Indecenter

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Praxiteles quom a Veneris statua, quae indecenter intuebatur, iterum atque iterum suasionibus, cohortationibus, precibus atque denique conviciis et comminationibus frustra petisset ut oculorum vitium emendaret, ferro tandem id ipsum tollendum censuit.
(Leon Battista Alberti, Apologi Centum 68)

When Praxiteles’ statue of Venus leered indecently, the sculptor tried repeatedly to correct the defect in its gaze, using arguments, pleas, prayers, and finally insults and threats. But all these failed, and at last he decided to fix the problem with his chisel. (tr. David Marsh)

Sumpaizein

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Σφαίρῃ δηὖτέ με πορφυρῇ
βάλλων χρυσοκόμης Ἔρως
νήνι ποικιλοσαμβάλῳ
συμπαίζειν προκαλεῖται·
ἡ δ’, ἐστὶν γὰρ ἀπ’ εὐκτίτου
Λέσβου, τὴν μὲν ἐμὴν κόμην,
λευκὴ γάρ, καταμέμφεται,
πρὸς δ’ ἄλλην τινὰ χάσκει.
(Anacreon, fr. 358)

Once again golden-haired Love strikes me with his purple ball and summons me to play with the girl in the fancy sandals; but she—she comes from Lesbos with its fine cities—finds fault with my hair because it is white, and gapes after another—girl. (tr. David A. Campbell)

Suavia

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Cum sic invicem fantur in thalamum pergunt ubi talem noctem habuerunt qualem credimus inter duos amantes fuisse, postquam navibus altis raptam Helenam Paris abduxit, tamque dulcis nox ista fuit ut ambo negarent tam bene inter Martem Veneremque fuisse. “tu meus es Gaminides, tu meus Ypolitus Dyamedesque meus” dicebat Lucrecia. “tu mihi Pollixena es,” Eurialus referebat, “tu Emilia, tu Venus ipsa;” et nunc os, nunc genas, nunc oculos commendabat. elevataque nonnumquam lodice secreta quae non viderat antea comtemplabatur, et “plus” dicebat “invenio quam putaram. talem lavantem vidit Acheon in fonte Dyanam. quid his membris formosius, quid candidius? iam redemi pericula. quid est quod propter te non debeat sustineri? o pectus decorum! o papillae praenitidae! vosne tango, vosne habeo, vosne meas incidistis manus? o teretes artus! o redolens corpus! tene ego possideo? nunc mori satius est, quando hoc gaudium est recens, ne qua interveniat calamitas! anime mi! teneo te, an somnio? verane ista voluptas est, an extra mentem positus, sic reor? non somnio, certe vera res agitur. o suavia basia, o dulces amplexus, o melliflui morsus! nemo me felicius vivit, nemo beatius. sed heu! quam veloces horae. invida nox, cur fugis? mane Appollo, mane apud inferos diu! cur equos tam cito in iugum trahis? sine plus graminis edant. da mihi noctem, ut Alcmenae dedisti! cur tu tam repente Citoni tui cubile relinquis Aurora? si tam illi grata esses quam mihi Lucrecia, haud tam mane surgere te permitteret. numquam mihi nox visa est hac brevior, quamvis apud Britanos Dacosque fuerim.” sic Eurialus; nec minora dicebat Lucrecia. nec osculum, nec verbum irrepensatum praeteriit. stringebat hic, stringebat illa. nec post Venerem lassi iacebant, sed, ut Antheus ex terra validior resurgebat, sic post bellum alacriores isti robustioresque fiebant.
(Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, De Duobus Amantibus Historia 132v-133r)

