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Cupressus.

The Cypress

XXXI.

Indicat effigies metae, nomenque cupressi
Tractandos parili conditione suos.[1]
ALIUD,
Funesta est arbor, procerum monumenta cupressus,
Quale apium plebis, comere fronde solet. [2]
ALIUD.
Pulchra coma est, pulchro digestaeque ordine frondes,
Sed fructus nullos haec coma pulchra gerit.[3]

The cone-shaped form and the name ‘cypress’ indicate that one’s people should be dealt with on equal terms.
Other.
The cypress is a funereal tree. Its branches usually adorn the memorials of leading men as parsley-stems adorn those of humble people.
Other.
The foliage is beautiful, and the leaves all arranged in neat order, but this beautiful foliage bears no fruit.

Notes:

1.  This refers to the supposed etymology, Greek κύειν and πάρισος ‘bear’,‘equal’.

2.  See Pliny, Natural History, 20.44.113 for the use of parsley at funeral meals.

3.  See Erasmus, Adagia, 4210 (Cyparissi fructus).


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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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