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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 tantm 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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Single Emblem View

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

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In nothos.

Bastards

Herculeos spurii semper celebretis honores:
Nam vestri princeps ordinis ille fuit.[1]
Nec prius esse deus potuit,[2] qum sugeret infans
Lac, sibi quod fraudis nescia Iuno dabat.[3]

Bastards, you should always celebrate the honours of Hercules, for he was the chief of your line. He could not become a god until as a babe he sucked the milk which Juno was giving him, unaware that she was being tricked.

Notes:

1. Hercules was fathered by Jupiter on Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon of Thebes, and became his father’s favourite. Juno, wife of Jupiter, in jealousy pursued Hercules with implacable hatred.

2. After all his Labours (see previous emblem) and other exploits, Hercules, by the will of Jupiter, was received among the gods. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.156ff; Cicero, De officiis, 3.25.

3. For the story of Juno tricked by Jupiter into suckling the loathed Hercules see Pausanias, 9.25.2. This divine milk apparently counteracted Hercules’ illegitimate birth which otherwise disqualified him for heaven. See Erasmus, Adagia, 2070 (Ad Cynosarges).


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