(BLSB) - On the Taifali of Late 4th-Century Romania

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Buckle from the first hoard of Coşoveni, 5th century, possibly of Taifal origin, from Coşoveni, Oltenia, Romania. Bucharest, Muzeul Naţional de Istorie a României.

From History (Rerum Gestarum Libri XXXI [c. 391 AD]), Book 31, Chapter 9, by Ammianus Marcellinus, translated by J. C. Rolfe, Volume 3, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1939).

We have learned that these Taifali were a shameful folk, so sunken in a life of shame and obscenity, that in their country the boys are coupled with the men in a union of unmentionable lust, to consume the flower of their youth in the polluted intercourse of those paramours. We may add that, if any grown person alone catches a boar or kills a huge bear, he is purified thereby from the shame of unchastity.

Sarmatian riders depicted on Trajan's Column. Detail from the relief band with scenes from Trajan's Dacian campaigns. Roman, 113 AD. Plaster cast made in 1861 after the marble original. Rome, Museo della Civiltà Romana, No. 3044.