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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  [M4r p183]

Obnoxia infirmitas.

Weakness is vulnerable

Pisciculos orata [=aurata] rapit medio aequore sardas,
Ni fugiant pavidae, summa marisque petant.
Ast ibi sunt mergis fulicisque voracibus esca.
Eheu intuta manens undique debilitas.

The little sardines the golden wrasse swallows in the depths of the ocean, unless in fear they flee and make for the surface of the sea. But there they provide a meal for greedy divers and other sea-birds. Alas for weakness, remaining everywhere at risk.


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  • Weakness, Powerlessness, Helplessness; 'Infermità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54AA7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Insafety (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54DD5(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5r p201]

A minimis quoque timendum.

Beware of even the weakest foe

EMBLEMA CLXVIII.

Bella gerit scarabaeus, & hostem provocat ultrò:
Robore & inferior, consilio superat.
Nam plumis aquilae clam se neque cognitus abdit,
Hostilem ut nidum summa per astra petat.
Ovaque confodiens, prohibet spem crescere prolis:
Hocque 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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