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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G1r p97]

Inviolabiles telo Cupidinis.

Immune to cupid’s dart

EMBLEMA LXXVIII.

Ne dirus te vincat amor, neu femina mentem
Diripiat magicis artibus ulla tuam:
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 Pagasaeus 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 Pagasa 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 [A91a054]). See also Pindar, Pythian Odes 4.216ff.


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  • witchcraft, sorcery [13B] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Protection; 'Custodia', 'Difesa contra nimici, malefici & venefici', 'Difesa contra pericoli', 'Riparo da i tradimenti' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E42(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (personifications and symbolic representations of) Love; 'Amore (secondo Seneca)' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56F2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • attributes of Cupid (with NAME) [92D18(DART)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Jason and Medea at the altar of Hecate (or Diana): Medea gives him a magic herb or ointment [94A43] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Jason [95A(JASON)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P3r p229]

Lasciveté.

LXXII.

Je ne voy point pourquoy la marthe subeline[1]
De mignarde mollesse aux humains soit le signe.
Est-ce pource qu’elle est de soy voluptueuse?
Ou pource qu’elle rend la femme plus pompeuse?
Le Sarmatique rat civette on veut nommer,[2]
Mais le musc Arabic se fait fort renommer.[3]

Commentaires.

Tout parfum sent la luxure, & est de mauvais
presage, principalement à l’endroict des femmes. Cel-
le là est de bonne odeur, qui n’en a point du tout.
Le musc, & semblables parfums font voir que ceux
qui en usent ont le coeur mol, & addonné à luxure.
Ce qui s’appelle rat Sarmatic, les autres l’appellent
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P3v p230] chat. Or & le chat & le rat sont animaux fort lu-
xurieux.

Notes:

1.  zibeline, ‘civet cat’, one source of musk, an ingredient in many perfumes.

2.  Sarmatia was the region north of the Black Sea.

3.  The words ‘mouse’ and ‘musk’ are connected, from the mouse-shaped sac of the male animals which produce musk. Some plants have a musky smell. Arabia was famous for plants which produced aromatic gums (e.g. incense and nard).


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