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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 postmodō 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  [C2v p36]

In Deo laetandum.

Joy is to be found in God

Aspice ut egregius puerum Iovis alite pictor
Fecerit Iliacum[1] summa per astra vehi.
Quis ne Iovem tactum puerili credat amore?
Dic haec Maeonius[2] finxerit unde senex?
Consilium mens atque Dei cui gaudia praestant,
Creditur is summo raptus adesse Iovi.

See how the skilful illustrator has shown the Trojan boy being carried through the highest heavens by the eagle of Jove. Can anyone believe that Jove felt passion for a boy? Explain how the aged poet of Maeonia came to imagine such a thing. It is the man who finds satisfaction in the counsel, wisdom and joys of God who is thought to be caught up into the presence of mighty Jove.

Notes:

1.  ‘The Trojan boy’, i.e. Ganymede, son of the Trojan prince, Tros, snatched away by the gods to be Jove’s cup-bearer. See Homer, Iliad 20.232ff, though the eagle is a post-Homeric addition. The Greek motto in the accompanying illustration, gannusthai medesi, means ‘to delight in counsels’, referring to a supposed etymology of the name Ganymedes, for which see Xenophon, Symposium 8.30.

2.  ‘The aged poet of Maeonia’, i.e Homer. His place of activity is disputed. Chios or Smyrna is most likely - these are places in the central coastal area of Asia Minor, known as Lydia or Maeonia.


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