Monday, March 19, 2012


Dedication of an Elm to the Goddess Diana

Almost a year ago I quoted some passages about dedications of trees to gods in Greek and Latin literature. All of the passages quoted came from R.G.M. Nisbet and Niall Rudd, A Commentary on Horace: Odes, Book III (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 255-256 (introduction to Odes 3.22).

I recently came across another example, by Marcantonio Flaminio (1498-1550), Carmina I.34, translated by Carol Maddison in Marcantonio Flaminio: Poet, Humanist and Reformer (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965), p. 21 (Bocchi in line 5 is Achille Bocchi, 1488–1562):
Maiden, tamer of the wild beasts of the woods,
Who, in the company of the quiver-bearing nymphs,
Range Cynthius' hill and the forest
Of black Erymanthus,

Bocchi, the glory of the two tongues,
Skilled at starting the wandering deer,
Dedicates to you this elm
In the midst of his estate,

From which the lynxes will hang, brought down
By his swift shaft, and the timorous does,
And, consecrated to you, the antlers
Of the long-lived stag.
The Latin:
Virgo sylvestrum domitrix ferarum,
Quae pharetratis comitata Nymphis,
Cynthium collem peragras, nigrique
Silvam Erymanthi,

Bocchius, linguae decus utriusque,
Doctus errantes agitare cervos,
Hanc tibi villa media locatam
Dedicat ulmum.

Unde veloci domitae sagitta
Pendeant lynces, timidique damae,
Atque vivacis tibi consecrata
Cornua cervi.

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