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The extent of Greek influence on the Roman practice of homosexuality during the period has been a matter of controversy, with some historians asserting its pervasiveness and others emphasizing indigenous Roman traditions. The comedies of T. Maccius Plautus provide earliest literary references to homosexual relations, but none of the plots of his twenty-one extant plays are primarily about erotic relations among men. Modern readers of the varied poetic corpus of G. Valerius Catullus are often struck by the free employment of sexually explicit language pertaining to both homosexual and heterosexual acts. It is in the poetry of the Augustan Golden Age that one come close to the bisexual indifference characteristic of much Greek erotic poetry. Juvenal's satiric world is populated by a similar menagerie of freaks and oddities. The second century CE, the period of the so-called Pax Romana, was a time of relative political stability and the apogee of Roman prosperity and power.
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