alfred jarry

Reading Alfred Jarry’s The Supermale, I came across this reference to a Roman Empress named Valeria Messalina who once won a contest for copulating with 25 men in one night

Messalina Returning by Aubrey Beardsley

"Messalina Returning" by Aubrey Beardsley

from Juvenal’s Satire VI

(circa late 1st or early 2nd century A.D.)

Then consider the God’s rivals, hear what Claudius
had to put up with. The minute she heard him snoring
his wife Рthat whore-empress Рwho­ dared to prefer the mattress
of a stews to her couch in the Palace, called for her hooded
night-cloak and hastened forth, with a single attendant.
Then, her black hair hidden under an ash-blonde wig,
she’d make straight for her brothel, with its stale, warm coverlets,
and her empty reserved cell. Here, naked, with gilded
nipples, she plied her trade, under the name of ‘The Wolf-Girl’,
parading the belly that once housed a prince of the blood.
She would greet each client sweetly, demand cash payment,
and absorb all their battering – without ever getting up.
Too soon the brothel-keeper dismissed his girls:
she stayed right till the end, always last to go,
then trailed away sadly, still with burning, rigid vulva,
exhausted by men, yet a long way from satisfied,
cheeks grimed with lamp-smoke, filthy, carrying home
to her Imperial couch the stink of the whorehouse.

— translated by Peter Green

[full in latin] [full in English]

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November 18th, 2009 / 8:59 am


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