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Etiam ferocissimos domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

Emblema xxix.

Romanum postqum eloquium, Cicerone perempto, [1]
Perdiderat patriae pestis acerba suae:
Inscendit currus victor, iunxitque leones[2],
Compulit & durum colla subire iugum:
Magnanimos cessisse suis Antonius armis,
Ambage hac cupiens significare duces.

After Antony, that grievous bane of his country, had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero, he mounted his chariot in triumph and yoked to it lions, forcing their necks to bow to the harsh yoke, desiring by this symbolic act to indicate that great leaders had given way before his military might.

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HUius historiae testis videri potest Plinius lib. 8.
cap. 16. Primus Romae leones ad currum iunxit
M. Antonius, & quidem civili bello, cm dimicatum
esset in campis Pharsalicis, non sine quodam osten-
to temporem, generosos spiritus iugum subire illo
prodigio significante.

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Que l’on domte mesmes les plus
haults la main.

APres que Marc Antoine, usant de sa victoire,
Eut tu Ciceron, des eloquents la gloire,
Sus un grand chariot de triomphe il monta,
Tir par des Lions, qu’ ces fins il domta;
Par tel traict brave & fier tous faisant paroistre,
Que des plus grands seigneurs il s’estoit rendu maistre,
Et que les plus haults coeurs, ployez comme Lions,
Estoient assujettis ses affections.

SEmble que Pline ait couch par escrit
ceste histore, livre 8. chapitre 16. en ces
mots: Le premier qui attela les Lions au
chariot fut Marc Antoine, ce qu’il fit pen-
dant la guerre civile, apres la bataille don-
nee s champs de Pharsale, non sans augure
de ces temps l, ausquels les hommes de
grand coeur & personnages de marque
estoient contrains de porter le joug.

Notes:

1. ‘had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero’. Cicero was considered Rome’s greatest orator - his name was held by many to be synonymous with eloquence itself; see Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 10.1.112. Mark Antony had Cicero murdered in 43 BC in revenge for his scathing attacks in the fourteen ‘Philippic’ orations. See Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae 6.17.

2. Cf. Pliny, Natural History 8.21.55: Antony was the first to yoke lions to a chariot in Rome...by this unnatural sight giving people to understand that noble spirits were at that time bowing to the yoke.


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Relating to the text:

  • Authority, Power; 'Dominio', 'Giurisdittione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53C11(+4):54F2(+2)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • death of Cicero: he is slain by soldiers at the order of the triumvirs [98B(CICERO)68] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Eloquence; 'Eloquenza', 'Fermezza & Gravit dell'Oratione' (Ripa) [52D3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Vehemence, Violence, Fierceness; 'Sforza con Inganno', 'Violenza' (Ripa) [54AA4] Search | Browse Iconclass

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