Speaking together thus, they went into her room, where they passed such a night as, I imagine, the two lovers spent, when Paris had carried off Helen in his tall ship; so sweet a night that both said Mars and Venus could not have been better together. ‘You are my Ganymede, my Hippolytus, my Diomedes,’ said Lucretia. ‘And you my Polyxena,’ he replied, ‘my Aemilia, Venus herself.’ And now he praised her mouth, now her cheeks, and now her eyes. And sometimes, raising the blanket, he gazed at those secret parts he had not seen before, and cried: ‘I find more than I had expected. Thus must Diana have appeared to Actaeon, when she bathed in the spring. Could anything be lovelier or whiter than your body? Now I am rewarded for all perils. What would I not suffer for your sake? Oh lovely bosom, most glorious breasts! Can it be that I touch you, possess you, hold you in my hands? Smooth limbs, sweet-scented body, are you really mine? Now it were well to die, with such a joy still fresh, before any misfortune could befall. My darling, do I hold you, or is it a dream? Is all this pleasure true, or am I mad to think so? No, it is no dream, it is the very truth. Dear kisses, soft embraces, bites sweet as honey! No one was ever happier than I, no one more fortunate! But woe is me! how swift the hours. Jealous night, why do you fly? Stay, Apollo, tarry a little longer among the dead. Why in such a hurry to yoke your steeds? Let them still graze. Give me such a night as you gave Alcmenus. And you, Aurora, why in such haste to leave Tithonus’ bed? If you were half as dear to him as Lucretia is to me, he’d never let you rise so early. Never have I known a night so short as this, although I have been in Britain and the land of the Dacians.’ Thus Euryalus, and Lucretia echoed him. She returned him kiss for kiss, and word for word. They clasped each other close; nor were they wearied by their love, but as Antaeus rose stronger from the earth, so they gained strength and energy from their strife. (tr. Flora Grierson)

Kronos

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Οὗτος* παρὰ Πτολεμαίῳ τῷ Σωτῆρι διατρίβων λόγους τινὰς διαλεκτικοὺς ἠρωτήθη πρὸς Στίλπωνος· καὶ μὴ δυνάμενος παραχρῆμα διαλύσασθαι, ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως τά τε ἄλλα ἐπετιμήθη καὶ δὴ καὶ Κρόνος ἤκουσεν ἐν σκώμματος μέρει. ἐξελθὼν δὴ τοῦ συμποσίου καὶ λόγον γράψας περὶ τοῦ προβλήματος ἀθυμίᾳ τὸν βίον κατέστρεψε. καὶ ἔστιν ἡμῶν εἰς αὐτόν·
Κρόνε Διόδωρε, τίς σε δαιμόνων κακῇ
ἀθυμίῃ ξυνείρυσεν,
ἵν’ αὐτὸς αὑτὸν ἐμβάλῃς εἰς Τάρταρον
Στίλπωνος οὐ λύσας ἔπη
αἰνιγματώδη; τοιγὰρ εὑρέθης Κρόνος
ἔξωθε τοῦ ῥῶ κάππα τε.

* i.e. Διόδωρος Κρόνος

(Diogenes Laertius, Bioi kai Gnōmai 2.112)

When he was staying with Ptolemy Soter, he had certain dialectical questions addressed to him by Stilpo, and, not being able to solve them on the spot, he was reproached by the king and, among other slights, the nickname Cronus was applied to him by way of derision. He left the banquet and, after writing a pamphlet upon the logical problem, ended his days in despondency. Upon him too I have written lines:
Diodorus Cronus, what sad fate
Buried you in despair,
So that you hastened to the shades below,
Perplexed by Stilpo’s quibbles?
You would deserve your name of Cronus better
If C and R were gone.*

* Leaving ὄνος = “ass.”

(tr. Robert Drew Hicks, with his note)

Conglobabat

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Ceterum prae strepitu ac tumultu nec consilium nec imperium accipi poterat, tantumque aberat ut sua signa atque ordines et locum noscerent, ut vix ad arma capienda aptandaque pugnae competeret animus, opprimerenturque quidam onerati magis iis quam tecti. et erat in tanta caligine maior usus aurium quam oculorum. ad gemitus volnerum ictusque corporum aut armorum et mixtos strepentium paventiumque clamores circumferebant ora oculosque. alii fugientes pugnantium globo inlati haerebant; alios redeuntes in pugnam avertebat fugientium agmen. deinde, ubi in omnes partes nequiquam impetus capti et ab lateribus montes ac lacus, a fronte et ab tergo hostium acies claudebant, apparuitque nullam nisi in dextera ferroque salutis spem esse, tum sibi quisque dux adhortatorque factus ad rem gerendam, et nova de integro exorta pugna est, non illa ordinata per principes hastatosque ac triarios, nec ut pro signis antesignani, post signa alia pugnaret acies, nec ut in sua legione miles aut cohorte aut manipulo esset: fors conglobabat, et animus suus cuique ante aut post pugnandi ordinem dabat; tantusque fuit ardor animorum, adeo intentus pugnae animus, ut eum motum terrae qui multarum urbium Italiae magnas partes prostravit avertitque cursu rapidos amnes, mare fluminibus invexit, montes lapsu ingenti proruit, nemo pugnantium senserit.
(Livy 22.3-8)

