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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B4v p24]

Potentissimus affectus Amor.

Love, the all-powerful emotion

VII.

Aspice ut invictus vires auriga leonis,
Expressus gemma pusio vincat amor,
Utque manu hac scuticam teneat, hac flectat habenas,
Utque sit in pueri plurimus ore decor.[1]
Dira lues procul esto, feram qui vincere talem,
Est potis, à nobis temperet an ne manus? [2]

Look - here’s Love the lad, carved on a gem. See how he rides triumphant in his chariot and subdues the lion’s might. How in one hand he holds a lash, with the other he guides the reins, and on his countenance rests the loveliness of youth. - Dread pestilence keep far away. Would one who has the power to conquer such a beast keep his hands from us?

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B5r p25]

Amour affection trespuissante.

VII.

Pensez a ce petit chartier,
Qui sceit mettre au joug les Lyons,
Nous pourrá il point chastier,
Et ouvrer sur ce qui [=que] voulions?
Noz cueurs dont fault que allieurs plions
Car s’il est puissant pour telles bestes,
Pensez vous que nous en allions,
Sans qu’il nous lie cueurs & testes?

Notes:

1.  In some editions, this sequence of subjunctives is changed to indicative.

2.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.221, an epigram about a seal carved with a representation of Eros driving a chariot drawn by lions.


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  • plague [31A4621] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • ornaments, jewels [41D266] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositÃÂ dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of con [54A7(+4):56F2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'Forza d'amore, Forza d'amore si nell'acqua come in terra' (Ripa) [56F2515] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B2v p20]

Sapientia humana, stultitia est
apud Deum.[1]

The Wisdom of Man is folly to God

EMBLEMA V.

Quid dicam? quonam hoc compellem nomine monstrum
Biforme, quod non est homo, nec est draco?[2]
Sed sine vir pedibus, summis sine partibus anguis
Vir anguipes dici, & homiceps anguis potest.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B3r p21]Anguem pedit homo, hominem eructavit & anguis:
Nec finis hominis est, initium nec est ferae.
Sic olim Cecrops[3] doctis regnavit Athenis:
Sic & gigantes terra mater protulit.
Haec vafrum species, sed relligione carentem,
Terrena tantùm quique curet,[4] indicat.

What shall I say? By what name call this two-fold monster, that is neither man nor snake? A man without feet, a snake without its upper parts - this can be called a snake-footed man, a man-headed snake. The man farts a snake, the snake has vomited a man, the man has no end, the beast no beginning. In such a form did Cecrops once rule in learned Athens, in such a form did Mother Earth once bring forth the Giants. This is an image of clever men, but indicates one without religion, who cares only for the things of the earth.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is based on Anthologia Graeca, 16.115-6, descriptions of a hippocentaur, the second of which was translated by Alciato at Sel. Ep. p.335. Metre: dactylic hexameters paired with iambic senarii.

2.  Variant reading, ‘monstrum? Biforme quod...’, ‘monster? A two-fold thing, that is neither ...’.

3.  Cecrops, the mythical wise first king of Athens, the city of Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom. Cecrops, like the Giants (l.8) was born of the earth and was represented as half-man, half snake.

4.  Terrena tantum quique curet, ‘who cares only for the things of earth’. See Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.20.9: the fact that the Giants’ bodies terminated as snakes shows that they had not a single thought that was right or elevated, but that their life in all its comings and goings tended to what was base.


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