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POTENTISSIMUS
affectus amor.

Love, the all-powerful emotion

Aspice ut invictas[1] vires auriga leonis
Expressus gemma pusio vincat amor
Utque manu hac scuticam teneat, hac flectat habenas
Utque sit in pueri plurimus ore decor[2]
Dira lues procul esto feram qui vincere talem
Est potis, nobis temperet an ne manus. [3]

Look - here’s Love the lad, carved on a gem. See how he rides triumphant in his chariot and subdues the lion’s might. How in one hand he holds a lash, with the other he guides the reins, and on his countenance rests the loveliness of youth. - Dread pestilence keep far away. Would one who has the power to conquer such a beast keep his hands from us?

Notes:

1. Later editions read invictus

2. In some editions, this sequence of subjunctives is changed to indicative.

3. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.221, an epigram about a seal carved with a representation of Eros driving a chariot drawn by lions.


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In avaros, vel quibus melior condi-
tio ab extraneis offertur.[1]

On the avaricious; or being treated better by strangers.

XI.

Delphini insidens vada coerula sulcat Arion[2],
Hocque aures mulcet, fraenat & ora sono.
Qum sit avari hominis, non tam mens dira ferarum est,
Quique viris rapimur, piscibus eripimur.

Astride a dolphin, Arion cleaves the dark blue waves, and with this song charms the creature’s ears and muzzles its mouth: “The mind of wild beasts is not so savage as that of greedy man. We who are savaged by men are saved by fish”.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [C4r p39]

Wider die geytzigen, oder von den,
welchen beer stand von fremb-
den angeboten.

XI.

Ee dann Arion in das meer
Von den schiffleuten gstossen ward,
Bat er, das im vergunnet vergunnet wer,
Sein harpffen zschlagen noch ein fart:
Nach seinnem gsang er nit verhart,
Springt in das mer, kumbt ein Delphin,
Fuert in zu land freundlicher art:
Hye sich de geytz greulichen sin.

Notes:

1. The first Wechel edition in 1534 had a different woodcut.

2. The crew of the ship on which the celebrated musician Arion was travelling, after robbing him, prepared to throw him overboard. He persuaded them to allow him to play his lyre for the last time. Then, after invoking the gods, he jumped into the sea, whereupon a music-loving dolphin conveyed him to land. See Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 16.19.


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