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Théodore Beza
(June 24, 1519 - October 13, 1605) France - Switzerland

Theodore Beza

Theologian, church reformer


Théodore De Bèsze, born at Vezelay (8 miles west-south-west of Avallon), in Burgundy, settled at Geneva, where he worked with Calvin, and succeeded him in 1564, as head of the reformed church at Geneva, a post he resigned in 1600. He wrote in defence of the burning of Servetus (1554), translated the New Testament into Latin, and presented in 1581 a 5th century Graeco-Latin manuscript of the Gospels and the Acts, the Codex Bezae, to Cambridge university.

His lover was Audebert. He published a collection of Latin poems, a book of amorous verse, Juvenilia (1548), which made him famous, and he was everywhere considered one of the best Latin poets of his time. In a poem in this collection, De sua in Candidam et Audebertum benevolentia he tells he is uncertain if to hug his friend Audebert or his friend Candida... and he concludes he embraces both of them, even though he prefers Audebert.

Theodore Beza - Juvenilia     Theodore Beza - Juvenilia


Nicol Burne, his testimonie of Theodore Beze, the neu pseudo-prophet and pretendit reformator of the varld, concerning his sodomitrie bougorie with the young man Audebertus, and adulterie with Candida, ane uther mannis vyf, quha is his harlet zet for the present, composit be himself in Latin.

Theodorvs Beza, de sua in Candidam et Audebertum beneuolentia. Epigrammata
    Abest Candida, Beza, quid moraris?
Audebertus abest, quid hic moraris?
Tenent Parhisij tuos amores,
Habent Aurelij tuos lepores,
Et tu Vezeliis manere pergis,
Procul Candidulaque, amoribusque,
Et leporibus, Audebertuloque?

    Immo Vezelij procul valere,
Et vale pater, & valete fratres:
Nan que Vezeliis carere possum,
Et carere parente, & his, & illis,
At non Candidula, Audebertuloque.

    Sed utrum, rogo, præferam duorum?
Utrum inuisere me decet priorem?
An quenquam tibi, Candida, anteponam?
An quenquam anteferam tibi, Audeberte?
Quid si me in geminas secem ipse partes,
Harum vt altera Candidam reuisat,
Currat altera versus Audebertum?

    At est Candida sic auara, noui,
Vt totum cupiat tenere Bezam:
Sic Beza est cupidus sui Audebertus,
Beza vt gestiat integro potiri:
Amplector quoque sic & hunc & illam,
Vt totus cupiam videre vtrunque,
Integrisque frui integer duobus.
Praeferre attamen alterum necesse est.
O duram nimium necessitatem!

    Sed postquam tamen alterum necesse est,
Priores tibi defero, Audeberte:
Quod si Candida forte conqueratur:
Quid tum? basiolo tacebit imo.

    Beza, quha bydis thou, quhy dois thou stay,
Sen Candida and Audebert ar baith away?
Thy love is in Pareis, in Orleanis thy mirth,
Zit thou vald Vezel keip to thy girth,
Far from Candida lust of thy cors,
Far from Audebert thy gret plea-sors.

    Fair veil Vezel, veil mot ze fair
Fair veil my brethering quha du-ellis thair
I may spair Vezel, my father, and you,
Bot nather Audebert, nor Candida is mu.
Then quhilk of thir prefer sould I?
Quhilk sould I vissie first or espy.

    Candida may onie be deerar nor thou?
Or Audebert ony preferrit to zou?
Quhat gif I cuttit my bodie in tuay,
And give the ane half to Candida gay,
The uther 't Audebert? zit Candida nei-die
Vald Beza have hail, scho is so gre-die.

    And Audebert vald Beza have hail,
So covetous is he for to prevail:
Bot I vald so thame baith imbrace,
To be al hail vith baith in a place,
Hir with hir cunt, him with his erss,
And I betuix with ane stif terss.

    Zit th'ane sould I prefer indeid,
But o hou hard a thing is neid!
And sen the ane mon be preferd,
My fore-quarters sal be conferd.
For Audebert for bougo-rie,
The chiefest of my voluptie;
Bot Candida, gif scho complaine,
I sall hir cunt kiss laich agane.


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