Prostitutes in the Roman empire were known as ‘lupe’, apparently. There’s a well-preserved building at Pompei known as the ‘lupanare’, which WordReference.com translates as ‘brothel, den of vice, whorehouse’, but would seem to derive from ‘lupo’, or ‘lupa’ (wolf) in this case.
One version of the legend of the founding of Rome has it that the famous story of the mother wolf adopting and nourishing the abandoned baby twins, Romolo and Remo, was actually a euphemism – that the kind-hearted rescuer who was indirectly responsible for the one of the world’s greatest (and most bloodthirsty) empires was in fact the wife of a humble shepherd, and well-known in her village as a ‘lady of easy virtue’.
The article goes on to tell us about the two types of prostitutes (by my count there would have been at least four, but that’s nitpicking), their clothing and makeup, the role of prostitution in religious ceremonies (I kid you not), and a story that is the title of this article, ‘Quando le prostitute e le schiave salvarono Roma’.
How did prostitutes and slaves save Rome, exactly? In the sense that the city’s middle class gentlemen and ladies didn’t have to do very much for themselves, perhaps?
Well, sort of.
But there’s more to it than that. The tale involves a horde of bad guys, weeping victims, heroism from an unexpected source, and of course, a happy ending (less so for the bad guys…) I’m amazed nobody’s made a Hollywood or Bollywood blockbuster of this one, but if they subsequently do, remember you read it here first!
So what’s the plot, Daniel? Do tell!
Nah! You’ll have to read/listen to it for yourselves, sorry.
(If you’re not interesting in archeology, makeup, religious rites and so on, skip to the final paragraph.)
Yesterday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news was a good one, I thought.
There’s that nice Joe Biden, a coup in Mali, Pompei again, drilling for oil in Alaska, new developments in instant messaging, fireflies, and Inter making the final of the Europa League (Italian teams didn’t do well in the more important and apostropheless, I swear, Champions League.)
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If you’re already a regular reader/listener, you might have been asking yourself about who’s responsible for the eclectic choice of topics that make it into EasyItalianNews.com bulletins.
Well it’s got little to do with me. I don’t see the bulletins until you do, though I read/listen to each one and snap at the editor occasionally.
It’s all delegated, you see. We have a part-time editor, the lad who does the audio, a university student (and student journalist) who formats each bulletin and chooses pictures to go with them, and of course a team of freelance writers, who look out for topics that they think would be suitable and write them up in time for the Monday/Wednesday/Friday afternoon deadlines.
There’s no ‘editorial line’, or none that comes from me, anyway. But given that most of the people involved in putting together each bulletin are female, and European, I’m pleased to say that the content tends to be short on xenophobia and misogynism and long on socialised medicine, climate change initiatives and basic human rights.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.