"Bullshit! The only penis we were defiling last night was my own."
Based on that unimpeachable evidence, Athens -- the birthplace of logic -- tried, convicted, and sentenced Alcibiades to death in absentia, and ordered the seasoned military leader to return home to serve his sentence right on the eve of their campaign against Sparta. Alcibiades chose another option: He defected to the Spartans and served as their "military adviser." Unsurprisingly, the Sicilian Expedition, and ultimately the rest of the war, was an unmitigated disaster for the Athenians.
Alcibiades, on the other hand, fled Sparta after sleeping with the king's wife, then served the Persians for a while before falling out of favor with them too, for unspecified reasons. And somehow, he still convinced Athens to take him back, all within a few years. Pretty smooth for the guy sentenced to death for divine dong-smashing, and who was made fun of by Plato for his long and uncomfortably detailed "I love you, man" speeches.
The Black Death Was Orgy Central
The people of 14th-century Europe had many different ways of coping with the Black Death. Some took the chance to grow closer to their families. Some returned to church to try to get right with God. But many gazed out across the blasted, decaying landscape, wiped away a tear, and calmly announced "Gentlemen, it is time for us to get drunk and fuck, to a degree hitherto unseen in human society."
Which explains why these folks all look like they died mid-"ring around the rosie-ing."
Part of the reason for this is that the sudden death of half the population had an interesting effect on the distribution of wealth. Peasants suddenly found themselves swimming in cash they inherited from their ten recently deceased uncles. And according to Boccaccio's Decameron, they usually conducted themselves with all the restraint and financial acumen of a meth-addicted lottery winner. Cities like Florence and Venice reported wild orgies held everywhere from the middle of the streets to churches. Even graveyards, like one in Avignon, became the sites of bacchanalia in which people drank, gambled, bowled, played party games, and, of course, had dirty peasant sex over the graves of the dead.
Whether in graves or in other holes, bones were getting buried.
The thing is that, before Europeans really had any idea what disease was or how it spread, nobody realized that they were making the problem much worse by constructing neighborhood-wide fuckpiles. But (then as well as now) drunken hookups turned out to be both the cause of and solution to Europe's problems. Nine months later, the population began to bounce back.
If there's one thing we know, it's that booze is mired in falsehoods and half-truths. For proof, look no further than The 5 Most Ridiculous Drinking Myths You Probably Believe and 6 Ridiculous Drinking Myths You Probably Believe.
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