Iraq Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile

Medieval lovers. Source: guruXOX / Adobe Stock

Pope Pius II Wrote a Bestselling Erotic Novel Before Turning to the Cloth


Pope Pius II was an unconventional Pope. Before turning to priesthood, he bore children out of wedlock, enjoyed the flames of love, and wrote of adultery, scandal and fiery passion in his erotic story, The 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 to his death. He was born at Corsignano, near Siena, to a noble but impoverished family. He left his family farm when he turned 18 and studied at Siena and Florence. He then served as a secretary to the Bishop of Fermo and was sent on a clandestine mission to Scotland in 1435.

Aeneas enjoyed numerous carefree adventures in these early years, and a robust love life, fathering at least one child out of wedlock. He was also a prolific writer on many subjects, his longest and most enduring work being The Commentaries, the story of his life. But it was not his most popular work. That accolade goes to Storia di due Amanti ( The Tale of Two Lovers), a rather unusual title for a future Pope!

The Tale of Two Lovers is a steamy novel complete with erotic illustrations, about two lovers Lucretia and Euryalus, who first meet at a funeral and exchange flirtatious glances over the corpse. But Lucretia is married to a jealous, older man, and having no way to communicate with her new Italian lover, they exchange passionate love letters that express their deep desires:

“My wishes urge me one way, my thoughts another, and knowing what is best, I pursue the worst.”

“You make so little of my love. For, although many love you, none of their fires is to be compared with mine.”

An illustration from Storia di due amanti (Tale of Two Lovers, ca. 1495 – 1500. (Public Domain)

An illustration from Storia di due amanti (Tale of Two Lovers, ca. 1495 – 1500. (Public Domain)

But, as Aeneas aged, he underwent a deep personal change and committed himself to religion. In fact, he seemed to have faced somewhat of a midlife crisis. Writing to a friend in 1444, he said:

“the day of our death draws near, and now we must consider not how to live, but how to die... For me, John, I have sinned enough, and too much. Now I know myself, and may it not be too late. For now I am forty, and the day of salvation, the time for repentance is at hand...”

When once he had written of the flames of love, now he wrote: “When you see a woman, think that you see the devil.”!

Once ordained, the now Pope Pius II tried hard to suppress the indiscretions of his youth, but much to his dismay, his Tale of Two Lovers became one of the bestselling books of the 15 th century!

Top image: Medieval lovers. Source: guruXOX / Adobe Stock

By Joanna Gillan



Plenty of Popes have done worse no doubt, even after attaining the position.

The current one appears to be a devotee of Lucifer, a popular cult in elite circles, including that of some Protestant churches, as well as in Judaism.

Gary Moran's picture

Certainly not the first time a politician changed his stance for votes and power.Don’t they all?

Pius ll at least repented. Not like the current Pope Francis who for his role in the 1970s fascist overthrow in his home country of Argentina, is still a wanted man. With a warrant for crimes against humanity.

Hi All,

I suppose all I can say about this Pope is that's really funny.

Although, changing his entire life when reaching his forties doesn't come as a surprise while reading The Bible for my own enjoyment I couldn't help but notice specific Number's that are found through out The Bible.

3, 7, 10, 12, 40, 70, 300 to 400 number of years God's Chosen People enslaved in Egypt 430 year's, lastly 1260 Day's: A Day in The Lord equals A Year.

Those numbers are sporadic but, still I did find those numbers rather intriguing.

In Genesis as The Creation unfolds in 6 Day's God Created The Heaven's and The Earth and on The Seventh Day He rested from his Work sanctified It and Made it A Holy Day.

An that's why Seventh Day Adventist's observes The Sabbath on Saturday rather than Sunday while Sunday goers view that day as The Sabbath.

While reading about The Great Flood God made it Rain for 40 Day's I specifically remember reading in that passage God opened up The Flood Gates of Heaven wow that's a lot for 40 Day's.

So everytime I read The Bible there be The number 40.

That age appears to be particularly unique it does seem when people reach that milestone age of 40 they tend to change their entire lifestyle whether in a positive manner or negative.

Still learning about this Pope Pious II I do find it humorous.

That's all I have to say pertaining to this discussion until next Discussion Everyone, Goodbye!

Joanna Gillan's picture


Joanna Gillan is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. 

Joanna completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree in Australia and published research in the field of Educational Psychology. She has a rich and varied career, ranging from teaching... Read More

Next article