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Ira.

Rage.

EMBLEMA LXIII.

Alcaeam veteres caudam dixere leonis,
Qua stimulante iras concipit ille graves.
Lutea cm surgit bilis, crudescit & atro
Felle dolor, furias excitat indomitas.[1]

The ancients called the lion’s tail alcaea, for under its stimulus he takes on dreadful fury. When the yellow bile rises and his temper grows savage with the black gall, the tail incites his indomitable rage.

Notes:

1. The Greek word ἀλκαία was supposedly derived from ἀλκή ‘strength’ (see Emblem 3, n.3, [A91a003]). The Etymologicum Magnum, an ancient Greek lexicon, defines ἀλκαία as ‘properly the tail of the lion, because it urges him on to strength (ἀλκή)’. Pliny, Natural History, 8.16.49, describes how the lion’s tail lashes with increasing fury and spurs him on. See also Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.39.


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Section: STULTITIA (Folly). View all emblems in this section.

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Vespertilio.

The bat

Assumpsisse suum volucri ex Meneide nomen,[1]
Socraticum autores Choerephoonta ferunt.[2]
Fusca viro facies, & stridens vocula, tali
Hunc hominem potuit commaculare nota.

Writers tell us that Chaerephon, Socrates’ follower, got his particular name from the winged daughter of Minyas. It was his sallow complexion and squeaky little voice that gave rise to such a slur to sully his reputation.

Notes:

1. For the transformation of the daughters of Minyas (the founder of the earliest race of Greeks) into bats - for refusing to worship Dionysus - see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.389ff.

2. Chaerophon, a distinguished disciple of Socrates, was nick-named ‘The Bat’ and ‘Boxwood’ for his pale complexion and poor health, supposedly brought on by excessive study. See Aristophanes, Aves, 1564; Philostratus, Vitae sophistarum, 1.482.


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  • study and diversion [49A1] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • studying at night [49B4411] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Minyas' daughters changed into bats: having aroused Bacchus' anger by weaving instead of worshipping him, the daughters of Minyas, Leuconoe (Leucippe), Alcithoe and Arsippe, are changed into bats by the god (Ovid, Metamorphoses IV 399) [97CC7] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(CHAEREPHON)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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