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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [K5v p154]

Aemulatio impar.

Competing on unequal terms

Altivolam miluus comitatur degener harpam,[1]
Et praede partem saepe cadentis habet.
Mullum prosequitur qui spretas sargus ab illo,[2]
Praeteritasque avidus devorat ore dapes.
Sic mecum Oenocrates agit: at deserta studentum
Utitur hoc lippo curia tanquam oculo.[3]

An ignoble kite accompanies the soaring hawk and often gets a piece of the prey as it falls. The sargus follows the mudfish and greedily devours the food that it scorns and passes by. Oenocrates behaves like this with me - but the lecture-hall I’ve abandoned treats him like a runny eye.

Notes:

1. For the association of the kite and the hawk see Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.1.609.

2. For the sargus see Emblem 75 ([A50a075]). For its habit of following the lutarius (the mudfish) and eating the food it disturbs as it burrows in the mud, see Pliny, Natural History, 9.30.65; Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 253.

3. lippo...tamquam oculo, ‘like a runny eye’, a proverbial expression. See Erasmus, Adagia, 4100 (Lippo oculo similis): a runny eye is something you would prefer to be rid of, but while you have it you cannot leave it alone; similarly there are people you do not like, but you find yourself obliged to make use of them.


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  • Imparity, Inequality (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51BB3(+4):54EE33(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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Section: HONOR (Renown). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [K4v p152]

Imparilitas.

Inferiority

Ut sublime volans tenuem secat ara falco,
Ut pascuntur humi graculus, anser, anas:
Sic summum scandit super aethera Pindarus ingens,
Sic scit humi tantum serpere Bacchilydes.[1]

As the falcon cleaves the thin air flying high, as the jackdaw, the goose, the duck feed on the ground, so mighty Pindar soars above the highest heaven, so Bacchylides knows only how to creep along the ground.

Notes:

1. The first two lines are based on Pindar, Nemean Odes, 3.139-144, where Pindar seems to be obliquely disparaging the style and content of Bacchylides, another poet resident, like himself, at the court of Hiero of Syracuse in the early fifth century BC. See Erasmus, Adagia, 820 (Aquila in nubibus); 1988 (Humi serpere).


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