In pagan days, February 14 was celebrated in anticipation of the love rites of spring. Tradition held that on that day, doves coupled and owls paired. Taking their cue from the birds, single men and women would hold toga parties during which the winners of a love lottery would slip off to make love.
In Rome, the emperor Claudius was said to have imprisoned St. Valentine in 269 for Christian faith. On the eve of his execution, Valentine, who had fallen in love with his jailer's blind daughter, wrote her a sonnet in ink that he squeezed from violets. His words are said to have made the blind woman see again, but her father was unimpressed. The following day, he clubbed Valentine to death.
Back to : | | Romance Menu |