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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [e2r p67]

Tandem tandem iustitia
obtinet.

At long last justice wins the day

XXXVIII.

Aeacidae Hectoreo perfusum sanguine scutum,
Quod Graecorum Ithaco concio iniqua dedit.
Iustior arripuit Neptunus in aequora iactum
Naufragio, ut dominum posset adire suum:
Littoreo Aiacis tumulo nanque intulit unda:
Quae boat, & tali voce sepulchra ferit.
Vicisti Telamoniade, tu dignior armis,
Affectus fas est cedere iustitiae.[1]

The shield of Aeacus’ descendant, stained with Hector’s blood, the unjust assembly of the Greeks awarded to the Ithacan. Neptune, showing more respect for equity, seized upon it when it was cast into the sea in the shipwreck, so that it could go to its proper master. For the wave carried it to Ajax’s tomb upon the shore, the wave which booms and smites the sepulchre with these words: ‘Son of Telamon, you have conquered. You are more worthy of these arms’. It is right for partiality to yield to justice.

COMMENTARIA.

Aeacides id est, Achilles Aeaci nepos, he-
ros Graecorum praestantissimus fuit, qui He-
ctorem
maximum Troianorum Ducem oc-
cidit Cretensis lib. 3.[2] Sed eo quoque Achille in-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [e2v p68]terfecto, Aiax Thelamonis filius post eum
fortissimus Graecorum extitit, tum quia mul-
ta praeclarè gessit tum etiam quia sibi sangui-
ne iunctus & frater patruelis fuit, eleganter
Ovidius lib. 13. Metamorphoseon Ideoque Achillis arma &
scutum sibi dari à Graecis petiit. Sed Ithacus
(idem Ulysses sic dictus ab insula Ithaca eius
patria) sua astutia & eloquentia iudicibus per-
suasit ut sibi potius Achillis arma, tanquam
magis emerito darentur: quod factum fuit.
Aiax autem hoc viso prae iracundia illataque
iniuria sibimet proprio ense mortem intulit,
ut suprà etiam Emble. 9.[3] narratum & proba-
tum fuit. Verùm ut hîc fingit Autor, iustior
fuit Neptunus (Deus Maris habitur ut passim
apud Poëtas) qui naufragio fortè facto, in
mare delapsum scutum arripuit, & undis ad
littus usque ubi sepulcrum erat Aiacis devolui
& pervehi voluit, tali undarum resonanti vo-
ce, Accipe quoniam vicisti Thelamoniade
(patronymicum est) ideoque dignior his ar-
mis, iniquum enim est ut affectus hominum
iustitiae cedant. Evenire autem solet saepesae-
pius ut veritas supprimatur, iniustum iusto
praeferatur. Sed Deus aequissimus veracissi-
musque sufferre nequit, omnia itaque temporis
progressu, vel etiam post mortem vindicat,
reintegrat, & restituit.

Notes:

1.  This is a version of Anthologia graeca 9.115-6. See Homer, Odyssey 11.541ff. for the contest for ownership of the divine armour of the dead Achilles (i.e. Aeacus’ descendant), who had earlier killed Hector. The Greek assembly awarded the armour to smooth Odysseus (the Ithacan) rather than to brave Ajax (son of Telamon), and, according to later tradition, Ajax became mad with fury and humiliation. Returning to sanity he committed suicide in shame. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.1.ff; and [A56a223]. Ajax was buried on a promontory near Rhoeteion, not far from Troy.

2.  Dictys Cretensis (‘of Crete’), legendary eye-witness historian of the Trojan War. His work had appeared in a Latin ‘translation’ in the 1st century AD, and was thought merely to have been a forgery, but there may also have been an earlier Greek version.

3.  See [A56a009]


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  • Europeans (with NAME) [32B311(GREEKS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Justice; 'Forza alla giustitia sottoposta', 'Giustitia', 'Giustitia retta', 'Giustitia rigorosa', 'Impiet� e violenza soggetta alla giustitia' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [59C2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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