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Love and its Critics

 | 
Michael Bryson
, 
Arpi Movsesian

3. Love and its Absences in Late Latin and Greek Poetry

Texte intégral

I. Love in the Poetry of Late Antiquity: Latin

  • 1 Sergio Casali. “The Bellum Civile as an Anti-Aeneid”. In Brill’s Companion to Lucan, ed. by Paolo A (...)
  • 2 Patrick McCloskey and Edward Phinney, Jr. “Ptolemaeus Tyrannus: The Typification of Nero in the Pha (...)
  • 3 Nigel Holmes. “Nero and Caesar: Lucan 1.33–66”. Classical Philology, 94: 1 (January 1999), 80, http (...)

1After Virgil and Ovid, the poetry of love begins to fade into the background of the literary scene. Many of the later Latin poets, like Claudian and Sidonius of the late fourth and the fifth centuries, follow Lucan rather than Ovid, in a poetic tradition that puts love aside entirely: “Lucan’s poem, programmatically, declares the absence of ‘love’ at the outset. The Bellum Civile has no ‘love’. It does not have an Iliadic part […] or an Odyssean part. It has only war”.1 Lucan’s epic The Civil War (or Pharsalia) is a lengthy account of the defeat of Pompey the Great by Julius Caesar, whose victory at the battle of Pharsalus in 48 BCE put Rome on the path to the empire it would hold for centuries: “in the Pharsalia [Lucan] universalized his personal grievance into all Rome’s, and therefore the world’s, loss of libertas […] to the whimsy of a Caesar”.2 Though Lucan was not politically sympathetic either to Pompey or to Caesar, being instead a great admirer of Cato (a staunch defender of the old Roman Republic), he looks back with an odd nostalgia to the saner despot of the previous century. Lucan’s poem is one in which “two incompatible attitudes are presented […] at least as long as Lucan remained in Nero’s circle: not only does he praise him, he does so against his own political beliefs”.3

  • 4 McCloskey and Phinney, 82.
  • 5 Ibid., 83.

2On the other hand, Lucan “did not object to monarchy, but to severe and despotic tyranny, as practiced in the Hellenized East and in Rome during Nero’s later years. In the Pharsalia, tyranny was exemplified by Caesar and Alexander. Its emblem was the sword”.4 Julius Caesar serves Lucan as “the prototype of the tyrant Nero [… though] Caesar had more virtues than Lucan cared or was able to attribute to Nero”.5 And yet, despite his oddly ambivalent attitude toward Nero, Lucan’s love for Rome, and his longing for the old days of the Republic, shine through the poem’s portrayal of a charismatic Cato, the last line of defence, protecting a freedom Lucan had never known:

  • 6 Lucan. The Civil War, 9.253–61, 264–65, 274–75, ed. by J. D. Duff (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Universit (...)

Actum Romanis fuerat de rebus, et omnis
Indiga servitii fervebat litore plebes:
Erupere ducis sacro de pectore voces:
“Ergo pari voto gessisti bella, iuventus,
Tu quoque pro dominis, et Pompeiana fuisti,
Non Romana manus? quod non in regna laboras,
Quod tibi, non ducibus, vivis morerisque, quod orbem
Adquiris nulli, quod iam tibi vincere tutum est,
Bella fugis
[…]
nunc patriae iugulos ensesque negatis,
Cum prope libertas?
[…]
O famuli turpes, domini post fata prioris
Itis ad heredem.
6

The campaign for Rome was nearly ended, and the mob,
on fire for servitude, swarmed across the beach.
Then from the leader’s sacred breast, these words burst forth:
“So did you young men go to war, fighting for the same vows,
defending the masters—and were you the troops of Pompey,
and not of Rome? Now that you no longer labor for a tyrant;
now that your lives and deaths, belong to you, not your leaders;
now that you fight for no one else but yourselves,
now you
fly from the war,
[…]
now you deny your country your swords and throats
when freedom is near?
[…]
Cowardly slaves! Your former master has met his fate,
and you go to serve his heir”.

  • 7 McCloskey and Phinney, 87.

3Lucan, who was eventually drawn into a plot to assassinate Nero, established a pattern, with Pharsalia, of celebrating the greater glories of an unrecoverable Roman past, longing for a world he portrayed as more civilized than the present age. At the same time, he perversely praises the dictator Nero—whom modern historians call “a Caesar worse than Caesar, a tyrant whose vices were compounded by the petulant inhumanity of a childlike man who acted thirteen even when he was as old as thirty-two”7—by describing him as the glorious final goal toward which all Roman history had been striving:

  • 8 Lucan, 1.33, 44–52, 25, 27.

Quod si non aliam uenturo fata Neroni
[…]
Multum Roma tamen debet ciuilibus armis
Quod tibi res acta est. te, cum statione peracta
Astra petes serus, praelati regia caeli
Excipiet gaudente polo: seu sceptra tenere
Seu te flammigeros Phoebi conscendere currus
Telluremque nihil mutato sole timentem
Igne uago lustrare iuuet, tibi numine ab omni
Cedetur, iurisque tui natura relinquet
Quis deus esse uelis, ubi regnum ponere mundi.
8
Yet, if fate could in no other way bring Nero,
[…]
much will Rome owe to these civil wars
because they were conducted for you. When your task is done,
and you go to seek the stars, the palaces of heaven will be yours,
heaven will be joyful: and whether you hold a sceptre
or choose to ride Phoebus’ fiery chariot
circling with moving fire the undisturbed earth,
by the light of fire you will be given power, from all
granted to you, and nature will leave you to decide
what god to be, and where to put your universal throne.

4We still see this combination of nostalgia and perversity nearly four centuries later in the work of Claudian, whose panegyrics to a failing Rome, and its forgettable (and essentially forgotten) ruler Honorius, show how far poets had declined into grateful subservience since the days of the banished Ovid:

  • 9 Claudian. “Panegyric on the Sixth Consulship of the Emperor Honorius”. 28.53–55, 65–76. Claudian: V (...)

Agnoscisne tuos, princeps venerande, penates?
haec sunt, quae primis olim miratus in annis
patre pio monstrante puer
[…]
teque rudem vitae, quamvis diademate necdum
cingebare comas, socium sumebat honorum
purpureo fotum gremio, parvumque triumphis
imbuit et magnis docuit praeludere fatis.
et linguis variae gentes missique rogatum
foedera Persarum proceres cum patre sedentem
hac quondam videre domo positoque tiaram
summisere genu.
9

Do you recognize your house, adored Prince?
It is the same that first you marveled at in the years of old
When your pious Father, showed it to you as a child.
[…]
Though your life was yet rude, and the crown had not yet
enclosed your head, your father shared his honors,
his royal purple, fondling you in his lap, sharing his triumphs,
teaching you, in your youth, the overture to your mighty destiny.
Peoples of different nations and languages sent requests,
Persian nobles sought treaties while sitting with your father,
but having once seen the crown on your head,
they also bent their knees to you.

