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IUSTA ULTIO.

Just revenge

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Raptabat volucres captum pede corvus in auras,
Scorpion, audaci praemia parta gulae,
Ast ille infuso sensim per membra veneno,
Raptorem in stygias compulit ultor aquas.
O risu res digna, aliis qui fata parabat,
Ipse perit, propriis succubuitque dolis.[1]

A raven was carrying off into the flying winds a scorpion gripped in its talons, a prize won for its audacious gullet. But the scorpion, injecting its poison drop by drop through the raven’s limbs, despatched the predator to the waters of the Styx and so took its revenge. What a laughable thing! The one who was preparing death for others himself perishes and has succumbed to his own wiles.

Notes:

1.  This is a fairly free translation of Anthologia graeca 9.339. See Erasmus, Adagia 58, Cornix scorpium, where the Greek epigram is again translated.


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POTENTIA AMORIS.

The power of Love

Nudus amor viden ut ridet placidumque tuetur?
Nec faculas nec quae cornua flectat habet.[1]
Altera sed manuum flores gerit altera piscem,
Scilicet & terrae iura dat atque mari.[2]

Do you see how Love, all naked, smiles, do you see his gentle glance? He has no torches, nor a bow to bend, but in one of his hands he holds flowers, in the other a fish, and he imposes his rule, of course, on land and sea.

Notes:

1.  These were traditional attributes of Cupid (Love). See [A31b080] and [A31b096]. The blindfold, although a traditional attribute of Cupid, is inappropriate here.

2.  Later versions read ... ut terrae iura det atque mari.


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  • 'Terra', 'Carro della terra' (Ripa) [21B0] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'Acqua', 'Carro dell'acqua' (Ripa) [21D0] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4):56F2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'Forza d'amore, Forza d'amore si nell'acqua come in terra' (Ripa) [56F2515] Search | Browse Iconclass

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