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TUMULUS MERETRICIS.

The courtesan’s tomb

Quis tumulus? cuia urna? Ephyreae est Laidos,[1] & ni [=non]
Erubuit tantum perdere parca[2] decus?
Nulla fuit tum forma illam iam carpserat aetas,
Iam speculum Veneri cauta dicarat[3] anus.
Quid scalptus sibi vult Aries[4] quem parte leaena,
Unguibus apprensum posteriore tenet?
Non aliter captos quod & ipsa teneret amantes,
Vir gregis est aries clune tenetur amans.

What tomb, whose urn is this? - It belongs to Lais of Ephyre. - Ah, was not the goddess of Fate ashamed to destroy such loveliness? - She had no beauty then. Age had already worn it away. She had become an old woman and had already wisely dedicated her mirror to Venus. - What’s the meaning of the ram carved there, which a lioness holds tight, gripping its hind-quarters with her claws? - It is there because she too would hold her captive lovers in just this way. The male of the flock is the ram. The lover is held by the buttocks.

Notes:

1.  ‘Lais of Ephyre’. Ephyre is an old name for Corinth, the home of several famous courtesans called Lais.

2.  One of the Parcae or Fates, here presumably Atropos, the Fate who cut off the thread of the individual’s life.

3.  As a symbol of retirement, the tools of one’s trade were dedicated to the presiding deity. For Lais dedicating her mirror to Venus, see Anthologia graeca 6.1 and 18.

4.  Scalptus...aries, ‘the ram carved there’. Pausanias Periegesis 2.2.4 describes such a tomb of Lais at Corinth.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D6v p60]

Pour celuy qui ne scait flater.

Veulx tu savoir, Pourquoy c’est que Thessaille
D’ung Duc, ą aultre, ainsi souvent tressaille?
(C’est qu’a flater elle n’ha point apprins ce,
Lequel vice est en toute court de Prince,
Mais comme un noble, & bon cheval, met bas
Son chevaucheur qui regir ne scait pas.)[1]
Point toutesfoys cruel ne soit le maistre,
Ung mors plus dur pour vengence doibt estre.

Les rebellions populaires viennent par
mauvaise administration des Princes.

Notes:

1.  See Plato, Politicus 261d for the image of the ruler as supervisor of a stud of horses.


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  • virtues of the ruler [44B10] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • family of a ruler, and court [44B15] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositą dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtł del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sincerity; 'Puritą et Sinceritą d'animo', 'Sinceritą' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A612(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Flattery; 'Adulatione' (Ripa) [57AA6121] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) [57AA741] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Praise, Approbation, Approval; 'Lode' (Ripa) [57B1] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(THESSALY)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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