Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [o2v p212]

Fatuitas.

Stupidity.

LXXVIII [=79] .

Miraris nostro quòd carmine diceris Otus,[1]
Sit vetus à proavis cùm tibi nomen Otho.[2]
Aurita est, similes & habet ceu noctua plumas, [3]
Saltantemque auceps mancipat aptus avem.[4]
Hinc fatuos, captu & faciles, nos dicimus otos,
Hoc tibi conveniens tu quoque nomen habe.

You are surprised that in my poem you are called Otus, when your ancient family name, handed down for generations, is Otho. The otus is eared and has feathers like the little owl. The skilful birdcatcher gets the bird into his power as it dances. For this reason we call stupid people, easy to catch, oti. You too can have this name, which suits you.

Notes:

1.  Otus, the long-eared owl.

2.  It is unclear exactly what Alciato is referring to here. As is made clearer by Mignault in the commentary in other editions, it is not the Emperor Otho, but the bustard (otis in Latin, otide in French), a large tufted bird that has interesting mating habits, which (following the commentary in the 1615 edition) consists of strutting and preening to such an extent that the bird is easy to catch. It is there likened to a man named Otho known for his haughty manner, who came from an ancient lineage, in which instance Alciato could originally have been referring in a punning manner to Lucius Roscius Otho, a Roman tribune who authored the law that the knights should occupy the premier seats in a theatre and was much abused for it.

3.  See Pliny, Natural History, 11.50.137: only the eagle-owl and the long-eared owl have feathers like ears (the little owl - noctua - does not in fact have ear-tufts).

4.  See Pliny, Natural History, 10.33.68: ‘The otus is an imitator of other birds and a hanger-on, performing a kind of dance; like the little owl, it is easily caught, when its attention is fixed on one person while another person circles round it’. See also Plutarch, Moralia, Bruta animalia ratione uti, 951E.


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.

    Single Emblem View

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [o2v p212]

    Ars naturam adiuvans.

    Art assisting nature

    LXXVII [=78] .

    Ut Fortuna pilae,[1] cubo sic insidet Hermes:
    Artibus hic, variis casibus illa praeest.
    Adversus vim Fortunae est ars facta:[2] sed artis
    Cùm Fortuna mala est, saepe requirit opem.
    Disce bonas artes igitur studiosa iuventus,
    Quae certae secum commoda sortis habent.

    As Fortune rests on a sphere, so Hermes sits on a cube. He presides over the arts, she over the varied chances of life. Art was developed to counteract the effect of Fortune, but when Fortune is bad it often needs the assistance of Art. Therefore, studious youths, learn good arts, which bring with them the benefits of an outcome not subject to chance.

    Notes:

    1.  Variant reading, Ut spherae Fortuna, with the same meaning.

    2.  Variant reading, Adversus vim Fortunae est ars tuta, ‘Art is safe against the power of Fortune’.


    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:

      • 'Natura' (allegorical figure or scene; or as Diana of Ephesus, with many breasts); 'Natura' (Ripa) [20] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • sitting on an elevation [31A2352] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ art; 'Arte' (Ripa) [480] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ education; 'Ammaestramento', Dottrina', 'Educatione', 'Istitutione' (Ripa) [49A0:31D12] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • student [49B44] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ science, 'Scientia'; 'Scienza', 'Studio' (Ripa) [49C0] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • the liberal arts, 'Artes Liberales' [49C1] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • hexahedron, cube [49D452] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • sphere, globe ~ stereometry [49D48] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) (+ abstract concept represented by female figure) [54F12(+11)] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • specific aspects, allegorical aspects of Mercury; Mercury as patron [92B57] Search | Browse Iconclass

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

       

      Back to top

      Privacy notice
      Terms and conditions