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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [n3r p197]

In nothos.

Bastards

XXVI.

Herculeos spurii semper celebretis honores:
Nam vestri princeps ordinis ille fuit.[1]
Nec prius esse deus potuit,[2] qum sugeret infans
Lac, sibi quod fraudis nescia Iuno dabat.[3]

Bastards, you should always celebrate the honours of Hercules, for he was the chief of your line. He could not become a god until as a babe he sucked the milk which Juno was giving him, unaware that she was being tricked.

Notes:

1. Hercules was fathered by Jupiter on Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon of Thebes, and became his father’s favourite. Juno, wife of Jupiter, in jealousy pursued Hercules with implacable hatred.

2. After all his Labours (see previous emblem) and other exploits, Hercules, by the will of Jupiter, was received among the gods. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.156ff; Cicero, De officiis, 3.25.

3. For the story of Juno tricked by Jupiter into suckling the loathed Hercules see Pausanias, 9.25.2. This divine milk apparently counteracted Hercules’ illegitimate birth which otherwise disqualified him for heaven. See Erasmus, Adagia, 2070 (Ad Cynosarges).


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    Amuletum Veneris.

    A charm against love

    XXX.

    Inguina dente fero suffosum Cypris Adonim[1]
    Lactucae foliis condidit exanimem.
    Hinc genitali arvo tantum lactuca resistit,
    Quantum eruca salax[2] vix stimulare potest.

    The Cyprian goddess wrapped in lettuce leaves the lifeless Adonis, gored in the groin by the savage tusk. For this reason, lettuce deadens the procreative field even more than the aphrodisiac rocket can stimulate it.

    Notes:

    1. For the story of Venus and Adonis and his fatal wounding by a wild boar, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.529ff. and 705ff. Cyprus was one of the main centres of the worship of Venus, hence the name Cypris.

    2. eruca salax, ‘the aphrodisiac rocket’. See Emblem 261 ([A56a261]), n.3. The effects of the plants rocket and lettuce are contrasted at Pliny, Natural History, 19.44.154.


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