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EMBLEMA CXLV.

In nothos.

Bastards

Herculeos spurii semper celebretis honores:
Nam vestri princeps ordinis ille fuit.[1]
Nec prius esse deus potuit,[2] quàm 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.

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Das CXLV.

Von Bastharten.

Ir Basthart erzeigt Göttlich ehr
Dem Herculi dann er ein Herr
Und Oberster euwers standes war
Kondt nicht under der Götter schar
Kommn er hett dann ein Göttin gsogn
Damit Göttin Juno war btrogn
Dann sie im reichet unbewust
Ir eigen Milch auß irer Brust.

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 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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    EMBLEMA CXLIIII.

    Sapientia humana stultitia est apud
    Deum.[1]

    The Wisdom of Man is folly to God

    Quid dicam? quónam hoc compellem nomine monstrum
    Biforme: quod non est homo, nec est draco?[2]
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O1v f92v]Sed sine vir pedibus, summis sine partibus anguis,
    Vir anguipes dici, & homiceps anguis potest.
    Anguem pedit homo, hominem eructavit & anguis
    Nec finis hominis est, initium nec est ferae.
    Sic olim Cecrops[3] doctis regnavit Athenis,
    Sic & gigantes terra mater protulit.
    Haec vafrum species, sed relligione carentem,
    Terrena tantum quique curet,[4] indicat.[5]

    What shall I say? By what name call this two-fold monster, that is neither man nor snake? A man without feet, a snake without its upper parts - this can be called a snake-footed man, a man-headed snake. The man farts a snake, the snake has vomited a man, the man has no end, the beast no beginning. In such a form did Cecrops once rule in learned Athens, in such a form did Mother Earth once bring forth the Giants. This image indicates a clever man, but one without religion, who cares only for the things of the earth.

    Das CXLIIII.

    Menschen Weißheit ist vor Gott ein
    Torheit.

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    Was soll ich sagen? Und mit was
    Namen soll ich doch nennen das
    Zweigstaltig wunder und Meerfein
    Daß kein Mensch noch kein Drack kan seyn
    Sonder on Füß ist es ein Mann
    On das obertheil ein Schlang ran
    Kan genannt werden ein Menschkopff geschlang
    Und ein Schlangnfüssiger Mann lang
    Ein Mensch ein Schlangen gefeißt hat
    Ein Schlang ein Menschen hrauß kotzt drat
    Das ende dem Menschen nit gleicht
    Noch der anfang dem Thier so schleicht
    Also hat vor zeiten gregiert
    Zu Athen der Cecrops und gfürt
    Also hat die Mutter die Erd
    Die starcken Risen herfür bschert
    Diese gstalt zeigt an und bedeut
    Gar lustig und geschwinde Leut
    Die seind on all forcht Gottes, doch
    Nur dem zeitlichen stellen noch.

    Notes:

    1.  This epigram is based on Anthologia Graeca, 16.115-6, descriptions of a hippocentaur, the second of which was translated by Alciato at Sel. Ep. p.335. Metre: dactylic hexameters paired with iambic senarii.

    2.  Variant reading: monstrum? Biforme quod..., ‘monster? A two-fold thing, that is neither ...’.

    3.  Cecrops, the mythical wise first king of Athens, the city of Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom. Cecrops, like the Giants (l.8) was born of the earth and was represented as half-man, half snake.

    4.  Terrena tantum quique curet, ‘who cares only for the things of earth’. See Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.20.9: the fact that the Giants’ bodies terminated as snakes shows that they had not a single thought that was right or elevated, but that their life in all its comings and goings tended to what was base.

    5.  Variant reading: Haec vafrum est species, sed relligione carentem...indicans, ‘This is an image of clever men, but indicating one without religion’.


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