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Amuletum Veneris.

A charm against love

Inguina dente fero suffosum Cypris Adonim[1]
Lactucae foliis condidit exanimem.
Hinc genitali arvo tantum lactuca resistit,
Quantum eruca salax[2] vix stimulare potest.

The Cyprian goddess wrapped in lettuce leaves the lifeless Adonis, gored in the groin by the savage tusk. For this reason, lettuce deadens the procreative field even more than the aphrodisiac rocket can stimulate it.

Notes:

1.  For the story of Venus and Adonis and his fatal wounding by a wild boar, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.529ff. and 705ff. Cyprus was one of the main centres of the worship of Venus, hence the name Cypris.

2.  eruca salax, ‘the aphrodisiac rocket’. See Emblem 61 ([A46a061]), n.3. The effects of the plants rocket and lettuce are contrasted at Pliny, Natural History, 19.44.154.


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Quercus.

The Oak

Grata Iovi est quercus, qui nos servatque fovetque.
Servanti civem querna corona datur.[1]
Aliud.
Glande aluit veteres,[2] sola nunc proficit umbra,
Sic quoque sic arbos officiosa Iovis.

The oak is pleasing to Jove who preserves and cherishes us. A crown of oak is given to one who preserves a fellow-citizen.
Other.
The oak fed men of old with its acorns. Now it benefits us only with its shade. In this way too the tree of Jove does us service.

Notes:

1.  ‘a crown of oak’, awarded for saving the life of a fellow-soldier; see Pliny, Natural History, 16.3.7.

2.  For the ancient belief that early man fed on acorns see e.g. Lucretius, De Rerum natura, 5.939; Vergil, Georgics, 1.7; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.106.


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