  • 10 F. J. E. Raby. A History of Secular Latin Poetry in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934) (...)

5One can imagine Ovid’s disdain for such flattery (even Virgil might find this level of obsequiousness embarrassing). For Claudian “no exaggeration, however gross, suggested to him that here he must, for the sake of decency, draw the line”.10 If it seems that the purpose of poetry in the Roman world of the early fifth century (404 CE) was the unseemly celebration of mediocrity in power, that is because of work like Claudian’s fawning poem to Honorius, the first Roman Emperor to see Rome sacked during his reign:

  • 11 William E. Dunstan. Ancient Rome (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011), 515.

The ambitious Alaric comprehended Honorius’ feebleness and again invaded Italy, intending to march on Rome. At the time, Honorius presided over the imperial court from a town on the Adriatic coast, Ravenna, surrounded by great protective marshes […]. Alaric besieged Rome three times between 408 and 410, [and] in 410 venerable Rome finally fell.11

  • 12 F. J. E. Raby. A History of Christian-Latin Poetry: From the Beginnings to the Close of the Middle (...)

6But later fifth-century poets would not fail to rise (or sink) to the challenge represented by Claudian’s flattery. Sidonius Appolinaris, the fifth-century Bishop of Auvergne, writes his Carmen II, or Panegyric on Anthemius to address the late-fifth century ruler (the Augustus) of a nearly-collapsed Western Roman Empire. F. J. E. Raby describes Sidonius as “the most distinguished literary figure of his day”, famous for “his panegyrics on successive emperors”, before noting that “the poems themselves are poor in content”, though they have an “ineffectual ingenuity”.12 It is not hard to tell why: Sidonius’s work, like Claudian’s, is pure propaganda designed to prop up a weak ruler:

  • 13 Lynette Watson. “Representing the Past, Redefining the Future: Sidonius Appolinaris’Panegyrics of A (...)

Claudian’s panegyrics have been defined as propaganda, and Sidonius’ panegyrics certainly have a definite political purpose, but […] an important fact should always be borne in mind: Claudian wrote his imperial panegyrics for an apparently established dynasty, [while] Sidonius was writing half a century later and lived in a period of political chaos.13

  • 14 Peter Brown. Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity (...)
  • 15 Dunstan, 518.

7By Sidonius’s time, Rome had long since begun its decline. But Sidonius was loyal to the bitter end, presenting “what remained of the empire as a model society that was worthy of unquestioning loyalty. To be loyal to Rome was to be loyal to civilization itself”.14 Yet Rome, and its civilization, had passed its peak long before Sidonius was born. Diocletian had split the Empire into western and eastern portions in 285 CE, while Constantine had transferred the center of real power from Rome to Constantinople sometime between 324 and 330 CE. Since the move east, the west had become increasingly vulnerable to northern invaders, such as Alaric in 410, and by the time of Sidonius, it was under foreign domination: “The years from 456 to 472 saw the Roman west under the virtual rule of a German named Flavius Ricimer, a Suevian general whose maternal grandfather had ruled as a Visigothic king. Ricimer made and unmade a series of puppet emperors occupying the Ravenna throne”,15 one of whom was Anthemius. But despite Anthemius’s status as Ricimer’s pawn, Sidonius addresses this inconsequential ruler as if he were the great Augustus Caesar himself:

  • 16 Sidonius. “Panegyric on Anthemius”, 2.1–12. In Poems and Letters. 2 Vols, ed. by W. B. Anderson (Lo (...)

Auspicio et numero fasces, Auguste, secundos
erige et effulgens trabealis mole metalli
annum pande novum consul vetus ac sine fastu
scribere bis fastis; quamquam diademate crinem
fastigatus eas umerosque ex more priorum
includat Sarrana chlamys, te picta togarum
purpura plus capiat, quia res est semper ab aevo
rara frequens consul, tuque o cui laurea, lane,
annua debetur, religa torpore soluto
quavis fronde comas, subita nee luce pavescas
principis aut rerum credas elementa moveri.
nil natura novat: sol hie quoque venit ab ortu.
16

Your fortunes, Augustus, and your second fasces,
take up, and in your ceremonial robe gleaming with gold,
open, as a veteran consul, the new year; without scorn
write your name again in the rolls; though the diadem in your hair,
and your sloping shoulders, are like those of your predecessors
who wore Tyrian robes, your consul’s togas painted
purple might please you more, for since Rome’s earliest years
repeated consulships are rare; and you, Janus, whose laurel
is due to you annually, bind up your weariness,
bind up your hair with leaves, do not give in to sudden fear,
or imagine the elements are all in motion.
Nature is unchanged: the sun rises in the East, but also here.

  • 17 Sidonius seems to have known this, as “he dated his death by the reign of the eastern emperor, Zeno (...)
  • 18 Alan Cameron. Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 19 (...)

8There is something absurd in lauding a weak western Augustus in an era in which power has long since flowed east to Constantinople (where the sun of wealth and power really rises in Sidonius’ era).17 No one there likely knew or cared much about the rump emperors of the feeble and abandoned west. In all likelihood, no one outside an increasingly irrelevant Rome would ever have heard or read the propaganda produced by either Claudian or Sidonius: “whether or not Claudian found many readers in the East, his propaganda is not likely to have had much more effect there than communist propaganda in western capitals today”.18

9After such unseemly adulation of past power in a perilously fragile present, the rest is silence. By 476, with the deposition of the western Emperor Romulus by Flavius Odoacer, who proceeded to call himself (and reign as) the first king of Italy, the west fell into irrelevance. The poems of praise written by a fifth-century bishop seem, in retrospect, like insincere love letters written to a dying world, as the age of secular civilization was about to begin its long struggle with the western Church Sidonius served. Theology would soon begin to dominate Latin writing, a development reflected in much of the new Christian poetry of the period. Christianity comes to have a transformative effect (and not often for the better) on both Latin and later vernacular poetry; its influence can be seen initially in the poetry of Prudentius, a Roman Christian of the fourth century. His Hymnus Ante Somnum (Hymn Before Sleep) is representative:

  • 19 Prudentius. “Hymnus Ante Somnum”. In Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Vol. 59, ed. by Jacques Paul Mig (...)

Fluxit labor diei,
redit et quietis hora,
blandus sopor vicissim
fessos relaxat artus.
[…]
Corpus licet fatiscens
iaceat recline paullum,
Christum tamen sub ipso
meditabimur sopore.
19

The day’s labor has flowed past,
and the quiet hours return,
the charms of sleep, in turn,
relax our weary limbs.
[…]
The weary body may
recline a short while,
yet in Christ himself
our sleeping thoughts will be.

  • 20 Raby, 89.

