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EMBLEMA CLXXXVIII [=187] .

Semper praesto esse infortunia.

Misfortune is always at hand

Ludebant parili tres olim aetate puellae
Sortibus: ad Stygias quae prior iret aquas.
Ast cui iactato male cesserat alea talo,
Ridebat sortis caeca puella suae:
Cum subitò icta caput labente est mortua tecto,
Solvit & audacis debita fata ioci.
Rebus in adversis mala sors non fallitur: ast in
Faustis nec precibus, nec locus est manui.[1]

Once three girls of the same age were amusing themselves, casting lots to see which of them would be the first to go to the waters of the Styx. When the dice were cast, the throw fell out unluckily for one of them, but she laughed with blind contempt at the fate predicted for her. Then suddenly she died, struck on the head as the roof fell in, and so paid the fated penalty for her bold mockery. In misfortune, a bad omen cannot be eluded, but even in prosperity neither prayers nor action have any place.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R3r f118r]

Das CLXXXVIII [=187] .

Unglück ist stäts vor der Thür.

Mit einander der Gspilen drey
Gleich alt auff ein zeit spielten frey
Und wurffens loß welch under in
Solt vor der ander ziehen hin.
Das töricht Meidlin das im Spil
Warff daß sie solt zum ersten ans zil
Hielts für ein schertz darüber lacht
Vermeint nit daß es hett ein macht
Vom Dach aber ein Ziegel rot
Herunder fiel, traff sie zu todt
Wurd also auß dem schertz gar bhend
Ein ernst, also das Glück sich wend.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R3v f118v] Daß das böß loß in bösem Glück
Betreugt nit es erzeigt ein tück
Im guten aber es treg ist
Gibt auff flehen noch trehnen nichts.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.158.


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  • (private) prayer; 'Oratione', 'Preghiere', 'Preghiere a Dio' (Ripa) [11Q2] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Weakness, Powerlessness, Helplessness; 'Infermità' (Ripa) [54AA7] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) [54F12] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Turn of Fate, Wheel of Fortune (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F121(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Adversity, Misfortune, Bad Luck; 'Fortuna infelice', 'Infortunio' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54FF11(+4):51A4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Mortality, Extinction of Life [58BB1] Search | Browse Iconclass

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REMEDIA IN ARDUO MALA.
in prono esse.

Remedies are hard, damage is easy

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6r]

Aetheriis postquam deiecit sedibus Aten,
Iupiter[1] heu vexat quàm mala noxa viros.
Evolat haec pedibus celer & pernicibus alis,
Intactumque nihil casibus esse sinit.
Ergo litae proles Iovis hanc comitantur euntem,[2]
Sarcturae quicquid fecerit illa mali.
Sed quia segnipedes strabae[3] lassaeque senecta,
Nil nisi post longo tempore restituunt.[4]

Once Jupiter had cast Ate down from the heavenly abode, what an evil bane thereafter assailed poor man! Ate flies out fleet of foot with fast-beating wing and leaves nothing untouched by mishap. So Jove’s daughters, the Litae, accompany her as she goes, to mend whatever ill she has brought about. But they are slow-footed, poor of sight and weary with age, and so they restore nothing until later, after long passage of time.

Notes:

1.  ‘Jupiter had cast Ate down’. See Homer, Iliad 19. 125ff.

2.  ‘the Litae accompany her’. See Homer, Iliad 9.502ff. Ate means ‘Mischief’, Litae, ‘Prayers’. Ate was cast out of Olympus to bring harm to mankind, a personification of humans being led astray. The Litae were a personification of prayers offered in repentance.

3.  Textual variant: luscae.

4.  The woodcut is puzzling. Possibly the monster is supposed to represent Ate; in later editions she appears as a harpy-like figure. The Litae feature, in later editions, as old women. The old man presumably represents the suffering of mankind.


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  • walking - AA - female human figure [31AA2711] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Slow Motion (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51MM1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Viciousness, Naughtiness (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6(+4):54D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA741(+4):54DD4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Jupiter seizes Ate by her hair and hurls her down from Olympus, possibly because of the delayed birth of Hercules (+ variant) [92B143(+0)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • other lesser deities of Heaven ~ destiny, fate, adversity: Litae [92G7(LITAE)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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