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QUAE SUPRA NOS, NIHIL
ad nos.[1]

What lies above us is none of our business

Emblema 101.

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 caeli affectant scire, Deumque 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.

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 CV.

In oblivionem patriae.

Forgetting one’s country

Iam dudum missa patria, oblitusque tuorum,
Quos tibi seu sanguis, sive paravit amor.
Romam habitas: nec cura domum subit ulla reverti.
Aeternae tantùm te capit urbis honos.
Sic Ithacûm praemissa manus[1] dulcedine loci [=loti]
Liquerat & patriam, liquerat atque ducem.

You have long since given up your country and, forgetful of your own people given you by blood or love, you dwell in Rome, and no thought of returning home ever occurs to you. Only the glory of the eternal city possesses you. Even so the advance party of Ithacans, through the sweetness of the lotus, had abandoned homeland and abandoned leader too.

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Das CV.

Wider die vergessenheit deß Vat-
terlands.

Dein Heimat und Vatterland hast
Ein lange zeit verlassen fast
Und deren gar vergessen schier
Die dein freundt warn und verwandt dir.
Zu Rom wonstu und nit gedenckst
Daß du auch einmal zu hauß lendst
Sonder die schön zierd und gestalt
Helt dich allein auff der Statt alt
Also Ulyssis außgschickt rot
Als sie versuchen thet das Lot
Verliessen irn Obersten Herrn
Und gedachten nit heim zu kern.

Notes:

1.  Ithacum...manus, ‘party of Ithacans’. See Homer, Odyssey 9.83ff. for the story of Ulysses’ crew (men from the island of Ithaca) in the land of the Lotus Eaters, where those who ate the lotus had no more thought of returning home. See Erasmus, Adagia 1662 Lotum gustavit.


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