But the din and confusion were so great that neither advice nor orders could be heard, and so far were the men from knowing their proper standards companies and places, that they had hardly enough spirit to arm and prepare themselves to fight, and some were borne down while more encumbered than protected by their armour. Indeed the fog was so thick that ears were of more use than eyes, and the groans of the wounded, the sound of blows on body or armour and the mingled shouts and screams of assailants and assailed made them turn and gaze, now this way and now that. Some, as they sought to escape, were swept into a crowd of combatants and held there; others, trying to get back into the fight, were turned aside by a throng of fugitives. When attempts to break through had resulted everywhere in failure and they found themselves shut in on the flanks by the mountains and the lake, and in front and rear by the enemy; when it became apparent that their only hope of safety lay in their right arms and their swords; then every man became his own commander and urged himself to action, and the battle began all over again. It was no ordered battle, with the troops marshalled in triple line, nor did the vanguard fight before the standards and the rest of the army behind them, neither did each soldier keep to his proper legion cohort and maniple: it was chance that grouped them, and every man’s own valour assigned him his post in van or rear; and such was the frenzy of their eagerness and so absorbed were they in fighting, that an earthquake, violent enough to overthrow large portions of many of the towns of Italy, turn swift streams from their courses, carry the sea up into rivers, and bring down mountains with great landslides, was not even felt by any of the combatants. (tr. Benjamin Oliver Foster)

Miscere

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Quid te, Tucca, iuvat vetulo miscere Falerno
in Vaticanis condita musta cadis?
quid tantum fecere boni tibi pessima vina?
aut quid fecerunt optima vina mali?
de nobis facile est; scelus est iugulare Falernum
et dare Campano toxica saeva mero.
convivae meruere tui fortasse perire:
amphora non meruit tam pretiosa mori.
(Martial 1.18)

Tucca, what satisfaction do you get out of mixing must stored in Vatican* jars with old Falernian? What great good have vile wines done you or fine wines what harm? Never mind about us; it’s a crime to murder Falernian and put fierce toxins into a Campanian vintage. Maybe your guests deserved to perish, but so costly a jar did not deserve to die. (tr. David Roy Shackleton-Bailey)

Reum

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Quas inter medias furvae caliginis umbram
dispulit inconsultus Amor stridentibus alis.
agnovere omnes puerum memorique recursu
communem sensere reum, quamquam umida circum
nubila et auratis fulgentia cingula bullis
et pharetram et rutilae fuscarent lampados ignem.
agnoscunt tamen et vanum vibrare vigorem
occipiunt hostemque unum loca non sua nanctum,
cum pigros ageret densa sub nocte volatus,
facta nube premunt: trepidantem et cassa parantem
suffugia in coetum mediae traxere catervae.
(Ausonius, Cupido Cruciatus 45-55)

Into the midst of these Love rashly broke scattering the darkness of that murky gloom with rustling wings. All recognized the boy, and as their
thoughts leapt back, they knew him for the one transgressor against them all, though the damp clouds obscured the sheen of his golden-studded
belt, his quiver, and the flame of his glowing torch. Yet they recognize him, and essay to wield their phantom strength against him, and upon their one
foe, now lighted on a realm not his own where he could ply his wings but feebly under the clogging weight of night, gathering in a throng they press:
him trembling and vainly seeking to escape, they dragged into the midst of the crowding band. (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn White)