Throughout history, there have been many amazing love stories hidden from plain sight or shouted from the hilltops. These remarkable tales of passion, love, betrayal, heartbreak and happiness have inspired many generations, while turning the world into a more beautiful place with their magic.
The story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan War was recounted in Homer's Iliad as a Greek heroic legend. According to the tale, Paris – son of Trojan King Priam – kidnapped Helen, who was married to the King of Sparta, triggering the Trojan War, which ended with the destruction of Troy and Helen safely “rescued”.
2 Cleopatra and Marc Anthony
This is probably one of the most remarkable historic love stories, between a charismatic Egyptian queen and a powerful general. The story tells of Marc Anthony being seduced by Cleopatra and both lovers committing suicide after a chain of events that had set their two empires against each other in war.
3 Tristan and Isolde
Told and retold through various manuscripts, the story of Tristan and the princess Isolde of Ireland is an amazing tale of forbidden love, as the two fell deeply in love and continued their relationship even after Isolde's arranged marriage to King Mark of Cromwell.
4 Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal
Not everybody knows that the Taj Mahal is a monument built as a final resting place by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife. Built in the 17th century, the building took 24 years to complete and is now considered one of the greatest declarations of love of all time.
5 Heloise and Abelard
The story of Heloise and Abelard became famous after Alexander Pope turned it into a piece of classical literature. After a love affair that Heloise's uncle disapproved of, the two lived a secluded life in monasteries, writing each other a set of now famous love letters.
6 Orpheus and Eurydice
An incredible love story from ancient Greece, the story of Orpheus and Eurydice tells of a man who fell in love with a beautiful nymph and was so sad about losing her, that the gates of the underworld themselves opened up for him to find his lost love, only to lose her again, after failing to heed Hades' warning.
7 Odysseus and Penelope
After war takes Odysseus away, his beloved Penelope is left to face the odds that he may never return. She turned down 108 suitors and waited faithfully for Odysseus, who, after resisting the temptations of a beautiful sorceress during his adventures, returned home to his wife and son.
8 Layla and Majnun
Written by an Iranian poet in medieval times, the poem of Layla and Majnun depicts the forbidden love between Layla and a man named Qays who, after having been denied the love of his life, goes into exile, becoming known as Majnun (madman). The two were never fully reunited, despite several attempts, but are eventually laid to rest together after their deaths.
9 Pyramus and Thysbe
One of the saddest and most touching love stories is that of Pyramus and Thysbe. After being denied their love by their parents, the two decide to run away. However, after Pyramus sees Thysbe's veil taken by a lion, he mistakenly believes she was killed and takes his own life. Deeply saddened by this act, Thysbe also commits suicide, not wanting to live without her beloved.
Famous love stories such as these have transcended time and cultural differences and are still considered to be so inspiring today! Which one was your favorite? Care to share any other famous love stories I haven't mentioned here?