Ardet in virgine virgo
— Iphis and Ianthe, Ovidi Metamorphoses liber IX, 666–797 (14)

這是一個關於一個女孩被當成男孩養大,情不自禁愛上另一個女孩,然後天神現身將她化為男身的奇蹟故事。故事發生在克里特島 (Crētē) 南方的Phaestum城。即將成為父親的Ligdus來到臨盆的妻子 Telethusa身邊,說明他的兩個願望:願她在分娩過程中少受痛苦 (minimo ut relevere dolore),願生出來的是個男孩 (utque marem parias)。因為家中衣食難濟,如果生出來的是女孩的話,他只能不情願地殺死嬰兒 (invitus mando; Pietas ignosce, necetur)。

夜半時分,Telethusa夢見埃及女神 Isis和她的隨從Anubis, Bubastis, Apis和Osiris 來到她的床邊,告訴她:不要擔憂、忽略丈夫的命令 (pone graves curas mandataque falle mariti),我是你的守護神,聽到你的禱告之後我會幫助你 (dea sum auxiliaris opemque / exorata fero)。深夜,一個女孩誕生了,在父親毫無知覺之時 (nata est ignaro femina patre)。Telethusa和侍女聯手欺瞞 Ligdus,告訴他新生兒是個男孩。父親給新生兒取名為 Iphis;Telethusa聽了之後非常開心,因為這名字兩性通用 (quod commune foret),她再也不用欺騙丈夫了 (nec quemquam falleret illo)。

長大的過程中,Iphis穿著少年的服飾 (cultus erat pueri),中性的臉龐也是雌雄莫辨 (facies quam sive pullae / sive dares puero fuerat formosus uterque)。十年轉瞬過去,父親讓Iphis和城中最美麗的同齡金髮少女 Ianthes 訂下婚約 (tibi despondet Ianthen / inter Phaestiadas quae laudatissima formae / dote fuit virgo)。愛情很快地觸及兩人幼嫩的心,在兩人身上留下深淺相同的傷口 (hinc amor ambarum tetigit rude pectus et aequum / vulnus utrique dedit),但是相互的信任卻截然不同 (sed erat fiducia dispar):Ianthe相信和自己熱戀的是個男人,此時 Iphis 開始有了強烈的擔憂,不知道自己為何違反自然律法,愛上了和自己相同性別的女孩。

母親Telethusa也有一樣的擔憂。她一再用各種理由推遲婚禮 (tempora differt),佯裝生病 (ficto languore) 或者藉口預見凶兆 (omina saepe / visaque causatur)。在婚禮日終將來臨的前一天,Iphis和母親兩人披散頭髮,在神壇前向埃及女神Isis 祈求幫助 (at illa / crinalem capiti vittam nataeque suoque /detrahit et passis aram complexa capillis)忽然之間,神壇上的神器大聲作響(crepuitque sonabile sistrum),神殿的大門劇烈搖晃 (templi trmuere fores);Iphis 的慘白臉色褪去(nec candor in ore permanet)、力量增長 (vires augentur)、臉龐比以往更為粗糙 (acrior ipse est vultus)、披散的頭髮長度縮短 (incomptis brevior mensura capillis) — — 片刻之前她仍是個女孩,現在已成男身 (femina nuper eras, puer es)。隔天,愛神 Venus 和兩位婚姻之神 Iuno 和 Hymenaeus 齊聚參加 Iphis和 Ianthe 的婚禮。

以下段落 (720- 763) 是Iphis 面對自己內心洶湧的情慾驚惶不定時的心聲。她自問:擺在她眼前的將是什麼樣的結局 (quis me manet exitus) ? 牢牢抓緊她的偏偏是無人知曉、扭曲、新異的愛情 (cognita quam nulli, quam prodigiosa novaeque cura tenet Veneris?) Iphis的心聲大概像許多同志曾經想過的一樣:如果諸神意欲使她墮落的話 (si di me perdere vellent),至少給她「自然和合乎社會風俗的罪惡」(naturale malum saltem et de more dedissent)。母牛不會愛上母牛 (nec vaccam vaccae),母馬的愛意不會對另一隻母馬燃燒 (nec equas amor urit equarum),飛翔的鳥兒和所有的動物都是公母成對。相比於受海神詛咒瘋狂愛上公牛的克里特王后Pasiphae,Iphis自認是更不幸的 — — 至少她仍是作為一個女人愛上男性。希望豢養愛情 (spes est, quae faciat, spes est, quae pascat amorem),事實卻剝奪她的希望 (hanc tibi res adimit)。

另一方面,Iphis也想到,如果就此結婚,她不需要離開母親溫柔的擁抱 (non te custodia caro arcet ab amplexu)、不用擔心過度保護的丈夫 (nec cauti cura mariti) 或是嚴格的岳父 (non patris asperitas)。所有不知情的人們都指望她們成親 — — 除了比所有人權力更大的自然定律之外 (at non vult natura, potentior omnibus istis)。最後Iphis質問婚姻之神 Iuno和 Hymenaeos:為什麼你們要給這場婚禮祝福,當結婚的是我們兩個新娘呢 (qibus qui ducat abest, ubi nubimus ambae)?

Hinc amor ambarum tetigit rude pectus et aequum

vulnus utrique dedit. Sed erat fiducia dispar:

So unsuspected love had filled their hearts
with equal longing — but how different!

coniugium pactaeque exspectat tempora taedae

quamque virum putat esse, virum fore credit Ianthe;

Ianthe waits in confidence and hope
the ceremonial as agreed upon,
and is quite certain she will wed a man.

