Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Aa3v f187v]

FATUITAS.

Stupidity.

Emblema. 65.

Miraris nostro quod carmine diceris Otus,[1]
Sit vetus a proavis cum tibi nomen Otho.[2]
Aurita est, similes & habet ceu noctua plumas,[3]
Saltantemque auceps mancipat aptus avem.[4]
Hinc fatuos captu & faciles, nos dicimus Otos,
Hoc tibi conveniens tu quoque nomen habe.

You are surprised that in my poem you are called Otus, when your ancient family name, handed down for generations, is Otho. The otus is eared and has feathers like the little owl. The skilful birdcatcher gets the bird into his power as it dances. For this reason we call stupid people, easy to catch, oti. You too can have this name, which suits you.

Notes:

1.  Otus, the long-eared owl.

2.  It is unclear exactly what Alciato is referring to here. As is made clearer by Mignault in the commentary in other editions, it is not the Emperor Otho, but the bustard (otis in Latin, otide in French), a large tufted bird that has interesting mating habits, which (following the commentary in the 1615 edition) consists of strutting and preening to such an extent that the bird is easy to catch. It is there likened to a man named Otho known for his haughty manner, who came from an ancient lineage, in which instance Alciato could originally have been referring in a punning manner to Lucius Roscius Otho, a Roman tribune who authored the law that the knights should occupy the premier seats in a theatre and was much abused for it.

3.  See Pliny, Natural History, 11.50.137: only the eagle-owl and the long-eared owl have feathers like ears (the little owl - noctua - does not in fact have ear-tufts).

4.  See Pliny, Natural History, 10.33.68: ‘The otus is an imitator of other birds and a hanger-on, performing a kind of dance; like the little owl, it is easily caught, when its attention is fixed on one person while another person circles round it’. See also Plutarch, Moralia, Bruta animalia ratione uti, 951E.


Related Emblems

Show related emblems Show related emblems

Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


Iconclass Keywords

Relating to the image:

Relating to the text:

Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K8r f92r]

In eum qui sibi damnum apparat.

One who brings about his own downfall.

Emblema lxiiii.

Capra lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto.
Quod malè pastoris provida cura iubet.[1]
Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet:
Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[2]

I am a goat giving suck against my will - to a wolf. The improvident kindness of the shepherd makes me do this. Once the wolf has grown, after feeding at my teats, he will then eat me. Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered.

ID petitum è Graeco incerti auctoris, de capra lupi
catulum lactante. De ingratis intelligitur, iísque
maximè qui perniciem aut detrimentum afferunt
de se bene meritis. quo genere sceleris nullum aliud
execrabilius aut dignius supplicio. Quid enim de-
terius, quàm iis vitam adimere, aut etiam afficere
incommodis, qui nobis vitae causa fuerunt?

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K8v f92v]

Pour celuy qui cause mal
à soy-mesme.

JE, las, malheureuse Chevrette,
Outre mon gré un loup j’allaitte
Par la faulte de mon berger.
Car il y a bien grand danger
Qu’un loup de maligne nature,
Ayant de moy prins nourriture,
Se jette sur moy à son poinct:
La malice ne change point.

CEcy est prins de l’Epigramme Grec
d’un autheur sans nom, sur la chevre
allaictant un louveteau. Ce qui est enten-
du des ingrats, & de ceux notamment qui
causent la mort ou dommage à ceux dont
ils ont receu des biens: qui est une espece
de meschanceté & forfaict le plus execrable
du monde, & digne de punition. Car qui a
il de plus meschant qu’oster la vie, ou don-
ner des traverses à ceux qui nous ont donné
la vie?

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.47. For the content cf. Aesop, Fables 313-5.

2.  ‘Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered’. See Erasmus, Adagia 1086, Ale luporum catulos.


Related Emblems

Show related emblems Show related emblems

Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


Iconclass Keywords

Relating to the image:

Relating to the text:

Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

 

Back to top