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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n1v p194]

Senex puellam amans.

An old man in love with a girl

XV.

Dum Sophocles, quamvis affecta aetate, puellam
A quaestu Archippen ad sua vota trahit,
Allicit & pretio, tulit aegrè insana iuventus
Ob zelum, & tali carmine utrunque notat.
Noctua ut in tumulis, super utque cadavera bubo,
Talis apud Sophoclem nostra puella sedet.[1]

When Sophocles, in spite of his advanced years, induced the courtesan [Aganippe] to fulfil his desires, winning her over by the reward he offered, Archippus [her lover, the comic poet] was filled with indignation. Mad with jealousy, he lampooned both of them with this verse: As a night owl perches on a tomb, as an eagle owl on corpses, so my girl sits with Sophocles.

Notes:

1.  A story taken from Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 13.592b. Sophocles is the great tragic poet, of whom several such tales were told. He made Aganippe the beneficiary under his will. But Alciato (and so his translators) confuse Aganippe (the courtesan) with Archippus (the comic poet).



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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m8v p192]

    Prudentes.

    The Wise.

    VIII.

    Iane bifrons, qui transacta futuraque calles,
    Quique retro sannas sicut & antè vides, [1]
    Tot te cur oculis, tot fingunt vultibus? an quòd
    Circunspectum hominem forma fuisse docet?

    Two-headed Janus, you know about what has already happened and what is yet to come, you see the jeering faces behind just as you see them in front. Why do they represent you with so many eyes, why with so many faces? Is it because this form tells us that you were a man of circumspection?

    Notes:

    1.  quique retro sannas, sicut et ante, vides, ‘you see the jeering faces behind just as you see them in front’, a line based on Persius, Satirae, 1.58-62.



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