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Virtuti fortuna comes.

Good fortune attendant on virtue

XVIII.

Anguibus implicitis geminis caduceus[1] alis.
Inter Amaltheae cornua[2] rectus adest.
Pollentes sic mente viros fandique peritos
Indicat, ut rerum copia multa beet.

The caduceus, with entwined snakes and twin wings, stands upright between the horns of Amalthea. It thus indicates how material wealth blesses men of powerful intellect, skilled in speaking.

COMMENTARIA.

Mercurius filius Iovis & Maiae, orationis
& eloquentiae Deus, Deorumque interpres &
nuntius habitus fuit. hic virgam ab Apolline
dono acceperat, qua ad dissidia & conten-
tiones tollendas utebatur, eam nanque manu
gerens cm in Arcadiam proficisceretur, in-
venit duos Dracones simul ligatos & inter
se mutu pugnantes: ille autem virgam in-
terposuit. Quo facto repent praelium direm-
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [c2r p35]ptum fuit, hinc illam pacis gratia constitutam
esse dixit, deinde Aegyptii hanc virgam cir-
cundatam duobus Draconibus masculo &
foemella figuraverunt, & Caduceum appella-
runt, iunctis etiam alis & galero eiusdem Mer-
curii, de quo copiosius Perottus,[3] Macrobius lib.
1. Saturnaliae & praeter has plures virtutes enar-
rat Virgilius lib. 4. Aeneidos. Stat autem caduceus
erectus inter cornua Amaltheae, quae fabula
nonnullis sic narratur. Rhea cm Iovem pe-
perisset, metu patris illum infantulum in Cre-
ta
insula occultavit, ibique duae Nymphae illum
nutricaverunt, lacte cuiusdam caprae cui no-
men erat Amalthea: Iupiter ver iam adul-
tus, ut gratiam referret iis quibus nutritus
fuerat, ipsam capram inter sydera retulit, quae
etiam nunc capra coelestis appellatur, huius
alterum cornu Nymphis nutricibus dedit, in
praemium officii in eum collati, ea imbutum
virtute ut quicquid illae vellent seu optassent,
id statim ex eo cornu abundanter prosiliret.
Ad hunc fer modum Erasmus in Chyliadibus Ali-
ter tamen Ovidius lib. 9. Metamorphoseon recitant [=recitat] . Haec
igitur innuit pictura, viris eloquentibus & in-
geniosis qui per Mercurii sceptrum seu Ca-
duceum significantur, Copiae cornu, id est,
felicem & prosperam fortunam omniumque
rerum abundantiam facile adiungi.

Notes:

1. This was the herald’s staff, attribute of Mercury, god of eloquence, intellectual pursuits and financial success. The entwined serpents are a symbol of peace. See Pliny Natural History 29.12.54. The caduceus was Alciato’s personal device and was carved on his tomb at Pavia.

2. Amalthea was the she-goat that suckled the infant Jupiter. Her horn became the cornucopia, the horn of plenty. See Erasmus, Adagia 502, Copiae cornu.

3. Nicolaus Perottus (Niccolo Perotti), 1429-80; humanist and author of grammars for teaching Latin; taught at the University of Bologna. He was also Archbishop of Siponto, 1458, Papal governor of Southern Italy, and secretary and biographer of Cardinal Bessarion.


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  • Eloquence; 'Eloquenza', 'Fermezza & Gravit� dell'Oratione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Success; 'Evento buono' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Virtuousness; 'Amor di Virt�', 'Attione virtuosa', 'Guida sicura de' veri honori', 'Virt�', 'Virt� insuperabile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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