Lovers and Love Lost

Amore nihil mollius, nihil violentius - Nothing is more tender, nothing is more violent than love.
Omia Amor Vincit: Love conquers all

enamor: to inflame with love; to charm, to captivate ( oohlala) to be enamored of a beautiful woman
amateur: one who does something for the love of it, as opposed to for the money

Pyramus and Thisbe:
In the Ovidian version, Pyramus and Thisbe are two lovers in the city of Babylon who occupy connected houses/walls, forbidden by their parents to be wed, because of their parents' rivalry. Through a crack in one of the walls, they whisper their love for each other. They arrange to meet near Ninus' tomb under a mulberry tree and state their feelings for each other. Thisbe arrives first, but upon seeing a lioness with a mouth bloody from a recent kill, she flees, leaving behind her veil. When Pyramus arrives he is horrified at the sight of Thisbe's veil, assuming that a wild beast has killed her. Pyramus kills himself, falling on his sword in proper Roman fashion, and in turn splashing blood on the white mulberry leaves. Pyramus' blood stains the white mulberry fruits, turning them dark. Thisbe returns, eager to tell Pyramus what had happened to her, but she finds Pyramus' dead body under the shade of the mulberry tree. Thisbe, after a brief period of mourning, stabs herself with the same sword. In the end, the gods listen to Thisbe's lament, and forever change the colour of the mulberry fruits into the stained colour to honour the forbidden love.

pyramus and thisbe death.jpg
mulberry tree.jpg

Simulatio amoris peior odio est - Pretended love is worse than hatred (Pliny the Younger).

Amor caecus est: Love is blind

simulation:imitation or enactment, as of something anticipated or in testing; the act or process of pretending; feigning.

pejorative: expressing contempt or disapproval

Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice get married, but later that night, Eurydice is bit by a snake and dies. So far, so terrible. Overcome with grief, Orpheus travels to the Underworld to bring her back to life. He convinces Hades and Persephone to let Eurydice go, but her release comes with a catch: Eurydice must walk behind him as they ascend to the upper world, and Orpheus is forbidden from looking at her. Seems easy enough, right?

Unfortunately, Orpheus is overcome with passion just as they reach the exit. He turns to look at Eurydice and she is immediately sent back to the Underworld – forever. Orpheus is devastated (again) and roams around Greece playing sad songs. Eventually, he is ripped to shreds by a group of drunken mad women. ( www.smoop)

OrpheusEurydice3.jpgorpheus and cerberus.jpg


Orpheus student film


Ars Amatoris : The Art of Love ( oohlala); poem by Ovid; how to get, keep a lover.

Remedia Amatoris: The Remedy of Love; poem by Ovid, how to lose a lover or get over a rejection

If you want to catch a fish, put out the nets

remediate: to set right; to go back to the middle ( and fix stuff)

inert ( in+ars, artis): lacking in skill as in not moving or having any power;having no inherent power of action, motion, or resistance

Ovid: Roman lover and love poet extraordinaire
carmen et error :a poem and a mistake; leading to Augustus to exile him to Tomis
external image 220px-Thrace_and_present-day_state_borderlines.png
external image 340px-Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_Ovide_chez_les_Scythes_%281862%29.jpg
Eugène Delacroix, Ovid among the Scythians, 1862, Oil on wood, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hero and Leanderthe parting of Leander.jpg
"Leander was a youth of Abydos, a town of the Asian side of the strait which separates Asia and Europe. On the opposite shore, in the town of Sestos, lived the maiden Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite.
Leander loved her, and used to swim the strait nightly to enjoy the company of his mistress, guided by a torch which she reared upon the tower for the purpose. But one night a tempest arose and the sea was rough; his strength failed, and he was drowned. The waves bore his body to the European shore, where Hero became aware of his death, and in her despair cast herself down from the tower into the sea and perished." ( Bulfinche's Mythology)heros-light.jpg
hero and leander

hristopher Marlowe, Hero and Leander

“Ut Amem Et Foveam” that translates to “So that I love and cherish.”
Caspost-davidbeckhamtattoos-p2.jpgDavid Beckham has this tattooed on his forearm. Another reason to love David if there were not enough already.

da mihi basia mille: Give me a thousand kisses (Catullus)

millennium: a period of 1000 years

paramour: a lover

Cleopatra and Caesar and Marc Antony

Cleopatra was the lover ( and Egyptian wife) of both men. This gave everyone a reason to hate her and they did. She and Marc Antony tried to take over Rome together, but they were thwarted by Octavian, and then they killed themselves.


