We all knew Rome was a place of debauchery and pleasure, but Jesus… did these people do anything else? Here are some of the craziest stories of an R-rated nature buried in the crumbling palaces of ancient times.
Valeria Messalina, the third wife of Emperor Claudius, was apparently a total freak. She bet the best Roman prostitute that she could sleep with more men in a day than the lady of the night. Messalina won, with 25 notches on her belt.
Caligula, the third Roman emperor, had married couples over for dinner parties, and if he liked one of the wives he would invite them to his bed chambers. Afterwards he would tell the husbands everything that happened, and if he really liked her he would file a bill of divorce for the couple, just because
Julius Caesar was quite the player. He was married to Calpurnia but had many mistresses, including Cleopatra of course. When Caesar invited her to Rome she brought their baby and showed him off to everyone… including Calpurnia. So Caesar owned it and gave the baby his name after drafting up a law saying he could marry as many women as he wanted.
After Caesar was assassinated, his closest friend Mark Antony honed in on his girl Cleopatra. Antony was named an enemy of Rome, but the couple didn’t really care as they were too busy having babies. Caesar’s successor Octavian eventually hunted them down and defeated them.
Roman senator Gaius Calpurnius Piso was getting married when Caligula shows up to the party. And you remember how he was, right? Gaius tells the emperor to keep his hands off his wife, which only makes it more fun for Gaius. He steals her, marries her, and then banishes her to an island where she was forbidden to ever have sex ever again. Yikes.
Nero, perhaps the most infamous of Rome’s emperors, was known to play a sex game where he dressed in animal skins, was let loose from a cage and then went to town on his partner who would have been tied up.
Tiberius would hire the best experts in intercourse and watch them have threesomes in front of him. His bedroom was filled with dirty works of art as well as an erotic library, in case a performer should need an illustration of what he wanted to see.
When the Roman treasury was running low, Caligula would turn the palace into a brothel. He put everyone on a line of credit with ridiculously high interest rates, which usually led to him confiscated all of your property if you couldn’t pay.
As if he couldn’t get scandalous enough, Caligula also had a pension for convincing his friends to sleep with his sisters, only to put the same friends on trial for adultery to create scandal whenever he felt it necessary.
Augustus tried to pass a law making infidelity illegal… only to have his daughter sleep with the whole town. He was so furious that he exiled her and then men she slept with to an island with no men or wine. They were on separate islands, of course. I’d say the Roman version of being grounded was rather intense.