more likely it was used for private entertainment this is the house of the centenary and it’s one of the very grandest in town a double atrium a magnificent peristyle garden here rich decoration everywhere and you can be confident that this belongs to one of the people at the top level in town one of the magistrates and now I’ve left the great open spaces the Magnificent peristyle winding down this little corridor and we come into a completely secluded area of the house first into this area and then into a little room off it and this is a sort of antechamber notice that the decoration is very beautiful in here it’s at the level of the rest of the house and then finally into the climactic room which has got the Phonographic scenes in it and it’s really interesting because the kind of scenes are exactly the same as those you find in the brothel only that the quality of execution is very much higher it’s very hard to imagine the owner of this house allowing this room to be used as a brothel even if you think of it in economic terms how much would you have to spend decorating this room like this how many lanes of prostitutes would you have to have to get your investment bank and look at this picture you’ve got Hercules here with his club there’s the club of Hercules and their two little amorini two little Cupid’s and they’re saying come on Hercules you can do it he’s laid down the club of his labors he’s having a rest and it’s time for some sex and just in the same way the master of the house can put aside his public face his duties and enjoy himself this is his enjoyment from but not just for him because very interestingly we’ve got a little window here which means that people can look in and enjoy the spectacle of what’s going on in the Masters private romper room but this room was not just for the Masters use literature of the time tells us that sometimes the wives joined in and that couples would stage private orgies to impress their guests the historian Maximus complains about a wild party in 52 BC given by a landowner named Gamal as’ to curry favor with local magistrates gemelas brought in two noble women and a well born boy to join the fun Maximus writes bodies were shamefully compliant destined to be the sport of drunken lust but Maximus real complaint was not so much the sex itself it was the way Gemmell is so openly used it for his own social and political gain and that may be the key about sex in Pompeii hidden from most Roman ruins it was an instrument of wealth a mark of power and a tool for personal advancement at every level of Roman society sex was currency and if one followed the money it would lead in surprising directions right up to the Emperor himself [Music] sex for hire was available virtually everywhere in Pompeii there was no zoning and no red-light district prostitutes were available in the most public spaces in town including the forum the hub of local government the arches leading into amphitheaters were favorite pickup spots these arcade dens were called fornicate the root of the modern word fornicate prostitutes also plied their trade at the most public venues in ancient Rome the baths roman baths were enormous pleasure palaces dedicated to the principle of enjoyment here rich mingled with poor united by the great leveller of universal nudity it was by all accounts a neurotically charged atmosphere food drink and sex were all for sale Pompey had six public baths that we know of and like the brothels explicit frescoes were part of the decor in fact the men’s locker room contains the most sexually frank paintings in the whole of Pompeii we’re here in the suburban baths of Pompeii and this room which was only excavated in the 1980s has caused enormous scholarly controversy ever since its excavation the position of the room in the bars tells us that it should be the changing room the appo deuterium but it has this most extraordinary decorative feature you see a series of numbers going around these numbers are on boxes rather long boxes and then above each box is a scene of sex so what is going on here and there have been various lines of interpretation and one is that this is a kind of a witty a jest that when people left their clothes in particular boxes they couldn’t remember was my books number four or number five but they could remember the position joke and that interpretation has been very strongly contested by others who say no there is prostitution going on here you need to look around the corner at this point where there’s a door to some stairs going up the back and there are a series of rooms up above us that could indeed be used for prostitution all of this confuses modern observers two images emerge from Rome’s ancient ruins the one we usually see shows a civilization that lived by strict codes of honor and shame but the ruins of Pompeii reveal a city steeped in sex how could prostitution in Pompeii have been so open and widespread the answer may lie with Rome’s ever changing heads of state 44 BC Augustus replaces Julius Caesar as the leader of the Roman world unlike Caesar a pansexual Playboy Augustus has a more conservative agenda around 10 BC he passes a series of laws that promotes Family Values the elite can only marry within their class and must bear noble children childless couples are penalized and bachelors are taxed most important adultery becomes a criminal offense but what about prostitution like most Roman Nobles Augustus doesn’t approve of sex for sale but he accepted as a fact of life he may well have agreed with Cato the Elder who said that a man was better off having sex with his slave or a prostitute or even his wife than having an affair with another married Noble ironically Augustus’s morality law has caused the business of prostitution to booth paid sex and sex with household slaves become the simple and legal alternatives to adultery there are prostitutes there are slave girls there are ex slave girls you can chase them as much as you like for heaven’s sake don’t risk everything by chasing married women so the very ban on adultery creates a necessity for prostitution what the law and adultery did was to try to use prostitutes for the public good by essentially deploying them as a device to distract men away from respectable women respectable woman would be protected thanks to the services of prostitutes because adultery was now illegal it became important to know exactly who the prostitutes were and so a system of registration was