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Section: ARBORES (Trees). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O4r p215]

Salix.

The willow

Quòd frugisperdem salicem vocitârit Homerus,[1]
Clitoriis homines moribus absimilat [=adsimilat] .[2]

When Homer called the willow ‘seed-loser’, he made it like men with Clitorian habits.

Notes:

1.  Homer, Odyssey, 10.510. See Pliny, Natural History, 16.46.110: the willow drops its seed before it is absolutely ripe, and for that reason was called by Homer ‘seed-loser’.

2.  The waters of Lake Clitorius in Arcadia generated an aversion to wine in those who drank of them. See Pliny, Natural History, 31.13.16; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15.322ff. The combination of the two images here may symbolise minds and characters gone to the bad and producing nothing of value. See Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 268: “As willow-seed, shed before it ripens, is not only itself barren but when used as a drug causes barrenness in women by preventing conception, so the words of those who teach before they have truly learnt sense not only make them no better in themselves, but corrupt their audience and render it unteachable”; and p. 230: “Those who have drunk of the Clitorian Lake develop a distaste for wine, and those who have once tasted poetry reject the counsels of philosophy, or the other way round. Equally, those who gorge themselves with fashionable pleasures reject those satisfactions which are honourable and genuine.”


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  • sobriety; 'Sobrietà', 'Astinenza' (Ripa) [31B59] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Non-procreation (+ emblematical representation of concept) [58AA2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME [61D(CLITOR)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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Section: LES ARBRES. View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R1v p258]

Le Chesne.[1]

L’arbre à Jova qui tout garde, & maintient.
Chappeau de Chesne au gardeur appartient.[2]

Coronne Civique de Chesne estoit baillée par honneur
à celuy, qui avoit gardé, & sauvé un citoyen de mort.
Car le Chesne est consacré à Jupiter, ou Jova (qui
est Dieu) lequel tout garde, & entretient.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R2r p259]

AULTRE.

Le Chesne sert premier de gland,[3] puis d’ombre,
De Jupiter l’arbre ha des biens sans nombre.

Avant les bledz trouvéz, Les anciens vivoyent
de gland de Chesne, & puis se reposoyent des-
soubz en l’ombrage, & pource consacroyent le
Chesne au souverain Dieu Juppiter, qui leur don
noit d’enhaut nourriture, & repos. Ce que signifie
la beneficence de Dieu estre telle, que apres le
fruict d’icelle receu, encore en sert l’ombre, &
memoire, comme faict la loy de Moyse, & les
Prophetes, a l’Evangile.

Notes:

1.  The woodcut here is a fairly close, laterally inverted, copy of that used in the 1549 French edition.

2.  ‘a crown of oak’, awarded for saving the life of a fellow-soldier; see Pliny, Natural History, 16.3.7.

3.  For the ancient belief that early man fed on acorns see e.g. Lucretius, De Rerum natura, 5.939; Vergil, Georgics, 1.7; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.106.


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