JULIUS CAESAR, Roman military and political leader (d. 44 BCE) (born either July 12 or July 13); Although it is by no means the only reason why they carried Caesar out on a slab on the Ides of March, the Roman Emperor’s reputation as a manly man had once been irrevocably besmirched.
The Roman code that permitted men to bugger at their will, allowed only adolescent boys to be on the long end of the stick. In a society where it was considered infinitely better to give than to receive, any male who voluntarily adopted a passive sexual role was forever after considered an inferior being. This Caesar had done in his love affair with Nicomedes, king of Bithynia. Cicero reports that Caesar, acting as the royal cup bearer for Nicomedes, was led, clad in purple shift, to the royal bedchamber and its golden couch. Nicomedes, he says, was definitely on top.
Throughout the remainder of his life, emperor or not, Caesar was taunted by his enemies: Suetonius reports that Caesar was called “the queen’s rival”; his partner in the consulship described him in an edict as “the queen of Bithynia”; his soldiers chanted “Caesar conquered Gaul; Nicomedes, Caesar”; Curio the Elder called him “every man’s wife and every woman’s husband.” “In contrast,” as John Boswell wrote, “the charge that Augustus had, as a boy, submitted to Caesar in the same way seems never to have done him much harm.”
Poor Julius Caesar, in so many ways a man in advance of his time. Not long after his murder, the public attitude changed as more and more emperors began to turn the other cheek just for the hell of it. They set the fashion for the glory that was Rome. Or, as an anonymous poet put it, “Rome, which delighted in making love from behind,/spelled AMOR—love—by inverting its own name.” And speaking of spelling please note for all future menu references: it is C-A-E-S-A-R…not Ceasar.