Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A5v f5v]

Emblemas de Alciato.

The emblems of Alciato.

AD MAXIMILIANUM DU-
cem Mediolanensem
.

To Maximilian, Duke of Milan.

Emblema Prima.

Exiliens infans sinuosi è faucibus anguis
Est gentilitiis nobile stemma tuis[1].
Talia Pellaeum gessisse nomismata regem[2]
Vidimus, hisque suum concelebrasse genus.
Dum se Ammone satum[3], matrem anguis imagine lusam,
Divini & sobolem seminis esse docet.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A6r f6r]Ore exit, tradunt sic quosdam enitier angues[4].
An quia sic Pallas de capite orta Iovis[5]?

An infant bursting from the maw of a coiling serpent marks the noble lineage of your clan. We have observed that the Pellaean king had coinage with such a device and by it celebrated his own descent, proclaiming that he was begotten of Ammon, that his mother was beguiled by the form of a snake and the child was the offspring of divine seed. The infant emerges from the mouth. They say that some snakes come to birth that way. Or is it because Pallas sprang like this from the head of Jove?

Notes:

1.  The Sforza family had ruled Milan since 1450, having assumed power through marriage (some said fraudulently) to a Visconti heiress, and taken their symbol as their own. They were chased out in 1499 by the French, but restored several times.

2.  Pellaeum...regem, ‘the Pellaean king’, i.e. Alexander the Great, born at Pella in Macedonia.

3.  For the superhuman birth of Alexander, see e.g. Plutarch, Life of Alexander, 3 and 27: Jupiter in the form of a serpent mated with Olympias, wife of Philip of Macedon, and begat Alexander. Ammon, a north African deity, was identified with Zeus/Jupiter. When Alexander visited Ammon’s sanctuary, he was hailed as the son of the god.

4.  According to e.g.Pliny, Natural History 10.170, Aelian, De natura animalium 1.24, the viper, alone among snakes, produces not eggs but live young. See also Isidore, Etymologiae 12.4.10.

5.  The story of Pallas Athene springing complete and armed from the head of Jove is found in many sources; see e.g. Homer, Hymns 3.308ff; Hesiod, Theogony 923ff.


Related Emblems

Show related emblems Show related emblems

Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


Iconclass Keywords

Relating to the image:

Relating to the text:

Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

Single Text View

Page icon  Link to an image of this page  [A1r]
EMBLEMATA
D. ANDREAE ALCIATI,
denuo ab ipso Autore
recognita, ac, quae desi-
derabantur, imagini-
bus locupletata.
Accesserunt nova aliquot ab
Autore Emblemata suis quoque
eiconibus insignita.

Printer’s mark
[Click on image to enlarge]

LUGDUNI APUD MATHIAM
BONHOMME
.
1550. CUM PRIVILEGIO. Page icon  Link to an image of this page  [A1v]
PRIVILEGE DU ROY.

IL ha pleu au Roy nostre Syre, de donner privilege &
permission à Guillaume Rouille libraire, & à Macé
Bonhomme
Imprimeur demourans à Lyon, d’impri-
mer ou faire imprimer un petit livre intitulé Emble-
mata Alciati, qu’ilz ont faict dresser & mettre en or-
dre par tiltres generaulx & lieux communs pour plus
facile intelligence d’iceluy, & adjouster figures nouvel-
les’aux Emblemes que par cy devant n’avoyent esté fai-
ctes, n’inventées. Ensemble plusieurs Emblemes nou-
velles qu’ilz ont recouvertes dudict Autheur non plus
mises en lumiere, digerées en leur ordre & figurées.
Parquoy sont, faictes deffences de par ledict seigneur à
tous libraires, & Imprimeurs, & autres sur certaines
grans peines, de n’imprimer ou faire imprimer, vendre
ou distribuer en son Royaulme, pays, terres & seigneu-
ries, desdicts Emblemata Alciati, de telle sorte, ou sem-
blable invention, ordonnance, correction, augmentation,
ne contrefaire leurs figures nouvelles on quelque ma-
niere & en quelque volume que ce soit, jusques au
temps & terme de six ans prochains, comme plus à
plain est contenu es lettres patentes sur ce despeschées
à Mascon, le ix. d’Aoust, M.D. xlviii. Signées, Le
Chandelier
: Et séellées du grand séel en cyre Jaulne, sur
simple queüe.

Page icon  Link to an image of this page  [A2r p3]
AD LECTOREM.

