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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E4v p72]

Quae supra nos, nihil ad nos.[1]

What lies above us is none of our business

XXVIII.

Caucasia aeternum pendens in rupe Prometheus[2]
Diripitur sacri praepetis ungue iecur.
Et nollet fecisse hominem, figulosque perosus
Accensam rapto damnat ab igne facem.
Roduntur variis prudentum pectora curis,
Qui coeli affectant scire deûmque vices.

Suspended for ever from the Caucasian rock, Prometheus has his liver torn by the talons of the sacred bird. He could well wish he had not made man. Hating moulders of clay, he curses the torch lit from the stolen fire. - The hearts of the learned are gnawed by various cares, the learned who strive to know the vicissitudes of heaven and the gods.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5r p73]

Was ob unnß ist nit zu erforschen.

XXVIII.

Prometheus macht von laym ein bild,
Das er durch fewr zu leben bracht,
Drumb nagt im yetz ein geyer wild,
Sein leber, die wechst tag und nacht,
Den lon er umb solch kunst empfacht.
Also verzern yr hertz in layd,
All die legen yer sinn und acht
Zu wissen Gottes haymlichkayt.

Notes:

1.  See Erasmus, Adagia 569, Quae supra nos nihil ad nos.

2.  The Titan Prometheus appears in myth as the champion of men against the ill-will of Zeus. According to one account, he moulded man out of clay (hence the reference to figuli, lit. ‘potters’, in l.3). Again, when Zeus withheld fire from mortals, Prometheus ascended to heaven and stole fire from the chariot of the sun for the benefit of men. As a perpetual punishment, Prometheus was put in chains and suspended from a rock in the Caucasus, where an eagle, the sacred bird of Zeus, in the day-time consumed his liver, which renewed itself every night. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.82ff; Hesiod, Theogony 561ff.


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Relating to the text:

  • (symbolic) representations ~ creation, cosmos, cosmogony, universe, and life (in the broadest sense) [10] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Curiosity, Inquisitiveness, Desire of Knowledge; 'Curiosità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • fire (one of the four elements) [21C] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(CAUCASUS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prometheus makes man out of clay, usually Minerva present [91E451] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prometheus steals fire from the chariot of the sun [91E4521] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Punishment; 'Castigo', 'Pena', 'Punitione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57BB13(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Things Unknown, the Unknown (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51AA8(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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