1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pervigilium Veneris

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PERVIGILIUM[1] VENERIS, the Vigil of Venus, a short Latin Poem. The author, date, and place of composition are unknown. The poem probably belongs to the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. An article signed L. Raquettius in the Classical Review (May 1905) assigns it to Sidonius Apollinaris (5th cent.) It was written professedly in early spring on the eve of a three-nights' festival of Venus (probably April 1–3). It describes in poetical language the annual awakening of the vegetable and animal world through the goddess. It consists of ninety-three verses in trochaic septenarii, and is divided into strophes of unequal length by the refrain:

“Cras amet qui nunquam amavit; quique amavit cras amet.”

Editio princeps (1577); modern editions by F. Bucheler (1859), A Riese, in Anthologia latina (1869), E. Bahrens in Unedierte lateinische Gedichte (1877), S. G. Owen (with Catullus, 1893). There are translations into English verse by Thomas Stanley (1651) and Thomas Parnell, author of The Hermit; on the text see J. W. Mackail in Journal of Philology (1888), vol. XVII.

  1. Pervigilium was the term for a nocturnal festival in honour of some divinity, especially Bona Dea.