10Rather than the idea of human love being introduced after “the day’s labor has flowed past” (as one might expect in Ovid), the turn here is away from the human and toward the divine. This turn is even more prominent in the sixth-century poet Venantius Fortunatus, who may well represent the high point of artistic achievement in the Christian Latin poetry of the period. His hymn, Vexilla Regis, is “one of the first creations of purely medieval religious feeling”,20 a sentiment expressed in words of joy over a human sacrifice. There is no trace here of the spirit of Ovid, or the Song of Songs, as all emotion is directed toward the heavens:

  • 21 Venantius Fortunatus. Venanti Honori Clementiani Fortunati Presbyteri Italici Opera Poetica, ed. by (...)

Vexilla regis prodeunt,
fulget crucis mysterium,
quo carne carnis conditor
suspensus est patíbulo.
[…]
Salve ara, salve victima
de passionis gloria,
qua vita mortem pertulit
et morte vitam reddidit.
21

The Royal banner advances,
the mystical Cross glows,
where the maker of flesh, flesh was made,
suspended on the gallows pole.
[…]
Hail the altar, hail the victim
of the glorious passion,
by which life suffered death,
and life was delivered from death.

  • 22 μόνον ὕμνους θεοῖς καὶ ἐγκώμια τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς ποιήσεως” (Republic 607a. In Plato: Republic. Books 6– (...)
  • 23 Vexilla Regis was “composed for the the solemn reception of [a] special relic of the Holy Cross sen (...)
  • 24 Bembo’s poetry did not have the lasting appeal of the vernacular work of the time, and in the estim (...)
  • 25 The theoretical justification for this move appears first in Dante: “[t] his concern first appears (...)

11Here, poetry serves as a vehicle for worship, a means through which imagination and emotion can be “channeled, reformulated, and controlled” away from the here and toward the hereafter. At this point, poetry is approaching the condition Plato once envisioned, in which “only hymns to the gods and poems to great men”22 can be written. Here also we can see the way in which love poetry has often been redirected and repurposed, not only by such commentators and critics as Akiba and Origen, but by poets working in the spirit of their ideas (Dante will be one of the pre-eminent examples of this phenomenon). Christian-themed Latin poetry such as that of Prudentius and Fortunatus remained popular23 despite the failed attempts of Italian humanists like Pietro Bembo in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to revive Latin as the dominant language of secular poetry.24 Throughout the Europe of Bembo’s time, and long before, many of the most talented writers of love poetry had shifted to the vernacular,25 in a creative and poetic mood that started with the eleventh-century poets of the area we now know as the South of France.

12There are, however, some notable exceptions to the overall trend. Among them is the fourth-century poet Ausonius (from Bordeaux), who wrote a wide variety of verse: descriptions of everyday life (the Ephemeris), epitaphs, idylls (the most famous of which is a loving description of the Mosel region in Germany, the Mosella), but perhaps the single most memorable piece he ever wrote was included among his epigrams, a poem called Ad Uxorem (To My Wife). Here, he celebrates love and the wife he would lose all too soon upon her death at the age of twenty-seven:

  • 26 “Ad Uxorem”, Epigram 20. In Ausonius: Epigrams. Text with Introduction and Commentary, ed. by Nigel (...)

uxor, vivamus quod viximus et teneamus
nomina quae primo sumpsimus in thalamo,
nec ferat ulla dies, ut commutemur in aevo,
quin tibi sim iuvenis tuque puella mihi.
Nestore sim quamvis provectior aemulaque annis
vincas Cumanam tu quoque Deiphoben,
nos ignoremus quid sit matura senectus:
scire aevi meritum, non numerare decet.
26

Wife, let us live as we have lived and hold fast
to those names we first took privately,
and not be changed by transporting time.
Why should I not be youthful, you a maiden in years?
Though I should live longer than Nestor,
though you should outstrip Cumaean Sibyl,
let us be ignorant of maturity and age,
and know Time’s worth, not count its years.

13Remember this poem, when we later encounter theological and academic critics who deride husbands for “uxoriousness”, or being too much in love with their wives (and too little in love with God). Remember too, the pain Ausonius describes feeling—a full thirty-six years later—as he remembers his wife Sabina:

  • 27 Ausonius. “Attusia Lucana Sabina Uxor”, Parentalia IX. In Ausonius. Vol. I: Books 1–17, ed. by Hugh (...)

te iuvenis primis luxi deceptus in annis
perque novem caelebs te fleo Olympiadas,
nec licet obductum senio sopire dolorem;
semper crudescit nam mihi paene recens.
[…]
… tu mihi semper ades.
27

In my youth, I mourned for you, cheated of the years,
and I have wept, unmarried, for nine Olympiads.
Growing old has not obscured or dulled my sorrow;
for me, the pain ever grows, always recent.
[…]
… you are always with me.

  • 28 Sister Marie José Byrne. Prolegomena to an Edition of the Works of Decimus Magnus Ausonius. New Yor (...)

14These lines were written “thirty-six years after [Sabina’s] death, when Ausonius was seventy years old; yet the wound caused by her loss is still fresh, and time, which to others brings relief, has but intensified his sorrow”.28This is not a poem that speaks only of poetry itself.

  • 29 Robert J. Sklenár. “Ausonius’ Elegiac Wife: Epigram 20 and the Traditions of Latin Love Poetry”. Th (...)
  • 30 Ibid., 51.

15Far from being merely conventional figures, “some of Latin amatory poetry’s addressees probably were based on real people”, and here we have a perfect example: “Ausonius’s uxor […] is no figment of his imagination: she is in fact his wife, nor is Epigram 20 the only occasion on which he refers to her. The ninth poem of his Parentalia, a collection of epitaphs for dead family members, tells of her death at the age of twenty-seven”.29 In referencing Catullus’ Fifth Ode (Vivamus mea Lesbia), “Ausonius’s matrimonial love poem is […] noteworthy for its engagement with an inherently non-matrimonial tradition”,30 a note that we will hear again, in different ways, in both Shakespeare and John Donne, over a thousand years later.

  • 31 John Boswell. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from (...)

16The most famous examples of later Latin love poetry, however, do not appear for centuries after the periods of Claudian, Sidonius, and Ausonius. Alcuin, the late eighth-to early ninth-century poet and scholar in the court of Charlemagne, writes some curiously passionate verses to male friends. John Boswell argues that a “distinctly erotic element […] is notable in the circle of clerical friends presided over by Alcuin at the court of Charlemagne. […] The prominence of love in Alcuin’s writings, all of which are addressed to males, is striking”.31 One notable example is found in the opening lines of Pectus amor nostrum penetravit flamma:

  • 32 Alcuin. “Pectus amor nostrum penetravit flamma”. Monumenta Germaniae historica inde ab anno Christi (...)

Pectus amor nostrum penetravit flamma
Atque calore novo semper inardet amor.
Nec mare, nec tellus, montes nec silva vel alpes
Huic obstare queunt aut inhibere viam,
Quo minus, alme pater, semper tua viscera lingat,
Vel lacrimis lavet pectus, amate, tuum.
32

The flames of our love have penetrated my breast
And new heat always relights this love.
Neither sea, nor land, mountain nor forest, nor the Alps
Can obstruct or inhibit it
In the slightest, bountiful father, from always licking your flesh,
Or bathing your breast, my love, in my tears.

