Forward | Back | Emblem 104 | Commentary | Greek Anthology | Welcome Page



Alciato Emblem 104: Source in Greek Anthology 16.107 (trans Paton, V, 219)

Julianus
On a Bronze Statue of Icarus which stood in a Bath

Icarus, wax caused thy death, and now by wax the worker in bronze has restored thee to thy shape. But beat not thy wings in the air, lest thou fall from the sky and give thy name to the bath.

In the preceding, the waxen wings caused the death of the original Icarus, and now the sculptor's wax (the wax he used to make the model for the bronze cast) has restored him. When he says that Icarus will give his "name to the bath" he is making an ironic reference to the Icarian Sea, which had been named after Icarus. Immediately following this epigram in the Greek Anthology there is another, 16.108 (trans Paton, V, 221), by the same author, on the same subject:
Icarus, remember thou art of bronze, and let neither art nor the pair of wings on thy shoulders delude thee; for if, when alive, thou didst fall into the depths of the sea, how canst thou wish to fly when formed of bronze?