#4 Roman Same-Sex Marriage?

Were same-sex marriages legally recognised by Roman law?


Dear Gaius,

Martial  wrote this epigram about us (12.42):

Barbatus rigido nupsit Callistratus Afro
hac qua lege viro nubere virgo solet.
Praeluxere faces, velarunt flammea vultus,
nec tua defuerunt verba, Talasse, tibi.
Dos etiam dicta est. Nondum tibi, Roma, videtur
hoc satis? Expectas numquid ut et pariat?

Bearded Callistratus married rugged Afer in the usual form in which a virgin marries a husband. The torches shone in front, the wedding veil covered his face, and, Thalassus, you did not lack your words. Even the dowry was declared. Are you still not satisfied, Rome? Are you waiting for him to give birth? (trans. D. R. S. Bailey)

We’re both men; can we be married according to Roman law?


Callistratus and Afer.

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