The Very Sexy People of Ancient Rome, According to Stock Photos

In Depth

Recently, I had occasion to search the stock photography database Shutterstock for pictures depicting ancient Rome. A theme quickly emerged: sexy ancient Romans. There are a lot of depictions of sexy ancient Romans. Even for a passel of horn dogs like the ancient Romans, it’s a lot!

Of course, stock photographs are famously wacky. Their conception of drunk women is bewildering, and women in these photos never seem to understand how to ride bikes or take their birth control pills. And the internet is essentially a repository for “sexy” things that are not, in fact, sexy. But there’s something truly special about that photo up top, captioned “beloved pair In ancient times.” It’s so deliberately set in a Roman environment, and that’s definitely the curve of her buttock.

This one’s just labeled an “ancient goddess,” but she appears in the results for Romans. Is this how you look when you eat grapes? Because it’s not how I look when I eat grapes.

Here we have “Middle age woman in white dress with roman armour holding shield and helmet. Sunset background.” Can we get a historian to weigh in on whether Roman matrons wandered around with their nips clearly visible? Not suggesting they didn’t, just curious to get an authoritative take.

Plus these ladies are very blonde considering the relative diversity of the Roman Empire, which was concentrated in the Mediterranean.

And here we have a bare-chested Roman warrior. Good luck fighting the Gauls with your rippling abdominals completely unprotected!

There’s a whole series with this fella.

At some point I bailed on the general “ancient Rome” results and specifically started looking at the offerings for “Sexy ancient Rome” which is where this fella turned up.

But also this statue.

And this lady, too. Perhaps Shutterstock is a fitting tribute to the Romans, after all.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Photos via Shutterstock.

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