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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H5v p122]

In astrologos.

Against astrologers

LIII.

Icare per superos qui raptus & aëra, donec
In mare praecipitem cera liquata daret.[1]
Nunc te cera eadem fervensque resuscitat ignis,[2]
Exemplo ut doceas dogmata certa tuo.
Astrologus caveat quicquam praedicere, praeceps
Nam cadet impostor dum super astra vehit[3].

Icarus, you were carried through the heights of heaven and through the air, until the melted wax cast you headlong into the sea. Now the same wax and the burning fire raise you up again, so that by your example you may provide sure teaching. Let the astrologer beware of prediction. Headlong will the imposter fall, as he flies beyond the stars.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H6r p123]

Wider die sternseher.

LIII.

Als Icarus seinn flug erschwang
Zu hoch, wider seins vaters ler,
Bald im durch das gwichst gfider drang
Die Sonn, und schlueg in inn das meer:
Daß gschicht wol zu bedencken wer
Eimm sternseher, das er seinn mund
In den himel setzt nit zu fer,
Zu hoch gestelt ist nimmer gsund.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Anthologia graeca 16.107, a poem on a bronze statue of Icarus, translated by Alciato at Selecta epigrammata (Cornarius, ed.) p.333. Icarus and his father Daedalus ([A42b008] notes) escaped from King Minos of Crete on wings of feathers and wax. Icarus was over-bold and flew too near the sun; when his wings melted, he crashed into the Icarian Sea and was drowned. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.183ff. Icarus, like Phaethon ([A42b064]) was a type of those who do not keep to their proper station.

2.  ‘same wax...fire’: a reference to the cire perdue method of casting statues.

3.  Textual variant: ‘volat’


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B7r f2r]

EMBLEMA I.

Ad illustrissimum Maximilianum Mediolanensem
ducem, super insigni ducatus Me-
diolanensis.

To the illustrious Maximilian, Duke of Milan.

Exiliens infans sinuosi è faucibus anguis
Est gentilitiis nobile stemma tuis.[1]
Talia Pellaeum[2] gessisse nomismata Regem
Vidimus, hisque suum concelebrasse genus.
Dum se Ammone satum,[3] matrem anguis imagine Lusam,
Divini & sobolem seminis esse docet.
Ore exit, tradunt, sic quosdam enitier angues,[4]
An quia sic Pallas de capite orta Iovis?[5]

An infant bursting from the maw of a coiling serpent marks the noble lineage of your clan. We have observed that the Pellaean king had coinage with such a device and by it celebrated his own descent, proclaiming that he was begotten of Ammon, that his mother was beguiled by the form of a snake and the child was the offspring of divine seed. The infant emerges from the mouth. They say that some snakes come to birth that way. Or is it because Pallas sprang like this from the head of Jove?

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B7v f2v]

Das erst Emblema.

Grabmal deß Durchleuchtigen, Hochge-
bornen Fürsten und Herren, Herrn Maximilian
Hertzogen zu Meyland.

Ein schönes Kind so auß dem mundt
Der krummen Schlangen springen kundt
Ist deines Geschlechts und Adel alt
Herkommen Wappen und gestalt
Dergleichen auff den Müntzen stat
Die der groß Alexander hat
Gebrecht, damit zu zeigen an
Sein Geschlecht als ich gesehen han
Dweil er sich Göttlichs samen nennt
Von Gott Hammon geborn erkennt
Der sein Mutter under der gstalt
Betrogen hab einer Schlangen alt
Mann schreibt auch das etlich Schlangen
An die Welt durch den mund gangen
Also auch die Göttin Pallas
Auß Jovis Haupt geboren was.

Notes:

1.  The Sforza family had ruled Milan since 1450, having assumed power through marriage (some said fraudulently) to a Visconti heiress, and taken their symbol as their own. They were chased out in 1499 by the French, but restored several times.

2.  Pellaeum...regem: ‘the Pellaean king’, i.e. Alexander the Great, born at Pella in Macedonia

3.  For the superhuman birth of Alexander, see e.g. Plutarch, Life of Alexander, 3 and 27: Jupiter in the form of a serpent mated with Olympias, wife of Philip of Macedon, and begat Alexander. Ammon, a north African deity, was identified with Zeus/Jupiter. When Alexander visited Ammon’s sanctuary, he was hailed as the son of the god.

4.  According to e.g.Pliny, Natural History 10.170, Aelian, De natura animalium 1.24, the viper, alone among snakes, produces not eggs but live young. See also Isidore, Etymologiae 12.4.10.

5.  The story of Pallas Athene springing complete and armed from the head of Jove is found in many sources; see e.g. Homer, Hymns 3.308ff; Hesiod, Theogony 923ff.


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