  • 33 “Christian friendship”—we will see this argument resorted to again, when scholars need to explain a (...)
  • 34 Allen J. Frantzen. Before the Closet: Same-Sex Love fromBeowulf toAngels in America” (Chicago: (...)
  • 35 David Clark. Between Medieval Men: Male Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature (...)
  • 36 Frantzen, 199. This letter never explicitly references the sin being spoken of: “What is it, my son (...)

17Though scholars after Boswell have been at great pains to explain away the apparent eroticism of such lines as “semper tua viscera lingat” (“always licking your flesh”, or perhaps even more intimately, “always licking your inmost flesh”), it should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the history of interpreting the Song of Songs that there are always ready arguments to explain what appears to be erotic passion as actually something else. Allen Frantzen, for example, argues that “such effusions […] belong to a venerable tradition of ‘Christian amicitia33 and need not have any direct relation to sexual passion”, then does his best to argue that Alcuin “deplored same-sex intercourse”,34 although this claim is undermined because Frantzen mistakes references to masturbation in Alcuin’s letters for references to sex. David Clark argues along similar lines, maintaining that while “Boswell is wrong to suggest that Alcuin did not condemn same-sex activity”, what Alcuin is really doing is “euphemistically referring to the sin of masturbation”,35 in a letter where he threatens one of his young students that such sinners will “burn in the flames of Sodom”.36 Clark insists that “[i] t is simply not possible to say whether Alcuin’s […] desires were the outward expression of personally recognised erotic feelings and whether those feelings were sexually expressed”, then goes on to make this contrary claim:

  • 37 Clark, 80.

nor is the question important or productive. It is perfectly possible for an individual to feel and express homoerotic desires and yet be utterly opposed to, even repulsed by, their physical expression, just as it is possible for an individual to condemn same-sex acts and yet be homosexually active.37

18When trying to understand the apparent passions expressed in a poem like Pectus amor nostrum penetravit flamma, how can knowledge of the passions of the author be deemed unimportant and unproductive? No proof is given for such a claim; readers are apparently simply supposed to accept this pronouncement without question. This is a prescriptive style of argument that we will see again and discuss in greater depth, especially in critical discussion of Donne’s work. Here we will merely observe that such arguments, which separate the poet from the poem, often serve to explain away the unruly and uncontrolled desires expressed in the poetry of love.

  • 38 See Peter Dronke, The Medieval Poet and His World (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1984), s (...)
  • 39 Ibid., 221–22.

19The anonymous lyric Iam dulcis amica, a late tenth-or early eleventh-century poem existing in three versions,38 celebrates a love that will begin to sound very familiar when we consider the vernacular poems of the troubadours. Peter Dronke explicitly compares this poem to the Song of Songs, arguing that the “Song of Songs language emerges in the terms of endearment—soror, amica, electa, dilecta […] but most of all it belongs to the final strophe of the Paris version, with its linking of the melting snows and nascent greenness with the quickening warmth of love”.39 This can be seen in the final two stanzas of the Paris manuscript:

  • 40 Ibid., 234–35. The original text from Paris BnF Latin 1118 fol 247v. is available online at http:// (...)

Ego fui sola in silva
et dilexi loca secreta:
Frequenter effugi tumultum
et vitavi populum multum.
Iam nix glaciesque liquescit,
Folium et herba virescit,
Philomena iam cantat in alto,
Ardet amor cordis in antro.
40

I was alone in the forest
and I delighted in secret places:
Frequently I fled from the tumult
and avoided the popular crowds.
Now, as snow and ice melt,
Leaves and grass grow green,
The nightingale sings from high above,
While love burns in the cave of my heart.

  • 41 Ibid., 233.

20As Dronke argues, this song reflects a woman’s perspective, and this evocation of “the fear and longing, the emotional heights and depths of the woman in love” owes a great deal “to the Song of Songs”, and “recur[s] spontaneously in similar forms in the ancient Near East, in medieval Spain [and] Anglo-Saxon England”.41

21Perhaps more famous still are the Latin poems from the Carmina Burana, a manuscript from the early thirteenth century collecting Latin and German songs of mockery, morality, drinking, and love. Among the best known now, due to the music of Carl Orff, is Tempus est iocundum, a lyric in the carpe diem tradition:

  • 42 Carmina Burana: Lateinische und deutsche Lieder und Gedichte einer Handschrift des XIII Jahihundert (...)

Tempus est iocundum, o virgines,
modo congaudete vos iuvenes.
Oh-oh, totus floreo, iam amore virginali
totus ardeo,
novus, novus amor est, quo pereo.
[…]
Veni, domicella, cum gaudio;
veni, veni, pulchra, iam pereo.
Oh-oh, totus floreo, iam amore virginali
totus ardeo,
novus, novus amor est, quo pereo.
42

The time is now for happiness, O virgins,
rejoice together now you young men.
Oh, oh, I am blooming, now with my first love.
totally on fire,
new, new love is what I am dying of.
[…]
Come, my mistress, with joy;
come, come, my beauty, for now I am dying.
Oh, oh, I am blooming, now with my first love,
totally on fire,
new, new love is what I am dying of.

22But here, we have reached both the time, and the spirit of the Occitan troubadours, and have left, properly speaking, the realm of late classical and early medieval Latin poetry. In lyrics such as these, we can hear the voice of Ovid and the Song of Songs once again, and see something of the essence of fin’amor.

II. Love in the Poetry of Late Antiquity: Greek

  • 43 Richard F. Hardin. Love in a Green Shade: Idyllic Romances Ancient to Modern (Lincoln, NE: Universi (...)
  • 44 φίλημα καὶ περιβολὴ καὶ συγκατακλινῆναι γυμνοῖς σώμασι” (Longus. Daphnis and Chloe, ed. by Jeffrey (...)
  • 45 πάντως ἐν αὐτῷ τι κρεῖττόν ἐστι φιλήματος” (ibid., 2.9.2, 70).

23Greek literature, by the early centuries of the Common Era, had long since been considered lesser than Latin poetry and prose. But for a time, Greek writers kept love alive in their work, especially through the work of a group of writers known as the Erotici Graeci, Greek writers of love stories. Of these, the most famous is Longus, “probably a rhetorician of the period known as the Second Sophistic, [who] reveals a crafted style, wide literary learning, and an unusually sophisticated, self-conscious narrative technique”.43 Daphnis and Chloe, Longus’ verse novel of approximately 200 CE, tells the story of two infants, a boy and a girl, exposed to die on hillsides about two years apart. In the way of such stories, the children are rescued before they are eaten by wild animals, and they are raised by rural families who live in close proximity to each other. Over the years, the two—the boy Daphnis and the girl Chloe—fall in love (Chloe when she sees Daphnis bathing, and Daphnis some time later after Chloe kisses him). However, they haven’t the slightest idea about the physical aspect of love—sex is a mystery to both of them, and neither of them knows anyone willing to explain it to them. An aging cowherd named Philetas, having accidentally encountered the naked god of love in his orchard, and remembered his long-ago love for a girl named Amaryllis as a result, tells the pair that the only cure for their condition is “kissing and embracing and lying down with naked bodies”.44 The young lovers take to this activity with regularity and enthusiasm, but find themselves confused about the “lying down with naked bodies” part, thinking that “in any case, there must be something in it stronger than kissing”,45 without knowing what that something might be.