Sine Cerere et Baccho, Venus est frigida: Without Cere and Bacchus, Venus is cold

Si qua voles apti nubere, nube pari: If you wish to marry well, marry an equal

frigid: very cold; lacking in warmth or ardor
apt: suitable

Baucis and Philemon, A Greek Love Story

Near a swampy lake in Phyrgia there is a low wall enclosing two trees–a linden and an oak. Long long ago Zeus visited this land with his son, Hermes, the messenger god. The two gods traveled through the land, disguised as ordinary travelers, knocking on doors and asking for shelter and food. They were turned away at door after door until they reached the humble shack of Baucis, a kind old woman, and Philemon, her husband, humble farmers, who welcomed them in.
Baucis and Philemon had married young and worked and raised their family together and grown old, still in love and happy, though poor. With the two visitors seated a their humble table, Baucis kindled a fire and Philemon went to the garden to gather herbs for the stew pot. He flung in the rind of bacon and added water to the pot, stirring in the vegetables. All the while Baucis and Philemon cheerfully entertained their guests with conversation. When the meal was prepared and spread on the table. They began to eat. The old couple noticed with astonishment that their wine, no matter how much was poured, never ran out.

external image 597px-Andrea_Appiani_%28circle%29_Jupiter_und_Merkur_bei_Philemon_und_Baucis.jpg
This is a painting of Baucis and Philemon entertaining Hermes and Zeus. It was painted sometime around 1800, give or take a few decades by Andrea Appiani or one of his friends.
With humble surprise and some fear, the two recognized that their visitors were gods. They fell on their faces and begged pardon for the humble entertainment they had provided. The scrambled to add their lone goose to the meal, but the goose could not be caught. Zeus raised them to their feet and declared that though the ungrateful cruel village would be destroyed, Baucis and Philemon would be preserved. Zeus and Hermes took the couple to the top of a nearby hill and they all watched as a lake rose up and covered the whole of the village except for a little island upon which stood the small cottage of Baucis and Philemon. The cottage transformed into a beautiful columned temple before their eyes.
Then Zeus asked the couple what they would ask of him. The consulted together then Philemon begged that they might be made priests of the temple and when their time came to die they might leave this earth at the same time so as not to be parted in sorrow. Zeus granted their desire.

For many more years the couple were priests of the small pretty temple and blessed all travelers who came their way with rest and food and safety on their travels. One day as they stood bent and stooped in the yard in front of the temple they saw one another changing into trees before their eyes. They understand that the time had come for them to leave the earth. Baucis changed into a beautiful linden and Philemon into a mighty oak. They stand there today, branches intertwining to remind all of their love and kindness.

odi et amo: I hate and I love

“Ille mi par esse deo videtur
ille, si fas est, superare divos,
qui sedens adversus identitem te
spectat et audit
dulce ridentem, misero quod omnis
eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,
Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi

lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
flamma demanat, sonitu suopte
tintinant aures gemina, teguntur
lumina nocte.

That man seems to me to be equal to a god,
that man , if it is right, to be above the gods
who sitting across from you
again and again
sees you and hears you
laughtin sweetly, which seizes all my senses
from miserable me: for at the same time I see you
Lesbia, nothing is above me

my tounge is paralyzed,
a thin flame burns under my limbs,
my ears ring with their own sound,
my twin lights are touched by night...

deify: to make into a god
odious: hateful

Catullus and Clodia ( aka Lesbia)

Gaius Valerius Catullus was born to a leading equestrian family of Verona, in Cisalpine Gaul.
It was probably in Rome that Catullus fell deeply in love with the "Lesbia" of his poems, who is usually identified with Clodia Metelli, a sophisticated woman from the aristocratic house of patrician family Claudii Pulchri, sister of the infamous Publius Clodius Pulcher, and wife to proconsul Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer. In his poems Catullus describes several stages of their relationship: initial euphoria, doubts, separation, and his wrenching feelings of loss. Clodia had several other partners; “From the poems one can adduce no less than five lovers in addition to Catullus: Egnatius (poem 37), Gellius (poem 91), Quintius (poem 82), Rufus (poem 77), and Lesbius (poem 79).” There is also some question surrounding her husband’s mysterious death in 59 B.C., some critics believing he was domestically poisoned. Yet, a sensitive and passionate Catullus could not relinquish his flame for Clodia, regardless of her obvious indifference to his desire for a deep and permanent relationship. In his poems, Catullus wavers between devout, sweltering love and bitter, scornful insults that he directs at her blatant infidelity (as demonstrated in poems 11 and 58). His passion for her is unrelenting— yet it is unclear when exactly the couple split up for good. Catullus's poems about the relationship display striking depth and psychological insight.

