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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D1r p49]

Que con cuydado se acança la scineçia [=sciençia] .

Ottava rhima.

Atado està Prometheo[1] en alta roca
D’el Caucaso, y el higado comiendo
Un’aguila le està, que entre la boca
Quanto mas come mas le està creçiendo.
El su voluntad culpa vana y loca
Creçerle su penar contino viendo,
Qual creçe el de los que saber presumen
Las sciencias, que los animos consumen.

Notes:

1.  The Titan Prometheus appears in myth as the champion of men against the ill-will of Zeus. According to one account, he moulded man out of clay. Again, when Zeus withheld fire from mortals, Prometheus ascended to heaven and stole fire from the chariot of the sun for the benefit of men. As a perpetual punishment, Prometheus was put in chains and suspended from a rock in the Caucasus, where an eagle, the sacred bird of Zeus, in the day-time consumed his liver, which renewed itself every night. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.82ff; Hesiod, Theogony 561ff.


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  • (symbolic) representations ~ creation, cosmos, cosmogony, universe, and life (in the broadest sense) [10] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Things Unknown, the Unknown (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51AA8(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Curiosity, Inquisitiveness, Desire of Knowledge; 'Curiosità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P7r p237]

La lettre occit: L’esprit vivifie.[1]

Quand Cadmus heut dens de serpens semées
En terre Grecque: incontinent armées
D’hommes divers sortirent de la terre:
S’entretuans par mutuelle guerre.[2]
Ceulx qui salvéz par Pallas demourerent,
Armes jectans, la paix en main jurerent.
Cadmus premier les lettres apporta,[3]
Et bonnes ars par icelles nota.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P7v p238] Les professeurs desquelles s’entremordent,
Et point (sinon par Pallas) ne s’accordent.

Cadmus Phoenicien filz du Roy Agenor fut le
premier qui apporta les lettres d’Asie en Euro-
pe
, & les espandit par toute la Grece, D’ond est
sortie la fable, qu’il sema les dens d’ung serpent,
desquelles sortirent hommes arméz, se comba-
tans, & entretuans les ungz, les aultres, jusque à
cinq restantz, pacifiéz par Pallas, & depuys mul-
tipliéz en grand peuple. Le serpent est Pruden-
ce, les dens semées sont les lettres agues, & subti-
les dispersées par la Grece, Les hommes arméz,
sortans de telle semence sont les gens literéz, &
savans es ars, & sciences, Lesquelz par envie mu-
tuelle se defont l’ung l’aultre, sinon qu’ilz
soient reduictz en paix par Pallas, qui est Sapience, &
multiplient croissans tous les jours en nombre
infiny: Tant qu’a la fin y en aura trop.

Notes:

1.  2 Corinthians 3:6.

2.  For the story of Cadmus, founder of Thebes (in Aonia, or less correctly in the French, in Thessaly), and the dragon’s teeth, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.99ff. Athena, goddess of wisdom - here called Tritonia, from the place of her birth in North Africa - brought the internecine struggle between the earth-born warriors to an end.

3.  Cadmus supposedly introduced writing to Greece. The scattering of the dragon’s teeth was interpreted as the invention of the alphabet.


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