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CUM LARVIS NON LU-
CTANDUM.[1]

Do not wrestle with the dead

Aeacidae[2] moriens percussu cuspidis Hector[3],
Qui toties hosteis vicerat ante suos.
Comprimere haud potuit vocem insultantibus illis,
Dum curru & pedibus nectere vincla parant.
Distrahite ut libitum est sic cassi luce leonis,
Convellunt barbam vel timidi lepores.[4]

When he was dying from the wound dealt by the spear of Aeacus’ descendant, Hector, who had so often before defeated his own enemies, could not keep silent as they triumphed over him, while preparing to tie the ropes to chariot and feet. Tear me as you will, he said; when the lion is deprived of the light of life, even cowardly hares pluck his beard.

Notes:

1. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia 153, Cum larvis luctari.

2. ‘of Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. ‘of Achilles’. Textual variant: Aeacidae.

3. Hector was the greatest warrior on the Trojan side in the Trojan War, killed in single combat by Achilles, the Greek champion. See Homer, Iliad 22.367ff. and 24.14ff. for Achilles’ desecration of Hector’s body, dragging it, tied by the feet behind his chariot, round the tomb of Patroclus.

4. The last two lines are a translation of the two-line epigram Anthologia graeca 16.4, where, in Planudes’ text, the words are attributed to Hector in the heading.


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IN FIDEM UXORIAM.

On faithfulness in a wife

Ecce puella viro quae dextra iungitur, ecce
U [=Ut] sedet? ut catulus lusitat ante pedes.
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [D2v]Haec fidei est species Veneris quam si educat ardor,
Malorum in laeva non male ramus erit.
Poma etenim Veneris sunt, sic echeneida[1] [=Scheneida] vicit,
Hippomanes, petiit sic Galathea[2] virum.

See here a girl, her right hand clasping her husband’s. See how she sits, how a puppy plays at her feet. This is a representation of faithfulness, and if Venus’s ardour nurtures it, a branch bearing apples may well be seen in on the left. For apples are Venus’s fruit; by them Hippomenes defeated Schoeneus’s daughter; with them Galatea sought her man.

Notes:

1. Scheneida, ‘Schoeneus’ daugher’, i.e. Atalanta. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.560ff. for the story: Atalanta would marry none but the man who could beat her at running. Hippomenes tricked her into losing the vital race by throwing down in turn three golden apples given him by Venus.

2. Galatea, a girl who throws apples at the man she fancies: Vergil, Eclogues 3.64-5.


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