Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K1v f60v]

EMBLEMA XCIIII.

Sirenes.

Sirens

Absque alis volucres, & cruribus absque puellae,
Rostro absque & pisces, qui tamen ore canant:
Quis putet esse ullos? iungi haec natura negavit.
Sirenes fieri, sed potuisse docent.[1]
Illicitum est mulier, quae in piscem desinit atrum,[2]
Plurima quòd secum monstra libido vehit.
Aspectu, verbis, animi candore, trahuntur,
Parthenope, Ligia, Leucosiaque[3] viri.
Has musae explumant,[4] has atque illudit Ulysses,[5]
Scilicet est doctis cum meretrice nihil.

Birds without wings, girls without legs, fish without snouts, yet singing with their mouths - who would think such creatures exist? Nature said such things could not be combined, but the Sirens show that it could happen. Woman is an enticement, and she ends in a black fish, because lust brings many monstrous things in its train. By looks, by words, by radiant charm, men are drawn on, by Parthenope, by Ligeia and by Leucosia. These the Muses strip of their feathers, these Ulysses also dupes. The wise of course have no truck with a whore.

Das XCIIII.

Meerweiblin.

Es seind Vögel on Fettich noch
Es seind Fisch on Meuler und Roch
Darzu Jungfrauwen one Füß
Und singen doch gar lieblich süß
Wer wolt aber glauben das solchs wer?
Dweils nit kompt von der Natur her
Aber das solchs kündt zugehn
Gebens die Siren zuverstehn
Ein solch Lockvogel ist ein Weib
Die sich end in ein grassen Leib
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K2r f61r] Eins Fischs, dann die büberey geil
Mit sich schleppt vil wusts und unheil
Parthenope und Ligia
Darzu die schön Leucosia
Reitzen die Mann mit iren Gsicht
Lieblicher stimm und Hertzen ticht
Diese machen die Muse Blut
Ulysses auch verspotten thut
Dann die Glehrten haben nichts gmein
Mit den schendtlichen Hurn unrein.

Notes:

1.  The Sirens, creatures that lured passing sailors to destruction with their entrancing song, are described in Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5.552ff. as having the faces of girls and the wings and feet of birds. The fish-tail seems to be added from the description of Scylla, Vergil, Aeneid, 3.427. The ‘woman ending in a black fish’ echoes Horace, Ars Poetica, ‘ut...atrum desinat in piscem mulier’, indicating an incongruous juxtaposition.

2.  Variant reading: Illicitum est, ‘That which is forbidden’.

3.  Various names for the Sirens are recorded. The ones given here mean ‘Maidenface’, ‘Sweet sounding’, ‘Bright’. The Sirens represent snares and temptation.

4.  The Sirens were defeated in a contest with the Muses and stripped of their wings. See Pausanias, Periegesis, 9.34.2. The Muses represent learning.

5.  See Homer, Odyssey, 12.39ff. and 165ff. for Ulysses’ escape from the Sirens. After this the Sirens killed themselves. Ulysses becomes the type of the wise man who escapes temptation through self-control.


Related Emblems

Show related emblems Show related emblems

Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


Iconclass Keywords

Relating to the image:

    Relating to the text:

    Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

    Single Emblem View

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I8v f59v]

    EMBLEMA XCII.

    Lascivia.

    Wantonness

    Problema.

    A problem.

    Delicias & molliciem mus creditur albus
    Arguere, at ratio non sat aperta mihi est.[1]
    An quod ei natura salax & multa libido est,
    Ornat Romanas an quia pelle nurus
    Sarmaticum murem vocitant plerique zibellum[2]
    Et celebris suavi est unguine muscus Arabs.[3]

    The white mouse is supposed to represent self-indulgence and licentiousness, but the reason is not very clear to me. Is it because it is highly sexed and has strong sexual appetities? Or because it adorns Roman women with its fur? Many people call the civet-cat the Sarmatian mouse, and famous for its sweet oil is the Arabian musk.

    Das XCII.

    Mutwilligkeit.[4]

    Man helts darfür das deß verthur
    Deß weicheit und wollustes fur
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K1r f60r] Ein anzeigung und gmerck, auß was
    Ursach aber ist mir nit kundt das
    Entweders das von Natur Geil?
    Ist brunstsüchtig und der lieb feil?
    Oder dieweil die Römischen Bräut
    Sich zieren thun in diese Heut?
    Ein Mossauwisch Wißlin zu handt
    Gmeinlich jetzt wirt ein Zobel gnannt
    Seins Edlen Gruchs auch wirt grümbt frey
    Der Bisam auß der Barbarey.

    Notes:

    1.  The white mouse was a proverbial example of the effeminate and the promiscuous. See the Suda s.v. mus, and Apostolius, Proverbs, 11,87, who also reports its sexual proclivities.

    2.  zibellum, ‘civet cat’, one source of musk, an ingredient in many perfumes. Sarmatia was the region north of the Black Sea.

    3.  murem...muscus, ‘mouse...musk’. The words ‘mouse’ and ‘musk’ (late Latin muscus) are connected, from the mouse-shaped sac of the male animals which produce musk. Some plants have a musky smell. Muscus also means ‘moss’ - Arabia was famous for plants which produced aromatic gums (e.g. incense and nard).

    4.  The German in certain parts of this emblem is particularly puzzling.


    Related Emblems

    Show related emblems Show related emblems

    Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


    Iconclass Keywords

    Relating to the image:

      Relating to the text:

      Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

       

      Back to top