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Scyphus Nestoris.

Nestor’s cup

Nestoreum geminis cratera hunc accipe fundis, [1]
Quod gravis argenti massa profudit opus.
Claviculi ex auro: stant circum quattuor ansae:
Unam quanque super fulva columba sedet.
Solus eum potuit longaevus tollere Nestor.
Maeonidae doceas quid sibi musa velit.
Est coelum scyphus ipse. color argenteus illi est:
Aurea sunt coeli sidera claviculi.
Pleiadas esse putant, quas dixerit ille columbas.[2]
Umblici [=Umbilici] gemini,[3] magna minorque fera est.[4]
Haec Nestor longo sapiens intelligit usu.
Bella gerunt fortes, callidus astra tenet.

Receive this bowl of Nestor with its double support, a work which a heavy mass of silver shaped. Its studs are of gold. Four handles stand about it. Above each one sits a yellow dove. Only aged Nestor was able to lift it. Do tell us what Homer’s Muse intended. The cup itself is the heavens; its colour is silvery; the studs are the golden stars of heaven. They think that what he called doves are the Pleiades. The twin bosses are the great and lesser beast. The wise Nestor understood this by long experience: the strong wage war, the wise man grasps the stars.

Notes:

1. áNestor’s bowl is described at Homer, Iliad, 11.632-7. Only Nestor, for all his great age could lift it when full. For the interpretation of Nestor’s cup (or mixing bowl) given here, see Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 11.487 F ff.

2. áThe Greek word for ‘doves’ is πελειάδες.

3. á‘twin bosses’, i.e. possibly the protuberances inside the bowl where it was joined to the two supports.

4. á‘great and lesser beast’, i.e. the Great and Little Bear, a phrase based on Ovid, Tristia, 4.3.1: ‘magna minorque ferae’.


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El vaso de Nestor.

TERCETOS.

Este es aquel gran vaso (celebrado
Dšel docto Homero) de Nestor prudente,
Con puntas de oro de plata labrado.[1]
Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[L4v p168] Quatro assas tiene en cuyo preminente
Lugar de cada qual estÓ esculpida
Una paloma muy resplandeciente.
Solo Nestor despues de larga vida
Levanto el vaso de estos dos hondones
Cuya declaracion aun no es sabida.
Mas los que buscan physicas razones
Dizen ser este el šielo plateado,
Que tal color le dan sus invenciones.
Las puntas las estrellas an notado.
Y piensan entenderse las Cabrillas
Por las que el uvo palomas llamado.
Los dos hondones son las maravillas
Que cantan de unas Osas los poetas
Que dizen que en el šielo tienen sillas.
Nestor entiende aquestas tan perfettas
Moralidades d’el cielo, y advierte
Las cosas de las sciencias mas secretas
Qual haze en su destreza el hombre fuerte.

Notes:

1. áNestor’s bowl is described at Homer, Iliad, 11.632-7. Only Nestor, for all his great age (see 1550 Latin edition: Emblem 25. n.4, [A50a025]) could lift it when full. For the interpretation of Nestor’s cup (or mixing bowl) given here, see Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 11.487 F ff.


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