The story of Olindo and Sofronia is told in Torquato Tasso’s great epic poem, Gerusalemme Liberata (1581), set during the First Crusade and the Christian capture of Jerusalem.

When Aladine, the king of Jerusalem, threatened to execute the whole Christian community for the theft of a sacred image, Sofronia took the responsibility on herself to save the others. Her beloved Olindo then claimed to be the thief to save her, but Aladine condemned them both. Impressed by the young couple’s courage, Clorinda saved them from the fire by offering to fight for the king in the coming battle with the Crusaders.

Clorinda was a fictional figure, created by the Italian poet Tarquato Tasso (1544-1595) in his poem Gerusalemme liberata (1575) in which he mangled facts with a lot of fiction, magic and intruige, and in which he showed up the historical leaders of the First Crusade together with an array of fictional characters, among which some female ones : Erminia, Princess of Antioch, Armida, the Saracen’s secret weapon, Sophronia, a young Christian woman, Clorinda, the warrior woman.

This poen/story inspired various artists, see a small collection I was able to put together.