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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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Section: HONOR (Renown). View all emblems in this section.

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 praedae partem saepe cadentis habet.
Mullum prosequitur qui spretas sargus ab illo,[2]
Praeteritasque avidus devorat ore dapes.
Sic mecum Oenocrates agit: at deserta studentun [=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 ([A51a075]). 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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  • wine-testing, wine-grading [47I4251] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Imparity, Inequality (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51BB3(+4):54EE33(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sponging, Parasitizing (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6122(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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