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IN DEO LAETANDUM.

Joy is to be found in God

Aspice ut egregium[1] puerum Iovis alite pictor,
Fecerit Iliacum[2] summa per astra vehi.
Quis ne Iovem tactum puerili credat amore?
Dic haec Maeonius[3] finxerit unde senex,
Consilium mens atque dei cui gaudia praestant,
Creditur is summo raptus adesse Iovis.

See how the illustrator has shown the illustrious Trojan boy being carried through the highest heavens by the eagle of Jove. Can anyone believe that Jove felt passion for a boy? Explain how the aged poet of Maeonia came to imagine such a thing. It is the man who finds satisfaction in the counsel, wisdom and joys of God who is thought to be caught up into the presence of mighty Jove.

Notes:

1.  In later editions the adjective is applied to the painter rather than Ganymede.

2.  ‘The Trojan boy’, i.e. Ganymede, son of the Trojan prince, Tros, snatched away by the gods to be Jove’s cup-bearer. See Homer, Iliad 20.232ff, though the eagle is a post-Homeric addition. The Greek motto in the accompanying illustration, gannusthai medesi, means ‘to delight in counsels’, referring to a supposed etymology of the name Ganymedes, for which see Xenophon, Symposium 8.30.

3.  ‘The aged poet of Maeonia’, i.e Homer. His place of activity is disputed. Chios or Smyrna is most likely - these are places in the central coastal area of Asia Minor, known as Lydia or Maeonia.


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IN VIOLABILES TELO Cupidinis.

Immune to Cupid’s dart

Ne dirus te vincat amor, neu foemina mentem.
Diripiat magicis artibus ullam [=ulla] tuam.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B6v]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 Pegasaeus 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 Pagasae 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 Pindar, Pythian Odes 4.216ff.


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