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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L8v p176]

Tori reverentia.

Reverence for the marital bed

Tanta fuit multis sacri reverentia lecti,
Ut dicas nullo concubuisse toro.
Nam post somniferae surgentes munia noctis,
Mane recens pressos obvolüere locos,
Indicio ne essent vestigia corporis, atque
Connubio reliquis maior adesset honos.
Candaules pereat forma deceptus amatae
Coniugis, audet enim prostituisse Gygi.[1]
Quantò nos, gerimus qui Christi nomina, castos
Atque verecundos convenit esse magis?

Many have had such reverence for the sacred bed that you would think they had never slept on a couch. For, arising after the offices of sleep-bringing night, when dawn is fresh and new, they roll over the places where they have lain, that the prints of their bodies should not remain as proof, and that other men should have more respect for the institution of marriage. Let Candaules go to destruction, deceived by the beauty of his beloved wife, for he dares to prostitute her to Gyges. How much more chaste and respectful does it behoove us, who bear the name of Christ, to be?


1.  Candaules, King of Lydia (8th/7th-century BC), was too proud of his wife and flaunted her in front of his officer, Gyges, daring him to view her naked. When he did she was enraged and demanded he be executed or take the throne from her husband, which he did. Herodotus, The Histories, 1.7-14. The wife is not named, though in some sources she is called Nyssia.

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