  • 46 John J. Winkler. The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece (N (...)
  • 47 If the reader is beginning to catch a whiff of a later story like The Princess Bride, he or she is (...)

24In the meantime, a series of misadventures threaten to separate the pair, often menacing the two lovers through “the forms of sexual violence to which Chloe—and to a certain extent Daphnis—is subject”.46 Daphnis is kidnapped by Tyrian pirates, and is only rescued by Chloe’s quick thinking in playing a cowherd’s pipe that induces dozens of cows to jump from a low cliff into the water near the ship (and some even onto the ship itself), causing the ship to capsize and drown the heavily-armored pirates, enabling Daphnis to swim back ashore. A fellow shepherd tries to rape Chloe, and she is abducted by Methymnean raiders seeking revenge on Daphnis. (They blame him for the loss of their ship, since one of his goats chewed through the line with which they had moored their vessel, causing it to float away with the tide while they were on shore). Longus resorts to a deus ex machina here, having Pan rescue Chloe.47

  • 48 Stephen Epstein raises the serious, yet profoundly comic question: “What purpose does the text achi (...)

25After a number of misadventures—including an episode in which Daphnis tries to imitate goats in his absurdly ineffectual claspings with Chloe48—Daphnis is finally taught how to make use of the “lying down with naked bodies” advice that has puzzled him for so long:

  • 49 Εὑροῦσα δὴ Λυκαίνιον αἰπολικὴν ἀφθονίαν, οἵαν οὐ προσεδόκησεν, ἤρχετο παιδεύειν τὸν Δάφνιν τοῦτον(...)

Finding a freedom from envy and a liberality in the goatherd that she had not expected, Lycaenium began then to teach Daphnis in this manner. She ordered him to sit down next to her, and to give her the customary kind and number of kisses, and to throw his arms around her as he kissed her, and lie down upon the ground. Then he sat down, and kissed her, and lay down with her, learning in action to be able and vigorous while lying upon his side, and as he raised himself up, she slipped beneath him skillfully, bringing him into that path he had sought for so long. From that point on, there was no need to take more pains with him; Nature taught him the rest of what was necessary.49

  • 50 Χλόη δὲ συμπαλαίουσά σοι ταύτην τὴν πάλην καὶ οἰμώξει καὶ κλαύσεται κἀν αἵματι κείσεται πολλῷ” (ib (...)
  • 51 Hardin, 15, 16.

26However, Lycaenion also tells Daphnis that the experience will be different with the virgin Chloe: “Chloe, if you wrestle with her in this way, will be injured, and cry aloud while bleeding”,50 advice which frightens Daphnis and nearly dissuades him from even kissing Chloe. Daphnis here shows a concern similar to that found in the poetry of the later troubadours, as well as the works of Shakespeare and Milton, a “mutuality in love, so crucial to the meaning of this story, [which] sets the Greek romances apart”. Daphnis, “exercising restraint out of consideration for Chloe, shows a different kind of love”,51 caring for her as an individual whose feelings and desires are just as important to Daphnis as his own.

  • 52 Δάφνις ὧν αὐτὸν ἐπαίδευσε Λυκαίνιον, καὶ τότε Χλόη πρῶτον ἔμαθεν ὅτι τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς ὕλης γενόμενα ἦν π (...)

27In the background of the two young lovers’s misadventures, Chloe’s parents are trying to arrange a financially advantageous marriage for her, which leaves Daphnis, a poor goatherd, in desperation. In another deus ex machina, the nymphs of the fields give Daphnis three thousand drachmas for him to take to Chloe’s father in order that he might be the chosen suitor. In a further development—as again, is the way with such stories—events are set in motion which reveal each of the two lovers to be of high and noble birth, and they are brought together in a marriage that brings joy to everyone. Finally, “Daphnis himself taught Lycaenium’s lessons, and then Chloe learned that what had happened before in the the woods had been but shepherds’ games”.52 Their love, now passionately and physically expressed, brings mutuality and desire together in the fashion of fin’amor.

  • 53 Hagstrum, 134.
  • 54 γάμον ἔννυχον Ἡροῦς” […] “νηχόμενόν τε Λέανδρον” Musaeus. Hero and Leander, ed. by Thomas Gelzer ( (...)
  • 55 Κύπριδος ἦν ἱέρεια” (ibid., l. 31).
  • 56 πύργον ἀπὸ προγόνων παρὰ γείτονι ναῖε θαλάσσῃ” (ibid., l. 32).
  • 57 αὐτίκα τεθναίην λεχέων ἐπιβήμενος Ἡροῦς” (ibid., l. 79).
  • 58 σὺν βλεφάρων δ᾿ ἀκτῖσιν ἀέξετο πυρσὸς Ἐρώτων” (ibid., l. 90).

28In addition to pastoral comedies like Daphnis and Chloe, which Jean Hagstrum refers to as “one of the subtlest explorations of dawning love in literature”,53 Greek poetry of the first millenium also gives us Musaeus’ version of the legend of Hero and Leander. Musaeus, a late fifth-or early sixth century poet, transforms the tale of “the nightly marriage of Hero” and “the swimming of Leander”54 into the tragedy that will later inspire Renaissance English poets like Christopher Marlowe and George Chapman (who finishes the version Marlowe left at his death, and translates Musaeus’ version in 1616). Musaeus’ Hero is a “priestess of Aphrodite”55 and is locked away each night by her father “in the Tower of her ancestors, dwelling as a neighbor to the sea”,56 ostensibly to serve the goddess, but really to keep her out of the reach of young men. Even so, Leander knows he must have her, “at once let me die, but let me spend my strength in Hero’s bed”,57 because he is on fire after looking into her eyes: “by means of her eyes’ light, his love rose high like flames”.58 Leander struggles with this new-found passion and tries to master it, even briefly thinking it shameful that he has been so overpowered by love, before he determines to venture whatever it takes to have Hero:

  • 59 Ibid., ll. 96–98.

εἷλε δέ μιν τότε θάμβος, ἀναιδείη, τρόμος, αἰδώς,
ἔτρεμε μὲν κραδίην, αἰδὼς δέ μιν εἶχεν ἁλῶναι,
θάμβεε δ᾿ εἶδος ἄριστον, ἔρως δ᾿ ἀπενόσφισεν αἰδῶ.59

seized by astonishment, impudence, trepidation, shame,
he trembled at heart, shame possessed him to be so conquered,
but in amazement at her excellent form, love put shame asunder.

