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Section: NATURA (Nature). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [G5v p106]

Vis naturae.[1]

The power of nature

Pana colunt gentes, (naturam hoc dicere rerum est)
Semicaprumque hominem, semivirumque Deum.
Est vir pube tenus, qud nobis insita virtus[2]
Corde oriens, celsa verticis arce sedet.
Hinc caper est, quia nos natura in secla propagat
Concubitu: ut volucres, squamea, bruta, feras.
Quod commune aliis animantibus, est caper index
Luxuriae, Veneris signaque aperta gerit.
Cordi alii sophian, alii tribure cerebro.
Inferiora modus, nec ratio ulla tenet.

Pagans worship Pan, that is the force of nature, a man half-goat, a god half-man. Pan is a man down to the loins, because that power that is naturally present in us men rises from the heart and has its seat in the high citadel of the head. Below this he is goat, because Nature perpetuates us down the ages by sexual intercourse, as she does birds, fish, brute beasts and wild. This is a thing shared with other living creatures. The goat is a sign of licentiousness, and carries Venus’ standards unconcealed. Wisdom some have assigned to the heart, others to the head. The lower parts neither restraint nor reason governs.

Notes:

1. This woodcut is also used for Emblem 72.

2. Variant reading, hominum quod propria virtus, ‘because the power that is peculiar to men rises...’


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  • Prudence, 'Prudentia'; 'Prudenza' (Ripa) ~ one of the Four Cardinal Virtues [11M41] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Licentiousness, Lasciviousness; 'Lascivia', 'Licenza' (Ripa) [57AA51] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Instinct, Natural Disposition; 'Instinto naturale' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [58B6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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

Vino prudentiam augeri.[1]

Wisdom increased by wine.

LXXIIII [=75] .

Haec Bacchus pater, & Pallas communiter ambo
Templa tenent: soboles utraque vera Iovis:
Haec caput, ille femur solvit:[2] huic usus olivi
Debitus, invenit primus at ille merum.
Iunguntur merito. qud si qui abstemius odit
Vina, deae nullum sentiet auxilium.

This temple Father Bacchus and Pallas both possess in common, each of them the true off-spring of Jove: she split Jove’s head, he his thigh. To her we owe the use of the olive; but he first discovered wine. They are rightly joined together, because if anyone in abstinence hates wine, he will know no help from the goddess.

Notes:

1. This emblem uses material from Anthologia Graeca, 16.183, concerning a statue of Bacchus beside one of Pallas Athene.

2. Haec caput, ille femur solvit, ‘she split Jove’s head, he his thigh’. For the birth of Pallas Athene from the head of Jove and of Bacchus from his thigh, see emblems 1 ([A56a001]), and 25 ([A56a025]). Pallas is the virgin goddess, patroness of intellectual pursuits, who presented Athens with the gift of the olive tree. Bacchus discovered the vine during his wanderings about the earth and taught men its use. He also introduced various other features of civilisation.


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