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Ficta Religio.

False religion.

V.

Regali residens meretrix pulcherrima sella,[1]
Purpureo insignem gestat honore peplum,
Omnibus & latices pleno cratere propinat,
At circum cubitans ebria turba iacet.
Sic Babylona notant, quae gentes illice forma,
Et ficta stolidas relligione capit.

A beauteous harlot reclining on a royal seat wears a robe resplendent with purple, the badge of honour. From a full bowl she passes round the cup of drink to all, and round about the drunken crowd sprawls in stupor. Thus they indicate Babylon, who with her alluring beauty takes in the doltish nations with false religion.

Notes:

1. See Revelation 17:3 ff., which has influenced the illustration.



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    Prudentes.

    The Wise.

    VIII.

    Iane bifrons, qui transacta futuraque calles,
    Quique retro sannas sicut & ant vides, [1]
    Tot te cur oculis, tot fingunt vultibus? an qud
    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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