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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C6v f18v]

Non vulganda consilia.

Keep counsels secret

Emblema xii.

Limine quod caeco, obscura & caligine monstrum[1],
Gnosiacis clausit Daedalus in latebris,
Depictum Romana phalanx in proelia gestat,
Semiviróque nitent signa superba[2] bove.
Nósque monent, debere Ducum secreta[3] latêre
Consilia. auctori cognita techna nocet.

The monster that Daedalus imprisoned in its Cretan lair, with hidden entrance and obscuring darkness, the Roman phalanx carries painted into battle; the proud standards flash with the half-man bull. These remind us that the secret plans of leaders must stay hid. A ruse once known brings harm to its author.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C7r f19r]

SCribit Festus Pompeius, Minotauri effigiem in-
ter signa militaria Romanis ideo fuisse, quód
non minus occulta esse debeant consilia Princi-
pum, quàm fuerit olim domicilium Minotauri la-
byrinthus
: ídque vel maximè in bellicis expedi-
tionibus debet observari. Ut enim permultum ha-
bet momenti ad victoriam taciturnitas, ita saepe in-
gentes affert calamitates linguae intemperantia.

ENGLISH

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C7v f19v]

QU’IL NE FAUT REVE-
ler les secrets des grans.

ES guerres des Romains c’estoit un ordinaire,
Pour devise, porter Minotaure en banniere:
Monstre caché dedans un fort obscur manoir,
Moitié-beuf, moitié-homme, en labyrinthe noir.
Cecy en sens couvert donne assez à cognoistre
Que le conseil des grans, mesme en guerre, doit estre
Tenu bien fort secret, & en rien decelé:
“Car tel est bien puni pour l’avoir revelé.

FEstus Pompeius nous a laissé par escrit,
que l’effigie du Minotaure estoit veuë
entre les estendars & enseignes de guerres
des Romains, pour montrer que les secrets des
Princes ne doivent estre moins tenus secrets
qu’anciennement fut le labyrinthe, où estoit
detenu le Minotaure: ce que doit estre sur
tout observé és affaires de guerre. Car com-
me il sert de beaucoup à la victoire d’avoir
bonne bouche & ne dire mot; aussi le babil
quelquefois apporte de grandes pertes &
dommages.

Notes:

1.  ‘The monster that Daedalus imprisoned’, i.e. the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster kept in the famous Labyrinth at Knossos, which Daedalus, the Athenian master-craftsman, constructed for King Minos.

2.  According to Pliny, Natural History 10.5.16, before the second consulship of Marius (104 BC) Roman standards bore variously eagles, wolves, minotaurs, horses and boars. Marius made the eagle universal.

3.  Cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (135 Lindsay): the Minotaur appears among the military standards, because the plans of leaders should be no less concealed than was the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth.


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