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Garrulitas.

Garrulity.

Quid matutinos Progne mihi garrula somnos
Rumpis?[1] & obstrepero Daulias ore canis?
Dignus epops Tereus, qui maluit ense putare
Quàm linguam immodicam stirpitùs eruere.[2]

Procne, why do you disturb my morning slumbers with your chattering? Why, bird of Daulis, sing with never-ceasing voice? Tereus deserved to become a hoopoe, for he preferred to lop off with a sword your unrestrained tongue, rather than tear it out by the roots.

Notes:

1.  garrula somnos rumpis, ‘disturb my...slumbers with your chattering’. See Aelian, De natura animalium, 9.17: “the swallow, an uninvited guest, saddening the dawn with her chattering and interrupting the sweetest part of our slumbers.”

2.  Procne and Philomela were daughters of Pandion, king of Athens. Tereus, king of Daulis (town in Phocis) married Procne and had a son (Itys) by her. He raped her sister Philomela and cut out her tongue to prevent her telling of his misdeeds. She managed however to send a message to her sister Procne (through weaving it into a tapestry), who took her revenge by cooking Itys and serving him up as a meal to his father. When Tereus pursued them with a sword, Philomela was turned into a swallow, Procne into a nightingale and Tereus into a hoopoe. In Latin writers the names are often reversed, with Procne becoming a swallow (as here), Philomela a nightingale. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.424ff, especially 555-7.


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  • Philomela, Procne and Tereus changed into nightingale, swallow, hoopoe (or hawk): Tereus seeks to kill Philomela and Procne for having slain his son; in their flight the two sisters are changed into a nightingale and a swallow; Tereus is changed into a ho [97DD23] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prolixity, Verbosity, Loquacity; 'Loquacità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Tereus cuts out Philomela's tongue, and hides her in a lonely place [95B(PHILOMELA & PROCNE)63] Search | Browse Iconclass

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