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IMPOSSIBILE.

The impossible

Abluis Aethiopem quid frustra? ah desine, noctis
Illustrare nigrae nemo potest tenebras.[1]

Why are you washing an Ethiopian in vain? Oh, do stop. No one can turn the shades of black night into light.

Notes:

1. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 11.428. See also Aesop, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 350, Aethiopen lavas.


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Relating to the text:

  • (personifications of) 'Vanitas', the vanity of human life; Fragilit� humana, Fugacit� delle grandezze & della gloria mondana, Meditatione della morte, Opera vana, Piacere vano, Vana gloria, Vanit� (Ripa) [11R5] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • day and night [23R] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Impossibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52BB42(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [P3r p229]

Eloquence est plus excellente que force.[1]

Probleme.

Masse en main dextre, en senestre arc cornu,
Et du Lyon la peau couvrant corps nu,
C’est d’Hercules la forme, Mais tel art
Pas ne convient: qu’il soit chaulve, & vieillard.
La langue aussi de chainetes perse,
D’ond par l’oreille attraict gent, non force,
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [P3v p230] Est ce pourtant que par faconde voix,
(Et non par force) aulx peuples donna loix?
Armes font place aux lettres. Car des coeurs
(Tant soient ilz durs) Eloquens sont vinqueurs.

C’est la description Lucianicque de Hercu-
les le Francois
, Par laquelle estoit figur.
que Hercules avoit tant de peuples mis en son
obeissance, & tant de monstres, & tyrans
surmontz par vive eloquence, & savoir le
gitime, & constitution de justes loix, Toutes
lesquelles choses les Grecz hont depuys de-
guise [=deguises] en faictz d’armes, & appropries
leur Hercules Grec, filz d’Alcmena.

Notes:

1. This epigram is closely based on Lucian’s essay, The Gallic Hercules.


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  • extinct, 'historical' peoples (with NAME) [32B2(GAULS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'litterae', symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ literature; 'Lettere' (Ripa) [48C90] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Power of Eloquence; 'Forza sottoposta all'Eloquenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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