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   Catullus: love and poetry                   indexitaliano.jpg (1812 byte)     virtual tour



Lesbia was born around 95 B.C. in Rome, a city that at that time was troubled by a deep political-moral crisis.

Lesbia is the same person of Clodia, a woman accused by Cicero in the prayer "Pro Caelio". She was Clodius’ sister and Quintus Metellus’ wife, a very important man in Rome in the first century b.C.

porticoLesbia is the typical common upper class woman at that time, who got anything in common with the female model proposed by the Roman tradition ("prisci mores"): she was rich, learned, without inhibitions, ignoring pubblic’s opinion who didn’ t express a flattering judgement on her.

Lesbia didn’t have any respect for herself.

In fact, both Catullus and Cicero describe her like a woman who, frightened by fidelty and by passion that a lover can feel for her, fears for her freedom, because she doesn’t want a too binding love, because of her desire of indipendence, and she prefers to have got new relationships with other men, though the recent death of her hausband.


Francesca Ferretto, Rosamaria Santoro, Giulia Scrinzi e Rachele Tommasi










Sirmione, Catullus' villa Cryptoporticus