1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pyramus and Thisbe
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Pyramus and Thisbe
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PYRAMUS AND THISBE, the hero and heroine of a Babylonian love-story told by Ovid (Metam. iv. 55-465). Their parents refused to consent to their marriage, and the lovers used to converse through a chink in the wall separating their houses. At last they resolved to flee together, and agreed to meet under a mulberry tree near the tomb of Ninus. Thisbe was the first to arrive, but, terrified by the roar of a lion, took to flight. In her haste, she dropped her veil, which the lion tore to pieces with jaws stained with the blood of an ox. Pyramus, believing that she had been devoured by the lion, stabbed himself. Thisbe returned to the rendezvous, and finding her lover mortally wounded, put an end to her own life. From that time the fruit of the mulberry, previously white, was always black.
See G. Hart, Die Ursprung und Verbreitung der Pyramus- und- Thisbesage (1889-1892).