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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  [B8v p32]

Ocni effigies, de his qui meretricibus
donant, quod in bonos usus
verti debeat.[1]

A representation of Ocnus. On those who give to whores what should be turned to good

XVII.

Impiger haud cessat funem contexere sparto,
Humidaque artifici iungere fila manu.
Sed quantum multis vix torquet strenuus horis,
Protinus ignavi ventris asella vorat.
Foemina iners animal, facili congesta marito
Lucra rapit, mundum prodigit inque suum.

Ocnus never stops busily plaiting rope from broom, joining the damp fibres with skilful hand. But what he manages to spin with great effort in many hours the she-ass, a beast with greedy guts, continuously consumes. - Woman, an idle creature, grabs the accumulated savings from her complaisant husband and squanders it on her own adornment.

COMMENTARIA.

Quidam in Ionia Regione Asiae, nomine
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [c1r p33]Ocnus homo industrius & laboriosus atque
operi assiduè intentus erat. habebat is uxorem
adẹ sumptuosam ac prodigam, ut quicquid
ille suo labore corraderet, id mox ab illa di-
lapidaretur. Inde proverbium dicebatur in
hominem in re quapiam elaborantem quae ni-
hil adferret emolumenti, hic torquet funicu-
lum Ocni. Autor est gravissimus rerum grae-
carum scriptor Pausanias in Phocide. Pingitur
itaque strenuus restio, conficiendis funibus
nunquam non occupatus, sed quantum mi-
ser longo tempore assiduoque labore contor-
quet, hoc totum subiṭ ignava devorat Asel-
la. Sic foemina desidiosum, luxuriosum, &
perniciosum animal, facile viri laboribus ac
sudore quaesita, (ut ait Hesiodus) sua la-
scivia & prodigalitate absumit: recte
itaque Lacon quidam qui cùm
uxorem duxisset, pusillam
& parvulam, dicebat, è
malis quod mini-
mum esset, eli-
gendum.

Notes:

1.  The painting by Polygnotus depicting this scene is described in Pausanias, Periegesis 29.2. See also Propertius, Elegies 4.3.21; Erasmus, Adagia 383, Contorquet piger funiculum. Ocnus, idleness personified, was a proverbial example of wasted effort.


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  • whore, prostitute [33C520] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • marriage, married couple, 'matrimonium' [42D3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Industriousness, Assiduity; 'Assiduit৬ 'Industria', 'Zelo' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sluggishness, Inertia; 'Dapocaggine', 'Pigritia' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54AA11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Squandering, Extravagance, Prodigality, Waste; 'Prodigalitৠ(Ripa) (+ emblematical representation [55C11(+4):42D36] Search | Browse Iconclass

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