2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
“What is due to Jupiter is not due to the bull” - in Latin, this catchphrase sounds like Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi. It is quite common in literature, sometimes it can be heard in colloquial speech. The one who said: “What is due to Jupiter is not due to the bull”, and the correct interpretation of this phraseological unit will be described in detail in the article.
Meaning and authorship
The meaning of "what is due to Jupiter is not due to the bull" is as follows. If any person or several people are allowed to do any action or given any right, this does not mean at all that the same is allowed to all other people.
It is believed that the author of this phrase is Publius Terentius Arf, a Latin playwright who lived in the 2nd century BC. e. He was a representative of ancient Roman comedy, died young and managed to write six comedies. Of these, all have survived to this day.
But it should be noted that in the comedy written by Terence called "Punishing Himself" there is a slightly different phrase that looks like "Others are allowed it, but you are not allowed." According to the researchers, the phrase "what is due to Jupiter, not due to the bull", the meaning of which is considered here, is a medieval paraphrase of the original, taken from Terentius' comedy.
The aphorism contains an allusion to the myth that existed in the ancient Greek and Roman tradition, the characters of which are Europa and Jupiter (Zeus - among the Greeks). This is a myth in which God, taking the form of a bull, kidnaps Europe.
"What is supposed to Jupiter is not supposed to be a bull" - the meaning of this expression will be more understandable if we consider the myth associated with it and its characters.
Initially, Jupiter was revered by the Italic people as a god, commanding the heavenly light. Sacrifices were offered to him on the tops of hills and mountains. On the Roman Capitol, such a victim was a white sheep. The Romans, like all Italians, regarded lightning as signs of this deity. The places where they fell into the ground were considered sacred. Jupiter fertilized the earth with rain, and it produced plants. He was especially revered by the winegrowers.
A number of important things depended on this deity, who later became supreme. We are talking about the order in the world, the change of seasons and months, as well as day and night. Jupiter from heaven watched all the events taking place on earth. No crime could hide from him,left without proper punishment. The oath in the name of Jupiter could not be broken under fear of heavenly punishment.
With him, as with the supreme god, there was a council consisting of other gods. Solving earthly affairs, he used augurs, through whom he sent people signs of his will. Jupiter was the god of all the Romans, their state, his power and domination over other nations.
His main temple was located in the center of the Eternal City, on Capitol Hill. In this regard, he had an additional epithet - Capitoline. The temple was the center of the religious life of the entire state. Cities subordinate to Rome made sacrifices to him on the Capitol. They also erected local temples for him.
The Romans believed that it was this god who was the protector of their laws and statehood, their heavenly patron. In the period of the empire, Jupiter was considered as the patron of imperial power. The most important events in the life of society were held in the Capitoline Temple. We are talking about sacrifices, the oath of new consuls, the first meeting of the year of the Senate.
After the decline of the Roman Empire, Jupiter was almost completely identified with Zeus. Both the first and the second were often depicted on a throne, with an eagle, a beard, with a scepter and lightning, full of strength and dignity.
Continuing to study the meaning of "what is due to Jupiter, not due to the bull", let's move on to a direct examination of the myth with which this expression is associated.
Abduction of Europa
Jupiter (Zeus among the Greeks) was carried away by Europe, which, according to one version, was the daughter of the Phoenician king. Presumably, her name is derived from the Phoenician word for "sunset" and is associated with the west. The name and everything connected with this character is known precisely from the myth in question.
Before going to the girl, Jupiter turned into a white bull. When Europe, along with her friends, frolicked on the seashore, a bull appeared before her. He put her on his back and sped away with her to the island of Crete. The brothers of Europe set off in search of her. They went to the Oracle of Delphi, the god Apollo, but he said they didn't need to worry, and she was never found.
In Crete, Jupiter, getting rid of the image of a bull, became an attractive young man and after that took possession of a Phoenician princess. Europe gave birth to three sons from him. Subsequently, she became the wife of the Cretan king Asterion, who could not have children. He bequeathed his dominion over the island to the children of Europe, born of Zeus, whom he adopted and raised.
The meaning of “what is due to Jupiter is not due to the bull” was interpreted by Vladimir Putin in his speech at the Valdai Forum in 2014 as follows. The Russian president applied it to the policy of our state, saying that the Russian bear would not ask anyone for permission.
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