Bust Of Catullus;
Piazza Carducci, Sirmione
" Lesbia" by John Reinhard Weguelin

6/5 so close

desinas ineptire: Stop being a fool
( advice Catullus gave to himself...knowing what to do and doing it are two very different things); stop pining away for someone who doesn't even want you
and now, the talented Miss Patsy Kline , pining away for some one

Rivalem patienter habe - With patience bear a rival (in love) (Ovid)

inept: hapless, incapable
rival: one with whom you compete

Clytie and Helios
Clytie was a water-nymph and in love with Helios [the god of the Sun], who made her no return. So she pined away, sitting all day long upon the cold ground, with her unbound tresses streaming over her shoulders. Nine days she sat and tasted neither food nor drink, her own tears and the chilly dew her only food. She gazed on the sun when he rose, and as he passed through his daily course to his setting; she saw no other object, her face turned constantly on him. At last, they say, her limbs rooted in the ground, her face became a flower which turns on its stem so as always to face the sun throughout its daily course; for it retains to that extent the feeling of the nymph from whom it sprang. clytie.jpg

clytie modern.jpg

Una Perpetuum : One forever

Historia Calamitatum: A History of Calamity ( Abelard, about the misfortunes that plagued his life)

perpetual: ongoing; forever
calamity: an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster

Heloise and Abelard
In twelfth century Paris, the intellectually gifted young Heloise, the niece of Notre Dame’s Canon Fulbert, strives for knowledge, truth and the answer to the question of human existence. It soon becomes apparent that only one teacher in Paris can provide the education that she seeks. Though twenty years her senior, Abelard quickly becomes intrigued by Heloise’s uncommon wit and intelligence, for Heloise is on par intellectually with Abelard.
They soon find themselves so entwined that neither can resist the spiritual and physical desires of their bodies, yet they both know that the laws of the time forbid such a relationship. But their physical love and the strength of their passion proved to be a power impossible to resist.
When Heloise becomes pregnant, they realize it is not safe for her to remain in Paris. They flee for Brittany, Abelard’s place of birth. In a scheme to protect the dignity of his fallen niece, and return Heloise to his home, Canon Fulbert arranges a secret marriage between Heloise and Abelard. But shortly after the two lovers are wed, they discover Fulbert’s true plot is to ruin Abelard and keep Heloise for himself. For her safety, Heloise escapes to the convent at Argenteuil, but it is too late for Abelard and he is brutally attacked in Paris.
As a result of his humiliating punishment, Abelard no longer considers himself capable of continuing as a teacher at Notre Dame, and he and Heloise understand what they must do. Canon Bedell pleads with Abelard to not force such a fate upon Heloise, but both Heloise and Abelard agree that they must take Holy Orders as Monk and Nun. In a heartbreaking moment, Heloise must give up her child, knowing that she will never see him again.
Through their famous correspondence of twenty years, their love continues to flourish, in spite of their separation. After many years pass, in a chance meeting, Heloise and Abelard are briefly reunited at a ceremony in Paris. Though they have been physically apart all these years, at last in the sight of the other, the former lovers realize that the love they share is the reason for human existence. As the glorious ceremony begins, they triumphantly promise to remain “Forever One”.
They never met again, yet through their famous letters, their love endures.
Six hundred years later, it was Josephine Bonaparte, so moved by their story, the she ordered that the remains of Abelard and Heloise be entombed together at Pére Lachaise cemetery in Paris. To this day, lovers from all over the world visit the tomb where the remains of Heloise and Abelard rest eternally together.
AbelardHeloiseTomb (1).jpg


Militat omnis amans: Every lover is a soldier. (Ovid)
love is a battlefield

Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur Even a god finds it hard to love and be wise at the same time.

concede: to yeild
militant: pugnanious and aggressive' like a soldier

There are all kinds of flood stories in all kinds of religions The story of Deucalion and Pyrrha is the Greek version. Like the version from the Old Testament, in the Greek version, the flood is a means to punish mankind.
Warned by his father, the immmortal titan Prometheus, Deucalion built an ark to survive the coming Bronze Age-ending flood that Zeus was sending to punish mankind for its wickedness.
Deucalion and his cousin-wife, Pyrrha (daughter of Prometheus' brother Epimetheus and Pandora), survived for 9 days of flooding before landing at Mt. Parnassus. All alone in the world they wanted company. In answer to this need, the titan and goddess of prophecy Themis cryptically told them to throw the bones of their mother behind them. They interpreted this as meaning "throw stones over their shoulders onto Mother Earth," and did so. The stones Deucalion threw became men and those Pyrrha threw became women.