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POTENTIA AMORIS.

The power of Love

Emblema 105.

Nudus Amor viden ut ridet, placidumque tuetur?
Nec faculas, nec quae cornua flectat, habet:[1]
Altera sed manuum flores gerit, altera piscem,
Scilicet ut terrae iura det, atque mari.[2]

Do you see how Love, all naked, smiles, do you see his gentle glance? He has no torches, nor a bow to bend, but in one of his hands he holds flowers, in the other a fish, to impose his rule, of course, on land and sea.

Notes:

1.These were traditional attributes of Cupid (Love). See [A15a108] and [A15a112].

2.Variant reading, Scilicet et terrae iura dat ..., ‘to be sure he imposes his rule both on land ...’.


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  • 'Terra', 'Carro della terra' (Ripa) [21B0] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'Acqua', 'Carro dell'acqua' (Ripa) [21D0] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositŗ dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtý del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4):56F2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'Forza d'amore, Forza d'amore si nell'acqua come in terra' (Ripa) [56F2515] Search | Browse Iconclass

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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 ŗ 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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