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EMBLEMA LXXV.

Custodiendas virgines.

Girls must be guarded

Vera haec effigies[1] innuptae est Palladis: eius
Hic Draco, qui dominae constitit ante pedes.
Cur divae comes hoc animal? Custodia rerum,
Huic data: sic lucos, sacraque templa colit.[2]
Innuptas opus est cura asservare puellas
Pervigili, laqueos undique tendit amor.[3]

This is the true image of virgin Pallas. Her snake is here, positioned at his mistress’s feet. Why does this creature accompany the goddess? The task of guarding things was entrusted to it, and so it looks after groves and sacred temples. It is necessary to guard unmarried girls with ever-watchful care - Love lays his snares on every side.

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Das LXXV.

Jungfrauwen sol man bewaren.

Diß ist das Bild abconterfeyt
Der Göttin Pallas ongefreyt
Diß ist der Drach so allzeit stat
Vor seiner Frauwen Füsse trat
Warumb wirt dieses Thier gegebn
Der Göttin zu eim gferten ebn?
Diß Göttin ist ubers gut gsetzt
Also bewohnts Kirchn und dWeld stets
Mit grossem fleiß und stäter hut
Mann hüten sol der Meidlin gut
So noch seind Jungfrauwen ungefreit
Dann die Lieb legt in strick allzeit.

Notes:

1.  ‘Image of virgin Pallas’. Pallas Athene, virgin goddess and protectress of the city of Athens, represented with helmet, spear and aegis. Pallas Athene was equated with Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom. Pausanias, Periegesis 1.24.7 mentions such a statue with a snake.

2.  See Macrobius, Saturnalia 1.20.3: ‘the snake with its keen and ever-watchful sight has assigned to it the custodianship of temples, shrines, oracles and treasures.’ Ancient Greek holy sites often housed a snake.

3.  ‘Love lays his snares on every side’ - a proverbial saying.


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EMBLEMA LXXVI.

In pudoris statuam.

A statue of Modesty

Penelope desponsa sequi cupiebat Ulyssem,
Ni secum Icarius mallet habere Pater.[1]
Ille Ithacam, hic offert Sparten, manet anxia virgo.
Hinc Pater, inde viri mutuus urget amor.
Ergò sedens velat vultus, obnubit ocellos,
Ista verecundi signa pudoris erant.
Queis sibi praelatum Icarius cognovit Ulyssem,
Hocque pudori aram schemate constituit.[2]

When Penelope was betrothed, she wished to go with Ulysses, except that her father Icarius would have preferred to keep her with him. Ulysses offers Ithaca, her father Sparta. The girl is distressed: on opposite sides her father and the mutual love between her and her man make their claims on her. So she sits and covers her face, veils her eyes - those were the signs of seemly modesty. By them Icarius knew that Ulysses was preferred to himself, and he set up an altar to Modesty in this form.

Das LXXVI.

Der zucht und scham Bildtnuß.

Penelope wolt gern die Braut
Nachziehn Ulyssi dems vertraut
War, wo lieber bey im nicht hat
Icarius ir Vatter ghat
Der bott ir an Sparten sein Reich
Jenr aber Itacam deßgleich
Zweiffelhafftig die Jungfrauw wart
Da sVatters, dort sManns lieb zwang hart
Derhalben sie sitzend ir gsicht
Und Augn bedeckt undersich richt
Das war ein zeichen zu der zeit
Der reinen züchtigen schamheit
Daran Icarius verstöndt
Daß sie Ulyssi bessers göndt
Und richtet auff der scham gar bäld
Ein Altar mit diesem Gemäld.

Notes:

1.  Some editions give a variant reading, Ni secus Icarius ..., ‘except that ... Icarius would have preferred to have it otherwise’.

2.  See Pausanias, Periegesis, 3.20.10, for this statue and the story behind it.


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