Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [Z2r f178r]

IMPOSSIBILE.

The impossible

Emblema. 59.

Abluis Aetiopem, quid frustra? ah desine, nocts
Illustrare nigrae nemo potest tenebras.[1]

Why are you washing an Ethiopian in vain? Oh, do stop. No one can turn the shades of black night into light.

Notes:

1. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 11.428. See also Aesop, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 350, Aethiopen lavas.


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:

  • (personifications of) 'Vanitas', the vanity of human life; Fragilit� humana, Fugacit� delle grandezze & della gloria mondana, Meditatione della morte, Opera vana, Piacere vano, Vana gloria, Vanit� (Ripa) [11R5] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • day and night [23R] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Impossibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52BB42(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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

Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [i5v p138]

Qui alta contemplatur[1]
cadere.

He who contemplates the heights comes to grief

LXXXIII.

Dum turdos visco, pedica dum fallit alaudas,
Et iacta altivolam figit harundo gruem,
Dipsada non prudens auceps pede perculit: ultrix
Illa mali, emissum virus ab ore iacit.
Sic obit extento qui sydera respicit arcu,
Securus fati quod iacet ante pedes.[2]

While he tricks thrushes with bird-lime, larks with snares, while his speeding shaft pierces the high-flying crane, the careless bird-hunter steps on a snake; avenging the injury, it spits the darting venom from its jaws. So he dies, a man who gazes at the stars with bow at the ready, oblivious of the mishap lying before his feet.

COMMENTARIA.

Auceps quidam dum turdis visco & alau-
dis pedica, laqueis quibus pedibus capiuntur
insidiatur, dumque sagitta volantem gruem
transfigere cupit, imprudens pedibus pressit
iacentem in herbis Dipsadam (colubris seu
serpentis genus est morsu suo inextinguibi-
lem sitim adferens: ut Lucanus lib. 9.) quae do-
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [i6r p139]lore irrita ulciscitur, oreque venenoso momor-
dit eum, sic ille parum providus, qui dum ar-
cu extenso insublimi alterum venari vult, pe-
riculum ante pedes non considerans, ipse pe-
rit. Similis extat fabella Aesopica de Aucupe
& Vipera. Fertur huiusmodi fer de Thalete
Philosopho clarissimo, qui prius Astrologiae
inventor, eiusque peritissimus fuit, cm nocte
quadam vetula ut astra contemplaretur ex-
tra domum ductus in foveam incidit, quem
lugentem derisit anus, dicens quomodo
Thales quae alto in coelo sunt agnosces, cm
ea quae ante pedes adsunt considerare ne-
queas? enarrat inter alios Diogenes Lartius li-
bro 1. de vita Philosophorum.

Notes:

1. Other editions read contemplantur (plural).

2. See Anthologia graeca 7.172 and Aesop, Fables 137.


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.

 

Back to top