Santu Paulu meu de le tarante
che pizzichi le caruse ‘nmezz’all’anche
Santu Paulu meu de li scorzoni
che pizzichi li carusi int’i balloni
My Saint Paul of the tarante, who stings the girls between their hips
My Saint Paul of the scorzoni who stings the boys in their pants.
Deu ti muzzicau la tarantella?
Sotto la pudìa de la vannella.
Where did the little spider bite you?
Under the hem of my skirt.
Arachne of Maeonia wove at first the story of Europa, as the bull deceived her, and so perfect was her art, it seemed a real bull in real waves. Europa seemed to look back towards the land which she had left; and call in her alarm to her companions–and as if she feared the touch of dashing waters, to draw up her timid feet, while she was sitting on the bull’s back. And she wove Asteria seized by the assaulting eagle; and beneath the swan’s white wings showed Leda lying by the stream: and showed Jove dancing as a Satyr, when he sought the beautiful Antiope, to whom was given twins; and how he seemed Amphitryon when he deceived Alcmena; and how he courted lovely Danae luring her as a gleaming shower of gold; and poor Aegina, hidden in his flame, Jove as a shepherd with Mnemosyne; and beautiful Proserpina, involved by him, apparent as a spotted snake. And in her web, Arachne wove the scenes of Neptunus:–who was shown first as a bull, when he was deep in love with virgin Arne then as Enipeus when the giant twins, Aloidae, were begot; and as the ram that gambolled with Bisaltis; as a horse loved by the fruitful Ceres [Demeter], golden haired, all-bounteous mother of the yellow grain; and as the bird that hovered round snake-haired Medusa, mother of the winged horse; and as the dolphin, sporting with the Nymph, Melantho.–All of these were woven true to life, in proper shades. And there she showed Apollo, when disguised in various forms: as when he seemed a rustic; and as when he wore hawk-wings, and then the tawny skin of a great lion; and once more when he deluded Isse, as a shepherd lad. And there was Bacchus, when he was disguised as a large cluster of fictitious grapes; deluding by that wile the beautiful Erigone;–and Saturnus, as a steed, begetter of the dual-natured Chiron. And then Arachne, to complete her work, wove all around the web a patterned edge of interlacing flowers and ivy leaves.
Pallas could not find a fleck or flaw–even Envy can not censure perfect art–enraged because Arachne had such skill she ripped the web, and ruined all the scenes that showed those wicked actions of the gods.
– Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.103-130
Autolykos got up to go out for a walk (it being now his usual time) and his father Lykon, as he was departing to accompany him, turned back and said “So help me Hera, Sokrates; if ever any one deserved the appellation beautiful and good, you are that man!”
After he had withdrawn the Syracusan came in and announced, “Gentlemen, Ariadne will soon enter the chamber set apart for her and Dionysos; after that, Dionysos — a little flushed with wine drunk at a banquet of the gods — will come to join her, and then they shall play!”
He had scarce concluded when Ariadne entered, attired like a bride. She crossed the stage and sat herself upon the throne. Meanwhile, before the god himself appeared a sound of flutes was heard; the cadence of the Bacchic air proclaimed his coming. At this point the company broke forth in admiration of the master of the dance. For no sooner did the sound of music strike upon the ear of Ariadne than something in her action revealed to all the pleasure which it caused her. She did not step forward to meet her lover, she did not rise even from her seat; but the flutter of her unrest was plain to see.
When Dionysos presently caught sight of his beloved, lightly he danced towards her, and with show of tenderest passion gently reclined upon her knees; his arms entwined about her lovingly, and upon her lips he sealed a kiss;–she the while with most sweet bashfulness was fain to wind responsive arms about her lover; then the banqueters, who had been eagerly watching the whole while clapped their hands and cried “Encore!” Dionysos rose to his feet and lifted Ariadne to her full height and the action of those lovers as they kissed and caressed one another was a thing to contemplate. As to the spectators, they could see that Dionysos was indeed most beautiful, and Ariadne like some lovely blossom; nor were those mocking gestures, but real kisses sealed on loving lips; and so, with hearts aflame, they gazed expectantly. For they overheard Dionysos asking her if she loved him, and heard her vowing that she did, so earnestly that not only Dionysos but all the bystanders as well would have taken their oaths in confirmation that the youth and the maid surely felt a mutual affection. For theirs was the appearance not of actors who had been taught their poses but of persons now permitted to satisfy their long-cherished desires.
At last, the banqueters, seeing them in each other’s embrace and obviously leaving for the bridal couch, those who were unmarried swore on the spot that they would wed and those who were wed mounted their horses and galloped off to join their wives, eager for the joys of marriage.
As for Sokrates and the others who had lingered behind, they went out with Kallias to join Lykon and his son in their walk. So broke up the banquet held that evening.
– Xenophon, The Symposion 9.1-7