A prominent Italian historian has claimed that the Roman Empire collapsed because a “contagion of homosexuality and effeminacy” made it easy pickings for barbarian hordes, sparking a furious row. Roberto De Mattei, 63, the deputy head of the country’s National Research Council, claimed that the empire was fatally weakened after conquering Carthage, which he described as “a paradise for homosexuals”. The remarks prompted angry calls for his resignation, with critics saying his comments were homophobic, offensive and unbecoming of his position. The fall of the Roman Empire was a result of “the effeminacy of a few in Carthage, a paradise for homosexuals, who infected the many. “The abhorrent presence of a few gays infected a good part of the (Roman) people,” Prof Mattei told Radio Maria, a Catholic radio station The Roman Republic achieved domination over Carthage, in present-day Tunisia, during the Punic Wars of the third and second centuries BC, during which Hannibal made his ultimately abortive crossing of the Alps with war elephants. After the third and final Punic War, Carthage fell into Roman hands, followed by most of the other dependencies of the Carthaginian Empire. Prof Mattei claimed that it was as the capital of Rome’s North African provinces that Cartagena became a hotbed of sexual perversion, gradually influencing Rome itself, which eventually fell to barbarian tribes in 410AD. More
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