What could Marcus Aurelius feel for Fronto?
Faculty of Arts. History
Studia Humaniora Tartuensia
, p. 10.A.3,1-10.A.3,7
University of Antwerp
Were Marcus Aurelius and Fronto in love? Does the correspondence between master Fronto and prince Marcus Aurelius prove that their relationship was a fully sexual one? Were both lovers playing dangerous games? This article explores the various possibilities in a relationship which may at first sight seem like a relationship of sexual passion. Contrary to the Amy Richlin thesis, I will contend that it is not justified to interpret the letters as a correspondence between a gay master and his beloved pupil. Taking a closer look at both the literary and the socio-cultural context, one comes to understand what we can and what we cannot know about language games and bodily games of sex in antiquity.