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NON TIBI SED RELIGIONI

Not for you but for religion

Isidis effigiem tardus gestabat asellus,
Pando verenda dorso habens mysteria.
Obvius ergo deam quisquis reverenter adorat,
Piasque genibus concipit flexis preces.
Ast asinus tantum praestari credit honorem,
Sibi, & intumescit admodum superbiens.
Donec eum flagris compescens dixit agaso,
Non es deus tu aselle, sed deum vehis.[1]

An ass with dragging feet was carrying an image of Isis, bearing reverend mysteries on its sagging back. So all who met him reverently offered worship to the goddess and recited pious prayers on bended knee. The ass however took it that all this honour was offered to himself, and began to swagger along swollen with pride - until his driver, reducing him with blows, said, ‘You are not god, my little ass, you are carrying god’.

Notes:

1.  See Aesop, Fables 266; Erasmus, Adagia 1104, Asinus portans mysteria.


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  • allegorical representations ~ religion; 'Religione', 'Religione de SS. Mauritio e Lazaro', 'Religione vera christiana' (Ripa) [11P12] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Misuse, Misemployment (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54BB11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Arrogance; 'Arroganza' (Ripa) [57AA644] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Honour, Glory; 'Ampiezza della Gloria', 'Gloria', 'Gloria de prencipi', 'Gloria & Honore', 'Honore', 'Sublimatà ¤ella Gloria' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [59B31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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INVIOLABILES TELO Cupidinis.

Immune to Cupid’s dart

Ne dirus te vincat amor, neu foemina mentem
Diripiat magicis artibus ulla tuam.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B6v]Bacchica avis praesto tibi motacilla paretur,
Quam quadriradiam circuli in orbe loces.
Ore crucem & cauda, & geminis ut complicet alis,[1]
Tale amuletum carminis omnis erit.
Dicitur hoc Veneris signo Pegasaeus Iason,
Phasiacis laedi non potuisse dolis.[2]

To prevent merciless love overcoming you, to prevent any woman plundering your mind with magic arts, provide yourself with a wagtail, bird of Bacchus. Place it spread four ways within the sphere of a circle, so that it forms the arms of a cross with its beak, tail and paired wings. Such a thing will be an amulet against all magic spells. Through this figure, the gift of Venus, it is said that Jason of Pagasae became immune to the wiles of Phasis.

Notes:

1.  These lines describe the rhombos, a device used in casting love-spells. The bird usually employed was a wryneck, associated with Bacchus, possibly because of its dappled markings. (Cf. the dappled fawns associated with the god.) The wagtail seems to have been confused with the wryneck in folk belief.

2.  Pagasa (or Pagasae) was the place in Thessaly where the ship Argo was built, in which the Argonauts, led by Jason, sailed to Colchis in the region round the river Phasis to fetch the Golden Fleece. In this and in other tasks imposed on them by the king of Phasis they were helped by the sorceress Medea, daughter of the king. Instructed by Venus, Jason used the rhombos to cause Medea to fall in love with him and so use her spells to help, not harm, him. See Pindar, Pythian Odes 4.216ff.


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