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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5r p73]

Ei qui semel sua prodegerit, aliena
credi non oportere.

Others’ property should not be entrusted to a person who has once squandered his own

EMBLEMA LIIII.

Colchidos in gremio nidum quid congeris? eheu
Nescia cur pullos tam malè credis avis?
Dira parens Medea suos saevissima natos
Perdidit; & speras parcat ut illa tuis?[1]

Why do you build your nest in the bosom of the woman from Colchis? Alas, ignorant bird, why do you entrust your nestlings so mistakenly? That frightful mother, Medea, in her savagery slew her own children. Do you expect her to spare yours?

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.346, a much-translated epigram, on the subject of a swallow that built her nest on a representation of Medea. Colchidos, ‘of the woman from Colchis’, refers to Medea, from Colchis on the Black Sea, who slew her children by Jason, leader of the Argonauts, to avenge his unfaithfulness. See further [A91a078].


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  • birds (+ animals nesting; making nests, lodges, webs, etc.) [25F3(+4712)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Squandering, Extravagance, Prodigality, Waste; 'Prodigalità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55C11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Misplaced Trust, False Confidence, 'Pax Falsa'; 'Speranza fallace' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56D29(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [V2r f154r]

PUDICITIA.

Chastity

Emblema. 47.

Porphyrio domini si incestent [=incestet] in aedibus uxor,
Despondetque animum, praeque dolore perit.
Abdita in arcanis naturae est causa, sit index
Syncerae haec volucris certa pudicitiae.[1]

If the wife in its master’s house is unfaithful, the moorhen despairs and dies of grief. The reason lies hidden in the secrets of nature. This bird may serve as a sure sign of untarnished chastity.

Notes:

1.  For this information about the porphyrio (purple gallinule, a kind of moorhen) see Aelian, De Natura animalium, 3.42; Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 9,388C: the purple gallinule ... when it is domesticated, ... keeps a sharp eye on married women and is so affected if the wife commits adultery, that it ends its life by strangling and so gives warning to its master.


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