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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [m8r p191]

Antiquissima quaeque com-
mentitia.

The oldest things are all invented

VII.

Pellenaee senex, cui forma est histrica, Proteu, [1]
Qui mod membra viri fers, mod membra feri.
Dic ag quae species ratio te vertit in omnes,
Nulla sit ut vario certa figura tibi?
Signa vetustatis, primaevi & praefero secli: [2]
De quo quisque suo somniat arbitrio.

Proteus, old man of Pallene, whose outward appearance changes like an actor’s, assuming sometimes the body of a man, sometimes that of a beast, come, tell me, what is your reason for turning into all kinds of shapes, so that you have no permanent form as you constantly alter? I offer symbols of antiquity and the very first times, concerning which everyone dreams up what he will.

Notes:

1. Proteus was ‘the Old Man of the Sea’, who evaded capture by constantly changing his shape. See e.g. Homer, Odyssey, 4.400ff.; Vergil, Georgics, 4. 405-10, 440-2; Erasmus, Adagia, 1174 (Proteo mutabilior). Vergil (Georgics, 4.391) describes him living near the headland of Pallene (on the Macedonian coast). The idea of Proteus as a gifted actor or mime-artist is taken from Lucian, Saltatio, 19.

2. signa vetustatis primaevi et...secli, ‘symbols of antiquity and the very first times’. Pallene (see n.1.) suggested a connection with the Greek word παλαιός ‘ancient’, as the name Proteus was supposedly connected with πρώτιστος, ‘the very first’.


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    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [m5r p185]

    In mortem praeproperam.

    Untimely death

    CXII.

    Qui teneras forma allicuit[1] torsitque puellas,
    Pulchrior & tota nobilis urbe puer,
    Occidit ante diem, nulli mage flendus Aresti
    Qum tibi, cui casto iunctus amore fuit.
    Ergo illi tumulum tanti monumenta doloris
    Astruis, & querulis vocibus astra feris.
    Me sine abis dilecte? neque amplis ibimus un?
    Nec mecm in studiis otia grata teres?
    Sed te terra teget, sed fati Gorgonis ora,
    Delphinesque tui signa dolenda dabunt.

    That handsome lad, famed throughout all the city, who attracted and tormented tender-hearted girls with his beauty, has perished before his time, mourned by no one more than you, Arestius, to whom he was joined in chaste affection. Therefore you build him a tomb as a memorial of such great love and assail the heavens with cries of grief: Beloved, are you gone away without me? Shall we never be together again? Will you never again spend happy leisure hours with me in study? But the earth will cover you, a Gorgon’s head and dolphins shall provide doleful symbols of your fate.

    COMMENTARIA.

    Lamentatur mortem praematuram nobilis
    euiusdam pulcherrimique iuvenis, qui Aresti
    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [m5v p186]syncero amore, singularique amicitia coniun-
    ctus fuerat. ideoque tum floridam eius aeta-
    tem, tum etiam unicam dilectionem amar
    luget, & in signum ingentis doloris tumulum
    sibi extruit. Exclamans qud non solm ille
    verm etiam Gorgonis ora & Delphines mi-
    serabile eius fatum deflebunt, fuere autem
    Gorgones, sorores pulcherrimae puellae filiae
    Phorci, insulas Dorcadas in Oceano Aethio-
    pico
    inhabitantes, quarum una Medusa solo
    aspectu homines in lapides permutasse fer-
    tur, quod propter eius summam pulchritudi-
    nem fictum est, de qua Ovidius lib. 4. Metamorphoseon.
    Delphines autem pueros mirum in modum
    adamasse, eorumque interitum (ob desiderium)
    dolenda moestitia deplorasse. Autor est Plinius
    lib. 9. cap. 8. Mors omnia aequat, absque aliquo
    respectu, iuvenesque senesque speciosos atque
    deformes rapit, ut venust Ovidius in consola-
    tione ad Liviam de morte Drusii,

    Fortuna arbitriis tempus dispensat ubique
    Illa rapit iuvenes, sustulit illa senes.
    Quaque ruit furibunda ruit totumque per orbem
    Fulminat & caecis caeca triumphat equis.

    Notes:

    1. Textual variant: allexit.


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    • lamentation (~ burial rites) [4.20E+133] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • student love [49B4423] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Pain, Sorrow, Sadness; 'Dolore', 'Dolore di Zeusi' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56BB1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Fidelity in Friendship; 'Confermatione dell'Amicitia', 'Fede nell'Amicitia' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56F231(+4):31E] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Mortality, Extinction of Life [58BB1] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(ARESTIUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(ARIOSTO, Ludovico)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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