Venus Castina

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Venus Castina ('Chaste Venus') from Latin castus, is claimed to be an epithet of the Roman goddess Venus; in this form, she was supposedly associated with "the yearnings of feminine souls locked up in male bodies".[1]

Cesare Lombroso wrote that at Rome, the Venus of the sodomites received the title of Castina.[2][3] Although no evidence of the epithet appears to exist prior to the 19th-century. Clarence Joseph Bulliet wrote a book about homosexuality and cross-dressing named after this supposed epithet. In the book, he ascribes the influence of "the effeminate" to a lot of things. For example:

The priest of the gods, from history's dawn in Asia and Egypt down to the richly-robed Roman prelates of today, have set themselves conspicuously apart from their fellow males by the assumption of female attire.[4]

There was the chaste Venus, or, using other expressions, the triumphant, sacred 'Virgin', who shared the characteristics of the unconquered and the invincible Diana, who, when seen in her nakedness, and therefore in her profanation, was cited as a sacred personage with the office of launching the magic penalty by the power of transfixing with the curse, which terror and annihilation Diana inflicts on Actaeon, who was, in consequence, torn to pieces by the avenging demons in the shape of his own hounds. The chaste Venus—if the idea of Venus is ever that of chastity—was the 'Venus Urania', or the Venus of the stars, or of heaven.[5]

Herodotus wrote that Aphrodite Urania cursed a group of Scythians who pillaged Venus' temple at Ascalon by making them effeminate:

"So they turned back, and when they came on their way to the city of Ascalon in Syria, most of the Scythians passed by and did no harm, but a few remained behind and plundered the temple of Heavenly Aphrodite. This temple, I discover from making inquiry, is the oldest of all the temples of the goddess, for the temple in Cyprus was founded from it, as the Cyprians themselves say; and the temple on Cythera was founded by Phoenicians from this same land of Syria. But the Scythians who pillaged the temple, and all their descendants after them, were afflicted by the goddess with the “female” sickness: and so the Scythians say that they are afflicted as a consequence of this and also that those who visit Scythian territory see among them the condition of those whom the Scythians call “Hermaphrodites”. — The Histories, book I, chapter 105. Herodotus.[6]

Hippocrates, describing among the Scythians "No-men" who resembled eunuchs, wrote, "they not only follow women's occupations, but show feminine inclinations and behave as women. The natives ascribe the cause to a deity..." (cited by Hammond, 1887).[7]

See also


  1. Bulliet, Clarence Joseph (1933). Venus Castina: Famous Female Impersonators, Celestial and Human. Friede Publishers. p. 1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Lombroso, Cesare (1896). L'uomo delinquente. p. 35.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Symonds, John Addington (1895). A Problem in Modern Ethics. p. 62.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Bulliet, Clarence Joseph (1933). Venus Castina: Famous Female Impersonators, Celestial and Human. Friede Publishers. p. 26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Hargrave Jennings (1884). Phallicism, Celestial and Terrestrial, Heathen and Christian. London: George Redway. p. 120.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Herodotus. A. D. Godley, ed. "The Histories I, 105". Perseus Project. Retrieved 2014-02-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Denny, Dallas (2013). Current Concepts in Transgender Identity. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 1134821107.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links