[The following was discovered recently when a Coptic translation appeared on the antiquities market, although some scholars doubt its authenticity as it bears suspicious resemblance to a modern document.]

This week, two households taken with a form of Jewish superstition that worships Christus have petitioned the emperor to take a radical turn and allow them to impose their hatred toward mankind upon their household slaves by refusing to permit them access to catamites as required under the Lex Obama. The custom of our ancestors is to allow tolerance for superstitions, except insofar as they threaten the security of the state or cultivate hatred toward mankind, as this one certainly would. 

The showdown will take place this Ides as the emperor hears petitions from two challengers to the Lex Obama. Two households, that are not themselves cultic shrines, wish to be exempted from the prudent requirement that any household including fifty or more slaves must provide a catamite for the enjoyment of the other slaves. The patres familiae say they are the real victims because they personally disapprove of keeping a boy as a sex slave. The real threat to liberty comes from patres familiae imposing their vile superstitions on thousands of slaves. 

Consistent with the custom of our ancestors, the state plainly has a compelling interest in promoting gender equality and reducing the number of infants left exposed on the Via Appia. Accommodations have been granted to cultic shrines that would be ritually debased. Gender equality is undermined every time a female slave is incapacitated with pregnancy and so unable to increase the wealth either of her master or her own peculium. The argument that the mandate cannot be that important because most slaves already masturbate or couple with each other misses the facts that only a beardless youth is more pleasurable than a women and thus promotes gender equality and prevents the exposure of infants. Moreover, these superstitious households claim to oppose exposure, and yet they oppose the measure that would actually reduce infants whom it would be necessary to expose. 

Finally, as Seneca has remarked, patres familiae are not actually required to provide their slaves with a catamite since they have the option of being exposed to the wild beasts in the arena instead.

Articles by Gabriel Rossman

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