Were the “lovers of Pompeii“ homosexual? These two casts of two people killed during the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 have not finished talking about them. One with his head resting on the other’s chest, we wanted to see a man and a woman there, tenderly entwined … But according to a recent discovery reported last week by the Ansa agency, in view of the results of genetic analyzes carried out from the organic remains trapped in the molding, it would in fact be two young men!
Regime of Mussolini
When it was discovered in 1914, the cast presented such a striking and moving scene that the two figures were quickly dubbed “the lovers”. For the fascist regime of Mussolini, it could of course only be a man and a woman… Beyond that, many other assumptions were made about these two characters surprised by the eruption of Vesuvius, on their sex but also on the nature of the relationship that united them. Thus, the Italian archaeologist who had discovered the famous ruins had first imagined that it was two women, a mother and her daughter for example.
Two friends who died side by side
Obviously, whether it is a man and a woman or two men, in either case, nothing proves that it is a couple, in absolute terms. . It is very difficult to guess by their simple position what these two people were doing just before their death: the two bodies seem to be tenderly entwined, but it can also be two friends who died side by side, or even two people fighting. We will probably never know for sure, even if for the sake of obvious romanticism, we prefer to imagine a last passionate embrace rather than a fight!
That said, the thesis of the homosexual couple is not ruled out by historians, far from it, in ancient Rome, homosexuality was very present, as many writings attest, and it was in fact much less taboo than in today’s society. It was practiced by Cicero, Julius Caesar, and even Nero who will publicly take one of his slaves as his husband.