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The bat

Emblema lxi.

Assumpsisse suum volucri ex Mineide nomen,[1]
Socraticum autores Chaerephoonta ferunt.[2]
Fusca viro facies, & stridens vocula, tali
Hunc hominem potuit commaculare nota.

Writers tell us that Chaerephon, Socrates’ follower, got his particular name from the winged daughter of Minyas. It was his sallow complexion and squeaky little voice that gave rise to such a slur to sully his reputation.

CHaerephon Atheniensis, Socratis discipulus tam
pertinaciter libris incubuit, ut nocturnis lucu-
brationibus extenuatus maximum pallorem ma-
ciémque contraxerit, adeò ut vulgari ioco Noctua,
aut ut aliis placet, Vespertilio nominaretur. Id pro-
verbii legere est apud Aristophanem, in macilen-
tum & pallore confectum.

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Le Chauvesouris.

ON dit que Cherephon par un brocard commun
Chauvesouris fut dit & nommé d’un chacun:
Possible que la voix petite, & le visage
Un peu brun, ont donné ce blasme au personnage.

CHerephon Athenien, disciple de So-
, estudia si fort opiniastrement,
de maniere qu’estant extenué des veilles no-
cturnes, devint si palle & sec, qu’on l’appel-
la chouette, ou chauvesouris, par un soubri-
quet. C’est un proverbe qui se treuve dans
Aristophane, contre un qui est tout extenué
& palle.


1.  For the transformation of the daughters of Minyas (the founder of the earliest race of Greeks) into bats - for refusing to worship Dionysus - see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.389ff.

2.  Chaerophon, a distinguished disciple of Socrates, was nick-named ‘The Bat’ and ‘Boxwood’ for his pale complexion and poor health, supposedly brought on by excessive study. See Aristophanes, Aves, 1564; Philostratus, Vitae sophistarum, 1.482.

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  • study and diversion [49A1] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • studying at night [49B4411] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Minyas' daughters changed into bats: having aroused Bacchus' anger by weaving instead of worshipping him, the daughters of Minyas, Leuconoe (Leucippe), Alcithoe and Arsippe, are changed into bats by the god (Ovid, Metamorphoses IV 399) [97CC7] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(CHAEREPHON)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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