For All Time
The Gay Love Letters of Paulinus of Nola to Ausonius
Excerpts from My Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters through the Centuries (1998), Edited by Rictor Norton
Saint Paulinus (c. 353–431) came from a wealthy family of Bordeaux, where he was a student of Ausonius (c. 310c. 394), a teacher of rhetoric in Bordeaux from 334 to 364. Ausonius (c. 310c. 394): is said to have possessed in his library a collection of homosexual literature which shocked even the Romans (unfortunately these works have never been identified). He is best noted for having translated a famous Greek riddle posing the question how three men could engage in four sexual positions. (The answer is: The one in the middle both gives and receives). Paulinus went to live near Barcelona, and later lived in Italy where he became bishop of Nola in 409. Ausonius retired to Bordeaux in 383, and in a letter to Paulinus imagines his friend travelling from Barcelona to Bordeaux, summoned by Ausonius' prayers: "Hurry while you are still a youth and while my old age, to please you, preserves its strength undrained." Paulinus replied from Barcelona that they would never be separated in spirit.
PUALINUS OF NOLA TO AUSONIUS
You and me: for all time which is given
AUSONIUS TO PAULINUS
[c. 390 AD]
Come quickly, our glory, my greatest care,
SOURCE: Trans. Thomas Stehling, Medieval Latin Poems of Male Love and Friendship (New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1984).
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