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Section: SUPERBIA (Pride). View all emblems in this section.

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Superbia.

Pride

En statuae statua,[1] & ductum de marmore marmor,
Se conferre deis ausa procax Niobe.[2]
Est vitium muliebre superbia, & arguit oris
Duritiem, ac sensus, qualis inest lapidi.

Behold a statue of a statue, marble carved from marble, insolent Niobe, who dared to set herself up against the gods. Pride is a woman’s vice, and shows hardness of face and feeling, such as exists in a stone.

Notes:

1.  According to the best-known story of her fate, Niobe was turned to stone. For the statue of Niobe by Praxiteles, see Ausonius, Epigrams, 63.2 and Anthologia Graeca, 16.130, a much translated epigram, which seems to have been in Alciato’s thoughts here.

2.  Niobe in her pride boasted that having 12 (or 14) children, she was superior to Lato with just two, i.e. Apollo and Diana. These gods in revenge slew all her children and in her grief Niobe hardened into a rock; see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.165ff. See further, Erasmus, Adagia, 2233, ‘Niobes mala’.


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