Lucretia, like Judith, was among the women most frequently portrayed during the Renaissance. According to the legend, the matron had been raped by the last of the seven kings of the most ancient Rome, Tarquin; the event led to revolts and the birth of the Roman Republic (that would last up to the era of Julius Caesar). It also led the Lucretia's suicide out of shame. Giambattista Marino dedicates to her a set of poems, with a progression from a very traditional praise to a complete subversion of tradition, as in the text below. Actually, already Saint Augustine had demythologized Lucretia's supposed chastity on the same psychological, even Freudian basis as Marino does here, as well as in his long poem Adone. At the same time, an attitude of male chauvinism cannot be denied.
Wrongly, woman, did the old time
give you the title of chaste:
Even if you stabbed that breast
that dirtily underwent obscene love,
you had not avoided, though,
enjoying its illegitimate delight.
If you meant to be praised, you had
to kill yourself before, not afterward.