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Section: PRUDENTIA (Wisdom). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B3v p22]

Νῆφε καὶ μέμνησ’ἀπιστεῖν. ἄρθρα ταῦτα τῶν
φρενῶν.
Sobrič vivendum: & non
temerč credendum.

Live soberly; do not believe readily, these are the sinews of the mind. Live soberly; do not believe readily.

Ne credas ne (Epicharmus ait[1]) non sobrius esto,
Hi nervi, humanae membraque mentis erunt:
Ecce oculata manus[2] credens id quod videt. Ecce
Pulegium, antiquae sobrietatis olus,
Quo turbam ostenso sedaverit Heraclitus,[3]
Mulxerit & tumida seditione gravem.

Don’t give easy credence; don’t be intemperate. So said Epicharmus, and these maxims will prove the sinews and limbs of man’s mind. See here a hand with an eye, believing what it can see. See the pennyroyal, the plant of ancient soberness. By showing it, Heraclitus calmed the mob and milked it when heavy with bursting sedition

Notes:

1.  Epicharmus ait, ‘So said Epicharmus’. The saying is quoted in Polybius, The Histories, 18.40.

2.  oculata manus, ‘a hand with an eye’. See Plautus, Asinaria, 202: ‘our hands always have eyes - seeing is believing for them’; Erasmus, Adagia, 73 (Oculatae manus).

3.  turbam...sedaverit Heraclitus, ‘Heraclitus calmed the mob’. For this incident concerning the sixth-century BC philosopher Heraclitus, see Plutarch, De garrulitate, 511C: when faced with a discordant mob, Heraclitus said nothing but took a cup of cold water, sprinkled on barley-meal and stirred it with a sprig of pennyroyal. Pennyroyal represents modest fare, contentment and control. Cf. Emblem 185 ([A50a185]), line 8. Heraclitus lived on a diet of herbs. For his pessimistic view of life see Emblem 150 ([A50a150]).


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  • (story of) Heraclitus, the philosopher representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(HERACLITUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Carefulness, Diligence; 'Diligenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Folly, Foolishness; 'Pazzia', 'Sciocchezza', 'Stoltitia' (Ripa) [52AA51] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(EPICHARMUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Precaution (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A24(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Temperance, Moderation; 'Misura' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A43(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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