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IN VITAM HUMANAM.

On human life

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Plus solito humanae nunc defle incommoda vitae
Heraclite, scatet pluribus illa malis.
Tu rursus, si quando alias extolle cachinnum,
Democrite, illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
Interea haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum,
Fine fleam, aut tecum quomodo splene iocer.[1]

Weep now, Heraclitus, even more than you did, for the ills of human life. It teems with far more woes. And you, Democritus, if ever you laughed before, raise your cackle now. Life has become more of a joke. Meanwhile, seeing all this, I consider just how far I can weep with you, how laugh bitterly with you.

Notes:

1. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. [A50a016]. For the contrast between the despairing tears of Heraclitus (who withdrew from human society) and the sardonic laughter of Democritus when faced with the folly of men, see, among many sources, e.g. Juvenal, Satires 10, 28ff.


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Section: DESLOYAULTE. View all emblems in this section.

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Mesdisance.

Sur le tombeau d’Archiloc,[1] Guespes sont,
Qui signe vray de malle bouche font.

Archiloc, Pote Graec Iambic, en ses escriptz arm
de mesdisance, represenre tous hommes mesdisans
de parolle, ou d’escript, au reste bien faire inutil-
les, telles que sont les Guespes, qui en grand bruit
murmurantes, picquent tresaigrement, & ne font
miel, ne cire.

Notes:

1. Archilochus was an eighth-century BC poet, author of much (now fragmentary) verse, including satire. This last was considered in antiquity to be excessively abusive and violent. See Horace, Ars Poetica, 79; also Erasmus, Adagia, 60 (Irritare crabrones).


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    • insects: wasp (+ animals used symbolically) [25F711(WASP)(+1)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • grave, tomb [4.20E+32] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Calumny, Detraction; 'Biasimo vitioso', 'Calunnia', 'Detrattione', 'Maledicenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57BB25(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(ARCHILOCHUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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