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Link to an image of this pageLink 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 Taciturnit√†' (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 pageLink to an image of this page †[P4v p232]

Les Antiquitez sont controuvťes.[1]

Apologie. Dialogisme.

D. Vieillard Proteu[2], qui has forme muable:
Homme par fois, puys beste dissemblable:
Quelle raison toute espece en toy mue:
Tant que tu n’has figure de tenue?
R. Je represente antique PoŽsie,
De qui chascun songe ŗ sa phantasie.

Des choses anciennes, & mises hors de toute memoire: cha-
scun en songe, & en divine ŗ sa phantasie: tellement que les au-
theurs ne s’ac
cordans, font une monstrueuse histoire ou fable
de variables formes, tel que les PoŽtes faignent estre Proteus
dieu marin, fort vieulx, & muable en toutes formes.

Notes:

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

2.Proteus was ‘the Old Man of the Sea’, who evaded capture by constantly changing his shape. See e.g. Homer, Odyssey, 4.400ff.; Vergil, Georgics, 4. 405-10, 440-2; Erasmus, Adagia, 1174 (Proteo mutabilior). Vergil (Georgics, 4.391) describes him living near the headland of Pallene (on the Macedonian coast). The idea of Proteus as a gifted actor or mime-artist is taken from Lucian, Saltatio, 19.


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