29After Leander ventures, and wins Hero’s love, there is still a problem: her father.

  • 60 ταῦτα δὲ πάντα μάτην ἐφθέγξαο” (ibid., l. 177).

30Hero laments Leander’s eloquence, because her father’s control over her marriage prospects means “these words are entirely spoken in vain”.60 She then outlines the basic dilemma that we will see frequently—children (especially daughters) are treated as the property of their fathers, and cannot love freely where they would:

  • 61 Ibid., ll. 177–84.

πῶς γὰρ ἀλήτης
ξεῖνος ἐὼν καὶ ἄπιστος ἐμοὶ φιλότητι μιγείης;
ἀμφαδὸν οὐ δυνάμεσθα γάμοις ὁσίοισι πελάσσαι·
οὐ γὰρ ἐμοῖς τοκέεσσιν ἐπεύαδεν · ἢν δ᾿ ἐθελήσῃς
ὡς ξεῖνος πολύφοιτος ἐμὴν εἰς πατρίδα μίμνειν,
οὐ δύνασαι σκοτόεσσαν ὑποκλέπτειν Ἀφροδίτην·
γλῶσσα γὰρ ἀνθρώπων φιλοκέρτομος, ἐν δὲ σιωπῇ
ἔργον περ τελέει τις, ἐνὶ τριόδοισιν ἀκούει.61

…how, may a wanderer,
a stranger, not to be trusted, unite with me in love?
We are not able to draw near in holy marriage,
for it is not my father’s will and pleasure; if you wish
as a far-roaming stranger to stay in my father’s land,
you will not be able to shroud Aphrodite in night,
for the tongues of men are fond of jeering, and the silent
deeds of a man are soon heard of in the marketplace.

  • 62 Nicola Nina Dümmler. “Musaeus, Hero and Leander: Between Epic and Novel”. In Brill’s Companion to G (...)

31Despite the fact that Hero is a “priestess of Aphrodite” she is not “the willingly chaste priestess who seeks the isolation of her tower and wants to appease the gods of love. According to Hero, it is because of her parents’ hated decision […] that she lives in the tower outside the city, with only wind and sea as her neighbours”.62

32The arrangement the lovers make, as anyone familiar with the legend has already anticipated, is a dangerous one, as Leander plans to come to her at night by swimming across the Hellespont. All he asks is that Hero leave the light on:

  • 63 Musaeus, ll. 203–05, 210–12.

Παρθένε, σὸν δι᾿ ἔρωτα καὶ ἄγριον οἶδμα περίήσω,
εἰ πυρὶ παφλάζοιτο καὶ ἄπλοον ἔσσεται ὕδωρ.
οὐ τρομέω βαρὺ χεῖμα τεὴν μετανεύμενος εὐνήν
[…]
μοῦνον ἐμοὶ ἕνα λύχνον ἀπ᾿ ἠλιβάτου σεὸ πύργου
ἐκ περάτης ἀνάφαινε κατὰ κνέφας, ὄφρα νοήσας
ἔσσομαι ὁλκὰς Ἔρωτος ἔχων σέθεν ἀστέρα λύχνον.63

Maiden, for your love, I will cross the wild waves,
though fire boil them, and rain push back the ships,
I fear no heavy storm, in pursuit of your bed.
[…]
Only light me a lamp from your high tower
to shine above the darkness that I may see it;
I will be love’s sailing ship, guided by your light.

33At first, it works. Their interval of passion and mutual desire begins as Hero leads Leander to her tower:

  • 64 Ibid., ll. 260–63.

καί μιν ἑὸν ποτὶ πύργον ἀνήγαγεν ἐκ δὲ θυράων
νυμφίον ἀσθμαίνοντα περιπτύξασα σιωπῇ
ἀφροκόμους ῥαθάμιγγας ἔτι στάζοντα θαλάσσης
ἤγαγε νυμφοκόμοιο μυχοὺς ἔπι παρθενεῶνος.64

and she led him to her high tower, where at the doors
her panting bridegroom she silently embraced,
still foam-drenched and dripping from the sea
she led him deep within her bridal chamber.

34And for some time to come, Hero and Leander manage both to keep their love and their secret:

  • 65 Ibid., ll. 285–87.

Ἡρὼ δ᾿ ἑλκεσίπεπλος ἑοὺς λήθουσα τοκῆας
παρθένος ἠματίη, νυχίη γυνή. ἀμφότεροι δὲ
πολλάκις ἠρήσαντο κατελθέμεν εἰς δύσιν Ἠῶ.65

Hero of the long-trained robes, keeping secret from her father,
maiden was day, but wife by night, and both
often prayed for the setting of the sun.

35Many nights that summer they enjoy each other’s love, but as winter comes, the swim across the Hellespont grows more difficult, until one night, the waters are too rough to be crossed:

  • 66 Ibid., ll. 327–30.

πολλὴ δ᾿ αὐτόματος χύσις ὕδατος ἔρρεε λαιμῷ,
καὶ ποτὸν ἀχρήιστον ἀμαιμακέτου πίεν ἅλμης.
καὶ δὴ λύχνον ἄπιστον ἀπέσβεσε πικρὸς ἀήτης
καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ ἔρωτα πολυτλήτοιο Λεάνδρου.66

Great waves of water poured themselves into his throat,
and he drank deep of the worthless, irresistible brine,
and then the traitorous lamp was blown out by a sharp wind,
and with it died the breath and love of long-suffering Leander.

36When Leander does not come that night, Hero fears the worst, and upon seeing his body washed up on the shore, Hero strips off her robe and joins him:

  • 67 Ibid., ll. 341–43.

ῥοιζηδὸν προκάρηνος ἀπ᾿ ἠλιβάτου πέσε πύργου.
κὰδ δ᾿ Ἡρὼ1 τέθνηκε σὺν ὀλλυμένῳ παρακοίτῃ,
ἀλλήλων δ᾿ ἀπόναντο καὶ ἐν πυμάτῳ περ ὀλέθρῳ.67

with a rushing sound, she fell head-first from her high tower.
Hero died next to her dead husband,
and at last in death, each had joy in the other.

  • 68 Pamela Royston Macfie. “Lucan, Marlowe, and the Poetics of Violence”. In Renaissance Papers 2008, e (...)

37As we will also see in poetry from the troubadours to Shakespeare and Milton, Musaeus emphasizes the “theme of love’s mutuality”, in which lovers are willing “to take deadly risks in a universe that is careless of their suffering”.68 They will risk all for love, whether the physical danger of the Hellespont, the death-threats of a god, or the social, legal, and financial dangers of defying a system of arranged marriages that leaves no room for any passion (except perhaps for greed), so dedicated is that system to the profitable gains to be had through marriage and children. Slowly but surely, however, it is that very pragmatism, combined with the increasing influence of the church in Europe, that brings the classical and early-medieval eras of love poetry to their conclusion.