EMBLEMATA
illa pulcherrima Andreae
Alciati Patricii Mediola-
nensis
, Iurisconsultorum elo-
quentissimi, & eloquentium iurisconsultissimi,
quae vir ille nunquam ab literis feriatus, dum
à severioribus legum studiis respirat, & hu-
manae literaturae Musis amoenoribus recrea
tur, ludendo effudit ἀφοριστικῶς, καὶ ἀνακολού-
θως
, prout varium vel sensibus externis, vel
commentationibus internis sese offerebat ar-
gumentum: Ea nos sub generalibus praecipua-
rum rerum capitibus in locos communes, tanquam
in certas classes digesseramus: à summis,
ad ima progredientes, Non eo sanè consilio, ut
Autore ipso in oeconomia sui operis, aut dili-
gentiores, aut concinniores videri studeremus:
sed ut illius lusus, in communes usus adducere-
mus, Eius operis duplici habita ratione, vo-
luptatis nimirum, & utilitatis. Priore quidem,
ut speciosior quaedam operis forma extarer [=extaret]
oculis legentium, singula suo quaeque collocata loPage icon  Link to an image of this page  [A2v p4]co considerantium. Composita namque sparsis, &
ordinata confusis, fere solent apparere pul-
chriora. Altera autem, ut facilior, & prom-
ptior esset quaerentibus inventio. Etenim expe
ditius est, diversi res generis in suum quasque
ordinem & locum dispositas: quam in turbam teme-
rè congestas investigare, si quando iis opus ha-
bemus utendum. Porro usus Emblematum, prae-
ter gratiam, ac voluptatem ex iucunda novitate,
quae taedium levat, brevem sententiae argutiam, quae
animum pungit, numerosam versuum suavitatem,
quae aures mulcet, τῶν εἰκόνων picturam non
inanem, quae oculos pascit, Etiam ille (inquam) usus
est, ut quoties rebus vacuis complementum, nu-
dis ornamentum, mutis sermonem, alogis rationem
tribuere, aut certè affingere velit quispiam, is
ex Emblematum libello, tanquam ex promptuario
instructissimo habeat quod domesticis parie-
tibus, vitreis fenestris, aulaeis, peristromatis,
tabulis, vasis, signis, anulis sigillaribus, vesti-
mentis, mësae, fulcro, armis, gladio, supellecti-
li denique omni, nusquam non, inscribere, & im-
pingere possit: ad hoc scilicet ut usquequa-Page icon  Link to an image of this page  [A3r p5]que loquax, & aspectu iucunda sit rerum
ad usum communem spectantium facies.
Quarre & ipse Alciatus, sua haec epigram-
mata appellatione convenientissima inscri-
bi voluit Emblemata. Sunt enim Emble-
mata vermiculata opera ex tessellis insiti-
tiis apta & composita, interprete Budaeo,
quod & ipsa vocabuli Graeci origo ostendit.
Verum quum haec omnia superiore editione prae-
stitissemus, ecce aliquod nova Emblemata ad
nos mittuntur, ab Autore ipso superioribus
addita. Haec in suum & proprium quaeque ordinem
veluti superiora redegimus: quibus etiam, &
aliis nonnullis prioribus, in quibus imagines
desiderabantur, figuras appinximus, quoad
fieri potuit, aptissimas. Superiora etiam Emble
mata partim immutavit Autor ipse, partim
emendatiora, & melius conformata reddidit.
Quae omnia postrema hac nostra editione in
opus unus, quod quantò locupletius, tantò sit
perfectius, exhibemus. Quisquis igitur &
sententiae brevis acumine. & festiva imagine
res suas decorare volet: ex hoc libello abunde Page icon  Link to an image of this page  [A3v p6] habiturus est, unde sibi desumat quod ad rem
quamlibet accomodari posse videatur, idque
promptissimè, & facilimè. adaptato nimi-
rum suo commento ad summa rerum genera, &
singulas generum formas suo quasque ordine
dispositas, iuxta rerum naturalem seriem, &
usum communem. Quarum etiam index tabu-
la subiecta est operi universo, à multis, &
magnis, quibus vitiatum erat mendis expur-
gato, & planè restituto κατὰ τὸ αὐτόγραφον.

CLARISSIMI VIRI D. ANDREAE
Alciati
in Librum primum Em-
blematum praefatio, ad
Chonradum Peutin-
gerum
Augu-
stanum
.

Dum pueros iuglans, iuvenes dum tessera fallit,
Detinet & segnes chartula picta viros:
Haec nos festivis Emblemata cudimus horis,
Artificum illustri signaque facta manu:
Vestibus ut torulos, petasis ut figere parmas,
Et valeat tacitis scribere quisque notis.
At tibi supremus preciosa nomismata Caesar,
Et veterum eximias donet habere manus.
Ipse dabo vati, chartacea munera vates,
Quae (Chonrade) mei pignus amoris habe.

Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

 

Back to top