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Pana colunt gentes (Naturam hoc dicere rerum est)
Semicaprumque hominem, semivirumque Deum.
Est vir pube tenus, qud nobis insita virtus[1]
Corde oriens, celsa verticis arce sedet.
Hinc caper est, quia nos natura in saecla propagat
Concubitu, ut volucres, squamea, bruta, feras.
Quod commune aliis animantibus, est caper index
Luxuriae, Veneris signaque aperta gerit.
Cordi alii sophiam, alii tribuere cerebro:
Inferiora modus, nec ratio ulla tenet.

Pagans worship Pan, that is the force of nature, a man half-goat, a god half-man. Pan is a man down to the loins, because that power that is naturally present in us men rises from the heart and has its seat in the high citadel of the head. Below this he is goat, because Nature perpetuates us down the ages by sexual intercourse, as she does birds, fish, brute beasts and wild. This is a thing shared with other living creatures. The goat is a sign of licentiousness, and carries Venus’ standards unconcealed. Wisdom some have assigned to the heart, others to the head. The lower parts neither restraint nor reason governs.


1. Variant reading, hominum quod propria virtus, ‘because the power that is peculiar to men rises...’

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  • Instinct, Natural Disposition; 'Instinto naturale' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept)` [58B6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Licentiousness, Lasciviousness; 'Lascivia', 'Licenza' (Ripa) [57AA51] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prudence, 'Prudentia'; 'Prudenza' (Ripa) ~ one of the Four Cardinal Virtues [11M41] Search | Browse Iconclass

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