Aloisiae Sigaeae, Toletanae, Satyra sotadica de arcanis amoris et Veneris  

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Portrait of Francis Dashwood, 15th Baron le Despencer by William Hogarth from the late 1750s, parodying Renaissance images of Francis of Assisi. The bible has been replaced by a copy of the erotic novel Elegantiae Latini sermonis, and the profile of Dashwood's friend Lord Sandwich peers from the halo.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Sotadic, whore dialogue, literary mystification, French original text

Aloisiae Sigaeae, Toletanae, Satyra sotadica de arcanis amoris et Veneris is a 17th century work of erotic fiction written in Latin by Nicolas Chorier, first published in c.1659. It was translated in French as Académie des dames ou le meursius francais in 1680.

These dialogues are the first erotic work written in neo-Latin, and it contains among other things a defense of tribadism (i.e. lesbianism). The attribution to Luisa Sigea de Velasco (as well as the attribution to Johannes Meursius) was a literary mystification, as was first demonstrated by Bruno Lavignini in his edition of the work (Italy, 1905). The work was later translated into many other languages, including English, under the title Dialogues of Luisa Sigea and The School of Women.

Contents

Plot

The book is written in the form of a series of seven dialogues (L'Escarmouche, Tribadicon, Anatomie, Le duel, Voluptés, Amours and Fescennins) with Tullia, a twenty-six year-old Italian woman, the wife of Callias, who is charged with the sexual initiation of her fifteen year old cousin, Ottavia, to whom she declares, "Your mother asked to reveal to you the most mysterious secrets of bridal bed and to teach you what you must be with your husband, which your husband will also be, touching these small things which so strongly inflame men's passion. This night, so that I can indoctrinate you in all of this liberated language, will sleep together in my bed, which I would like to be able to say will have been the softest of Venus's lace."

In French, "Ta mère m'a demandé de te découvrir les secrets les plus mystérieux du lit nuptial et de t'apprendre ce que tu dois être avec ton mari, ce que ton mari sera aussi, touchant ces petites choses pour lesquelles s'enflamment si fort les hommes. Cette nuit, pour que je puisse t'endoctriner sur tout d'une langue plus libre, nous coucherons ensemble dans mon lit, dont je voudrais pouvoir dire qu'il aura été la plus douce lice de Vénus."

Dialogue on anatomy

The description of the testicles in the English edition of Bartholinus Anatomy (1668) resembles the passage on the testicles in this dialogue.

The vagina is described as a "tube through which the human race passes from the utter darkness of nothing to the light of day."

Tullia. — Enfin, l'intervalle qui s'étend de l'entrée au fond du jardin a reçu le nom de gaine; c'est là que l'organe s'introduit, lorsque la femme reçoit le choc. Les médecins l'appellent tantôt col ou canal de l'utérus, tantôt sein de pudicité. Cette gaine entoure, étreint et serre le membre viril dès qu'il y pénètre et s'y insinue : elle est, Octavia, comme le conduit par lequel le genre humain est amené des obscures profondeurs du néant à la lumière du jour.
Now, it envelops, squeezes and sucks the virile member, once driven into, and set in, this sheath. It is, Ottavia, a kind of tube through which the human race passes from the utter darkness of nothing to the light of day. --Satyra Sotadica

And the clitoris is described as:

