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Ira.

Rage.

LXIX [=70] .

Alceam veteres caudam dixere leonis.
Qua stimulante iras concipit ille graves.
Lutea cm surgit bilis, crudescit & atro
Felle dolor, furias excitat indomitas.[1]

The ancients called the lion’s tail alcaea, for under its stimulus he takes on dreadful fury. When the yellow bile rises and his temper grows savage with the black gall, the tail incites his indomitable rage.

Notes:

1. The Greek word ἀλκαία was supposedly derived from ἀλκή ‘strength’ (see emblem 286, n.3 [A56a286]). The Etymologicum Magnum, an ancient Greek lexicon, defines ἀλκαία as ‘properly the tail of the lion, because it urges him on to strength (ἀλκή)’. Pliny, Natural History, 8.16.49, describes how the lion’s tail lashes with increasing fury and spurs him on. See also Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.39.


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    • beasts of prey, predatory animals: lion (+ silent means of communication of animal(s): wagging of tail etc.) [25F23(LION)(+491)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • tail of an animal «« QUEUE OF KEY (343) TO 34(+9) zoological aspects of animals ~ man and animal [34(+9343)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Rage, Anger (+ emblematical representation of oddslot concept) [56E2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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    Philautia.

    Self-satisfaction.

    LXX [=71] .

    Qud nimium tua sorma [=forma] tibi Narcisse placebat,
    In florem, & noti est versa stuporis olus.[1]
    Ingenii est marcor, cladesque philautia, doctos
    Quae pessum plures datque deditque viros,
    Qui veterum abiecta methodo, nova dogmata quaerunt
    Nilque suas praeter tradere phantasias.

    Because your beauty gave you too much satisfaction, Narcissus, it was turned both into a flower and into a plant of acknowledged insensibility. Self-satisfaction is the rot and destruction of the mind. Learned men in plenty it has ruined, and ruins still, men who cast off the method of teachers of old and aim to pass on new doctrines, nothing more than their own imaginings.

    Notes:

    1. For the story of Narcissus, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.344ff. On the flower, see Pliny, Natural History, 21.75.128: “there are two kinds of narcissus... The leafy one ... makes the head thick and is called narcissus from narce (‘numbness’), not from the boy in the story.” (cf. ‘narcotic’).


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