Horseplay.

DIES VENERIS PRID. NON. MART. MMDCCLII A.U.C. | XVI
Photographer: Rob Larson
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Theophany, the presence of a god (typically in disguise) amongst mortals —

Struck by her beauty, Poseidon appears before Medusa as a stallion, as did Zeus to Leda in the guise of a swan.

Wherefore the animal drag?

When Zeus is tricked by Hera into revealing his true form to his lover Semele, she perishes in his flames:

The mortal dame, too feeble to engage
The lightning’s flashes, & the thunder’s rage,
Consum’d amidst the glories she desir’d,
& in the terrible embrace expir’d. ¹

More succinctly, ‘The mortal body cannot bear / the heavenly din, & burns with these conjugal gifts.’ ²

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¹ Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Sir Samuel Garth, John Dryden, et al, (Classics at MIT, 2009), III.308–311.

² Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Z. Philip Ambrose, (Newburyport: Focus Classical Library, 2004), III.308–309.

Image used with good-humoured permission & manipulated in GIMP.
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2012-Feb-10


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