This is something that dawned on me a bit more than a year ago ... nothing of this is new, it's a bit like stating the obvious, but I found it interesting. A few thoughts on the nicknames of the beloved girls of some Roman poems and how their mere naming underlined how much of an inspiration they were: Catullus :: Lesbia Lesbia is obviously an allusion to Sappho, the great female Greek poet who was born on the island Lesbos around 600 BC. I think there is reason to believe that the ancients considered her to be the greatest female poet of all. After the death of her husband, she gathered a circle of women and girls around her whom she taught in subjects like music and poetry. Her outstanding talent also seems to have drawn the hatred of some of her contemporaries: the meaning of the modern English words "Lesbian" or "Sapphic" that are obviously based on her name and origin might just be the result of mere slander and defamatory stories put forth by her contemporaries. Tibullus :: Delia Delia is an allusion to Delos, the island where Apollo was born. Apollo was the god of music (amongst other things) and the companion of the Muses. (I don't know enough about Tibullus to give a deeper account on Nemesis) Propertius :: Cynthia Similarly to Tibullus, Cynthia is an allusion to Apollo because the mountain on Delos, on which he was born, is called Kynthos (Κύνθος). Ovid :: Corinna Corinna was another great female Greek poet who was a contemporary of Pindar and lived around 500 BC. Unfortunately, we only have fragments of her poems. The name Corinna appears for the first time in the fifth poem of Ovid's Amores. This is probably an allusion to Catullus, where the name Lesbia also appears for the first time in the fifth poem.* - We know from a speech by Apuleius that the real name of Catullus's girl was Clodia, that the real name of Tibullus's Delia was Plania and the real name of Propertius's girl was Hostia. All those names have the same metrical quality (– υ υ) as the nicknames the poets gave them, so there is reason to believe that that was common practice. - Some people argue that Ovid's Corinna might have been a purely fictional character. The name Corinna is akin to the Greek word κόρη (kore) which simply means "girl" -- and Corinna scans in the same way as the Latin word puella (υ – υ)! * maybe it is mere coincidence, but I've noticed that in the Odyssee, Odysseus also makes his first appearance in book 5.