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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D8r f19r ]

EMBLEMA XXVII.

Unum nihil, duos plurimùm posse.

One can do nothing, two can do much

Laertae genitum, genitum quoque Tydeos una[1],
Hac caera expressit Zenalis apta manus.[2]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D8v f19v]Viribus hic praestat, hic pollet acumine mentis.
Nec tamen alterius, non eget alter ope.
Cum 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.

Das XXVII.

Ein Mann kein Mann, zwen Mann
könnens thun.

Zenalis der brühmt Maler alt
Hat in dieser Figur fürgstalt
Ulyssen von Laert geborn
Darzu den von Tydeu erkorn
Dieser hat mit der sterck sein preiß
Jener aber ist von Hertzen weiß
So kan dieser beid keiner doch
Deß andern wol entrahten noch
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E1r f20r] Wenn also zwen sich zsamen thon
So ist der Sig dest gwisser schon
Dann mit der Faust man weng außricht
Wo nit die weißheit darzu spricht.

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 generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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