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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [o2r p211]

Prudens, sed infacundus.[1]

Wise, but lacking eloquence.

LXXV [=76] .

Noctua Cecropiis[2] insignia praestat Athenis
Inter aves sani noctua consilii.
Armiferae meritò obsequiis sacrata Minervae est,
Garrula quo cornix cesserat antè loco.[3]

The owl provides the symbol for Athens, Cecrops’ city, for among the birds the owl is known for wise counsel. Deservedly was it dedicated to the service of weapon-bearing Minerva, in the place vacated by the chattering crow.

Notes:

1.  In later editions, the motto becomes Prudens, magis quam loquax, ‘wise head, close mouth’.

2.  Cecrops was a legendary wise early king of Athens, a city renowned as a place of learning. See above, Emblem 227 ([A56a227]), line 7.

3.  garrula quo cornix cesserat, ‘vacated by the chattering crow’. The crow was dismissed from Athena’s service for telling tales, and was replaced by the owl. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2.562-5. This story is represented in Aneau, ‘Periculum in terra, periculum in mari’ ([FANa029]).


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    Single Emblem View

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [o1v p210]

    Philautia.

    Self-satisfaction.

    LXX [=71] .

    Quòd nimium tua sorma [=forma] tibi Narcisse placebat,
    In florem, & noti est versa stuporis olus.[1]
    Ingenii est marcor, cladesque philautia, doctos
    Quae pessum plures datque deditque viros,
    Qui veterum abiecta methodo, nova dogmata quaerunt
    Nilque suas praeter tradere phantasias.

    Because your beauty gave you too much satisfaction, Narcissus, it was turned both into a flower and into a plant of acknowledged insensibility. Self-satisfaction is the rot and destruction of the mind. Learned men in plenty it has ruined, and ruins still, men who cast off the method of teachers of old and aim to pass on new doctrines, nothing more than their own imaginings.

    Notes:

    1.  For the story of Narcissus, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.344ff. On the flower, see Pliny, Natural History, 21.75.128: “there are two kinds of narcissus... The leafy one ... makes the head thick and is called narcissus from narce (‘numbness’), not from the boy in the story.” (cf. ‘narcotic’).


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