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Section: HOSTILITAS (Enmity). View all emblems in this section.

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

A minimis quoque timendum.

Beware of even the weakest foe

Bella gerit Scarabaeus, & hostem provocat ultrņ,
Robore & inferior, consilio superat.
Nam plumis aquilae cląm se neque cognitus abdit.
Hostilem ut nidum summa per astra petat.
Ovaque confodiens, prohibet spem crescere prolis.
Hócque modo illatum dedecus ultus abit.[1]

The scarab beetle is waging war and takes the challenge to its foe. Though inferior in physical strength, it is superior in strategy. It hides itself secretly in the eagle’s feathers without being felt, in order to attack its enemy’s nest across the lofty skies. It bores into the eggs and prevents the hoped-for offspring from developing. And then it departs, having thus avenged the insult inflicted on it.

Notes:

1.  For the feud between the eagle and the beetle, see Aesop, Fables 4; Erasmus, Adagia 2601, Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N3r p197]

Inanis impetus.

Antagonism that achieves nothing

EMBLEMA CLXIV.

Lunarem noctu, ut speculum,[1] canis inspicit orbem:
Seque videns, alium credit inesse canem,[2]
Et latrat: sed frustrą agitur vox irrita ventis,
Et peragit cursus surda Diana suos.[3]

A dog at night is looking into the moon’s disk as into a mirror and seeing himself, thinks there is another dog there; and he barks - but the sound is carried away, ineffectual, on the winds. Diana, unhearing, pursues her course.

Notes:

1.  For the theory of the moon’s disk as a mirror reflecting things on earth, see Plutarch, De facie in orbe lunae, Moralia, 920ff.

2.  Variant reading, altum credit inesse canem, ‘thinks there is a dog up there’.

3.  Diana is of course goddess of the moon.


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  • Inutility, Noxiousness; 'Nocumento', 'Nocumento d'ogni cosa' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54BB3(+4):56E3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Diana as moon-goddess, i.e. Luna (Selene) [92C371] Search | Browse Iconclass

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