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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[c8r p47]




In bellum civile duces cým Roma pararet,
Viribus & caderet Martia terra[1] suis:[2]
Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[c8v p48]Mos fuit in partes turmis coŽuntibus hasdem,
Coniunctas dextras[3] mutua dona dari.
Foederis haec species, id habet Concordia signum,
Ut quos iungit amor, iungat & ipsa manus.

When Rome was marshalling her generals to fight in civil war and that martial land was being destroyed by her own might, it was the custom for squadrons coming together on the same side to exchange joined right hands as gifts. This is a token of alliance; concord has this for a sign - those whom affection joins the hand joins also.


Mos olim erat apud Romanos praesertim
quando bella civilia gerebant, ut diversarum
copiarum duces sese simul iungere volentes,
prius invicem dextram portigerent in signum
foederis & integrae fidei servandae, ut plures
retulere autores. Dextra fidei testis, inquit Ci-
. Philippica 2. Quod & hodie Germanis fre-
quenter in usu est, ut vel se mutuÚ salutantes.
vel certi quidpiam promittentes, vel etiam
singularem amorem aut sinceram fidem de-
monstrare volentes, dextram porrigant.
Hoc erat & priscis, foederis atque con-
cordiae indicium , ut qui mutuo
sese amore amplectuntur,
etiam manibus sic auxi-
lio atque ope con


1.‘Martial land’, a reference not only to Rome’s bellicose history but to the legend that Rome’s founder Romulus was the son of Mars, the god of war.

2.Cf. Horace, Epodes 16.2, ‘Rome is being destroyed by her own might’ (written during the civil conflicts of 41 BC).

3.These were fashioned in some kind of metal for use as tokens of friendship; see e.g. Tacitus, The Histories 1.54 and 2.8, (referring to another time of civil conflict, 69 - 70 AD). Alciato worked on the text of Tacitus and wrote some annotations.

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