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Αντέρος, Amor virtutis alium cupidinem

Anteros, Love of Virtue, conquering the other Love.

Aligerum aligeroque inimicum pinxit Amori,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L1r f68r]Arcu arcum, atque ignes igne domans Nemesis.[1]
Ut quae aliis fecit patiatur, at hic puer olim
Intrepidus gestans tela,[2] miser lachrymat.
Ter spuit, inque sinus imos[3] (res mira) crematus [=crematur]
Igne ignis, furias odit Amoris Amor.

Nemesis has fashioned a form with wings, a foe to Love with his wings, subduing bow with bow and flames with flame, so that Love may suffer what he has done to others. But this boy, once so bold when he was carrying his arrows, now weeps in misery and has spat three times low on his breast. A wondrous thing - fire is being burned with fire, Love is loathing the frenzies of Love.


Wider Lieb, Die Lieb der Tugend uber-
windt die ander Lieb.

Die Göttin Nemesis hat gmalt
Der Liebe Feind in gleiche gstalt
Mit Flügeln der der Lieb Feuwr und Pfeil
Mit seim Bogn und Feuwr hat in eil
Umbbracht, und wie er andrn hat gthon
Widerfert im jetzt gleicher lohn:
Dieser Knab als er trug sein Gschoß
Ward er kün jetzund flannt er bloß
Und speit in sein Gern dreymol
Ein wundersach, daß das feuwr sol
Das Feuwer verzeren, und daß die
Lieb sol hassen der lieb Brunst hie.


1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 16.251. The punishment of Cupid (Amor) for the hurt he inflicts on men is a common theme in Hellenistic Greek poetry and art. This punishment is often carried out by Nemesis, goddess of retribution. Cupid’s arrows and torch are taken from him and destroyed, and he himself is bound, beaten, burned, and pricked with his own arrows.

2.  ‘when he was carrying his arrows’. The corresponding line of the Greek text reads γευσάμενος βελέων, ‘getting a taste of the arrows’, and Alciato probably wrote here gustans tela, ‘tasting the arrows’, though this reading is not attested in the editions. Velius’ translation of the same poem in Selecta epigrammata reads expertus spicula, ‘experiencing the darts’.

3.  ‘has spat three times low on his breast’. This is a charm to avert the anger of Nemesis for some overbold thought or action. See Erasmus, Adagia 594, In tuum ipsius sinum inspue.

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