Quot campo lepores, tot sunt in amore dolores.
There are as many problems in love as there are rabbits in the field.
(pron = kwoht KAHM-poh LEH-poh-rays toht soont in ah-MOH-ray doh-LOH-rays)
Comment: We might just conclude that loving was bitter during the middle ages,
but anyone who has really loved understands.
This is not the silly stuff of pop culture: women are so difficult, men are so
stupid, therefore love is so painful.
My Latin III students are reading a story sequence right now about a 14 year
old girl who has been arranged into marriage with a 50 year old Roman senator,
who has already divorced two wives. This is not an unusual Roman scenario.
The young lady is beside her self. Not only does she not wish to marry the old,
unattractive man who has already done away with two wives, she has a young man
that she prefers. Mom insists that she go through with the marriage because
the Emperor (Domitian) has himself arranged the marriage, and anyone who
crosses Domitian dies.
As far fetched as that sounds to American ears, it reveals some stark truths
about “love”. Often “I love you” from parent to child means “do what I tell
you, because my approval of you is conditional”. One off the most contentious
places I have ever experienced was the typical wedding rehearsal before a
wedding ceremony. I have presided at many as a clergyman. All of the reality
comes to play: the expectations of parents, grandparents and other relatives
on the bride and groom. In many cases you can see that what is being acted out
is not warm and fuzzy, but emotionally pretty deadly. The young man and young
woman are acting out many agendas, few of their own. And the next day, they
will each say “I love you”. It’s a loaded term, and often means many things
other than warmth, acceptance and support. As many things as there are rabbits
in the field.
(Used with permission)
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