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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.


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 261 ([A56a261]), n.3. The effects of the plants rocket and lettuce are contrasted at Pliny, Natural History, 19.44.154.

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