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EMBLEMA CVI.

Quae supra nos, nihil ad nos.[1]

What lies above us is none of our business

Caucasia aeternum pendens in rupe Prometheus[2]
Diripitur sacri praepetis ungue iecur.
Et nollet fecisse hominem, figulosque perosus
Accensam rapto damnat ab igne facem.
Roduntur variis prudentum pectora curis,
Qui coeli affectant scire, deûmque vices.

Suspended for ever from the Caucasian rock, Prometheus has his liver torn by the talons of the sacred bird. He could well wish he had not made man. Hating moulders of clay, he curses the torch lit from the stolen fire. - The hearts of the learned are gnawed by various cares, the learned who strive to know the vicissitudes of heaven and the gods.

Das CVI.

Was uber uns ist geht uns nicht an.

Auff dem hohen Berg Caucaso
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L3v f70v]Ligt angeschmidt Prometheus do
Dem zerreist und frist die Leber
On underlaß der schnell Adler
Der wölt jetzt daß er gemacht hett nie
Kein Bild und wer müssig gweßn je
Hett auch das Feuwr nie gerürt an
Hetts oben im Himmel lon stahn
Der Klugen Hertzen so da wölln
Ins Himmels lauff seyn Gotts Geselln
Werden mit vil angst sorg und müh
Teglich on underlaß gplagt hie.

Notes:

1.  See Erasmus, Adagia 569, Quae supra nos nihil ad nos.

2.  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 (hence the reference to figuli, lit. ‘potters’, in l.3). 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
  • fire (one of the four elements) [21C] 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
  • Punishment; 'Castigo', 'Pena', 'Punitione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57BB13(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(CAUCASUS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prometheus makes man out of clay, usually Minerva present [91E451] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prometheus steals fire from the chariot of the sun [91E4521] Search | Browse Iconclass

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EMBLEMA CIII.

Αντέρος, Amor virtutis alium cupidinem
superans.

Anteros, Love of Virtue, conquering the other Love.

Aligerum aligeroque inimicum pinxit Amori,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L1r f68r]Arcu arcum, atque ignes igne domans Nemesis.[1]
Ut quae aliis fecit patiatur, at hic puer olim
Intrepidus gestans tela,[2] miser lachrymat.
Ter spuit, inque sinus imos[3] (res mira) crematus [=crematur]
Igne ignis, furias odit Amoris Amor.

Nemesis has fashioned a form with wings, a foe to Love with his wings, subduing bow with bow and flames with flame, so that Love may suffer what he has done to others. But this boy, once so bold when he was carrying his arrows, now weeps in misery and has spat three times low on his breast. A wondrous thing - fire is being burned with fire, Love is loathing the frenzies of Love.

Das CIII.

Wider Lieb, Die Lieb der Tugend uber-
windt die ander Lieb.

Die Göttin Nemesis hat gmalt
Der Liebe Feind in gleiche gstalt
Mit Flügeln der der Lieb Feuwr und Pfeil
Mit seim Bogn und Feuwr hat in eil
Umbbracht, und wie er andrn hat gthon
Widerfert im jetzt gleicher lohn:
Dieser Knab als er trug sein Gschoß
Ward er kün jetzund flannt er bloß
Und speit in sein Gern dreymol
Ein wundersach, daß das feuwr sol
Das Feuwer verzeren, und daß die
Lieb sol hassen der lieb Brunst hie.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 16.251. The punishment of Cupid (Amor) for the hurt he inflicts on men is a common theme in Hellenistic Greek poetry and art. This punishment is often carried out by Nemesis, goddess of retribution. Cupid’s arrows and torch are taken from him and destroyed, and he himself is bound, beaten, burned, and pricked with his own arrows.

2.  ‘when he was carrying his arrows’. The corresponding line of the Greek text reads γευσάμενος βελέων, ‘getting a taste of the arrows’, and Alciato probably wrote here gustans tela, ‘tasting the arrows’, though this reading is not attested in the editions. Velius’ translation of the same poem in Selecta epigrammata reads expertus spicula, ‘experiencing the darts’.

3.  ‘has spat three times low on his breast’. This is a charm to avert the anger of Nemesis for some overbold thought or action. See Erasmus, Adagia 594, In tuum ipsius sinum inspue.


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