Friday, March 17, 2023

The Transformation of Iphis: Iohannis Posthius


Si pareret Lygdo coniunx Telethusa puellam:

Protinus hanc letho clam dare iussa fuit;

Isis sed contra mandat sub imagine somni:

decipiat pariens ut Telethusa virum.

Iphis avus fuerat: suboli dat nomen avitum

Lygdus: et uxorem deligit inde pater.

affert Isis opem: nam quaemodo templa subibat

femina: mox puerum mater abire videt.

--Iohannis Posthius, in Picta Poesis Ovidiana (1580)

Lygdus ordered his wife to kill their child

If she gave birth to a girl,

But Isis came to her in a vision

While she was in labor

And told her instead to deceive her husband. 

Lygdus named the child after his grandfather Iphis

And then arranged him to marry a woman.

And Isis came to the rescue:

For Telethusa watched in wonder

As her Iphis entered the temple a girl

and left it as a boy. 

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