There is a common misconception that the further back in time you go, the more polite, restrained and principled people were. Not true. The Victorians got their rocks off in bawdy whore-houses, Medieval Europe was clearly awash with S&M inspired ‘torture’ and the Romans… well, see for yourself.
10. Plautus – Amphityron
Quando mecum pariter potant, pariter scortari solent, Hanc quidem, quam nactus, praedam pariter cum illis partiam.
When they go out drinking and whoring, I’ll certainly want a piece of that action myself.
We say: Yes, hold on to yourself Plautus. We all want in on the action, but keep it stum, yeah?
9. Martial – ‘The Nose’, VI.36
Mentula tam magna est, tantus tibi, Papyle, nasus
ut possis, quotiens arrigis, olfacere.
Your penis and your nose are so large, Papylus,
that you can smell it whenever you have an erection.
We say: This ditty is as nauseating as it is funny. Having said that, we are curious to see a picture of said Papylus. He must have been one weird looking guy.
8. Catullus – 32
Sed domi maneas paresque nobis novem continuas fututiones.
Stay at home and prepare for nine acts of sexual penetration, one after the other.
We say: An epic ‘call to arms’ from Catullus, presumably to his wife – but only in Catullus can making love to your partner sound like gang rape. One of many inspirational quotes penned by Catullus.
7. Martial – ‘The Decoy Baby’, IV.87
Infantem secum semper tua Bassa, Fabulle,
collocat et lusus deliciasque vocat,
et, quo mireris magis, infantria non est.
ergo quid in causa est? pedere Bassa solet.
Your wife Bassa always carries a baby by her side, Fabullus,
and calls him her darling plaything.
I wonder why, since she isn’t a nanny.
So, why then does she carry a baby? Because Bassa always farts.
We say: It is well known that women will go to any lengths to hide their farts. We suspect this is a tactic still employed by some ‘ladies’.
6. Horace – Sermones, I.8, l.46
Nam, displosa sonat quantum vesica, pepedi diffissa nate ficus. . .
From my cleft bum of fig-tree wood I let out a fart, which made as great an explosion as a burst bladder.
We say: All right Horace, keep it to yourself. Please.
5. Catullus – 23
Culus tibi purior salillo est, nec toto decies cacas in anno.
Your arse is purer than a salt-cellar; you probably only take a dump ten times a year.
We say: Yes, this is good clean Latin fun – only question is, what exactly was Catullus doing looking inside her ass?
4. Martial – The Hungry Dog, I.83
Os et labra tibi lingit, Manneia, catellus:
non miror, merdas si libet esse cani.
Your little dog licks your mouth and lips, Manneia.
I am not surprised—it always enjoyed eating s**t.
We say: Harsh. We’re guessing Manneia did something to upset Martial in a pretty big way. Either that or she turned him down, even though she was the neighborhood whore. Fail Horace.
3. Anonymous – Priapeia
Obscenis, peream, Priape, si non uti me pudet improbisque verbis sed cum tu posito deus pudore ostendas mihi coleos patentes cum cunno mihi mentula est vocanda
I’d rather die than use obscene words; but when you, Priapus, as a god, appear with your balls hanging out, it seems appropriate for me to speak of c***s and c***s.
We say: Not an entirely convincing excuse for launching an abusive, expletive-laden tirade. Would have been better if he said: “When you appear with your balls hanging out… I should just get mine out too.”
2. Martial – X.68
Numquid, cum crisas, blandior esse potes? Tu licet ediscas totam referasque Corinthon, Non tamen omnino, Laelia, Lais eris.
Could you possibly be prettier as you grind me on top Lais? You learn easily, and you can do everything they do in Corinth, but you’ll never be Laelia.
We say: Martial knows what he wants and it’s legendary Corinthian courtesan, Lais, grinding him. In this case, though, he’ll settle for Laelia. And yes, contrary to prior belief, the ‘cowboy’ position did exist in Roman times.
1. Catullus – 16
Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,?Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi, qui me ex versiculis meis putastis, quod sunt molliculi, parum pudicum.
I will sodomise and orally violate you, poofter Aurelius and pervert Furius, because you thought me indecent and my poems somewhat sissified.
We say: Probably one of the most terrifying historical come-backs ever…