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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3v p182]

Impossibile.

The impossible

Abluis Aethiopem quid frustrà? ah desine, noctis
Illustrare nigrae nemo potest tenebras.[1]

Why are you washing an Ethiopian in vain? Oh, do stop. No one can turn the shades of black night into light.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4r p183]

Impossible.

Il est ung milier de negoces,
Ou lon ne peult remede mettre.
Et quoy que ardemment ten courrouces,
Si nen seras tu ja le maistre.
Parquoy si tu quiers hors blasme estre,
Ne prans peine a blanchir ung More.
En la nuict, ne peult clarte naistre.
Ung vice invetere demoure.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 11.428. See also Aesop, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 350, Aethiopen lavas.


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  • (personifications of) 'Vanitas', the vanity of human life; Fragilit� humana, Fugacit� delle grandezze & della gloria mondana, Meditatione della morte, Opera vana, Piacere vano, Vana gloria, Vanit� (Ripa) [11R5] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • day and night [23R] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Impossibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52BB42(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D6r f30r]

In sordidos.

Disgusting people

Quae rostro clystere velut sibi proluit aluum
Ibis, Niliacis cognita littoribus,[1]
Transiit opprobrii in nomen, quo Publius hostem
Naso suum appellat, Battiadesque suum. [2]

The ibis, a bird familiar on the banks of the Nile, washes out its bowels using its beak like a syringe. ‘Ibis’ has become a term of insult. Publius Naso [Ovid] called his enemy Ibis; and the inhabitant of Battus’ town did the same.

Notes:

1.  For this information about the ibis, see Aelian, De natura animalium, 2.35; Cicero, De natura deorum, 2.126; Pliny, Natural History, 8.41.97.

2.  Battiades, ‘the inhabitant of Battus’ town’, i.e. the poet Callimachus, a native of Cyrene, a town founded by Battus. Ovid refers to Callimachus’ invective (not now extant) in his own poem Ibis, 53ff.


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  • enema, squirt (+ variant) [49G331(+0)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Impurity (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA63(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Insult; 'Ingiuria', 'Offesa' (Ripa) [57BB22] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(EGYPT)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(NILE)] 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(CALLIMACHUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Ovid representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(OVID)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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