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Ex pace ubertas.

Prosperity as the result of peace

XIX.

Grandibus ex spicis tenues contexe corollas,
Quas circum alterno palmite vitis eat.
His comptae Alcyones[1] tranquilli in marmoris unda
Nidificant: pullos involucresque fovent.
Laetus erit Cereri, Baccho quoque[2] fertilis annus,
Aequorei si rex alitis instar[3] erit.

From fat ears of corn weave supple garlands, and let the vine encircle them with alternating stems. Decked out with these the halcyon birds build their nests on the wave of the glassy sea, and cherish their unfledged chicks. - The year will be rich for Ceres and fertile for Bacchus too, if the king is the image of the bird of the sea.

COMMENTARIA.

Contextus, ut fingit autor, parvus nidus ex
magnis tritici spicis, ramis etiam & fructibus
vitis circumdatus in Mari tranquillo super mar
more positus, conveniens erit ut in eo nidi-
ficent Alcyones, alis Alcedines: aves sunt ma
ritimae, quae hyberno frigidissimo tempore ma
ximis tempestatibus existentibus in Mari pa-
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [c3r p37]riunt Tantam autem gratiam divinitus habet
illa avicula, ut statim cm ova ponat, omnes
venti ac procellae mitescant, placidum denique &
tranquillum reddatur mare per 14. dies, quos &
nautae diligenter observant, eo tempore nullam
penitus tempestatem verentes. Autores sunt
Ovidius lib. 11. Metamorphoseon Plautus in Peonulo, Plinius
lib. 10. cap. 32. Ambrosius lib. hezameroni Aelianus
etiam lib. 15. cap. 19. historiae animalium. Similis
his aviculis si erit Rex, suos subditos in pace
& tranquillitate regens & fovens. Eius etiam
tempora Cerere & Bacho, tritico & vino cae-
terisque rebus necessariis erunt fertilissima. Ce-
res enim inventrix frugum, Bachus ver vini
plantator primus fuit.

Notes:

1. ‘halcyon birds’. For these see Aelian, De natura animalium 1.36; 9.17; Pliny, Natural History. 10.47.89-91; and for the legend of their transformation, Ovid, Metamorphoses 11, 410ff, esp. 728ff. Halcyons were supposed to build a nest and launch it on the sea at a time of calm peaceful weather provided for them about the time of the winter solstice. See Erasmus, Adagia 1552, Halcedonia sunt apud forum.

2. ‘for Ceres...and for Bacchus too’, i.e. rich with crops of corn and wine.

3. ‘is the image of the bird of the sea’, i.e. diffusing peace, love and concord. Before their metamorphosis into seabirds, Alcyone and her husband were a deeply loving royal couple ruling a peaceful country. This love persisted after the change, symbolised by the calm weather associated with their nesting.


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