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Etiam ferocissimos domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

IIII.

Romanum postqum eloquium, Cicerone perempto,
Perdiderat[1] patriae pestis acerba suae:
Inscendit currus victor, iunxitque leones[2],
Compulit & durum colla subire iugum:
Magnanimos cessisse suis Antonius armis,
Ambage hac cupiens significare duces.

After Antony, that grievous bane of his country, had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero, he mounted his chariot in triumph and yoked to it lions, forcing their necks to bow to the harsh yoke, desiring by this symbolic act to indicate that great leaders had given way before his military might.

COMMENTARIA.

Popilius Lenas executor Marci Antonii eius
iussu Ciceronem proscriptum & ad mare fu-
gientem, ut minas & crudelitatem Triumvi-
rorum evitaret, insecutus est & interfecit,
apud Formias Oppidum. Caput autem Ci-
ceronis ad Marcum Antonium pertulit, Au-
thor est Appianus lib. 4. Civilium bellorum. Qui
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [a7v p14]tanquam victor currum ascendit triumpha-
lem, coniunctis duobus Leonibus illum ve-
hentibus, ut ex Plinio refert Crinitus lib. 16. ca. 10.
de honesta disciplina significare volens,[3] uti fe-
rocissimos Leones, sic etiam plurimos ma-
gnanimos & potentes principes sibi obedi-
re, seque victos esse. Notatur hc insolentia
& superbia quae semper & natura victoriae
inest, ut exclamat Cicero, in Orationibus pro
Marco Marcello. Quemadmodum autem in ab-
scissum Ciceronis caput ignominios saevie-
rint Marcus Antonius & uxor eius, recitat idem
Crinitus lib. 1. cap. 8.

Notes:

1. ‘had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero’. Cicero was considered Rome’s greatest orator - his name was held by many to be synonymous with eloquence itself; see Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 10.1.112. Mark Antony had Cicero murdered in 43 BC in revenge for his scathing attacks in the fourteen ‘Philippic’ orations. See Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae 6.17.

2. Cf. Pliny, Natural History 8.21.55: Antony was the first to yoke lions to a chariot in Rome...by this unnatural sight giving people to understand that noble spirits were at that time bowing to the yoke.

3. Petrus Crinitus (Pietro Riccio), Commentarii de honesta disciplina. Crinitus was a Florentine humanist (d. 1507) whose Latin nickname derived from the Latin for ‘curly’ in Italian (riccio).


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