Switch to Dual Emblem Display

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Y1v f229v]

Ἐχθρῶν ἄδωρα δῶρα.[1]

The gifts of enemies are no gifts

Emblema clxvii.

Bellorum cepisse ferunt monumenta vicissim
Scutiferum Aiacen, Hectoraque Iliacum.
Baltea Priamides, rigidum Telamonius ensem:
Instrumenta suae cepit uterque necis.
Ensis enim Aiacem confecit, at Hectora functum
Traxere Aemoniis cingula nexa rotis.
Sic titulo obsequii, quae mittunt hostibus hostes
Munera, venturi praescia fata ferunt.[2]

The story tells that shield-bearing Ajax and Hector of Troy exchanged souvenirs of battle. Priam’s son took the sword-belt, Telamon’s descendant the rigid sword, each accepting the instrument of his own death. For the sword destroyed Ajax, and the belt, attached to Thessalian wheels, dragged the dead Hector. So the gifts which enemies give to enemies, seemingly doing honour, knowing what is to come, bring doom.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Y2r f230r]

EPigrapha huius sumitur ex Aiace flagellifero So-
phoclis
, carmen verò è quodam Epigrammate
Graeco: ex quo intelligimus, munera ab hoste missa
saepe discrimen aliquod, aut etiam mortem ipsam
portendere, quocirca veteres munera volebant ob-
servari quo animo mitterentur.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Y2v f230v]

Des ennemis les presens sont nuisans.

Comme le preux Hector & Ajax porte-escu
En signe d’amitié, pendant qu’ils ont vescu,
S’envoyerent des dons, comme compagnons d’armes:
Ajax eut une espee, Hector eut un baudrier,
Ce que fut à tous deux un presage meurdrier,
Qui les achemina à fins pleines de larmes.
Car Ajax se tua luy mesme de l’espee,
Et du sang d’Hector fut la ceinture trempee,
Luy trainé par trois fois au chariot des Grecs.
Partant dons d’ennemis, que soubs signe on envoye
De quelque cognoissance, ainsi qu’on les essaye,
Presagent le mal heur qui s’en ensuit apres.

LE tiltre de cest Embleme est prins de
la tragedie de Sophocle, inscripte Ajax
porte fouet: le carme est d’un Epigramme
Grec: dont nous apprenons, que les presens
envoyez de la part des ennemis presagent
quelquefois malencontre, voire la mort mes-
me. C’est pourquoy les anciens vouloient
que lon print garde de quelle affection les
presens estoient donnez.

Notes:

1.  The gifts of enemies are no gifts. See Sophocles, Ajax 665, where Ajax so speaks of the ill-fated sword he had received from Hector.

2.  See Homer Iliad 7.299, for the occasion in the Trojan War when Hector (the Trojan hero, son of Priam) and Ajax (Telamon’s descendant, one of the best fighters on the Greek side) met in single combat and afterwards, the honours being even, exchanged gifts. (Ajax was carrying the vast shield for which he was famed). Later, he committed suicide by falling on the sword he received from Hector (see [FALc028] n. and [FALc175] n.). Hector was later killed in single combat by Achilles (prince of Thessaly, the Greek champion), who desecrated the body by tying it behind his chariot (it is suggested here that he used the sword-belt Hector had received from Ajax) and dragging it about before the eyes of the Trojans. See [FALc153].


Related Emblems

Show related emblems Show related emblems

Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


Iconclass Keywords

Relating to the image:

Relating to the text:


Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

 

Back to top