  • 69 Audrey L. Meaney. “The Ides of the Cotton Gnomic Poem”. Medium Ævum, 48: 1 (1979), 36, https://doi. (...)

38Love and longing are vitally present in the poetry we have so far encountered, despite the best efforts of societal law-givers and the frequent attempts of the Akibas and Origens to erase, rewrite and reinterpret this poetry. There is much more such longing in the eleventh-and twelfth-century poetry of the troubadours. As we see love thrive, proving that “powerful passion will not be constrained by the normal bonds of society”,69 so we will also see the attempts to channel, reformulate, and control it grow stronger, more systematic, and infinitely more lethal.

Notes

1 Sergio Casali. “The Bellum Civile as an Anti-Aeneid”. In Brill’s Companion to Lucan, ed. by Paolo Asso (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 84.

2 Patrick McCloskey and Edward Phinney, Jr. “Ptolemaeus Tyrannus: The Typification of Nero in the Pharsalia”. Hermes, 96 (1968), 80.

3 Nigel Holmes. “Nero and Caesar: Lucan 1.33–66”. Classical Philology, 94: 1 (January 1999), 80, https://doi.org/10.1086/449419

4 McCloskey and Phinney, 82.

5 Ibid., 83.

6 Lucan. The Civil War, 9.253–61, 264–65, 274–75, ed. by J. D. Duff (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962), 522, 524.

7 McCloskey and Phinney, 87.

8 Lucan, 1.33, 44–52, 25, 27.

9 Claudian. “Panegyric on the Sixth Consulship of the Emperor Honorius”. 28.53–55, 65–76. Claudian: Vol. II, ed. by Maurice Platnauer (Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 78.

10 F. J. E. Raby. A History of Secular Latin Poetry in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934), 90.

11 William E. Dunstan. Ancient Rome (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011), 515.

12 F. J. E. Raby. A History of Christian-Latin Poetry: From the Beginnings to the Close of the Middle Ages (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927), 80, 81.

13 Lynette Watson. “Representing the Past, Redefining the Future: Sidonius Appolinaris’Panegyrics of Avitus and Anthemius”. In The Propaganda of Power: The Role of Panegyric in Late Antiquity, ed. by Mary Whitby (Boston: Brill, 1998), 181.

14 Peter Brown. Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350–550 AD (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012), 404.

15 Dunstan, 518.

16 Sidonius. “Panegyric on Anthemius”, 2.1–12. In Poems and Letters. 2 Vols, ed. by W. B. Anderson (Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963), 1: 5, 7.

17 Sidonius seems to have known this, as “he dated his death by the reign of the eastern emperor, Zeno. Sidonius considered Zeno, as emperor at Constantinople, to be the sole surviving head of the legitimate Roman empire” (Brown, 406).

18 Alan Cameron. Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), 246.

19 Prudentius. “Hymnus Ante Somnum”. In Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Vol. 59, ed. by Jacques Paul Migne (Paris: Apud Garnier Fratres, 1855), cols. 831–41, ll. 9–12, 149–52, https://books.google.com/books?id=jnzYAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PT325

20 Raby, 89.

21 Venantius Fortunatus. Venanti Honori Clementiani Fortunati Presbyteri Italici Opera Poetica, ed. by Frederick Leo (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1881), 34–35, ll. 1–4, 29–32, https://archive.org/stream/venantihonoricl00unkngoog#page/n68

22 μόνον ὕμνους θεοῖς καὶ ἐγκώμια τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς ποιήσεως” (Republic 607a. In Plato: Republic. Books 6–10, ed. by Christopher Emlyn-Jones and William Preddy [Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013], 436).

23 Vexilla Regis was “composed for the the solemn reception of [a] special relic of the Holy Cross sent by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justin II to Saint Radegund for a convent of nuns she had founded near Poitiers, and [it is] now [2010] used in the liturgy for Passiontide” (Gabriel Díaz Patri. “Poetry in the Latin Liturgy”. In The Genius of the Roman Rite: Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspectives on Catholic Liturgy, ed. by Uwe Michael Lang [Chicago: Hillenbrand Books, 2010], 45–82, 57)

24 Bembo’s poetry did not have the lasting appeal of the vernacular work of the time, and in the estimate of a later scholar, it was at least partly because Bembo’s Latin poetry has “more elegance than vigour”, resulting in a verse that seems “polished and cold” (John Edwin Sandys. A History of Classical Scholarship Vol. II: From the Revival of Learning to the End of the Eighteenth Century in Italy, France, England and the Netherlands [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903], 114, 115, https://archive.org/stream/historyofclassic02sandiala#page/114).

25 The theoretical justification for this move appears first in Dante: “[t] his concern first appears in La Vita Nuova, where Dante informs the reader that what drew him and Guido Cavalcanti together was their agreement that this work would be written entirely in the vernacular” (Richard J. Quinones. “Dante Alighieri”. In Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, ed. by Christopher Kleinhenz [New York: Routledge, 2004], 281).

26 “Ad Uxorem”, Epigram 20. In Ausonius: Epigrams. Text with Introduction and Commentary, ed. by Nigel M. Kay (London: Duckworth, 2001), 45.

27 Ausonius. “Attusia Lucana Sabina Uxor”, Parentalia IX. In Ausonius. Vol. I: Books 1–17, ed. by Hugh G. Evelyn-White [Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1919], 70, ll. 7–10, 18.

28 Sister Marie José Byrne. Prolegomena to an Edition of the Works of Decimus Magnus Ausonius. New York: Columbia University Press, 1916, 12.

29 Robert J. Sklenár. “Ausonius’ Elegiac Wife: Epigram 20 and the Traditions of Latin Love Poetry”. The Classical Journal, 101: 1 (October-November 2005), 52.

30 Ibid., 51.

31 John Boswell. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), 188–89.

32 Alcuin. “Pectus amor nostrum penetravit flamma”. Monumenta Germaniae historica inde ab anno Christi quingentesimo usque ad annum millesimum et quingentesimum (Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1881), Vol. I: 236, ll. 1–6, https://books.google.com/books?id=U6woAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA236

33 “Christian friendship”—we will see this argument resorted to again, when scholars need to explain away what appears to be an “inconvenient” passion in the Occitan poem “Na Maria”.

34 Allen J. Frantzen. Before the Closet: Same-Sex Love fromBeowulf toAngels in America” (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 198, 199.

