Full Frontal Sodomy: A Philosopher’s Insult

Aulus Gellius, 3.5:

The fault of luxury and the effeminacy of both eyes and body reproached by a certain philosopher named Arcesilaus in a bitter but amusing way.

Plutarch relates that the philosopher Arcesilaus used a rather strong word about an excessively dainty man, who was nevertheless thought to be morally sound and free from sensual vice. When he noted the man’s smooth voice, his well-arranged hair, and his eyes so full of play and wanton pleasure, he said, ‘It really makes no difference in which parts you are a sodomite, whether they be up front or behind!’

Deliciarum vitium et mollities oculorum et corporis ab Arcesila philosopho cuidam obprobrata acerbe simul et festiviter. 1 Plutarchus refert Arcesilaum philosophum vehementi verbo usum esse de quodam nimis delicato divite, qui incorruptus tamen et a stupro integer dicebatur. 2 Nam cum vocem eius infractam capillumque arte compositum et oculos ludibundos atque inlecebrae voluptatisque plenos videret : “nihil interest,” inquit “quibus membris cinaedi sitis, posterioribus an prioribus”.

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