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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [o2r p211]

Prudens, sed infacundus.[1]

Wise, but lacking eloquence.

LXXV [=76] .

Noctua Cecropiis[2] insignia praestat Athenis
Inter aves sani noctua consilii.
Armiferae meritò obsequiis sacrata Minervae est,
Garrula quo cornix cesserat antè loco.[3]

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.  In later editions, the motto becomes Prudens, magis quam loquax, ‘wise head, close mouth’.

2.  Cecrops was a legendary wise early king of Athens, a city renowned as a place of learning. See above, Emblem 227 ([A56a227]), line 7.

3.  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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    Vino prudentiam augeri.[1]

    Wisdom increased by wine.

    LXXIIII [=75] .

    Haec Bacchus pater, & Pallas communiter ambo
    Templa tenent: soboles utraque vera Iovis:
    Haec caput, ille femur solvit:[2] huic usus olivi
    Debitus, invenit primus at ille merum.
    Iunguntur merito. quòd si qui abstemius odit
    Vina, deae nullum sentiet auxilium.

    This temple Father Bacchus and Pallas both possess in common, each of them the true off-spring of Jove: she split Jove’s head, he his thigh. To her we owe the use of the olive; but he first discovered wine. They are rightly joined together, because if anyone in abstinence hates wine, he will know no help from the goddess.

    Notes:

    1.  This emblem uses material from Anthologia Graeca, 16.183, concerning a statue of Bacchus beside one of Pallas Athene.

    2.  Haec caput, ille femur solvit, ‘she split Jove’s head, he his thigh’. For the birth of Pallas Athene from the head of Jove and of Bacchus from his thigh, see emblems 1 ([A56a001]), and 25 ([A56a025]). Pallas is the virgin goddess, patroness of intellectual pursuits, who presented Athens with the gift of the olive tree. Bacchus discovered the vine during his wanderings about the earth and taught men its use. He also introduced various other features of civilisation.


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