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02 July 2012

Genucius (1st century BCE) Galla.

Genucius and Naevius Anius were slaves in Rome both owned by Sordinus Naevius.

After manumission the two ex-slaves remained close. Genucius became a galla, dedicated to the Magna Mater.

Naevius Anius died circa 77 BCE and left his possessions to Genucius. This inheritance was confirmed by praetor Aufidius Orestes. However this decision was appealed by Sordinus. He argued that only men or women could inherit property, and Genucius, having become a galla was neque virorum neque mulierum (neither man not woman). The consul Mamereus Aemilius Lepidus ruled for Sordinus, and furthermore barred Genucius from appearing in his courtroom in that his “obscena praesentia (obscene presence)” polluted the tribunal.
  • Valerius Maximus, Factorvm et Dictorvm Memorabilium, 7.7.6.
  • Randy P. Conner. Blossom of Bone: Reclaiming the Connections between Homoeroticism and the Sacred. HarperSanFrancisco, 1993: 111.

  • “Gallos” in Randy P. Conner, David Hatfield Sparks & Mariya Sparks. Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Lore. London: Cassell, 1997.

  • Jane F. Gardner. “Sexing a Roman: imperfect men in Roman law”. In Lin Foxhall & J. B. Salmon. When Men Were Men: Masculinity, Power, and Identity in Classical Antiquity. London: Routledge, 1998: 145-6.

  • Roller, Lynn E. In Search of God the Mother: The Cult of Anatolian Cybele. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1999: 292.


As Gardner points out, a castrated Roman male was not excluded from inheriting.  However Roman citizens were not permitted to become Gallae, and therefore Genucius was probably not a Roman citizen, and was excluded from inheriting on that basis.

The dating is based on the fact that Mamereus Aemilius Lepidus is known to have been consul in 77 BCE.

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