I read a literary text originally written in Portuguese, The monologue of hands by Giuseppe Ghiaroni. I can't understand this passage in Latin :

O autor do "Homo Rebus" lembra que a mão foi o primeiro prato para o alimento e o primeiro copo para a bebida.

The author of "Homo Rebus" reminds us that the hand was the first plate for food and the first glass for beverage. [my translation]

First I thought Homo Rebus was the title of a Latin literary work. But I couldn't find any work with this title.

Is there any famous passage in Latin language with the expression homo rebus that refers to the hand ?

  • 1
    Welcome to the site! Googling finds painting(s) by that name, but it does not make much sense as Latin, at least not without context. "Man with things"? There is also the modern word rebus, which is a kind of picture-word puzzle.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 1:38
  • @Cerberus Thanks a lot!
    – ovide
    Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 1:46
  • @Cerberus somehow it sounds to me like man for things, like made for stuff, or bound to care for stuff.
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 19, 2022 at 19:51
  • @Rafael: I suppose that makes sense when you add est. I think in rebus is an expression, though, meaning something like "rich"? But perhaps I am confusing things between languages.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Aug 20, 2022 at 1:40
  • I don't really know... but it's worth noting that Latin actually omits est.
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 20, 2022 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


The auctor intellectualis of Homo Rebus is Milivoj Bijelić, a Croatian artist born in 1951.

It is an image, not a literary work.

Homo Rebus

I found a reference on this website: https://nmmu.hr/en/2022/07/20/milivoj-bijelic-denkbild-strikte-observanz-2002-2/

Bijelić establishes his own sign Homo rebus that he shapes into an enigmatic pictogram, a paraphrase of Da Vinci’s man with outstretched limbs which he modulates in paintings, painting-objects and installations (45th Venice Biennale, 1993). This sign is the measure of all things, and transformed into an artistic matrix it is an image of the figure and the figure of an image, a code and a sign of the human figure in general.

If you open the site, the image shows up on the right. A little further down we find:

He participated in the Biennial exhibitions in Saõ Paolo [sic] in 1982 [...]

This makes it plausible that Giuseppe Ghiaroni (1919-2008), being Brazilian, has seen Bijelić' work. It does not explain the link between the image and the poem, but that might be something for another forum.

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