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EMBLEMA LII.

Scyphus Nestoris.

Nestor’s cup

Nestoreum geminis cratera hunc accipe fundis,[1]
Quod gravis argenti massa profudit opus.
Claviculi ex auro: stant circum quatuor ansae:
Unum quanque super fulva columba sedet:
Solus eum potuit longaevus tollere Nestor
Meonidae doceas, quid sibi Musa velit?
Est coelum Scyphus ipse: color argenteus illi est,
Aurea sunt coeli sydera claviculi.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G1r f36r]Pleiadas esse putant, quas dixerit ille columbas.[2]
Umbilici gemini[3] magna minorque fera est.[4]
Haec Nestor longo sapiens intelligit usu
Bella gerunt fortes, Callidus astra tenet.

Receive this bowl of Nestor with its double support, a work which a heavy mass of silver shaped. Its studs are of gold. Four handles stand about it. Above each one sits a yellow dove. Only aged Nestor was able to lift it. Do tell us what Homer’s Muse intended. The cup itself is the heavens; its colour is silvery; the studs are the golden stars of heaven. They think that what he called doves are the Pleiades. The twin bosses are the great and lesser beast. The wise Nestor understood this by long experience: the strong wage war, the wise man grasps the stars.

Das LII.

Nestors Credentz.

Nim an diß Credentz Nestors greiß
Mit zweyen Böden gmacht mit fleiß
WerEin auß klarem Silber bereit
Artlich und künstlich gearbeit
Auß tichtem Gold die Bockeln seind
Daran vier Handhebenen stend
Auff deren jeden sitzen thut
Ein güldinen Taub zierlich gut
Den hat Nestor der alte Mann
Allein nur können auffheben than
Liebr sag mir was hat mit dem ticht
Homerus geben für ein bricht?
Diß Credentz ist der Himmel klar
Deß Farb sich lengt auff Silberfar
Die Güldin Bockeln die bedeutn
Deß Himmels Heer zu beiden seitn
Die glück Henn wie man darfür acht
Die hat er durch die Taubn bedacht
Die beyde Reiff so gand darumb
In der mit seind beid Beeren stumb
Das versteht allein Nestor weiß
Auß langem brauch und stätem fleiß
Die künen Mann führen Krieg hert
Den klugen ist der Himmel bschert.

Notes:

1.  Nestor’s bowl is described at Homer, Iliad, 11.632-7. Only Nestor, for all his great age (see Emblem 156. n.4, [A67a156]) could lift it when full. For the interpretation of Nestor’s cup (or mixing bowl) given here, see Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 11.487 F ff.

2.  The Greek word for ‘doves’ is πελειάδες.

3.  ‘twin bosses’, i.e. possibly the protuberances inside the bowl where it was joined to the two supports.

4.  ‘great and lesser beast’, i.e. the Great and Little Bear, a phrase based on Ovid, Tristia, 4.3.1: ‘magna minorque ferae’.


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