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Signa fortium.

The mark of the brave

LXXXII.

Quae te causa movet volucris Saturnia[1], magni
Ut tumulo insideas ardua Aristomenis[2]?
Hoc moneo, quantum inter aves ego robore praesto,
Tantùm semideos inter Aristomenes.
Insideant timidae timidorum busta columbae,
Nos aquilae intrepidis signa benigna damus.

Saturnian bird, what cause brings you to stand with uplifted wings on the tomb of mighty Aristomenes? - I tell you this - as I stand out among the birds in power, so does Aristomenes among the sons of gods. Fearful doves may perch on the graves of the fearful. We eagles give signs of favour to the fearless.

COMMENTARIA.

Aquila avis magna regalis & nobilissima
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [i5r p137]quae Iovis ales dicitur, vel quia sola contra
Solis radios apertis atque immotis oculis vo-
lando obtuitum non flectit, vel quia solam nun-
quam fulmine tactam fertur, ideoque etiam Io-
vis armiger a Poëtis appellatur, ut Higinus lib.
2. Deque eius acutissima oculorum acie, subli-
mi & altissimo volatu atque etiam mirabili na-
tura, inter alios refert Plinius libr. 10. cap. 3. In-
terrogatur autem qua ratione insideat sepul-
cro magni Aristomenis (Principis Messenii
iustissinii fortissimique, qui magna sua callidi-
tate ac eximia industria pluries Lacedaemo-
nes
decepit, eorumque in bello semel su ma-
nu 300. interfecit, saepius ex carceribus eva-
sit, tandem ab illis occisus inventum est cor
eius pilosum & hirsutum fuisse. testes sunt
Plinius lib. 11. cap. 37. & Pausanias. Enarrat etiam
pulchrè Crinitus lib. 13. cap. 7. de honesta disci-
plina). Respondet Aquila, hoc ideo quòd uti
ipsa inter caeteras aves praestantissima, sic etiam
Aristomenem inter semideos hoc est famige-
ratissimo viros fuisse celeberrimum. Timi-
dae igitur Columbae sint arma perterri-
torum & imbellium, nos damus
praeclara insignia magna-
nimis Principi-
bus.

Notes:

1.  volucris Saturnia, ‘Saturnian bird’, i.e. the eagle, attendant on Jupiter, son of Saturn.

2.  Aristomenes was a Messenian hero of the seventh century BC, of semi-divine origin, who performed incredible exploits while leading his country for many years in resistance to the Spartans. On one occasion an eagle aided his miraculous escape from captivity.


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  • (story of) Aristomenes representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(ARISTOMENES)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Courage, Bravery, Valiance, Manliness; 'Ardire magnanimo et generoso', 'Gagliardezza', 'Valore', 'Virt� heroica', 'Virt� dell'animo e del corpo' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A8(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • men of name or fame, heroes, 'homines illustres', 'uomini famosi' [46A1270] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosit� dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtu del animo', 'Forza'(Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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