Lesbia and her sparrow

John Edward Poynter’s painting (“Lesbia and her sparrow”, 1907) and my patterns.

John Edward Poynter, “Lesbia and a sparrow”, 1907

The poet Catulle (1st before J.-C) nicknamed his lover Claudia “Lesbia” in reference to the isle of Lesbos (Greece) where she grew up. The famous poetess Sappho lived there. Her poems were about love between women ; that’s why the term “lesbian” was used in post- classical times.

The relationship between Catulle and Claudia was tumultuous ; she was married and seductive. He was madly in love with her. He can be considered as the inventor of the personal lyric poesy.

He wrote several poems dedicated to her. “Once i see you, Lesbia, i forget all, my tongue ices, a subtil fire circulates in my veins, a confuse ringing buzzes at my ear, my eyes are covered with a dense night.”

Sources : curieuses histoires and ancient.eu

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