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Aemulatio impar.

Competing on unequal terms

Altivolam miluus comitatur degener harpam, [1]
Et praedae partem saepe cadentis habet.
Mullum prosequitur qui spretas sargus ab illo, [2]
Praeteritasque avidus devorat ore dapes.
Sic mecum Oenocrates agit: at deserta studentum
Utitur hoc lippo curia tanquam oculo.[3]

An ignoble kite accompanies the soaring hawk and often gets a piece of the prey as it falls. The sargus follows the mudfish and greedily devours the food that it scorns and passes by. Oenocrates behaves like this with me - but the lecture-hall I’ve abandoned treats him like a runny eye.

Notes:

1. аFor the association of the kite and the hawk see Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.1.609.

2. аFor the sargus’s habit of following the lutarius (the mudfish) and eating the food it disturbs as it burrows in the mud, see Pliny, Natural History, 9.30.65; Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 253.

3. аlippo...tamquam oculo, ‘like a runny eye’, a proverbial expression. See Erasmus, Adagia, 4100 (Lippo oculo similis): a runny eye is something you would prefer to be rid of, but while you have it you cannot leave it alone; similarly there are people you do not like, but you find yourself obliged to make use of them.


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  • animal with prey лл KEY (452) TO 25F animals [25F(+452)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • bony fishes (+ dying animal; death of animal; dead animal) [25F62(+63)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • bony fishes (with NAME) (+ animal with prey) [25F62(BREAM)(+452)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • bony fishes: mullet (+ animal with prey) [25F62(MULLET)(+452)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(ALCIATUS, Andreas)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(OENOCRATES)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Imparity, Inequality (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51BB3(+4):54EE33(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sponging, Parasitizing (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6122(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • wine-testing, wine-grading [47I4251] Search | Browse Iconclass

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