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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n1v p194]

Cavendum à meretricibus.

Beware of whores

XVI.

Sole satae Circes tam magna potentia fertur,
Verterit ut multos in nova monstra viros.
Testis equus domitor Picus,[1] tum Scylla biformis,[2]
Atque Ithaci postquam vina bibere sues.[3]
Indicat illustri meretricem nomine Circe, [4]
Et rationem animi perdere, quisquis amat.

So great, we are told, was the power of Circe, daughter of the Sun, that she turned many persons into new monstrous shapes. A witness to this is Picus, tamer of horses, and Scylla with her double form, and the Ithacans who became pigs after drinking the wine. Circe with her famous name indicates a whore and shows that any man who loves such a one loses his reason.

Notes:

1.  Picus, an Italian king, a breeder of horses, turned into a woodpecker by Circe. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.320ff.

2.  Scylla was transformed into a figure that was half girl, half barking dogs. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.51ff. Cf. Emblem 68 ([A50a068]).

3.  Ithacans: See Homer, Odyssey, 10.229ff. for the story of Ulysses’ sailors (from the island of Ithaca), who were turned into pigs by Circe with a magic potion of wine.

4.  Indicat...meretricem: ‘indicates a whore’. See Anthologia Graeca, 10.50 for this rationalisation of the Circe story.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3r p181]

    La renommee des preux est immor-
    telle.

    XVII.

    D’Achille le tumbeau au Sigé promontoire,[1]
    Si souvent visité par la blanche Thetis,[2]
    D’amaranthe est couvert tousjours verd & exquis:[3]
    Car jamais des Heros ne se flestrit la gloire.
    Il fut rempar aux Grecs, à Hector mort amere:
    Homere autant luy doit, comme il doit à Homere.[4]

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3v p182]

    Commentaires.

    L’inscription de cest embleme luy sert de commen-
    taire. Amaranthe est une herbe qui ne flestrit jamais.
    C’est pourquoy on ne revestit les sepulchres des preux
    & vaillans Capitaines. Thetis est tousjours en l’eau.
    Et pource on la surnomme blanche, & aux pieds
    blancs. Achille doit beaucoup à Homere, pource qu’il
    l’a immortalisé par sa docte poësie: Mais Homere ne
    doit pas peu à Achille, puis qu’il l’a fourni de si digne
    subject & argument pour pouvoir desployer les thre-
    sors de son eloquence.

    Notes:

    1.  ‘Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. Achilles, the greatest warrior on the Greek side in the Trojan War. Rhoeteum was a promontory on the Trojan coast (though normally associated with the tomb of Ajax).

    2.  Thetis, a sea-nymph, mother of Achilles, called ‘silver-footed’ by Homer.

    3.  amaranthe: the name of the plant means ‘never-fading’. See Pliny, Natural History, 21.23.47.

    4.  Homer, who told in the Iliad the famous story of Achilles’ wrath and refusal to fight during the Trojan War, and of his eventual slaying of Hector, the chief warrior on the Trojan side. (For which see [FALd057]). For the sentiment that great deeds need to be sung in order not to be forgotten, see Horace, Odes, 4.8.20ff; and that great literature needs great themes, see Tacitus, Dialogus de oratoribus, 37.


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      • extinct, 'historical' peoples (with NAME) (+ costume) [32B2(GREEK)(+3)] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • laying flowers or wreath on grave [42E441] Search | Browse Iconclass
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