set up by law prostitutes now have to register with a local bureaucrat called an ideal a the ideal a takes down her name age place of birth and her pseudonym he then issues her a license once entered her name can never be removed and along with registration a strict dress code is enforced first and foremost a prostitute is not allowed to dress like a decent woman she has to wear a man’s toga and has not allowed the royal color purple or flowered cloth she cannot put her hair up like Roman matrons registration reinforces the social distance between prostitutes and the rest of society there are all sorts of activities that would render you forever infamous and no longer able to take part in public life if you appeared on the stage if you appeared as a gladiator and if you had anything to do with prostitution initially the Empire got involved with the sex trade for moral reasons it stayed involved for financial reasons in 40 AD the Emperor Caligula imposed a federal tax on prostitution attacks that filled the coffers of the Emperor and the Empire because of the tax it was now firmly in the state’s best interest for prostitution to flourish [Music] but the question remains did this lead to Pompey’s hyper-sexualization did the system go off the rails here creating a scandalous town notorious for its sin and excess was Pompey the sex capital of the Empire or was there yet another city even more extreme [Music] when Pompeii was first discovered archaeologists were shocked and appalled by what they found the presence of brothels and pornography led many to believe that the city was deviant and had been destroyed by divine wrath just like Sodom and Gomorrah certainly in Pompeii sex for hire was easy to find new evidence reveals a complete sexual map of Pompeii thirteen cribs or rooms right off the street set aside for prostitution nine baths theaters and amphitheaters where sex was available for a price at least seven private sex clubs for the rich and 41 confirmed brothels including the world’s oldest known purpose-built brothel the loop Inari grande it’s a lot of brothels for a city of six thousand the evidence seems to point to Pompeii as the undisputed capital of sex but modern sleuthing reveals that Pompeii was neither the Vegas nor the Sodom and Gomorrah of its day it was in fact a small and rather ordinary place when people first came to knowledge of the representations of sexuality here they thought that Pompeii might have been a hotbed for la dolce vita instead Pompeii was probably was regarded by the Romans as a good place to buy an oil press Pompeii is a perfectly normal place what is extraordinary about Pompeii is the way it’s preserved we always have to remember that other places didn’t get in volcanoes guts tips over them that mode of preservation gives us a whole different insight into into the city so if Pompeii wasn’t the center of ancient prostitution where was the real sex capital whatever you see in Pompeii compared to Rome is really down market Rome is the center of everything in the end point it’s the center of wealth for center of power therefore the center of sex on first glance the city of Rome appears to have had less prostitution than Pompeii surviving physical evidence shows fewer brothels and fewer registered prostitutes but according to historians prostitution was just as widely practiced the lack of physical evidence in Rome reveals the final chapter of Pompey’s story Pompeii takes its lead from Rome and Rome in turn follows the taste of its rulers 37 ad just 42 years before the eruption of Vesuvius Caligula becomes emperor he sets a standard for depravity that few have been able to match in the nearly 2,000 years since his reign he is fascinated by corruption and sexual transgression by establishing attacks on prostitution and a squad of bureaucrats to enforce it Caligula turns sex for sale into a state sanctioned business to drive home the point he sets up a brothel inside the Imperial Palace the brothel is staffed by the wives daughters and sons of leading citizens and upper-class men some are willing some are not [Music] Caligula is succeeded by Nero though no match for his predecessor in depravity Caesar Nero is no saint he mugs citizens for fun has his mother executed and kicks one of his wives to death and when he isn’t slumming at brothels he organizes elaborate orgies for the aristocrats Caligula and Nero’s bad behavior influences society across the Roman Empire from Rome down to smaller cities like Pompeii vice and corruption are the order of the day but in 69 AD just ten years before Vesuvius swallows Pompeii a new ruler succeeds Nero and things begin to change [Applause] Pompey’s suburban baths hold an important clue to this cultural shift carbon dating reveals that the wildly explicit illustrations in the men’s changing room were covered up three years before Pompeii was destroyed but to me is the most important feature is that these things have been over painted and that means that at some stage they thought it was really not acceptable to have these images on show and it makes sense that after the fall of Nero when the new Emperor Vespasian brings in a sort of new morality they cover things up the conservative shift taking hold in Rome is just starting to affect Pompeii when Vesuvius freezes the city it is a pivotal moment just after the most decadent period of Roman history has entered Pompey’s hothouse atmosphere of sexual goods and services was normal for that time had the city survived another 20 years we might have found fewer examples of ancient erotica but the business of prostitution would still have been in place it was deeply ingrained not just in Pompeii but all of Roman society and history shows it remained that way for centuries to come Pompeii gives us an unequaled snapshot of a pivotal time in which sex for hire played many roles in the pragmatic Roman world it was a less-than-honorable but quite profitable venture for the wealthy a major source of tax revenue for the state a way for men to have extra sex without having illegal Affairs and a very public way of reinforcing the class system by sanctioned and prostitution while publicly humiliating the men and women forced to practicing Pompeii’s sex trade reflects all the contradictions of Roman society its rationalism its brutality its passion and it reveals the enormous impact that leaders good and bad can have on mighty empires

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