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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F1v]

MULIERIS FAMAM NON
formam vulgatam esse
oportere.

A woman’s reputation, not her beauty, should be known to the world.

Alma Venus quae nam haec facies quid denotat illa,
Testudo molli quam pede diva premis?
Me sic effinxit phidias,[1] sexumque referri,
Foemineum nostra iussit ab effigie,
Quodque manere domi & tacitas decet esse puellas,
Supposuit pedibus talia signa meis.

Kindly Venus, what form is this, what does that tortoise mean, on which, o goddess, your soft feet rest? Phidias fashioned me like this. He intended the female sex to be represented by this image of me. Girls should stay at home and keep silence, and so he put such symbols under my feet.

Notes:

1.  Phidias’ statue of Aphrodite with one foot on a tortoise, set up at Elis, is mentioned by Pausanias, Periegesis 6.25.1. The tortoise is a symbol of ideal female domesticity, as it keeps silent and never leaves its house see Plutarch Coniugalia praecepta 32 (Mor. 142).


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  • Beauty; 'Bellezza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Taciturnity; 'Secretezza', 'Secretezza overo Taciturnità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52DD3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Good Behaviour (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Fame; 'Fama', 'Fama buona', 'Fama chiara' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [59B32(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) non-aggressive activities of person from classical history [98B(PHIDIAS)5] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P4r p231]

Eloquence difficile.[1]

L’herbe bailla Mercure à Ulysses,
Contrepoison aulx breuvages Circes.[2]
Moly s’appelle, & ha noire racine,
Fleur blanche, & rouge, à trouver bien insigne.
Pure eloquence, est d’attraction pleine,
Mais à plusieurs est oeuvre de grand peine.

Par l’herbe Moly en Homere de noire racine, fleur blanche,
& purpurine, tresdifficile à trouver: est entendue eloquence, au
commencement obscure, puys florissante, claire, & honorée.
Mais difficile à acquerir, sinon aulx bons espritz laquelle sur-
monte toute malice, & obtient grand grace à celluy qui l’ha.

Notes:

1.  In the 1549 French edition, this emblem has no woodcut.

2.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 70 ([A58a070]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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  • 'Rhetorica', 'Eloquentia' (~ trivium); 'Rettorica' (Ripa) [49C113] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Eloquence; 'Eloquenza', 'Fermezza & Gravità ¤ell'Oratione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D3(+4):54DD4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Industriousness, Assiduity; 'Assiduità', 'Industria', 'Zelo' (Ripa) [54A11] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Ulysses on the island of Circe (Homer, Odyssey X) [94I16] Search | Browse Iconclass

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