Pope Pius II wrote a best-selling erotic novel before becoming a priest

(ORDO NEWS) — Pope Pius II was an unconventional pope. Before becoming a priest, he gave birth to illegitimate children, enjoyed the flames of love and wrote about adultery, scandal and fiery passion in his erotic novel “Tales of Two Lovers”, which became a bestseller of its time.

Pope Pius II, born Aeneas Silvius Bartholomeus Piccolomini (1405 – 1464 AD), was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the papal states from 19 August 1458 until his death.

He was born in Corsignano, near Siena, into a noble but impoverished family. He left the family farm when he was 18 and studied in Siena and Florence. He then served as secretary to the Bishop of Fermo, and in 1435 was sent on a secret mission to Scotland.

During these early years, Aeneas enjoyed many carefree adventures and a tempestuous love life, fathering at least one illegitimate child.

He was also a prolific writer on many subjects, his longest and longest-running work being the “Commentaries” which tells of his life. But it was not his most popular work.

This praise was awarded to “The Story of Two Lovers” (Storia di due Amanti) – a rather unusual title for the future Pope!

A Tale of Two Lovers is an erotic novel with erotic illustrations about two lovers, Lucrezia and Euryale, who first meet at a funeral and exchange flirty glances over a corpse.

But Lucrezia is married to a jealous old man, and, unable to communicate with her new Italian lover , they exchange passionate love letters in which they express their deepest desires:

“My desires pull me in one direction, my thoughts in another, and knowing what is best, I strive for the worst.”

“You value my love so little. For although many love you, none of their ardor can compare with mine.”

Pope Pius II wrote a best selling erotic novel before becoming a priest 2
Illustration from Storia di due amanti (“The Tale of the Two Lovers”, c. 1495 – 1500)

But with age, Aeneas underwent a profound personal change and devoted himself to religion. In fact, he seems to be facing some kind of midlife crisis. In a letter to a friend in 1444 he said:

“The day of our death is approaching, and now we must think not about how to live, but about how to die … As for me, John, I have sinned enough and too much.

Now I have known myself, and even if not yet late. After all, I am already forty years old, and the day of salvation, the time of repentance is already at hand … “.

If earlier he wrote about the flame of love, now he wrote: “When you see a woman, think that you see the devil”!

After his ordination, the now Pope Pius II tried his best to suppress the indiscretions of his youth, but to his dismay, his Tale of Two Lovers became one of the best-selling books of the 15th century!


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