Although references in the classics to bestiality are not unfrequent, in Epigram 52 (page 76) is the only passage I can call to mind which treats of an animal sodomising a man. In Juvenal we read, 'If he be missing, and men are wanting, she does not delay to submit her buttocks to a young ass placed over her.' This reference is, however, to copulation, not sodomy, the woman taking a kneeling posture as the one which would best enable the animal to enter her. The following passage from The Golden Ass of Apuleius is left in the original Latin in the translation of that writer issued in Bohn's Classical Library. This being the only English edition of Apuleius's Metamorphoses always in print, I have translated the omitted passage, and insert it here, notwithstanding its length--
When the time came, having fed, we withdrew from my master's hall and found my lady of quality at my bedchamber, where she had long been waiting. Good gods! what glorious and excellent preparation was there! without delay four eunuchs arranged for us a bed on the ground, with many pillows swollen with tender down, as if filled with wind; evenly threw over these a coverlet embroidered with gold and Tyrian purple; and over, they strewed completely with cushions with which delicate women are wont to support their chins and necks; some of these very small though plentiful enough, others of a good size. Nor delaying the pleasure of their mistress by their long attendance, they retired, closing the doors of the bedchamber. But within, waxen tapers gleaming with a clear lustre illuinined for us the darkness of night.
Then, having straightway stripped off the whole of her clothing, the zone, too, which had bound close her lovely breasts, standing near the light she anointed herself plentifully with balsamic unguent from a small silver vase, and rubbed me copiously with the same; but drenched especially my legs and even my buttocks. Then, pressing me closely, she gave me fond kisses; not such as are wont to be thrown to one in the brothel, either by the mercenary bawds or the tight-fisted wenchers, but pure and unfeigned, she showered on me, and most alluring coaxings. 'I love thee, and long for thee; thee, alone, I pant for, and without thee am unable to live;' and used, besides, the arts by which women declare their affection.
Having taken me by the halter, in the manner to which I had grown accustomed, she turned me to her, when, indeed, I seemed to be about to do nothing which was either new or difficult to me; especially as after so long a time I was about to encounter the ardent embraces of a beautiful woman. For I had by this time intoxicated myself with a large quantity of most luscious wine, and had incited my lustful desires with the most fragrant perfumes. But I was greatly troubled by no small fear, thinking in what manner should I be able, with legs so many and of such a size, to mount a tender and highborn lady; or, encircle with hard hooves her limbs softened with milk and honey and so white and delicate; or how, deformed, with teeth like stones and a mouth so enormous and gaping, to kiss her daintily-shaped lips, purpled with ambrosial dew; finally, in what manner my gentlewoman could support so gigantic a genital, though itching all over from her fingertips. 'Woe is me! Shall I, having burst asunder a woman of high rank, form an addition to my master's public show by being condemned to the contest with the wild beasts?'
Meanwhile she again and again bestowed on me tender little speeches, unremitting love kisses, and sweet groanings, together with biting kisses. And in the deed, 'I hold thee,' she said, ' I hold thee fast, my woodpigeon, my sparrow.' And with these words she showed my misgivings to have been groundless, and my fears idle. For having entwined me wholly in the closest embrace, she took in the whole of me straightforward. In truth, as often as I, wishing to spare her, bent back my buttocks, so often did she, attacking with furious exertion and clinging round my spine, glue herself to me with a yet closer pressure; so that, by Hercules, I believed some thing was wanting even to me to famish her lust with its complement; nor could I now think that the mother of the Minotaur had no reason to be delighted with her bellowing adulterer.
The mother of the Minotaur was Pasiphaë, the wife of King Minos. Burning with desire for a snow-white bull, she got the artificer Daedalus to construct for her a wooden image of a cow, in which she placed herself in such a posture that her vagina was presented to the amorous attack of the bull, without fear of any hurt from the animal's hoofs or weight. The fruit of this embrace was the Minotaur--half bull, half man--slain by Theseus. According to Suetonius, Nero caused this spectacle to be enacted at the public shows, a woman being encased in a similar construction and covered by a bull.
The amatory adventures of the Roman gods under the outward semblance of animals cannot but be regarded with the suspicion that an undercurrent of truth runs through the fable, when the general laxity of morals of that age is taken into account. Jupiter enjoyed Europa under the form of a bull; Asterie, whom he afterwards changed into a quail, he ravished under the shape of an eagle; and Leda lent herself to his embraces whilst he was disguised as a swan. He changed himself into a speckled serpent to have connection with Deois (Proserpine). As a satyr (half man, half goat), he impregnated Antiope with twin offspring. He changed himself into fire, or, according to some, into an eagle, to seduce Aegina; under the semblance of a shower of gold he deceived Danaë; in the shape of her husband Amphitryon he begat Hercules on Alcmene; as a shepherd he lay with Mnemosyne; and as a cloud embraced Io, whom he afterwards changed into a cow. Neptune, transformed into a fierce bull, raped Canace; he changed Theophane into a sheep and himself into a ram, and begat on her the ram with the golden fleece. As a horse he had connection with the goddess Ceres, who bore to him the steed Arion. He lay with Medusa (who, according to some, was the mother of the horse Pegasus by him) under the form of a bird; and with Melantho, as a dolphin. As the river Enipeus he committed violence upon Iphimedeia, and by her was the father of the giants Otus and Ephialtes. Saturn begat the centaur (half man, half horse) Chiron on Phillyra whilst he assumed the appearance of a horse; Phoebus wore the wings of a hawk at one time, at another the skin of a lion. Liber deceived Erigone in a fictitious bunch of grapes, and many more examples could be added to the list.
According to Pliny, Semiramis prostituted herself to her horse; and Herodotus speaks of a goat having indecent and public communication with an Egyptian woman. Strabo and Plutarch both confirm this statement. The punishment of bestiality set out in Leviticus shows that the vice was practised by both sexes amongst the Jews. Pausanius mentions Aristodama, the mother of Aratus, as having had intercourse with a serpent, and the mother of the great Scipio was said to have conceived by a serpent. Such was the case also with Olympias, the mother of Alexander, who was taught by her that he was a God, and who in return deified her. Venette says that there is nothing more common in Egypt than that young women have intercourse with bucks. Plutarch mentions the case of a woman who submitted to a crocodile; and Sonnini also states that Egyptians were known to have connection with the female crocodile. Vergil refers to bestiality with goats. Plutarch quotes two examples of men having offspring, the one by a she-ass, the other by a mare. Antique monuments representing men copulating with goats (caprae) bear striking testimony to the historian's veracity; and the Chinese are notorious for their misuse of ducks and geese.