Sweet Talk for Latin Lovers

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, any respectable Latin lover will, of course, be keen to brush up on their relevant sweet talking skills.

Here are are some lines you may wish to rehearse for your Latin wooing and cooing pleasures.

They come from Plautus‘ play Asinaria (‘The Comedy of the Asses‘, translation by Wolfgang de Melo):

Asin. 664:

meus ocellus, mea rosa, mi anime, mea uoluptas

‘apple of my eye, my rose, my soul, my joy’

Asin. 666-8:

dic me igitur tuom passerculum, gallinam, coturnicem,
agnellum, haedillum me tuom dic esse uel uitellum,

prehende auriculis, compara labella cum labellis.

‘Then call me your little sparrow, your hen, your quail; call me your little lamb, your kid, or your little calf; grab me by the ears and put your lips on mine.’

Asin. 691-2:

mi Libane, ocellus aureus, donum decusque amoris,
amabo, faciam quod uoles, (…).

‘My dear Libanus, my golden eye, love’s gift and glory, please, I’ll do what you like, (…).’

Asin. 693-6:

dic igitur med aneticulam, columbam uel catellum,
hirundinem, monerulam, passerculum putillum,

fac proserpentem bestiam me, duplicem ut habeam linguam,

circumda torquem bracchiis, meum collum circumplecte.

‘Then call me your little duck, your dove, your puppy, your swallow, your jackdaw, your teeny-weeny sparrow, turn me into a reptile so that I have a double tongue. Put a chain around me with your arms, embrace my neck.’

About Peter Kruschwitz

Berliner. Classicist. Scatterbrain.
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9 Responses to Sweet Talk for Latin Lovers

  1. chattykerry says:

    Oh my, those Romans knew how to turn on the charm. I like the reference to the reptile with the double tongue. A kiss for Valentine’s Day to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, you gotta hand it to them! 🙂 A kiss for Valentine’s Day back!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is brilliant! But let’s not forget all the romance that’s going on in the walls of Pompeii. This one is one of my favourite graffiti, a (kinda) sweet love ballad from House 9.5.11, CIL 4.5092:

    Amoris ignes si sentires mulio
    Magi properares, ut videres Venerem.
    Diligo [[puerum]] ‘iuvenem’ venustum. Rogo, punge, iamus.
    Bibisti: iamus, prende lora et excute,
    Pompeios defer, ubi dulcis est amor
    Meus es…

    If you were feeling the fires of love, mule driver,
    You would hurry more, in order to see Venus.
    I love a lovely boy [corrected to: young man]. I ask you, strike your whip, let’s go.
    You have drunk: let’s go, take up the reins and shake them.
    Carry (me) to Pompeii, where love is sweet.
    You are mine…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, that has to be one of my favourite Pompeian pieces as well! Thank you for mentioning it here!


  5. i like your article, very inspiring, and thank you for your post


  6. Eireann says:

    Personally, I’m quite fond of ‘turn me into a reptile so that I have a double tongue’ – I shall have to remember that for the future! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ipasuheti says:

    This is good…


  8. hiro812 says:

    i like your article, very inspiring, and thank you for your post


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