Monday, July 10, 2023

Marco Antonio Tritonio: Love Comes in All Forms

Content Warning: murder, rape, suicide 

Amor Aliquorum Mutuus.

Halcyon & Ceyx

Hermaphroditus & Smilax

Orpheus & Euridice

Philemon & Baucis

Progne & Philomela

Pyramus & Thisbe

Sirenes, et Proserpina

Sorores, et Phaeton

 Praeclare veteres dixerunt amicos esse tanquam unam animam in pluribus corporibus, nihil enim aliud est amicitia, quam mutuus quidam animorum consensus, adeo ut cum dolentibus amicis doleamus, cum gaudentibus laetemur, quare optime fabulosa haec exempla sunt perpendenda, quae nobis mutuum aliquorum amorem & benevolentiam demonstrant.

1. Nonne maximus fuit Halcyonis in Ceycem maritum amor, si longius illum in aequore submersum prospiciens ac in medias undas prosiliens in Halcyonem avem conversa est? Nonne maxima ipsius Ceycis in coniugem benevolentia, si vel mortuus uxoris in avem commutatae sentiebat oscula, cuius etiam cadaver in eiusdem generis volucrem fuit transmutatum? in quibus adhuc servatam inter coniuges benevolentiam perspicimus [lib.ii.fab.x]

2. Hermaphroditus Veneris & Mercurii filius & Smilax Salmacis fontis nympha ita mutuo se dilexerunt amore, ut e duobus corporibus in unum commutati dicantur.[lib.iiii.fab.ii]

3. Amor etiam Euridices, et Orphei notus est, is enim vivus ad inferos descendit, ut mortuam coniugem ad pristinam vitam & incolumitatem reduceret. [lib.x.fab.i]

4. Inter Philomonem, & Baucidem coniuges tanta fuit benevolentia, ut pauperitatem suam patienter ferentes sine ulla rixa longam traduxerint aetatem. [lib.viii.fab.vii]

5. Progne, sine sorore Philomela vivere non poterat, cumque illam a marito Tereo stupratam cognovisset, ut pro sorore de marito vindictam sumeret, illi proprium filium Ityn devorandum apposuit. []

6. Pyramus & Thibse Babylones tanto se mutuo prosecuti sunt amore, ut cum Pyramus amicam credens mortuam seipsum interfecisset, Thisbe amantem mortuum nacta eodem se gladio traiecerit. [lib.iiii.fab.iiii]

7 Syrenes tanto amore Prosperinam sunt prosequutae, ut a Diis alas flagitarent, quo facilius Proserpinam terra, marique possent inquirere. Quare ita in aves fuere conversae, ut facies tamen virginea, voxque humana remanserit. [lib.v.fab.xvi.]

8 Sorores Phaetontis fratrem coelo delapsum tot lacimis deplorarunt, ut in arbores demum sint commutatae; tantus inter fratrem, et sorores amore extitit. [lib. ii. fab.ii]

-- --M. Antonii Tritonii Utinenis, Mythologia, 1560 p. 8-9


Reciprocal Love:

Halcyon & Ceyx

Hermaphroditus & Smilax

Orpheus & Euridice

Philemon & Baucis

Progne & Philomela

Pyramus & Thisbe

Sirens & Proserpina

The Sisters of Phaeton

The ancients stated perfectly that friends are merely one soul in many bodies, and that friendship is nothing more than a mutual harmony of souls—so much so that we grieve when a friend grieves, and we rejoice when a friend is happy. Check out the following examples which highlight reciprocal love and kindness:

1. Isn’t the greatest example of matrimonial love Halcyone’s love for Ceyx, for she spotted him drowned in the ocean from far away and leapt into the waves, becoming a halcyon bird? Isn’t the greatest example of love Ceyx’s love for Halcyone, even in death he could feel his transformed wife’s kisses, and was himself transformed into the same type of bird? Don’t we see this mutual love shared among spouses in this couple?  [cf. Ovid’s Metamorphoses book 2, story 10]

2. Hermaphroditus [the son of Venus and Mercury] and Smilax [the nymph of the Salmacian spring] loved each other so much that they are said to have merged into one body. [Cf. book 4, story 2]  

3. Orpheus is known for his love of Eurydice. He descended into the Underworld when he was still alive to restore his dead wife back to life. [book 10, story 1]

4. There was so much spousal love between Philemon and Baucis that they lived a long life together in poverty and never argued. [book 8, story 7]

5. Procne could not live without her sister Philomela. When she found out that her husband had attacked her, she took revenge on her husband and forced him to devour [the body of] their son Itys. [book 6, story 29]

6. The Babylonian couple Pyramus and Thisbe loved each other so much, that Pyramus killed himself when he believed that his Thisbe had died, and Thisbe killed herself with the same sword that he used. [book 4. Story 4]

7. The Sirens held such love for Proserpina that they demanded wings from the gods in order to more easily find Proserpina on land & sea [after she had been abducted]. Because of this, they were transformed into birds, but retained their women’s faces and voices. [book 5, story 16]

8. Phaeton’s sisters wept so many tears when he fell from the sky* that they were transformed into trees. [book 2, story 2]


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