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O quam haec porta fuit meritň scelerata vocata:
Quae tantům admisit per sua claustra nephas!
Iret in amplexus ut amati Tullia Prisci,
Per patris occisi corpus adegit equos.
Oderat ánne patrem? Non. sed Tarquinium amabat.
Iste libidinis est: is pietatis amor.[1]
Cumque duo affectus traherent hinc inde potentes.
Corpora praeposuit viva cadaveribus.
Hunc memor esse virum, ast illum oblita esse parentem:
Est malus ergo pii victor Amoris Amor.
Hem quis Amor? calcare patrem? sectari alienum?
Non Amor est certč. Sed furor, & rabies.[2]

With justice did they call this gate the Sinful one, which admitted such a great crime to pass through its barred doors! To go to the arms of her beloved Priscus, Tullia drove her horses over the body of her murdered father. Did she hate her father? No: but she loved Tarquinius. On one side sex, on the other love of family ; and when these two great forces were tugging her two and fro she preferred living bodies to stiff ones. To remember this her husband, and forget him, her father as he lies there: thus evil Love conquered familial Love. Alas! What is Love? To trample the father? To chase other men? Surely this is not love, but frenzied madness!


1.  For the story of Tullia helping to overthrow her father, Servius Tullius, in this particularly brutal manner, see Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 1.48. Aneau, however, has mistaken the name of her lover, and the successor of Tullius as king of Rome, who was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, not Lucius Tarquinius Priscus (the predecessor of Tullius as king).

2.  pietas: the emotion that binds children to their parents; pietatis amor: ‘the love of pietas’.

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