Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m8r p191]

Antiquissima quaeque com-
mentitia.

The oldest things are all invented

VII.

Pellenaee senex, cui forma est histrica, Proteu, [1]
Qui modò membra viri fers, modò membra feri.
Dic agè quae species ratio te vertit in omnes,
Nulla sit ut vario certa figura tibi?
Signa vetustatis, primaevi & praefero secli: [2]
De quo quisque suo somniat arbitrio.

Proteus, old man of Pallene, whose outward appearance changes like an actor’s, assuming sometimes the body of a man, sometimes that of a beast, come, tell me, what is your reason for turning into all kinds of shapes, so that you have no permanent form as you constantly alter? I offer symbols of antiquity and the very first times, concerning which everyone dreams up what he will.

Notes:

1.  Proteus was ‘the Old Man of the Sea’, who evaded capture by constantly changing his shape. See e.g. Homer, Odyssey, 4.400ff.; Vergil, Georgics, 4. 405-10, 440-2; Erasmus, Adagia, 1174 (Proteo mutabilior). Vergil (Georgics, 4.391) describes him living near the headland of Pallene (on the Macedonian coast). The idea of Proteus as a gifted actor or mime-artist is taken from Lucian, Saltatio, 19.

2.  signa vetustatis primaevi et...secli, ‘symbols of antiquity and the very first times’. Pallene (see n.1.) suggested a connection with the Greek word παλαιός ‘ancient’, as the name Proteus was supposedly connected with πρώτιστος, ‘the very first’.


Related Emblems

Show related emblems Show related emblems

Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


Iconclass Keywords

Relating to the image:

    Relating to the text:

    Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

    Single Emblem View

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P4v p232]

    Les Antiquitez sont controuvées.[1]

    Apologie. Dialogisme.

    D. Vieillard Proteu[2], qui has forme muable:
    Homme par fois, puys beste dissemblable:
    Quelle raison toute espece en toy mue:
    Tant que tu n’has figure de tenue?
    R. Je represente antique Poësie,
    De qui chascun songe à sa phantasie.

    Des choses anciennes, & mises hors de toute memoire: cha-
    scun en songe, & en divine à sa phantasie: tellement que les au-
    theurs ne s’ac
    cordans, font une monstrueuse histoire ou fable
    de variables formes, tel que les Poëtes faignent estre Proteus
    dieu marin, fort vieulx, & muable en toutes formes.

    Notes:

    1.  In the 1549 French edition, this emblem has no woodcut.

    2.  Proteus was ‘the Old Man of the Sea’, who evaded capture by constantly changing his shape. See e.g. Homer, Odyssey, 4.400ff.; Vergil, Georgics, 4. 405-10, 440-2; Erasmus, Adagia, 1174 (Proteo mutabilior). Vergil (Georgics, 4.391) describes him living near the headland of Pallene (on the Macedonian coast). The idea of Proteus as a gifted actor or mime-artist is taken from Lucian, Saltatio, 19.


    Related Emblems

    Show related emblems Show related emblems

    Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


    Iconclass Keywords

    Relating to the image:

    Relating to the text:

    Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

     

    Back to top

    Privacy notice
    Terms and conditions