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Potentia Amoris [47]


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Potentia Amoris.translation
Prouer.8. Sap.11. Chald. Orpheus in carm.
POtens est Amor; nemo dubitat. Sed potentiam eius quis
enarrabit? Deus Amore creauit vniuersa; Amor quippe,
quando præparabat cœlos, aderat, quando certa lege & gyro
vallabat abyssos; quando æthera firmabat sursum, & libra-
bat fontes aquarum, quando circumdabat mari terminum
suum, & legē ponebat aquis ne transirent fines suos; quando
appendebat fondamenta terræ, cum eo erat cuncta compo-
nens. & Deus non solum Amore, creauit semel mundum &
vniuersa, sed quotidie & continuo Amore conseruat mun-
dum, sustinet mundum, Amor enim est, qui filo dilectionis
suæ, mundum appendit: Amor est, qui mundum tribus digi-
ris, nempe potentia prudentia & misericordia Dei, appen-
sum tenet. Amor denique est Athlas. Virtuti igitur brachij
eius quis resistet? quoniam tanquam momentum stateræ,
sic est ante eum orbis terrarum, & tanquam gutta roris an-
telucani quæ descendit in terram. ante cuius conspectum
omnes aquæ sæculi sunt quasi guttæ in pugillo, & mensuræ
cœlorum ac si præparati essent palmo, & puluis terræ ac si
esset mensuratus in mensura, & montes ac si essent ponde-
rali in pondere, & colles ac si essent in stateris Amor deni-
que est principium rerum humanarum, quem Φανητα
vocat, Orphæus.translation

Omnia vincit Amor; quid enim non vinceret ille?
Omnia vincit Amor; nos & cedamus Amori, translation

Appendit tribus digitis molem terræ: Isai 401. translation

L'Amour de ses trois doigts tient le monde en balance
Qui par son mouuement vat roulant a cadance.

Puissance de l'Amour.
Qui peut, voyant cecy, s'empescher qu' il ne tramble?
Mais ce filet n'est pas si foible comme il samble,
C'est le filet d'amour qui soustiēt l'vniuers.
Le monde sans amour seroit vn corps sans ame;
Le monde sans amour, seroit vn feu sans flame;
Le monde sans amour, iroit tout à reuers.

De las manos del amor,
Pende el mouimiento eterno
Del mundo, y de su gouierno.

Liefde houdt de werelt aē haer snoerē
Liefde die doet de werelt roeren.

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Power of love2.
Love is powerful. Nobody doubts that. But who will give a full account of its power? By love God created the universe. For love was there, when He was preparing the heavens. When He encompassed the abyss with fixed circular motion; again when He built the ether and balanced the springs of water; when He put his boundaries round the sea. And imposed His law on the waters that they might not overstep their borders. When He layed the foundations of the earth it was with him, creating all. And not only did God create at one time the world and the universe, daily and incessantly He preserves the world together with Love, He sustains it. For it is Love who attaches the world to the thread of his affection. It is Love who holds the world attached to three fingers, viz. power, wisdom, mercy. Finally Love is an Atlas. Who will resist the power of his arm? For like a balance trying to attain equilibrium, so the world was before him, and like a dewdrop prior to light3 that descends to earth. To him all the waters of the world4 are like a fistful of liquid and the measures of the heavens are as if they fit into the palm of a hand and the grains of sand on earth as if they are countable, or mountains as if they could be actually weighed and hills as if they could be put on scales5. Finally, Love (whom Orpheus calls Phanes6) is the fundamental principle of all things human.
Love conquers all. What would it fail to conquer?7
Love conquers all. And we yield to love8.

He hung the mass of the earth from three fingers9.

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      Isai 40 = Is. 40:12
      Here the meaning of 'Love' differs considerably. On the one hand Love is personified as an individual god: Amor, Eros, Phanes (although that implies heresy), on the other it is a more abstract type of power belonging to and coming from the Christian God. Love is even identified with God in the latter part. Where love is very much the personified deity the word has been capitalised.
      'tanquam gutta roris antelucani', 'like a dewdrop at dawn' etc.: the marginal implies that this is from the Chaldean oracles. The oracles have survived as fragments, mostly in the works of Neoplatonist philosophers like Proclus (412-485). Their language and imagery are rather eccentric, but these sayings were regarded by some Neoplatonists as words of divine revelation, sometimes even on a par with the writings of Plato himself.
      Of the world, saeculi: saeculum can mean 'age', 'generation', 'era', but also 'world'.
      'To him all the waters ... scales': a paraphrase of Is. 40:12. For the text of the Bible KJV has "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?", and NRSV "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?"
      Phanes, god, sometimes the supreme god, in Orphic (and related) texts.
      Appendix Vergiliana 437.
      Verg. Ecl. 10,69.
      'He hung the mass of the earth from three fingers': one of several possibilities, and one that does justice to 'molem', 'mass'. The text is in the Stuttgart Vg., but in e.g. RSV, NRSV, and KJV it is not translated except 'tribus digitis', which becomes 'by a measure' in a different context.