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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 anne 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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  • plague [31A4621] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • ornaments, jewels [41D266] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • whip [46C1463] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositÃÂ dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of con [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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IN AVAROS, VEL QUIBUS ME-
lior conditio ab extraneis offertur.

On the avaricious; or being treated better by strangers.

Delphini insidens unda[1] cerula sulcat Arion[2],
Hocque aures mulcet frenat & ora sono.
Quam sit avari hominis, non tam mens dira ferarum est,
Quique viris rapimur, piscibus eripimur.

Astride a dolphin, Arion cleaves the dark blue waves, and with this song charms the creature’s ears and muzzles its mouth: “The mind of wild beasts is not so savage as that of greedy man. We who are savaged by men are saved by fish”.

Notes:

1.  Later editions have vada not unda.

2.  The crew of the ship on which the celebrated musician Arion was travelling, after robbing him, prepared to throw him overboard. He persuaded them to allow him to play his lyre for the last time. Then, after invoking the gods, he jumped into the sea, whereupon a music-loving dolphin conveyed him to land. See Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 16.19.


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