35 David Clark. Between Medieval Men: Male Friendship and Desire in Early Medieval English Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 79. Clark makes this argument based on a single passage in Alcuin’s voluminous output. In Interrogationes et Responsiones in Genesin, Alcuin takes on the following question: “In the days of Noah, why were the sins of the world punished by water, but those of the Sodomites were punished by fire?” (“Quare diebus Noe peccatum mundi aqua ulciscitur, hoc vero Sodomitarum igne punitur?”) Alcuin answers by drawing the reliably orthodox conclusion that the sins of Noah’s world were natural, while those of Sodom were unnatural: “Because the sin of lust with women is natural, it is condemned as though by a lighter element; but the sin of lust against nature with men is avenged by the harsher burning element; there the ground is washed with water and returns to fertility; but this one is made eternally barren, burned by fire” (“Quia illud naturale libidinus cum feminis peccatum quasi leviori elemento damnatur: hoc vero contra naturam libidinis peccatum cum viris, aeriois elementi vindicatur incendio: et illic terra aquis abluta revirescit; hic flammis cremata aeterna steriliate arescit”.) (Patrologiae Cursus Completus, ed. by Jacques Paul Migne [Paris: Apud Garnier Fratres, 1863], Vol. 100, col. 543, https://books.google.com/books?id=-JqsZH3ajIgC&pg=PT202).

36 Frantzen, 199. This letter never explicitly references the sin being spoken of: “What is it, my son, that I hear of, not from one muttering in a corner, but from many publicly laughing about the story that you are still devoted to childish uncleanness, and have never been able to dismiss what you never should have wished to do?” (“Quid est, fili, quod de te audio, non uno quolibet in angulo susurrante, sed plurimis publice cum risu narrantibus: quod puerilibus adhuc deservias immunditiis, et quae nunquam facere debuisses, nunquam dimittere voluisses [velis]”.) (Alcuin. “Epistola CCVI, Ad Disciplum”. In Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Vol. 100, col. 481–82, https://books.google.com/books?id=-JqsZH3ajIgC&pg=PT171).

37 Clark, 80.

38 See Peter Dronke, The Medieval Poet and His World (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1984), specifically Chapter 8, “The Song of Songs and Medieval Love Lyric”, 209–36.

39 Ibid., 221–22.

40 Ibid., 234–35. The original text from Paris BnF Latin 1118 fol 247v. is available online at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8432314k/f504.item

41 Ibid., 233.

42 Carmina Burana: Lateinische und deutsche Lieder und Gedichte einer Handschrift des XIII Jahihunderts aus Benedictbeuern auf der K. Bibliothek gu München, ed. by Johann Andreas Schmeller (Stuttgart: Literarischen Vereins, 1847), 211–12, https://books.google.com/books?id=0XN3YW-EqacC&pg=PA211

43 Richard F. Hardin. Love in a Green Shade: Idyllic Romances Ancient to Modern (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2000), 11.

44 φίλημα καὶ περιβολὴ καὶ συγκατακλινῆναι γυμνοῖς σώμασι” (Longus. Daphnis and Chloe, ed. by Jeffrey Henderson [Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009], 2.7.7, 68).

45 πάντως ἐν αὐτῷ τι κρεῖττόν ἐστι φιλήματος” (ibid., 2.9.2, 70).

46 John J. Winkler. The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece (New York: Routledge, 1990), 103.

47 If the reader is beginning to catch a whiff of a later story like The Princess Bride, he or she is probably not alone—and yes, it is still probably good advice not to get involved in a land war in Asia, though your mileage may vary whether or not to go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

48 Stephen Epstein raises the serious, yet profoundly comic question: “What purpose does the text achieve by bringing its male protagonist into such close connection with goats?” (“The Education of Daphnis: Goats, Gods, the Birds and the Bees”. Phoenix, 56: 1–2 [Spring-Summer 2002], 26, https://doi.org/10.2307/1192468).

49 Εὑροῦσα δὴ Λυκαίνιον αἰπολικὴν ἀφθονίαν, οἵαν οὐ προσεδόκησεν, ἤρχετο παιδεύειν τὸν Δάφνιν τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον. Ἐκέλευσεν αὐτὸν καθίσαι πλησίον αὐτῆς, ὡς εἶχε, καὶ φιλήματα φιλεῖν οἷα εἰώθει καὶ ὅσα, καὶ φιλοῦντα ἅμα περιβάλλειν καὶ κατακλίνεσθαι χαμαί. Ὡς δὲ ἐκαθέσθη καὶ ἐφίλησε καὶ κατεκλίνη, μαθοῦσα ἐνεργεῖν δυνάμενον καὶ σφριγῶντα, ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς ἐπὶ πλευρὰν κατακλίσεως ἀνίστησιν, αὑτὴν δὲ ὑποστορέσασα ἐντέχνως ἐς τὴν τέως ζητουμένην ὁδὸν ἦγε. Τὸ δὲ ἐντεῦθεν οὐδὲν περιειργάζετο ξένον: αὐτὴ γὰρ φύσις λοιπὸν ἐπαίδευσε τὸ πρακτέον.
Longus 3.18.3–4, 126. This episode was expurgated from translations of this text as recently as the 1950s by academics and publishers determined to protect the moral decency of their readers.

50 Χλόη δὲ συμπαλαίουσά σοι ταύτην τὴν πάλην καὶ οἰμώξει καὶ κλαύσεται κἀν αἵματι κείσεται πολλῷ” (ibid. 3.19.2, 126).

51 Hardin, 15, 16.

52 Δάφνις ὧν αὐτὸν ἐπαίδευσε Λυκαίνιον, καὶ τότε Χλόη πρῶτον ἔμαθεν ὅτι τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς ὕλης γενόμενα ἦν ποιμένων παίγνια” (Longus 4.40.3, 196).

53 Hagstrum, 134.

54 γάμον ἔννυχον Ἡροῦς” […] “νηχόμενόν τε Λέανδρον” Musaeus. Hero and Leander, ed. by Thomas Gelzer (Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973), ll. 4–5.

55 Κύπριδος ἦν ἱέρεια” (ibid., l. 31).

56 πύργον ἀπὸ προγόνων παρὰ γείτονι ναῖε θαλάσσῃ” (ibid., l. 32).

57 αὐτίκα τεθναίην λεχέων ἐπιβήμενος Ἡροῦς” (ibid., l. 79).

58 σὺν βλεφάρων δ᾿ ἀκτῖσιν ἀέξετο πυρσὸς Ἐρώτων” (ibid., l. 90).

59 Ibid., ll. 96–98.

60 ταῦτα δὲ πάντα μάτην ἐφθέγξαο” (ibid., l. 177).

61 Ibid., ll. 177–84.

62 Nicola Nina Dümmler. “Musaeus, Hero and Leander: Between Epic and Novel”. In Brill’s Companion to Greek and Latin Epyllion and Its Reception, ed. by Manuel Baumbach and Silvio Bär (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 427.

63 Musaeus, ll. 203–05, 210–12.

64 Ibid., ll. 260–63.

65 Ibid., ll. 285–87.

66 Ibid., ll. 327–30.

67 Ibid., ll. 341–43.

68 Pamela Royston Macfie. “Lucan, Marlowe, and the Poetics of Violence”. In Renaissance Papers 2008, ed. by Christopher Cobb and M. Thomas Hester (Rochester: Camden House, 2009), 49.

69 Audrey L. Meaney. “The Ides of the Cotton Gnomic Poem”. Medium Ævum, 48: 1 (1979), 36, https://doi.org/10.2307/43628412

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