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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L2v]

Mulieris famam, non formam, vul-
gatam esse oportere.

A woman’s reputation, not her beauty, should be known to the world.

C.

Alma Venus quaena [=quaenam] haec facies, quid denotat illa
Testudo, molli quam pede Diva premis?
Me sic effinxit Phidias,[1] sexumque referri
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [l3r p165] Foemineum, nostra iussit ab effigie,
Quodque manere domi, & tacitas decet esse puellas,
Supposuit pedibus talia signa meis.

Kindly Venus, what form is this, what does that tortoise mean, on which, o goddess, your soft feet rest? Phidias fashioned me like this. He intended the female sex to be represented by this image of me. Girls should stay at home and keep silence, and so he put such symbols under my feet.

COMMENTARIA.

Interrogat Venerem amoris Deam, quid
sibi velit haec sua effigies, quidve testudo illa
sub eius pedibus? quae respondit se non in-
cassum sic effictam & sculptam à Phidia, prae-
stantissimo illo praesertim in Ebure statuario,
cuius meminit Plinius lib. 36. cap. 5. Exprimere
enim tali figura voluit quales esse foeminas
atque puellas oporteat, taciturnas scilicet, do-
mique manentes, testudo etenim nullam pror-
sus vocem edit, nec unquam domum suam
exit, iṃ illam ubique secum Cochlea cir-
cunfert, ut habetur Aesopicus apologus de
Iove & Cochlea. Tale etiam extat vetustissi-
mum aenigma de testudine.

Terrigena, herbigrada, domiporta, & sanguine cassa,
Sub pedibus Veneri Cous quam pinxit Apelles.

Praesensit ut arbitror Phidias mulierem ani-
mal esse à natura loquax, sagax, ac versatile:
nam licet huc illuc (ut plurimum desiderat)
discurrere prohibeatur, fenestram tum sibi adẹ
amicam facit ut nunquam derelinquat.

Notes:

1.  Phidias’ statue of Aphrodite with one foot on a tortoise, set up at Elis, is mentioned by Pausanias, Periegesis 6.25.1. The tortoise is a symbol of ideal female domesticity, as it keeps silent and never leaves its house see Plutarch Coniugalia praecepta 32 (Mor. 142).


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  • Beauty; 'Bellezza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Fame; 'Fama', 'Fama buona', 'Fama chiara' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [59B32(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Good Behaviour (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) non-aggressive activities of person from classical history [98B(PHIDIAS)5] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Taciturnity; 'Secretezza', 'Secretezza overo Taciturnit�' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52DD3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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