Pornographic images found at Pompeii could help us understand religious attitudes to sexuality, a prominent Christian has argued.
Thousands were killed when molten rock, volcanic ash, and deadly gases engulfed the Roman town in a fiery eruption that lasted two days when Mount Vesuvius erupted back in 79 A.D.
Archaeologists are continuing to make discoveries at the site of the blast, including artwork displaying sex acts between members of the same sex.
Rev. Steve Chalke, a campaigner for LGBT+ acceptance in the Church of England, has delivered a talk explaining how these discoveries could help us understand the context of the Bible, as reported in Indy100.

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Chalke says that homosexual sex was common in Roman times: “In Rome sex was an important thing. If you were a man you were expected to have sexual playthings apart from your wife. Your wife was to pass on the family line but you would have a mistress, a concubine, a boy that you would have sex with as well and all of that was expected. It was normal, it wasn’t frowned upon and it was written about.”
He argues that the Bible passages that chastise homosexual acts are misinterpreted, as gay sex was only taboo when it was between two members of the same class. “What you weren’t allowed to do, under any circumstance,” Chalke says, “was to have sex with another Roman. Roman citizens were protected. You could only have sex with someone of a lesser status, with a slave or a gladiator.”
Basically, Roman men could have sex with guys all they liked, as long as the men were of a lower class.
Earlier this year, scientists made a surprising discovery about Pompeii’s famous embracing couple.
Dubbed “The Two Maidens,” the two bodies were found hugging in their final moments as they were covered by molten rock and ash.
For years, it was believed that the two bodies were both women – but new research has discovered that they’re actually both men.
Aged between 18 and 20, the men weren’t related, and are positioned in such a way that it’s now speculated they were lovers who shared an embrace in their final moments alive.

Attitude Magazine