"Mais j'ai oublié de te parler du clitoris. C'est un corps membraneux, situé vers le bas de la motte, et présentant en petit la forme de la tige virile. Comme s'il était ce tige, l'envie amoureuse le redresse; il échauffe, il démange si bien les femmes d'un tempérament quelque peu vif qu'a la seule provocation de la main, elles fondent en eau, le plus souvent, sans attendre le bon cavalier. Moi-même, lorsque Callias m'inflige ses friponneries, qu'il me palpe, qu'il me chatouille, cela m'arrive souvent. Sur ses mains occupées à badiner trop librement par là, je fais pleuvoir de mon jardin une abondante rosée. C'est pour lui le prétexte d'une ample moisson de sarcasmes, un large champ ouvert à ses plaisanteries. Mais qu'y puis-je faire? Il éclate de rire, je ris également; je lui reproche d'être trop vif, il me reproche d'être trop lascive; nous nous renvoyons la balle et, pendant que nous nous querellons pour rire, il se jette tout de bon sur moi, me renverse bon gré mal gré, me force à le subir, couchée sur le dos; et cette rosée que mon jardin a laissé échaper, comme il dit en riant, il me restitue copieusement du sien, pour que je n'aille pas me plaindre d'avoir rien perdu par sa faute." --Satyra Sotadica
"But I forgot to tell you about the clitoris. It is a membranous body located near the bottom of the mound, and appears to be a smaller form of the male rod. As with the male rod, amorous lust straightens it. It itches and heats women even of little lively temperament and at the slightest provocation of the hand they melt into water, often without waiting for the right cavalier. When Callias inflicts his knavery, feeling it, tickling it, this happens often. When his hands are busy playing there too freely, my garden rains a heavy dew. For him the pretext for a plentiful harvest of sarcasm, a wide open field for his jokes. But what can I do? He laughs, I laugh also and blame him for being too vivacious, he accuses me of being too lascivious, we jostle the ball and while we quarrel for laughs, he throws himself on me, pushes me down willingly or unwillingly, forces me to undergo, supine, and the dew that my garden let go, as he laughingly says, he restores it copiously from his, so I do not go complaining to have lost anything by his fault. "

The book also mentions sinum pudoris and a discourse on the testicles which show similarities to Thomas Bartholin's descriptions.

Publication history

This manuscript claimed that it was originally written in Spanish by Luisa Sigea de Velasco, an erudite poetess and maid of honor at the court of Lisbon and was then translated into Latin by Jean or Johannes Meursius, a humanist born in Leiden, Holland in 1613. The attribution to Sigea was a lie and Meursius's translation was a complete fabrication. The manuscript circulated through the libertine community at the beginning of the eighteenth century and was known in Latin under many different titles. It was translated into French many times, including one translation by Jean Terrasson in 1750, and was also translated into English as The School of Women.

French translation

Alcide Bonneau

The first French translation appeared in 1680 (à Ville-Franche, by Michel Blanchet) and later in 1749 as Nouvelle Traduction de Meursius.

In 1680 was published the first French translation of an erotic work entitled Aloysiæ Sigeæ Toletanæ satyra sotadica de arcanis amoris et veneris: Aloysia hispanice scripsit: latinitate donauit J. Meursius, attributed to the Frenchman Nicolas Chorier. (The title means "Luisa Sigea Toledana's Sotadic (Sotades) satire, on the secrets of love and sex".

English translation

The first English translation may have appeared in 1682 as The School of Women but definitely in 1684 as A Dialogue Between a Married Lady and a Maid; for which William Cademan was prosecuted for "exposing, selling, uttering and publishing the pernicious, wicked, scandalous vicious and illicit book". --eroticabibliophile.com [Sept 2005]

Nicholas Chorier's Satyra Sotadica de Arcanis Amoris et Veneris, published as the work Dialogues of Aloisia (Luisa) Sigea and subsequently translated, abridged, and reworked, notably as L'académie des Dames.

Dutch translation

Akademie der dames, of vermakelyke gesprekken van Alosia

Other editions

  • Aloisiae Sigeae Toletanae Satyra sotadica de arcanis Amoris et Veneris; Aloisia Hispanice scripsit; Latinitate donavit Ioannes Meursius. Gratianopoli (?) 1660.
  • Aloisiae Sigaeae Toletanae Satyra sotadica de arcanis amoris & Veneris ... accessit colloquium ante hac non editum, Fescennini, ex m.s. recens reperto. Editio noua, emendatior & auctior. Amstelodami 1678.
  • Joannis Meursii Elegantiae Latini sermonis seu Aloisia Sigæa Toletana de arcanis Amoris et Veneris; adjunctis fragmentis quibusdam eroticis. Lugduni Batavorum: Ex typis Elzevirianis [sed re vera Lutetiae: Barbou], 1757. [Vide imaginem]
  • Des secrets de l'amour et de Vénus, satire sotadique de Luisa Sigea, de Tolède, par Nicolas Chorier, préface d'André Berry, Éditions l'Or du Temps, 1969.
  • L'Académie des dames ou la Philosophie dans le boudoir du Grand Siècle, dialogues érotiques présentés par Jean-Pierre Dubost, Éditions Philippe Picquier, Arles, 1999.

Notes

The translations on this page are based on the Brandon House translation[1] of 1965, mixed with my own. The Brandon House edition is a reprint of an English translation first published at Paris in 1890 by Isidore Liseux.

See also




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