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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n1v p194]

Senex puellam amans.

An old man in love with a girl

XV.

Dum Sophocles, quamvis affecta aetate, puellam
A quaestu Archippen ad sua vota trahit,
Allicit & pretio, tulit aegrč insana iuventus
Ob zelum, & tali carmine utrunque notat.
Noctua ut in tumulis, super utque cadavera bubo,
Talis apud Sophoclem nostra puella sedet.[1]

When Sophocles, in spite of his advanced years, induced the courtesan [Aganippe] to fulfil his desires, winning her over by the reward he offered, Archippus [her lover, the comic poet] was filled with indignation. Mad with jealousy, he lampooned both of them with this verse: As a night owl perches on a tomb, as an eagle owl on corpses, so my girl sits with Sophocles.

Notes:

1.  A story taken from Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 13.592b. Sophocles is the great tragic poet, of whom several such tales were told. He made Aganippe the beneficiary under his will. But Alciato (and so his translators) confuse Aganippe (the courtesan) with Archippus (the comic poet).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m8v p192]

    In fraudulentos.

    Deceivers

    IX.

    Parva lacerta, atris stellatus corpora guttis
    Stellio,[1] qui latebras, & cava busta colit,
    Invidiae parvique doli fert symbola pictus,
    Heu nimium nuribus cognita zelotypis.
    Nam turpi obtegitur faciem lentigine quisquis.
    Sit quibus immersus Stellio, vina bibat.[2]
    Hinc vindicta frequens decepta pellice vino.
    Quam formae amisso flore relinquit amans.

    The little lizard, called the ‘starred’ gecko from the dark star-shaped marks sprinkled all over its body, a creature that lurks in holes and hollow tombs, is pictured here and presents symbols of resentment and wicked deception, known only too well to jealous wives. For anyone who drinks wine in which a spotted gecko has been soaked comes out in ugly spots all over the face. This is often a way of taking revenge - the husband’s fancy woman is tricked with wine, and, when the flower of her beauty is gone, her lover abandons her.

    Notes:

    1.  stellio, ‘the ‘starred’ gecko’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5.461 for the explanation of the name stellio.

    2.  Nam turpi...vina bibat, ‘anyone who drinks wine...all over the face’. See Pliny, Natural History, 29.22.73.


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