Ancient Coins Prove That Rome Was Once The Chucky Cheese Of Prostitution

THE SHOT – Either ancient Romans used these spintria coins to pay for brothels and prostitutes “services” or they used them as gaming tokens for games of chance. Either way, the symbols on the tails depict gay and straight couples getting some tail of their own. Now, where’s the coin slot?

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  • TimBo

    I only see women so depiction of men on men at all.

  • BlueBird

    The second row, or the VII coin, is M/M. The person blowing the other dude is a dude, as you can see from the small thingy sticking from between his thighs. A bit hard to see, but it’s there.

  • B

    The site QUEERTY linked to claimed that one side showed a sex act and the other side showed the standard price for it, useful for out of town visitors who did not know Latin.

    You can imaging a “game of chance” where a bunch of drunken Romans would show up and pick a coin at random out of a jar, and then have to try the sex act shown on the coin (after paying for it, of course), with all but one laughing whenever a guy got a sex act that he would normally not do. Sounds utterly scandalous and completely decadent, fitting the popular image of Rome as it started its decline.

  • Gus


    the decline started after the Christians started to proselytize.

  • Tallskin

    Yeah, Emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the official state religion of Rome in the 380s. Worship at pagan temples was outlawed in 391. And the first laws against homosexuality were passed some time before this sad date.

    Of course this was the death knell for the roman empire for Rome was sacked by the vandals in 476 AD

    Christians were worried at the time that maybe their religion had caused Rome to lose its martial values in exchange for the spiritual, but due to a brilliant piece of propaganda produced by that piece of holy filth, St Augustine, the truth was twisted and forever after ‘roman decadence’ was blamed for the fall of rome- all those gays, buggering each other, you know, that’s what caused the fall of rome. Oh, and too many wild parties

    Nothing whatsover to do with the roman ruling elite losing interest in running the empire properly because they were too busy praying, oh no


    who cares

    everyone knows the romans were into all kinds of sex

  • kuy

    I really don’t think we should contrive to say that christianity (much less homosexualty of course) caused the downfall of Rome. Evidence doesn’t support this as a fact. What we can say is that christianity was far more puritanical than what the Romans were used to. And that rather than being a religion of peace, it went right ahead and imposed itself violantly over those who would not willingly submit. Granted, it was imposed by the Roman government when it adopted christianity, but the zealots certainly didn’t mind this.

    It always seems that when times are tough, puritanical and fundamentalist religions seem to gain ground.

  • Didaskalos

    Google the Warren Cup. It’s hard to believe that it has survived the centuries without being melted down.


  • Jeffree

    Sad to say that modern day Rome isn’t exactly the hotbed of hoookerdom it once was.

    I love the idea of special coins being minted with those scenes, so even foreigners could sample local delights. Yum.

    Even then, Queer artists imbued the culture with some sizzle…

  • B

    No. 4 · Gus wrote, “@B: the decline started after the Christians started to proselytize.”

    ROTFLMAO – the Christians were proselytizing when the coins were in use (a short period of time, according to QUEERTY’s link).

    Now, what I wrote was, “Sounds utterly scandalous and completely decadent, fitting the popular image of Rome as it started its decline.” You can fit “the popular image of Rome as it started its decline” before the decline took place (the popular image is the image in the minds of people living in the 21st century). But aside from that, the link QUEERTY gave stated, “they [the coins] may have been used to pay prostitutes, who at times spoke a different language. While this is subject to argument, the numbers on them line up with known prices for Roman prostitutes (University of Queensland reference). Some theorize them gaming tokens, and they may have been produced for only a short period, probably in the 1st century A.D.”

    Hmm. First Century A.D. Nero, who was both decadent and tyrannical, with a penchant for extravagance, ruled from 45 to 68 A.D. (same time frame as the coins).

    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero ,

    ‘Tacitus described the event: “Consequently, to get rid of the report [that Nero had started the fire that burned Rome] , Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians (or Chrestians[94]) by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.[84]”

    I don’t think Tacticus would have commented in that way on the Christians, refering the their “abominations” if they weren’t going around Rome trying to get converts and generally causing problems. I might suspect that the sort of Christians who got the Romans so mad at them were probably the same sort of Christians you see today picketing gay-pride parades.

  • Gus


    The Christians destoyed Traditional Roman Values…just sayin’ lol

  • Mark


    The decline of the Western Roman empire was caused by the failure to develop an economy that was not based on foreign military conquest. Also too much civil war cause by a lack of clear succession. By the time of the sack of the Vandals, Rome wasn’t even the capital anymore.

  • evanb

    @TimBo: Also the last set appears to depict two men engaged in anal sex (the top’s hair follows “male” conventions on the coins, the bottom is lying on his stomach looking over his shoulder–an odd position if this were hetero).

  • B

    No. 11 · Gus wrote, “@B: The Christians destoyed Traditional Roman Values…just sayin’ lol”

    The Romans were starting to show preliminary signs of decay in the first century C.E., starting with currency issues: http://static8.businessinsider.com/image/4dd6b0edccd1d52a1c080000/chart-of-the-day-silver-roman-coins-may-2011.jpg shows a chart of the percentage of silver in Roman coins over time – it really started to fall in the cirst century C.E. (corresponding to the output from a key silver mine peaking in 79 C.E.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_the_Roman_Empire#Mining_output ). There were also trade imbalance issues at this time.

  • chpinnlr

    @TimBo: take a closer look at the next to the last coin in silver and you will see that it is a young man enjoying some back door action!

  • Sebizzar

    The 2nd & 9th (silver) coin are homosexual & the 3rd 1 could be too but i think i see boobs lol

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