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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B6v p28]

Silentium.

Silence

EMBLEMA XI.

Cum tacet, haud quicquam differt sapientibus amens:
Stultitiae est index linguaque voxque suae.
Ergo premat labias, digitoque silentia signet:
Et sese Pharium vertat in Harpocratem[1].

When he is silent, the fool differs no whit from the wise. It is tongue and voice that betray his stupidity. Let him therefore put his finger to his lips and so mark silence, and turn himself into Egyptian Harpocrates.

Notes:

1.  Harpocrates, also known as Horus, was the son of the Egyptian divinity Isis. He avenged the murder of his father Osiris by Set/Typhon. He is often represented as an infant with his finger held to his mouth as a sign of silence and economy of words. See Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride 68.


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  • Wisdom; 'Sapienza', 'Sapienza humana', 'Sapienza vera' (Ripa) [52A51] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Ignorance; 'Ignoranza', 'Ignoranza di tutte le cose', 'Ignoranza in un ricco senza lettere' (Ripa) [52AA5] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Folly, Foolishness; 'Pazzia', 'Sciocchezza', 'Stoltitia' (Ripa) [52AA51] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Taciturnity; 'Secretezza', 'Secretezza overo Taciturnitą' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52DD3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [b1v p18]

Non vulganda consilia.

Keep counsels secret.

VIII.

Limine quod caeco, obscura & caligine monstrum[1]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [b2r p19]Gnosiacis clausit Daedalus in latebris:
Depictum Romana phalanx in praelia gestat,
Semiviroque nitent signa superba[2] bove.
Nosque monent, debere ducum secreta[3] latere
Consilia, authori cognita techna nocet.

The monster that Daedalus imprisoned in its Cretan lair, with hidden entrance and obscuring darkness, the Roman phalanx carries painted into battle; the proud standards flash with the half-man bull. These remind us that the secret plans of leaders must stay hid. A ruse once known brings harm to its author.

COMMENTARIA.

Pasiphaė filia Solis uxor Minois Regis
Cretensis, in nefandum amorem Tauri de-
lapsa fuit, adeoque exarsit, ut pateretur se in-
cludi ligneae vaccae, quo Tauro illo potire-
tur: Diodori lib. 5. Vergilii Aeglogae 6. Ovidii lib.
1. de Arte amandi & Higini Fabula 49.[4] Ex quo
concepit & genuit horribile monstrum for-
mam habens partim hominis & partim Tau-
ri, unde appellatum est Minotaurus: semi-
bovemque virum, semivirumque bovem. Ovidius
lib. 2. de Arte amandi. Idem lib. 8. Metamorphoseon
Vergilius lib. 6. Aeneidos Minos autem Rex vo-
lens monstrum illud Minotauri ex homi-
num oculis occultare, iussit Daedalum (Athe-
niensem
artificem ingeniosissimum: qui etiam
ligneam illam vaccam, de qua suprą, fabrica-
verat) praeparare & extruere sibi labyrinthum,
aedificium & inextricabilibus erroribus clau-
sum, adeoque ut quicunque ingrediebatur vix
unquam iterum egredi poterat: in quo Mi-
notaurum abscondidit. Autores sunt pro-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [b2v p20]xim citati. Hanc picturam Minotauri olim
Romani in suis vexillis bellicis gerebant, si-
gnificantes secreta principum consilia, de-
bere esse multum abscondita, ea enim pro-
dita & revelata, ipsomet Autori erunt noci-
va: haud etenim temerč, praesertim hi qui Rei-
publicae aliisve arduis praesunt negotiis, animi
consultationes, nec intimis etiam amicis com
mittere debent: Cecilii Metelli viri summae
prudentiae atque consilii, exemplo, qui (ut
Valerius Maximus refert) cuidam suo Amico, quid
ille in re quadam magni momenti acturus
esset, interroganti, ita respondit ingenuč: Tu-
nicam, inquit, hanc, meam rescinderem
& abiicerem, si eam scire meum
consilium existimarem. Respon-
sum hoc argutum, extolli-
tur etiam ą Crini-
to
libro 19.
cap. 7.

Notes:

1.  ‘The monster that Daedalus imprisoned’, i.e. the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster kept in the famous Labyrinth at Knossos, which Daedalus, the Athenian master-craftsman, constructed for King Minos.

2.  According to Pliny, Natural History 10.5.16, before the second consulship of Marius (104 BC) Roman standards bore variously eagles, wolves, minotaurs, horses and boars. Marius made the eagle universal.

3.  Cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (135 Lindsay): the Minotaur appears among the military standards, because the plans of leaders should be no less concealed than was the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth.

4.  Caius Julius Hyginus (or Higinus), first century writer on mythology, astrology, agricultre, biography and literature, superintendent of the Palatine library under Augustus.


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