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VIDEO. Camille's chronicle:the truth about Roman orgies

Far from being commonplace, the decadent Roman orgies one imagines were the exception. Frugal, the Roman people were puritans before the Christians.

Roman orgies were real, but largely marginal.

CJAMY. Camille Gaubert's column is broadcast daily on the program "CJamy", presented by Jamy Gourmaud, Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. on France 5.

Despite popular belief, Roman orgies were far from commonplace, and the Roman Empire was characterized rather by its frugality.

The truth about Roman orgies

"The imperial orgies, always denounced, and under certain emperors only, concerned only a tiny part of the population ", explains in The Conversation Christian-Georges Schwentzel, professor of ancient history at the University of Lorraine. "The vast majority of the population ate mainly vegetables and cereals, in the form of porridge and pancakes; or even fruit:figs, peaches, grapes... So it was a very vegetable diet that predominated . "

The Romans invented Puritanism

According to historian Paul Veyne, the Romans even invented Puritanism before the Christians! Puritanism is the idea that the couple is sacred and that sex is only justified for procreation. Going back to the 1st century BC, Roman marriage was quite relaxed. So be careful, it is indeed about the marriage of the rich and the bourgeois:the proletarians and the slaves, it is very useful, but it spoils your decorum. At the time, marriage was a private act, just hanging out there with a few close friends. Same for divorce, both the woman and the man could decide at any time to end it. It was even so easy that sometimes the other didn't know about it!

A custom that has become a moral institution

Roman marriage at the time was a custom. It was not specifically used to give birth, nor to pass an inheritance, since it was very common to adopt one's heir. It was therefore quite possible for both spouses to have affairs outside of marriage, with their male and female slaves… No, just kidding, of course, only the man had the right to do that!

Just over two centuries later, in 161 AD, Marcus Aurelius the Stoic was emperor. Gone are the hippies and their marriage ends between the vine and the suckling pig:make way for the monogamous union, where you have to appear to remain faithful to your wife, where you only undress to procreate, and of course, neither adoption nor abortion. The couple becomes a moral institution, a concept that is quickly embraced by followers of Jesus Christ himself, the Christians.