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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C4r p39]

Custodiendas virgines.

Girls must be guarded

EMBLEMA XXII.

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’ 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.

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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C3v p38]

In deprehensum.

Caught.

EMBLEMA XXI.

Iamdudum quacumque. fugis, te persequor: at nunc
Cassibus in nostris denique captus ades.
Amplius haud poteris vires eludere nostras:
Ficulno anguillam strinximus in folio.[1]

For a long time now I have been pursuing you wherever you flee; but now you are here, at long last caught in our net. You will no longer be able to elude our power - we have gripped the eel tight in a fig-leaf.

Notes:

1.  The rough surface of the fig-leaf made it suitable for gripping slippery objects. See Erasmus, Adagia 395, Folio ficulno tenes anguillam.


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