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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n3v p198]

Imparitas.

Inferiority

XXIX.

Ut sublime volans tenuem secat aėra falco,
Ut pascuntur humi graculus, anser, anas:
Sic summum scandit super aethera Pindarus ingens,
Sic scit humi tantum serpere Bacchylides.[1]

As the falcon cleaves the thin air flying high, as the jackdaw, the goose, the duck feed on the ground, so mighty Pindar soars above the highest heaven, so Bacchylides knows only how to creep along the ground.

Notes:

1.  The first two lines are based on Pindar, Nemean Odes, 3.139-144, where Pindar seems to be obliquely disparaging the style and content of Bacchylides, another poet resident, like himself, at the court of Hiero of Syracuse in the early fifth century BC. See Erasmus, Adagia, 820 (Aquila in nubibus); 1988 (Humi serpere).


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    • song-birds: jackdaw (+ animals eating and drinking) [25F32(JACKDAW)(+45)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • predatory birds: falcon [25F33(FALCON)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • water-birds: duck (+ animals eating and drinking) [25F36(DUCK)(+45)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • water-birds: goose (+ animals eating and drinking) [25F36(GOOSE)(+45)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Imparity, Inequality (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51BB3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(BACCHYLIDES)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • (story of) Pindar representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(PINDAR)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n5r p201]

    Hedera.

    Ivy

    XXXVIII.

    Haudquaquam arescens hederae est arbuscula, Cisso[1]
    Quae puero Bacchum dona dedisse ferunt:
    Errabunda, procax, auratis fulva corymbis,
    Exterius viridis, caetera pallor habet.
    Hinc aptis vates cingunt sua tempora sertis:[2]
    Pallescunt studiis, laus diuturna viret.

    There is a bushy plant which never withers, the ivy which Bacchus, they say, gave as a gift to the boy Cissos. It goes where it will, uncontrollable; tawny where the golden berry-clusters hang; green on the outside but pale everywhere else. Poets use it to wreathe their brows with garlands that fit them well - poets are pale with study, but their praise remains green for ever.

    Notes:

    1.  Κισσός is the Greek word for ‘ivy’. For the story of Cissos, beloved of Bacchus, and his transformation into the ivy, see Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 12.188ff.

    2.  vates cingunt sua tempora, ‘Poets use it to wreathe their brows’. See Pliny, Natural History, 16.62.147: poets use the species with yellow berries for garlands.


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