Wednesday, 14 December 2016

23.03.2016 suspiciendo despicio/despiciendo suspicio



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 "A clear leitmotiv runs through Brahe's chemistry, both cosmological and medical-namely, belief in a correspondence between the powers and effects of phenomena in the heavens and those of things that grow on and under the earth. This relationship is expressed in a pair of vignettes and mottoes that are prominently displayed on the title page and colophon of the Astronomiae instauratae mechanica. One vignette shows a godlike figure, a putto at his side, who gazes skyward while leaning on a star globe with a pair of compasses in his hand; it carries the motto suspiciendo despicio ("in looking up, I look down"). The corresponding vignette of the colophon shows the godlike figure reclining on a drape-covered mound, holding some herbs, while the snake of Aesculapius coils round his arm; the putto, meantime, pulls aside the cover and peers underground at some furnaces and chemical apparatus. The motto now reads despiciendo suspicio ("in looking down, I look up").29 Thus for Brahe the observation and contemplation of the heavens was complemented by the chemical scrutiny of the fruits of the terrestrial world-so much so that he referred to chemistry as "terrestrial astronomy." 
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Source: Laboratory Design and the Aim of Science, Andreas Libavius versus Tycho Brahe, by Owen Hannaway* (*Department of Science, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland), page 597 and 598; 
http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic472431.files/WK3Hannaway.pdf



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"Brahe's emblems had short inscriptions taken from the 'Emerald Tablet'that was attributed to Hermes Trismegistus; for Astronomia 'Suspiciendo Despicio' ('As I look up, I look inot the depths') and for Chymia 'Despiciendo Suspicio' ('As I look down, I look upwards'). "
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Source: The Emblem in Scandinavia and the Baltic, Edited by Simon McKeown, Mara R. Wade; Glasgow: Glasgow Emblem Studies: 2006;
https://books.google.ch



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