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Rochester's choice to translate the invocation of Venus also had serious mythographical resonances. For Ben Jonson and George Sandys it was crucial to their laudatory verses and masques to Henrietta Maria (where Urania - i.e. Heavenly Aphrodite in Plato - pays homage to the Queen). Meanwhile, in continental literature, Du Bartas and Joachim du Bellay petition Heavenly Aphrodite/Venus as their muse; Milton does the same, equating Venus with the Holy Spirit in the Nativity Ode, &c.

What implications this has remain unclear but two things become apparent:

1) Venus was closely tied to Stuart conceptions of power and court rhetoric (which Charles II would have been raised under). It was also a mainstay of continental - particularly French - poetry which was very much en vogue as Stuart exiles re-emerged from France, having exposed themselves to the tenets of French neoclassical drama and poetry.

2) Very often in this period, Venus is the epitome of Christian humanist ambitions: whatever Rochester is doing in this translation of Lucretius is inextricably tied to that.

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