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Potentissimus affectus amor.

Love, the all-powerful emotion

VII.

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

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?

COMMENTARIA.

Videre est, mirum qum fit fortissimus auri-
ga parvulus puer Cupido (Amoris Deus, fi-
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [b1v p18]lius Veneris qui variis vari describitur)
adeoque ut etiam vires ferocissimi Leonis su-
peret audaculus. dextra flagellum tenet, sini-
straque loros & habenas dirigit, faciemque interim
monstrat blandam & amabilem. Sed absit lon-
g & pereat huiusmodi lues: si enim bestiam
usque ade feram, domare & vincere potest,
quanto facilius nos imbecillos homines su-
peraret? Res immoderata Cupido est, inquit
Ovidius lib. 4. de Ponto. Sed videndus est de
hac re omnino Crinitius lib. 16. ca. 4. de honesta
disciplina Quem obsecro non vincit Amor, vel
etiam sanctissimos viros? Quis Davide san-
ctior? quis Salomone sapientior? quis Sampso-
ne
fortior? Amore tamen superati omnes.

Notes:

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

2. 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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  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosit?ell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virt? 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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In Deo laetandum.

Joy is to be found in God.

EMBLEMA IIII.

Aspice ut egregius puerum Iovis alite pictor
Fecerit Iliacum[1] summa per astra vehi.
Quisne Iovem tactum puerili credat amore?
Dic, haec Maeonius[2] finxerit unde senex
Consilium, mens atque Dei cui gaudia praestant,
Creditur is summo raptus adesse Iovi.

See how the skilful illustrator has shown the Trojan boy being carried through the highest heavens by the eagle of Jove. Can anyone believe that Jove felt passion for a boy? Explain how the aged poet of Maeonia came to imagine such a thing. It is the man who finds satisfaction in the counsel, wisdom and joys of God who is thought to be caught up into the presence of mighty Jove.

Notes:

1. ‘The Trojan boy’, i.e. Ganymede, son of the Trojan prince, Tros, snatched away by the gods to be Jove’s cup-bearer. See Homer, Iliad 20.232ff, though the eagle is a post-Homeric addition. The Greek motto in the accompanying illustration means ‘to delight in counsels’, referring to a supposed etymology of the name Ganymedes, for which see Xenophon, Symposium 8.30.

2. ‘The aged poet of Maeonia’, i.e Homer. His place of activity is disputed. Chios or Smyrna is most likely - these are places in the central coastal area of Asia Minor, known as Lydia or Maeonia.


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