Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
De Amore Hereos (Author: [unknown])



De Amore Hereos6 i.e. concerning the love that is called hereos; for hereos in Greek is the same as generosus in Latin and generosus in Latin is the same as noble7 in Gaelic, for the barons and the nobility are wont to fall into this disease through their wealth and their riches; and filocaptus8 (sic) is said of him who is in this sickness and ‘filocaptus’ is one who is in bondage to a thread, for thus the man of this disease is in bonds to the love of the woman. For so greatly does he desire her that he thinks she is the woman of the best form and figure, habits, and chastity in the world, for the power of comparison is so destroyed in him through his melancholy thoughts, that he forsakes his good actions and his mercy entirely and only (retains) thoughts of the woman alone, and becomes like a


madman, according to Ovid, who says: ‘Omnis amans caecus, non est Amor arbiter aequus’,9 i.e. love is not a just judge and he who has it is blind.


This is how love comes: the power of comparison recognizes it from the force that is called imaginativa, and the force called concupiscibilis takes it from imaginativa, and the force called irrational takes it from concupiscibilis, and the power of movement of the arteries takes it from the irrational force10 and the whole body moves towards love and pours contempt on heat and cold and danger, and he is unstable.


These are the signs of love; lack of desire for food and drink; little sleep, and the body wastes exceedingly, all but the eyes; and they (the patients) have deep meditations and are bent, sad, and gloomy. The pulse is rapid, high, variable and inordinate; and when he hears melody or strains of music he will be weeping and sighing, but when the lady is mentioned in his presence, the pulse becomes quicker, and when he sees her it increases still more.


(&) If this disease be not cured it turns to mania, or he will die.


Let us speak now of the cure of this disease: let the leech ascertain whether he (the patient) be a reasonable man or an unreasonable; if he be rational, let a learned person be put to instruct him, of whom he is afraid and who will bring shame on him by his words, and who will withdraw his mind from the false image he holds, and let the danger of life be pointed out to him at first and the day of judgement: thereafter let the glory and bliss of the Heavenly City be made clear to him. And if he be a young and irrational man let his clothes be taken off him, and let him be beaten with scourges sorely till his skin redden, and trembling seize his limbs, and let him be threatened that he will get worse evils. After this let great honour be promised him, or dominance, for evil manners are changed from being honoured, according to Ovid, and let violent exercise be given him thereafter, for Ovid says these words: De vacua mente quo teneatur opus etc., i.e. work is profitable to


the idle mind. After the work, let him be sent to distant lands and to see colours and different seas. For Pythagoras says to see pictures and varied colours is a valuable cure for this sickness, and [to see] wild animals, and wells and mountains and woods, and [to hear] the voices of birds;11 and let him smell sweet smelling things and their like. And if he is not cured by what we have said let an unsightly hag be sent into his presence, of evil appearance and with wretched garments, and put a cloth on which is blood between her knees and let her say these words to the man of love: That is a bad love-lady you have, for she is bibulous, stinking, and she has epilepsy, & mingit in lecto, and her skin is foul and covered with sores and let her say every other thing to him that will seem fit to herself, and unless he speak to her, pull the cloth on which is the blood from her and strike it in his face, and say to him in a loud voice: Thus is your love-lady. And if he be not cured by this he is not a man but a devil incarnate, and he will not be cured for all eternity.12