Alain de Lille, <i>De planctu Naturae</i>: The Orthography of Venus

David Rollo

in Kiss My Relics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780226724614
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226724607 | DOI:
Alain de Lille, De planctu Naturae: The Orthography of Venus

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Early in the De nuptiis, Martianus states that Mercury selects Philology as bride only after discovering that a number of other young women are unavailable. One of them is Psyche, held in adamantine chains in the lair of Cupid. Mention of this allegorical figure for the human soul is accompanied by an account of the gifts she received from the gods at birth. Pallas gave her a cloak of wisdom, Apollo a wand of prophecy, Vulcan flames to light her way, and Remigius reads this reference to Venus bequeathing sexual desire to humanity in lapsarian terms, interpreting the goddess's gifts of voluptas and illecebra as the predisposition to carnal sin that was occasioned by the Fall.

Keywords: Philology; Mercury; Psyche; human soul; voluptas; illecebra; carnal sin

Chapter.  7872 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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