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Friday, March 3, 2017

[GBM] Destiny's Child

The Metternich Stela

Among the worthy effects of the Love-story between Venus and Adonis, Apollo lists the birth of their daughter, Beroe, who will marry Neptune. This corresponds to the typical dynastic prophecies that were included in the poems of chivalry and the like, see the Este family in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso or King James in Shakespeare's Macbeth. But with some oddities in Marino's work. First of all, even if Venus and Adonis have a lot of sex together in the story, the goddess will never be described as pregnant of him, except for one brief hint at her milk in 18.123. Moreover, Beroe's descendants obviously do not belong to any noble family of the poet's own time: once in a while, love has not a political meaning. In the following passage Apollo, the god of divination, speaking to Love, reads about Beroe in the stele of Destiny.

1.34

"There, what will follow from all this
can be read as in written sheets: Such
a child will be born of this fine graft
that you won't regret partaking in it.     he will
In her, like gems in a precious cloth,
all the graces of heaven will be set;
O you blessed for such a marriage!
Fate promises her to the sea boss."