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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O9v f141v]

Quae supra nos, nihil ad nos.[1]

What lies above us is none of our business

Emblema cii.

Caucasia aeternùm pendens in rupe Prometheus[2]
Diripitur sacri praepetis ungue iecur.
Et nollet fecisse hominem: figulósque perosus
Accensam rapto damnat ab igne facem.
Roduntur variis prudentum pectora curis,
Qui caeli affectant scire, deûmque vices.

Suspended for ever from the Caucasian rock, Prometheus has his liver torn by the talons of the sacred bird. He could well wish he had not made man. Hating moulders of clay, he curses the torch lit from the stolen fire. - The hearts of the learned are gnawed by various cares, the learned who strive to know the vicissitudes of heaven and the gods.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O10r f142r]

TOrquetur hoc in nimiùm curiosis Philosophos,
vel eos astrologos, qui vulgò Iudiciarii nomi-
nantur. Ii quae sunt abdita in natura, vel quae Deus
homini voluit esse tecta perquirunt anxiè, déque
iis totos dies noctesque secum disceptant; miserè
sese interea conficientes, non secus atque olim pen-
dens in monte Caucaso Prometheus, cui aquila cor
ita exe debat, ut exesum renasceretur.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O10v f142v]

Ce qui est par sus nous, ne soit
enquis de nous.

PRomethee au hault mont de Caucase attaché,
A le foye en dedans par un Aigle arraché:
Et se repent bien fort d’avoir figurè l’homme,
Detestant ce mestier, lequel damnabl’ il nomme,
Pour avoir abusé du feu mal prins du ciel:
Des hommes curieux le destin est tout tel,
”Ils se rongent le coeur par estudes molestes,
”Pour sçavoir des haults dieux les affaires secrettes.

CEcy est dit contre les Philosophes trop
curieux, ou les Astrologues judiciaires.
Iceux avec labeur extreme cherchent les
choses cachees en nature, ou que Dieu a
voulu estre cachees aux hommes, & s’en tormen
tent jours & nuits se travaillans ce pendant
l’esprit miserablement, tout ainsi comme
anciennement Promethee au mont Caucase
auquel l’aigle mangeoit tellement le coeur,
que l’ayant mangé il renaisçoit tousjours.

Notes:

1.  See Erasmus, Adagia 569, Quae supra nos nihil ad nos.

2.  The Titan Prometheus appears in myth as the champion of men against the ill-will of Zeus. According to one account, he moulded man out of clay (hence the reference to figuli, lit. ‘potters’, in l.3). Again, when Zeus withheld fire from mortals, Prometheus ascended to heaven and stole fire from the chariot of the sun for the benefit of men. As a perpetual punishment, Prometheus was put in chains and suspended from a rock in the Caucasus, where an eagle, the sacred bird of Zeus, in the day-time consumed his liver, which renewed itself every night. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.82ff; Hesiod, Theogony 561ff.


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Relating to the text:

  • (symbolic) representations ~ creation, cosmos, cosmogony, universe, and life (in the broadest sense) [10] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Curiosity, Inquisitiveness, Desire of Knowledge; 'Curiosità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • fire (one of the four elements) [21C] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(CAUCASUS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prometheus makes man out of clay, usually Minerva present [91E451] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prometheus steals fire from the chariot of the sun [91E4521] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Punishment; 'Castigo', 'Pena', 'Punitione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57BB13(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Things Unknown, the Unknown (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51AA8(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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