Petronius was a Roman writer. Yep, actually at the time. He was a friend of Nero’s, hanging out in his set. I think Nero may have had him killed in the end, when he (Nero) was going on his standard paranoid-autocrat’s-rampage of killing everyone off.
If you read this book you will get an idea of why conservative Romans didn’t like Nero. This story is debauched, hedonistic and so openly gay, in both senses of the word.
What I especially like about this is – apart from it being such a rollick – is that it shows all of us from the post-christian era just what it was like in the days before homosexuality became a sin. Sure, the conservative Romans didn’t like homosexuality all that much, well at least for the patrician class, but they didn’t consider it a sin. You can get that feeling by reading this. It is unique, it is strange, to read about a time when expression of same-sex feelings was so free.