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EMBLEMA CXLIIII.

Sapientia humana stultitia est apud
Deum.[1]

The Wisdom of Man is folly to God

Quid dicam? quónam hoc compellem nomine monstrum
Biforme: quod non est homo, nec est draco?[2]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O1v f92v]Sed sine vir pedibus, summis sine partibus anguis,
Vir anguipes dici, & homiceps anguis potest.
Anguem pedit homo, hominem eructavit & anguis
Nec finis hominis est, initium nec est ferae.
Sic olim Cecrops[3] doctis regnavit Athenis,
Sic & gigantes terra mater protulit.
Haec vafrum species, sed relligione carentem,
Terrena tantum quique curet,[4] indicat.[5]

What shall I say? By what name call this two-fold monster, that is neither man nor snake? A man without feet, a snake without its upper parts - this can be called a snake-footed man, a man-headed snake. The man farts a snake, the snake has vomited a man, the man has no end, the beast no beginning. In such a form did Cecrops once rule in learned Athens, in such a form did Mother Earth once bring forth the Giants. This image indicates a clever man, but one without religion, who cares only for the things of the earth.

Das CXLIIII.

Menschen Weißheit ist vor Gott ein
Torheit.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O2r f93r]

Was soll ich sagen? Und mit was
Namen soll ich doch nennen das
Zweigstaltig wunder und Meerfein
Daß kein Mensch noch kein Drack kan seyn
Sonder on Füß ist es ein Mann
On das obertheil ein Schlang ran
Kan genannt werden ein Menschkopff geschlang
Und ein Schlangnfüssiger Mann lang
Ein Mensch ein Schlangen gefeißt hat
Ein Schlang ein Menschen hrauß kotzt drat
Das ende dem Menschen nit gleicht
Noch der anfang dem Thier so schleicht
Also hat vor zeiten gregiert
Zu Athen der Cecrops und gfürt
Also hat die Mutter die Erd
Die starcken Risen herfür bschert
Diese gstalt zeigt an und bedeut
Gar lustig und geschwinde Leut
Die seind on all forcht Gottes, doch
Nur dem zeitlichen stellen noch.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is based on Anthologia Graeca, 16.115-6, descriptions of a hippocentaur, the second of which was translated by Alciato at Sel. Ep. p.335. Metre: dactylic hexameters paired with iambic senarii.

2.  Variant reading: monstrum? Biforme quod..., ‘monster? A two-fold thing, that is neither ...’.

3.  Cecrops, the mythical wise first king of Athens, the city of Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom. Cecrops, like the Giants (l.8) was born of the earth and was represented as half-man, half snake.

4.  Terrena tantum quique curet, ‘who cares only for the things of earth’. See Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.20.9: the fact that the Giants’ bodies terminated as snakes shows that they had not a single thought that was right or elevated, but that their life in all its comings and goings tended to what was base.

5.  Variant reading: Haec vafrum est species, sed relligione carentem...indicans, ‘This is an image of clever men, but indicating one without religion’.


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EMBLEMA CXLIII.

Ficta religio.

False religion.

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Regali residens meretrix pulcherrima sella,[1]
Purpureo insignem gestat honore peplum,
Omnibus & latices pleno è cratere propinat,
At circum cubitans ebria turba iacet.
Sic Babylona notant, quae gentes illice forma,
Et ficta stolidas relligione capit.

A beauteous harlot reclining on a royal seat wears a robe resplendent with purple, the badge of honour. From a full bowl she passes round the cup of drink to all, and round about the drunken crowd sprawls in stupor. Thus they indicate Babylon, who with her alluring beauty takes in the doltish nations with false religion.

Das CXLIII.

Erdachter Gottsdienst.

Auff einem Königlichen sitz
Ein schöne Hur hoch empor sitzt
Die hat auff irm haupt ein Schleyr stohn
Von köstlichem Purpur für ein Kron
Sie beut allen zu trincken dar
Ein Credentz mit schönem safft klar
Und umb sie rumb da ligt ein rott
Die sich bey ir voll gsoffen hatt
Also wirt Babylon gemalt
Welche durch ir schöne gestalt
Und ertichten Gottsdienst lockt, reitzt,
Die törchten Leut facht also gbeitzt.

Notes:

1.  See Revelation 17:3 ff., which has influenced the illustration.


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