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Insignia Potarum.

Insignia of poets

CVII.

Gentiles clypeos sunt qui Iovis alite gestant,
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [m1r p177]Sunt quibus aut Serpens, aut Leo signa ferunt:
Dira sed haec Vatum fugiant animalia ceras,
Doctaque sustineat stemmata pulcher Olor.
Hic Phoebo sacer,[1] & nostrae regionis alumnus,
Rex olim,[2] veteres servat adhuc titulos.

Some have a family crest distinguished by the bird of Jove, for others the serpent or the lion provides the sign. But let these dread beasts flee from poets’ images; let the lovely swan support their learned clan. This bird is sacred to Phoebus and is a nursling of my homeland. A king once, it still preserves its ancient titles.

COMMENTARIA.

Varias ferarum figuras tam antiquorum qum
nostratum armis atque insigniis depictas circun-
ferri videmus, utputa Aquilas, Serpentes, Leo-
nes, Apros & huiusmodi, sed absint animalia
tam crudelia sacris Potis, quibus potius
convenit pulcher suavissimique cantus Olor
seu Cygnus. Avis est candida voce arguta prae-
sertim moritura, & Phoebo dedicata, ut refert
Cicero lib. 1. Tusculanae quaestionum inquiens, ut Cygni qui
non sine causa Apollini dicati sunt, sed qud
ab eo divinationem habere videantur, quia pro-
videntes quid in morte boni sit, cum dulcis-
simo cantu & voluptate moriantur. Aelianus
autem lib. 14. cap. 23. de natura animalium, sic ait,
Cygnus natura praeclarissimum donum est con
secutus, tanta enim eius animi est tranquillitas
in extremo vitae spiritu, ut sibi tanquam nae-
nia cantat, &c. Phoebus autem, id est, Apollo
filius Iovis & Latonae, creditus fuit Deus sa-
pientiae, autor carminum, & vaticinii praeses,
cm Cythara pingitur & Potis veneratur:
ut supra Embl. 46.[3]

Notes:

1. ‘sacred to Phoebus’, i.e. to the god of music and poetry (Apollo).

2. ‘a king once’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.367ff. for the story of Cycnus, king of Liguria, turned into a swan and inhabiting the marshes and lakes of the plain of the Po (Alciato’s homeland).

3. See [A56a046]


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