Flashcards in Love Poetry Mythological References Deck (32):
malae tenebrae Orci (Catullus 3), luridus Orcus (Lygdamus 3.3)
"Evil shadows of Orcus", "pale Orcus"
Orcus was the King of the Underworld
oraculum Iovis (Catullus 7)
"The Oracle of Jove"
The Temple of Ammon, associated with Zeus and Jupiter, was in Cyrene
mala fascinare lingua (Catullus 7)
"An evil tongue bewitches"
Romans believed that exact numbers were powerful, and they could be used to control people
Amor (Catullus 45, Propertius 1.1, 2.12, 3.23)
Cupid, the son of Venus
Nemesis (Catullus 50)
The ancient goddess of vengeance who punishes wrong-doing and hubris
Musarum (Catullus 65), Musa (Propertius 2.12)
The Muses were goddesses who inspired art such as poetry
Lethaeo in gurgite (Catullus 65)
"In the Lethean whirlpool"
Lethe was one of the rivers of the underworld, usually associated with forgetfulness (of your former life)
qualia... Ityli (Catullus 65)
The myth of Procne and Itys
Procne, wife of King Tereus of Daulia, avenges her husband's violence to her sister Philomena by killing her own son Itys. When Tereus pursues the sisters the gods intervene and turn Procne into a nightingale and Philomena into a swallow.
ut missum... rubor (Catullus 65)
The myth of Acontius and Cydippe
Cydippe refuses to marry Acontius, no matter how hard he tries to woo her, until he carves an apple with the words "I will marry Acontius" and throws it towards Cydippe while she's walking in the sacred wood of Diana. Cydippe reads the words on the apple aloud and is bound to the oath as she is on sacred ground.
The myth is told in Callimachus' Aetia
Milanion... puellam (Propertius 1.1)
The myth of Atalanta and Milanion
Atalanta was abandoned as a child and raised by a she-bear to become a virgin huntress, famous for her speed. Milanion pursued her but Atalanta remained firm in her desire to remain single. One day, she was attacked by two centaurs, Hylaeus and Rhoeteus, and Milanion was wounded by Hylaeus while saving her. This injury convinced Atalanta of his love for her.
vos, deductae quibus est fallacia lunae (Propertius 1.1)
"You, who do that trick of drawing down the moon"
References to witchcraft and summoning Hecate, the goddess of dark magic
Cytaeines carminibus (Propertius 1.1)
"Songs of the woman from Cytae"
Cytae, a town in Colchis, was the birthplace of Medea, a famous witch
Tantalea (Propertius 2.17)
The myth of Tantalus
Tantalus was invited to feast with the gods on Olympus, and as an offering he killed his son Pelops and served him as a meal at the feast. As a punishment he had to spend eternity in a pool of water with branches of a fruit tree hanging above him. If he reached down to the water it would recede and if he reached up to the fruit it would disappear, forcing him into eternal starvation and thirst.
Sisyphios (Propertius 2.17)
The myth of Sisyphus
Sisyphus was the king of Colchis, an extremely crafty man punished for hubris and cheating death at least twice. He had to roll a boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down again, repeating this action for eternity.
Dianae (Propertius 2.19)
Diana was the virgin goddess of hunting
pinu (Propertius 2.19)
"Fir trees" were sacred to Diana
Luciferis (Propertius 2.19)
A minor god of light, refers to the dawn, or "lightbringing"
Martia classica (Tibullus 1.1)
Mars was the god of war
Spes (Tibullus 1.1)
Spes was the Goddess of Hope whose chief Roman temple was in the Forum Holitorium
agricolae deo (Tibullus 1.1)
"The god of farmers"
Possible the Roman rustic god Silvanus to whom offerings of first fruits were made at harvest time
flava Ceres (Tibullus 1.1)
Ceres was a native Italian harvest goddess equivalent to the Greek goddess Demeter
ruber Priapus (Tibullus 1.1)
Priapus was a red-painted fertility god, son of Dionysus and Aphrodite, with a huge phallus and a reaping hook (scythe) used as a scarecrow in gardens and orchards. He was not an Italian god but arrived from Asia Minor via Greece
Lares (Tibullus 1.1)
Guardian spirits of the hearth and farm often depicted as young men holding a drinking horn and dancing. They were important to Tibullus as promoters of fertility in the fields
placidam Palem (Tibullus 1.1)
Pales was an Italian pastoral goddess whose feast day, the parilia, was celebrated on April 21st, the traditional foundation day of Rome. Milk and oil, rather that wine, were offered to her to purify the fields and the shepherds who watched the flock
Manes (Tibullus 1, Lygdamus 3.2)
Deified spirits of the dead
Mors (Tibullus 1.1)
Roman personification of Death, similar to the Grim Reaper
annoso Lyaeo (Lygdamus 3.2)
Lyaeus was another name for Bacchus, the god of wine, called so as he 'frees' or 'loosens' through drinking
Lethaea rate (Lygdamus 3.3)
The boat of Charon, the ferryman of the underworld who had to transport the shades of the dead across the waters of the River Acheron to the opposite bank of the river of the dead. Letheaus is used poetically to refer to waters and rivers of the underworld in general
Fortuna (Lygdamus 3.3)
The personification of destiny, she could not be controlled by anyone, even Jupiter
Saturnia (Lygdamus 3.3)
Juno, the daughter of Saturn. She protected women, particularly married ones
Cypria (Lygdamus 3.3)
"The one from Cyprus"
According to legend, after being born from white sea foam Venus travelled across the stormy waves on a seashell to the shores of Cyprus. Her first temple was built there