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EMBLEMA CLXXIX [=178] .

Vespertilio.

The bat

Assumpsisse suum volucri ex Meneide nomen,[1]
Socraticum authores Choerephoonta 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.

Das CLXXIX [=178] .

Fledermauß.

Die Gschichtschreiber geben zuverston
Daß der Socratisch Cherophon
Sein namen empfangen hab drauß
Von der Meneischen Fledermauß
Ein Mann so hat ein braun angsicht
Und ein stimm zu zischen gericht
Disen Menschen man mercken kan
Mit diesem zeichen, und verstan.

Notes:

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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    • flying mammals: bat [25F28(BAT)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • 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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    Superbia.

    Pride

    LXII.

    En statuae statua,[1] & ductum de marmore marmor
    Se conferre deis ausa procax Niobe. [2]
    Est vitium muliebre superbia, & arguit oris
    Duritiem, ac sensus, qualis inest lapidi.

    Behold a statue of a statue, marble carved from marble, insolent Niobe, who dared to set herself up against the gods. Pride is a woman’s vice, and shows hardness of face and feeling, such as exists in a stone.

    Notes:

    1.  According to the best-known story of her fate, Niobe was turned to stone. For the statue of Niobe by Praxiteles, see Ausonius, Epigrams, 63.2 and Anthologia Graeca, 16.130, a much translated epigram, which seems to have been in Alciato’s thoughts here.

    2.  Niobe in her pride boasted that having 12 (or 14) children, she was superior to Lato with just two, i.e. Apollo and Diana. These gods in revenge slew all her children and in her grief Niobe hardened into a rock; see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.165ff. See further, Erasmus, Adagia, 2233, ‘Niobes mala’.



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