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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m3v p182]

Unum nihil, duos plurimům
posse.

One can do nothing, two can do much

CX.

Laërtae genitum, genitum quoque Tydeos unŕ[1]
Hac cera expressit Zenalis apta manus.[2]
Viribus hic praestat, hic pollet acumine mentis.
Nec tamen alterius non eget alter ope.
Cům duo coniuncti veniunt, victoria certa est,
Solum mens hominem, dextrave destituit.[3]

The son of Laertes together with him that Tydeus begot, the skilful hand of Zenas expressed in this moulded form. One of them is superior in strength, the powers of the other lie in sharpness of mind, yet neither of them can do without the other’s aid. When the two come united, victory is assured. Mind or strength in isolation has often left man in the lurch.

COMMENTARIA.

Zenalis antiquus pictor, effinxit simul
Ulyssem Laërtis filium & Diomedem Tydaei
natum, quorum alter ingenio & prudentia
praestabat, hic verň armis viribusque pollebat,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m4r p183]neuter tamen horum alterius adminiculo ca-
rere potuit, vix enim solus fortis solusve sa-
piens vincet, verům illis coniunctis certa est
victoria. fuit autem Ulysses Graecorum ferč
omnium callidissimus facundissimus & in-
geniosissimus, ideoque in Troiano bello mul-
ta prudenter perfecit, de quibus passim apud
Homerum & lib. 1. Odisseae de eo sic canit,

Oppida multa adiit, fuit huic sapientia nota,
Consilium variosque dolos qui novit & artes,

ut refert Strabo lib. 1. Diomedes autem Rex
fuit, qui unŕ cum Graecis ad obsidionem Troiae
profectus, adeo strenuč se gessit ut post Achil
lem
& Aiacem facile palmam obtinuerit for-
tissimi, plurimas singulares pugnas adversus
insignes Troianorum principes habuit, &
inter alia cum Aenea nobili Troiano con-
gressus, Venerem Aeneam protegentem per-
cussit, quapropter illa indignata multas ei
miserias attulit, uxorem etiam eius adulteram
fecit, qua re cognita Diomedes domum re-
dire noluit, ut idem Homerus. Vicerunt de-
nique Graeci in Troiano bello non tam viri-
bus & fortitudine quŕm astutia & calliditate
atque etiam miris stratagematis ut praeter cae-
teros peregregič Latinorum Poëtarum prin-
ceps
aperit, lib. 2. Aeneidos.

Notes:

1.  ‘The son of Laertes...him that Tydeus begot’, i.e. (the cunning) Odysseus and (the strong) Diomedes. They collaborated in a successful night raid raid into Troy, for which see Homer, Iliad 10.218ff. See further Erasmus, Adagia 2051, Duobus pariter euntibus. (This title translates Iliad 10.224, a line which appears in Greek in the woodcut)

2.  ‘the hand of Zenas’. Two unidentified busts signed by Zenas are in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. Two sculptors of the second, or third century AD, possibly father and son, are known by this name.

3.  ‘Mind or strength in isolation has often left man in the lurch’. Cf. Horace, Odes 3.4.65: force without counsel is destroyed by its own might.


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  • Counsel; 'Consiglio' (Ripa) [52E3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Intellect, Intelligence; 'Intelletto', 'Intelligenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) [98B(ZENAS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Necessity of Mutual Co-operation (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositďż˝ dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtďż˝ del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of conce [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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