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POTENTISSIMUS
affectus amor.

Love, the all-powerful emotion

Aspice ut invictas[1] vires auriga leonis,
Expressus gemma pusio vincat amor
Utque manu hac scuticam teneat hac flectat habenas
Utque sit in pueri plurimus ore decor[2]
Dira lues procul esto feram qui vincere talem
Est potis à nobis temperet an ne manus.[3]

Look - here’s Love the lad, carved on a gem. See how he rides triumphant in his chariot and subdues the lion’s might. How in one hand he holds a lash, with the other he guides the reins, and on his countenance rests the loveliness of youth. - Dread pestilence keep far away. Would one who has the power to conquer such a beast keep his hands from us?

Notes:

1.  Later editions read invictus.

2.  In some editions, this sequence of subjunctives is changed to indicative.

3.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.221, an epigram about a seal carved with a representation of Eros driving a chariot drawn by lions.


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