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Section: PRUDENTIA (Wisdom). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B5r p25]

Prudens, magis quàm
loquax.

Wise head, close mouth.

Noctua Cecropiis[1] insignia praestat Athenis,
Inter aves sani Noctua consilii.
Armiferae meriṭ obsequiis sacrata Minervae est,
Garrula quo cornix cesserat antè loco.[2]

The owl provides the symbol for Athens, Cecrops’ city, for among the birds the owl is known for wise counsel. Deservedly was it dedicated to the service of weapon-bearing Minerva, in the place vacated by the chattering crow.

Notes:

1.  Cecrops was a legendary wise early king of Athens, a city renowned as a place of learning. See above, Emblem 5 ([A51a005]), line 7.

2.  garrula quo cornix cesserat, ‘vacated by the chattering crow’. The crow was dismissed from Athena’s service for telling tales, and was replaced by the owl. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2.562-5. This story is represented in Aneau, ‘Periculum in terra, periculum in mari’ ([FANa029]).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A6v f6v]

Prudentes.

The Wise.

Iane bifrons, qui iam transacta futuraque calles,
Quique retro sannas sicut & ante vides, [1]
Tot te cur oculis, tot fingunt vultibus? an qụd
Circunspectum hominem forma fuisse docet?

Two-headed Janus, you know about what has already happened and what is yet to come, you see the jeering faces behind just as you see them in front. Why do they represent you with so many eyes, why with so many faces? Is it because this form tells us that you were a man of circumspection?

Notes:

1.  quique retro sannas, sicut et ante, vides, ‘you see the jeering faces behind just as you see them in front’, a line based on Persius, Satirae, 1.58-62.


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