Well, no, not wholly and not so much

Roman emperors, for example, created harems of females guarded by eunuchs,

There were undoubtedly those who had such but it wasn’t a usual thing, certainly not formal as with the Ottomans.

And as for this:

In his handwritten documents, Smith relays how the Lord told him: “And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him… But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed… according to my commandment.”

Not surprisingly, women often find this sexual hypocrisy baffling and logically inconsistent.

Yet versions of this sexual double standard persist, even in the most sexually egalitarian countries on Earth, such as Norway. And recent studies of more than three dozen cultures found that it’s women, not men, who receive the brunt of the criticism for having casual sex and cheating on their partners.

Very little about sex is going to make sense without considering the identification of paternity in the days before DNA testing….

This though is true:

It all comes back to the fact that women’s sexual psychology, like that of men’s, evolved in the brutal and amoral furnace of sexual and reproductive competition. Women’s fundamental competitors have always been other women,

15 thoughts on “Well, no, not wholly and not so much”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    Not surprisingly, women often find this sexual hypocrisy baffling and logically inconsistent.

    Without a thought for the eunuchs, no doubt.

  2. Diogenes’ link explains it very well. The Romans had a huge hang-up about monogamy and adultery. They looked rather askance at the bum-banditry of the Greeks. Maybe Crassus liked snails and oysters, but it was the duty of slaves to provide … services to their master ( and mistress ) and that didn’t count as adultery.

    The scene in Carry on Cleo where Mark Anthony buys a slave off of Spencerus because he “needs a good scrubber” is probably more accurate than Talbot Rothwell expected.

    Harems to the Romans were oriental and exotic, something that the Perisans or Parthians did.

  3. And men’s fundamental competitors have always been women
    “She’s just winding you up, mate. Sit down. Take it easy. Have a beer.”

  4. @HallowedBe: It still is in Japanese business. Kids not interested in the company you’ve spent your entire life on? Adopt a likely salaryman as heir.

  5. Art the cat- yes had heard of that via great show on utube called japanology. I suspect, if only they could bequeath their places in the firmament, there’s a fair few Hollywood luvvies that would do likewise.

  6. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    And to this day, for paternity testing only if you can. Acquire a waifu in the Germany Province of North Korea and her sprogs are yours, unless the actual father fesses up. Paternity testing being essentially banned for the sprogs of married women.

  7. David M. Buss, Professor of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts

    I might have thought an academic would have taken the time do do a little deeper research so he wouldn’t make mistakes like asserting Roman emperors had harems – but then I see he teaches psychology at a *liberal arts* college. A glorified counselor at an institution not exactly known for academic rigor.

  8. I suppose that the author thought that it would be Islamophobic to say that Emperors didn’t have harems.

    (Is that how you spell Islamophobic?)

  9. Vaguely on topic is another line from Carry on Cleo

    “I’d love to help out but I’ve got a date with an Arab bird.”

    “Ooh, I hear they’re very intense lovers.”

    “Well that’s no surprise, they do everything in tents !”

  10. Salon….. Has anyone of the lot *read* any of the actual Roman scribes… ?

    It’s not as if, powered by the Intarwebz and Googol, the original sources of Opinion are freely available in engerslish.

    Just…… Seriously…

  11. “The scene in Carry on Cleo”

    And Frankie Howard’s “Up Pompeii” was actually not far removed from the bawdy style and characters of Roman comedy. Husband trying to get his end away with nubile slave-girl, harridan wife, effeminate son, promiscuous daughter, scheming cheeky slave and so on.

    Meanwhile ‘Comedy of Errors’ is a steal from Plautus’ “The Twins” and probably ‘Amphitryon’ which both involve confusions caused by identical people being mistaken for other. Really, it’s about time someone wrote a play about three sets of identical triplets all separated at birth.

  12. Talbot Rothwell also wrote Up Pompeii.

    he was in the RAF and ended up in the same Prison Camp as Peter Butterworth and Rupert Davies( I saw it on This is Your Life).

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