Iphis amat, qua posse frui desperat, et auget

hoc ipsum flammas, ardetque in virgine virgo; 725

But Iphis is in love without one hope
of passion’s ecstasy, the thought of which
only increased her flame; and she a girl
is burnt with passion for another girl!
She hardly can hold back her tears, and says:

vixque tenens lacrimas “quis me manet exitus” inquit,

“cognita quam nulli, quam prodigiosa novaeque

cura tenet Veneris? Si di mihi parcere vellent,

parcere debuerant; si non, et perdere vellent,

naturale malum saltem et de more dedissent. 730

“O what will be the awful dreaded end,
with such a monstrous love compelling me?
If the Gods should wish to save me, certainly
they should have saved me; but, if their desire
was for my ruin, still they should have given
some natural suffering of humanity.

Nec vaccam vaccae, nec equas amor urit equarum:

urit oves aries, sequitur sua femina cervum.

Sic et aves coeunt, interque animalia cuncta

femina femineo conrepta cupidine nulla est.

The passion for a cow does not inflame a cow,
no mare has ever sought another mare.
The ram inflames the ewe, and every doe
follows a chosen stag; so also birds
are mated, and in all the animal world
no female ever feels love passion for
another female — why is it in me?

Vellem nulla forem! Ne non tamen omnia Crete 735

monstra ferat, taurum dilexit filia Solis,

femina nempe marem: meus est furiosior illo,

si verum profitemur, amor! Tamen illa secuta est

spem Veneris, tamen illa dolis et imagine vaccae

passa bovem est, et erat, qui deciperetur adulter! 740

“Monstrosities are natural to Crete,
the daughter of the Sun there loved a bull —
it was a female’s mad love for the male —
but my desire is far more mad than hers,
in strict regard of truth, for she had hope
of love’s fulfillment. She secured the bull
by changing herself to a heifer’s form;
and in that subtlety it was the male
deceived at last.

Huc licet e toto sollertia confluat orbe,

ipse licet revolet ceratis Daedalus alis,

quid faciet? Num me puerum de virgine doctis

artibus efficiet? num te mutabit, Ianthe?

Though all the subtleties
of all the world should be collected here; —
if Daedalus himself should fly back here
upon his waxen wings, what could he do?
What skillful art of his could change my sex,
a girl into a boy — or could he change
Ianthe? What a useless thought!

Quin animum firmas, teque ipsa reconligis, Iphi, 745

consiliique inopes et stultos excutis ignes?

Quid sis nata, vide, nisi te quoque decipis ipsa,

et pete quod fas est, et ama quod femina debes!

Be bold, take courage Iphis, and be strong of soul.
This hopeless passion stultifies your heart;
so shake it off, and hold your memory
down to the clear fact of your birth: unless
your will provides deception for yourself:
do only what is lawful, and confine
strictly, your love within a woman’s right.

Spes est, quae capiat, spes est, quae pascit amorem:

hanc tibi res adimit. Non te custodia caro 750

arcet ab amplexu nec cauti cura mariti,

non patris asperitas, non se negat ipsa roganti:

nec tamen est potienda tibi, nec, ut omnia fiant,

esse potes felix, ut dique hominesque laborent.

“Hope of fulfillment can beget true love,
and hope keeps it alive. You are deprived
of this hope by the nature of your birth.
No guardian keeps you from her dear embrace,
no watchful jealous husband, and she has
no cruel father: she does not deny
herself to you. With all that liberty,
you can not have her for your happy wife,
though Gods and men should labor for your wish.

Nunc quoque votorum nulla est pars vana meorum, 755

dique mihi faciles, quidquid valuere, dederunt;

quodque ego, vult genitor, vult ipsa socerque futurus.

None of my prayers has ever been denied;
the willing Deities have granted me
whatever should be, and my father helps
me to accomplish everything I plan:
she and her father also, always help.
But Nature is more powerful than all,
and only Nature works for my distress.

At non vult natura, potentior omnibus istis,

quae mihi sola nocet. Venit ecce optabile tempus,

760luxque iugalis adest, et iam mea fiet Ianthe —

nec mihi continget: mediis sitiemus in undis.

Pronuba quid Iuno, quid ad haec, Hymenaee, venitis

sacra, quibus qui ducat abest, ubi nubimus ambae?”

“The wedding-day already is at hand;
the longed-for time is come; Ianthe soon
will be mine only — and yet, not my own:
with water all around me I shall thirst!
O why must Juno, goddess of sweet brides,
and why should Hymen also, favor us
when man with woman cannot join in wedlock,
but both are brides?” And so she closed her lips.

(Text and translation by Brookes More from http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0029%3Abook%3D9%3Acard%3D666)

(圖 [文不符]): The Artist in the Character of Design Listening to the Inspiration of Poetry by Angelika Kauffmann (1782), https://www.wikiart.org/de/angelika-kauffmann/allegory-of-poetry-and-music-1782)

--

--

MA Student @unijena, comparative philology and historical linguistics. Classical poetry lover. Taiwanese living in Germany. https://twitter.com/ailourosmarjara

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
ailourosmarjara

MA Student @unijena, comparative philology and historical linguistics. Classical poetry lover. Taiwanese living in Germany. https://twitter.com/ailourosmarjara