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Section: NATURA (Nature). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[G5v p106]

Vis naturae.[1]

The power of nature

Pana colunt gentes, (naturam hoc dicere rerum est)
Semicaprumque hominem, semivirumque Deum.
Est vir pube tenus, quÚd nobis insita virtus[2]
Corde oriens, celsa verticis arce sedet.
Hinc caper est, quia nos natura in secla propagat
Concubitu: ut volucres, squamea, bruta, feras.
Quod commune aliis animantibus, est caper index
Luxuriae, Veneris signaque aperta gerit.
Cordi alii sophian, alii tribuÍre cerebro.
Inferiora modus, nec ratio ulla tenet.

Pagans worship Pan, that is the force of nature, a man half-goat, a god half-man. Pan is a man down to the loins, because that power that is naturally present in us men rises from the heart and has its seat in the high citadel of the head. Below this he is goat, because Nature perpetuates us down the ages by sexual intercourse, as she does birds, fish, brute beasts and wild. This is a thing shared with other living creatures. The goat is a sign of licentiousness, and carries Venus’ standards unconcealed. Wisdom some have assigned to the heart, others to the head. The lower parts neither restraint nor reason governs.

Notes:

1.This woodcut is also used for Emblem 72.

2.Variant reading, hominum quod propria virtus, ‘because the power that is peculiar to men rises...’


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Iconclass Keywords

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Relating to the text:

  • Instinct, Natural Disposition; 'Instinto naturale' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [58B6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Licentiousness, Lasciviousness; 'Lascivia', 'Licenza' (Ripa) [57AA51] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prudence, 'Prudentia'; 'Prudenza' (Ripa) ~ one of the Four Cardinal Virtues [11M41] Search | Browse Iconclass

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