And if one should suppose that he masturbates, he will penetrate a male or female slave because the hands, brought to the genitals, are its servants. But if he should not have servants, he will suffer a loss due to the release of his sperm to no purpose. And I know of a certain slave who imagined he gave a hand job to his master, and he became the tutor and nurse of his children. For he held in his hands the genitals of his master, which are significant of the children of that man. And, moreover, I know of <a certain man> who imagined that he was given a hand job by his master and, being bound to a pillar, he received many lashes, and in this way was he ‘pulled tight’ by his master. (tr. Daniel E. Harris-McCoy)
Ut mihi tu claudis, mater stomachosa, fenestram,
sic tibi claudatur cunnus, iniqua parens!
id tibi erit gravius, caelebs videare licebit,
quam tibi si caeli ianua clausa foret.
(Antonio Beccadelli, Hermaphroditus 2.4)
Just as you close the window against me, ill-tempered mother,
so may your cunt be closed up, cruel parent.
Though you seem to be single, that will be worse for you
than if the gates of heaven were closed against you. (tr. Holt Parker)
A-a-a-a-h! Cephallenian stranger, I wish this pain would go right through your chest! Ah, ah, alas! Alas once more! O you two generals, [Agamemnon, O Menelaus, if only instead of me] may you feed this sickness for an equal time! Ah me! O death, death, why can you never come, though I do not cease to call you thus each day? O my son, O my noble son, take me and burn me with this fire that is invoked as Lemnian, noble one! I also once consented to do this to the son of Zeus in return for those weapons which you now are guarding! What do you say, boy? What do you say? Why are you silent? Where are you, my son? (tr. Hugh Lloyd-Jones)
Caduca nimirum et fragilia puerilibusque consentanea crepundiis sunt ista quae vires atque opes humanae vocantur. adfluunt subito, repente dilabuntur, nullo in loco, nulla in persona stabilibus nixa radicibus consistunt, sed incertissimo flatu Fortunae huc atque illuc acta quos sublime extulerunt improviso recursu destitutos profundo cladium miserabiliter immergunt. itaque neque existimari neque dici debent bona quae, ut inflictorum malorum amaritudine desiderium sui duplicent, <…>
(Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia 6.9 ext. 7)
Frail and fragile surely and like children’s toys are the so-called power and wealth of humankind. Suddenly they stream in, abruptly they fall apart, in no place or person do they stand on fixed or stable roots, but driven hither and thither by Fortune’s fickle breeze they forsake those they have raised aloft in unexpected withdrawal and lamentably plunge them into an abyss of disaster. Therefore they should neither be thought nor called good things that in order to double the bitterness of inflicted evils by craving for their return * * * (tr. David Roy Shackleton Bailey)
CHO. Hey, hey, it’s time,
dear ladies, to shake a leg and hop off to dinner,
if we mean to do it at all. So you start moving your feet too,
to a Cretan tune.
BLE. That’s what I’m doing!
CHO. And these girls too,
so lithe, should join us in lightly moving their gams to the rhythm.
For soon there’ll be served
limpets and saltfish and sharksteak and dogfish
and mullets and oddfish with savory pickle sauce
and thrushes with blackbirds and various pigeons
and roosters and pan-roasted wagtails and larks
and nice chunks of hare marinated in mulled wine
and all of it drizzled with honey and silphium
and vinegar, oil, and spices galore! Now that you’ve heard
what awaits you, run grab your plate quickly,
then raise the dust, but take
some porridge for dinner!
BLE. I’m sure that they’re stuffing it in.
CHO. Lift your legs aloft, hey hey,
we’re off to dinner, hoy hoy,
and victory, hurray!
Hurray hurrah! (tr. Jeffrey Henderson)
Notas habemus quisque corporis formas:
Phoebus comosus, Hercules lacertosus;
trahit figuram virginis tener Bacchus,
Minerva flavo lumine est, Venus paeto;
frontes caprinos Arcades vides Faunos;
habet decentes nuntius deum plantas;
tutela Lemni dispares movet gressus;
intonsa semper Aesculapio barba est;
nemo est feroci pectorosior Marte.
quod si quis inter haec locus mihi restat,
deus Priapo mentulatior non est!
We all show special notes of bodily shape:
Long-haired is Phoebus, arm-strong Hercules,
And tender Bacchus owneth virginal form;
Pallas hath grey-blue eyes, Venus a cast;
Th’ Arcadian Fauns thou seest bloody-browed
And the Gods’ Messenger shows proper feet;
The Guard of Lemnos moves unequal steps;
Ever untrimmed is Aesculapius’ beard;
None hath a broader breast than bully Mars;
But, an Priapus’ rank ‘mid these remain,
There be no better-membered deity. (tr. Leonard C. Smithers & Richard Burton)
Natalis Iuno, sanctos cape turis acervos,
quos tibi dat tenera docta puella manu.
tota tibi est hodie, tibi se laetissima compsit,
staret ut ante tuos conspicienda focos.
illa quidem ornandi causas tibi, diva, relegat;
est tamen, occulte cui placuisse velit.
at tu, sancta, fave, neu quis divellat amantes,
sed iuveni quaeso mutua vincla para.
sic bene compones: ullae non ille puellae
servire aut cuiquam dignior illa viro.
nec possit cupidos vigilans deprendere custos
fallendique vias mille ministret Amor.
(Corpus Tibullianum 3.12)
Juno, birth-spirit, accept the sacred heaps of incense
that the learned girl’s gentle hand offers you.
She’s bathed for you, today, dressed herself so gladly,
to stand before your altar, visible to all.
She ascribes the cause to you, goddess, it’s true:
yet there’s one she secretly desires to please.
Then be gracious, sacred one, let no one separate
the lovers, but, I beg you, forge the same fetters for the boy.
You’ll do well to join them: there’s no girl he
might more fittingly serve, and no man her.
And may no wakeful guard surprise their passion,
and Love provide a thousand pathways of deceit. (tr. Tony Kline)