Gloria Immortalis Labore Parta
|| 9/13/2008 || 11:32 pm || Comments Off on Gloria Immortalis Labore Parta || ||
Immortal glory is brought forth by labor
Undying fame is born of hard work
Labor will be rewarded by eternal glory
immortal glory is the fruit of hard work and anguish
The other day I discovered a cache of digitized rare books at the Le Service Intertablissements de Cooperation Documentaire (SICD) at the Universities of Strasbourg. While skimming through Johannes Kepler‘s Prodromus dissertationum cosmographicarum, continens Mysterium cosmographicum (1622 edition), I found the emblem above on the title page of the Apologia (full page below). After this work, Kepler only published the Rudolphine Tables, which was the most up to date star catalog of the time, and Somnium, which is cited as the first literary work of science fiction.
The original emblem, copied by the publishers of the book (and by me above & below), was originally created by Hadrianus Junius 57 years earlier as EMBLEMA III in his graphic arts book Emblemata (1565). Although he currently only has a Dutch wikipedia entry, I wonder how many other books copied his various emblems?
The paragraph below from Page 86 of The French Book by Henri-Jean Martin, Paul Saenger, Nadine Saenger (1996) gives instructions on how to view this emblem:
We may to try to understand how one “read” such a page by examining as an example an emblem from Emblematum libelus of the Flemish doctor Adrianus Junius, published in 1565 by Christopher Plantin at Antwerp. The title Gloria immortalis labore parta signifies that immortal glory is the fruit of hard work and anguish. The image that expresses this idea makes use of four coded symbols: the continuous coiled snake is viewed as a sign of eternity, the crown of laurel symbolizes glory, and the shovel and terrestrial globe symbolize, respectively, labor and human endeavor. If we look above the terrestrial globe (which represents our daily reality), we notice the shovel excavating it. The snake holding the shovel’s handle in his mouth is encircled by the crown of laurels. Thus, a rhetoric of image identical to the rhetoric of discourse animates the different elements of the emblem, which were placed arbitrarily against a rustic background.
Exciting the mind by their obscurity and polysemantic nature, such illustrations seem to belong to the images employed since antiquity to facilitate memorization and to encourage the creative impulse.
Gregorius XIII – Pont(ifex) Opt(imus) Maximus / Anno Restituto MDLXXXII
|| 8/12/2008 || 2:27 pm || Comments Off on Gregorius XIII – Pont(ifex) Opt(imus) Maximus / Anno Restituto MDLXXXII || ||
“Pope Gregory XIII / Year of Restitution 1582”
Minted in 1582 to celebrate the creation of the new Roman calendar,
which later became known as the Gregorian Calendar
The other day I was reading about the Gregorian Calendar and stumbled across this coin that was created the year of the calendar reform. It features a portrait of Pope Gregory XIII on the front, and on the back this is dragon eating it’s tail surrounding a ram’s head. The dragon is called an Ouroboros, which I named my recent time lapse video, and as I mentioned before, it represents the cyclicality of time surrounded by the Egyptian Sun God Amun, who’s name means “the one who is hidden.” I find this symbology very interesting because what we consider today to be pagan symbols were used to mark the creation of their perfect calendar— the calendar we use today.
In my opinion, the Ouroboros represents the Milky Way and the Ram represents the sun, and by creating a perfect calendar the sun & the cosmos were finally set in perfect harmony. Except one thing, and in my opinion, the most important part of it all, the perfect calendar removes the importance of natural precession. As in, as the dragon devours its tail, it slowly moves in a circle, and that circle represents the earth’s slow precession backwards through the zodiac. By keeping the months standardized, the natural movement of the Earth is not accounted for in our modern calendar because the Gregorian Calendar standardized the timing of the Paschal Full Moon so all Christians could celebrate Easter on the same day. With that sense of natural drift removed, the understanding behind the Earth’s natural movement around the sun and the origins of why ancients used the Zodiac was diminished.
A good example of this natural drift is the removal of 10 days from October in 1582. Part of this was due to the Julian calendar‘s natural error, but in my opinion, a partial correction in regards to natural drift. In the last 426 years at an average drift of 1 degree every 71.6 years, the earth has precessed approximately 6 degrees since the calendar’s creation. If each sign in the Zodiac is 30 Degrees, then the earth has moved 1/5 of its way through the age since the calendar’s creaction. Interesting stuff! What’s really funny is what I posted here exactly one year ago today.
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OUROBOROS : A Sluggish Time-Lapse Short Video
|| 8/10/2008 || 11:14 pm || Comments Off on OUROBOROS : A Sluggish Time-Lapse Short Video || ||
The Ouroboros is a serpent or worm who eats its own tail. It has been used to represent many things over the ages, but it most generally symbolizes the ideas of cyclicality, unity, infinity, and for this short video, a Great Grey Slug.
Saturday night I was in Baltimore over at a friend’s house and we noticed some slugs crawling up the walls on her back porch. A couple hours later I found the slug on a metal spike and decided to bring it inside to make a time-lapse recording of the slug moving around. After watching the recording a few times, I noticed that it appeared that the slug was always moving in a circle.
Unlike previous short videos that I’ve made recently, I decided to add some music to give it some extra zest. I believe chose I Concerto in A minor, Op. 102 ‘Double Concerto’ – III. Vivace non Troppo performed by Isaac Stern, but I’m not 100% sure because the MP3 that I was given about a year ago did not have the proper citation.
Make sure to look closely at the hole in the side of the slug its a rather interesting breathing apparatus. Also, if you look even more closely, you’ll see my reflection in the pots & pans in the background.
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