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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K2r p147]

In Occasionem.

Opportunity

EMBLEMA CXXI.

Διαλογιστικῶς.

In dialogue form.

Lysippi[1] hoc opus est, Sicyon[2] cui patria tu quis?[3]
Cuncta domans capti temporis articulus.
Cur pinnis[4] stas? usque rotor. talaria plantis
Cur retines? passim me levis aura rapit.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K2v p148]In dextra est tenuis dic unde novacula? acutum
Omni acie hoc signum me magis esse docet.
Cur in fronte coma? occurrens ut prendar. At heus tu
Dic cur pars calva est posterior capitis?
Me semel alipedem si quis permittat abire,
Ne possim apprenso postmoḍ crine capi.
Tali opifex nos arte, tui caussa edidit, hospes:
Utque omnes moneam, pergula aperta tenet.

This image is the work of Lysippus, whose home was Sicyon. - Who are you? - I am the moment of seized opportunity that governs all. - Why do you stand on points? - I am always whirling about. - Why do you have winged sandals on your feet? - The fickle breeze bears me in all directions. - Tell us, what is the reason for the sharp razor in your right hand? - This sign indicates that I am keener than any cutting edge. - Why is there a lock of hair on your brow? - So that I may be seized as I run towards you. - But come, tell us now, why ever is the back of your head bald? - So that if any person once lets me depart on my winged feet, I may not thereafter be caught by having my hair seized. It was for your sake, stranger, that the craftsman produced me with such art, and, so that I should warn all, it is an open portico that holds me.

Notes:

1.  Greek sculptor, 4th century BC.

2.  A town west of Corinth.

3.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 16.275. See also Erasmus, Adagia 670, Nosce tempus, where Erasmus too gives a verse translation of the Greek epigram.

4.  ‘on points’. Alciato here agrees with Erasmus, who similarly translates the phrase ἐπ’ ἄκρα, ‘on tiptoe’, in the Greek original. Thomas More translates more obviously with summis digitis. See Selecta epigrammata (Cornarius, ed.) p. 372ff.


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  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(LYSIPPUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A7v]

DESIDIAM ABIICIENDAM.

Away with idleness.

Quisquis iners abeat, in chenice figere sedem[1]
Nos prohibent Samii[2] dogmata sancta senis
Surge igitur duroque manus asuesce labori
Det tibi dimensos crastina ut hora cibos.

Let the idle man take himself off -- the holy pronouncements of the old sage of Samos forbid us to sit tight on the bushel-box. Get up therefore, get your hands accustomed to hard work, so that tomorrow’s hour may give you your due measure of sustenance.

Notes:

1.  This saying, which became a proverbial expression of idleness, is quoted in various ancient sources (e.g. Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride10). A bushel was a day’s ration of corn, and ‘to sit on the bushel-box’ (a container holding a bushel measure, and convenient in size for sitting on) meant to be idle and improvident, leaving tomorrow to take care of itself, since today was provided for.

2.  ‘the old sage of Samos’, i.e. Pythagoras ([A50a017]).


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  • Sloth, Indolence, 'Acedia', 'Desidia'; 'Accidia' (Ripa) ~ personification of one of the Seven Deadly Sins [11N37] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • container of metal: bucket, can, canister, drum, tin [41A771] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Industriousness, Assiduity; 'Assiduità', 'Industria', 'Zelo' (Ripa) [54A11] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Idleness; 'Otio' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54DD2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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