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Musicam Diis curae esse.

The gods care for music

Emblema clxxxiiii.

Locrensis posuit tibi, Delphice Phoebe, cicadam
Eunomus hanc, palmae signa decora suae.
Certabat plectro Sparthyn commissus in hostem,
Et percussa sonum pollice fila dabant.
Trita fides rauco coepit cm stridere bombo,
Legitimum harmonias & vitiare melos,
Tum citharae argutans suavis sese intulit ales,
Quae fractam impleret voce cicada fidem:
Quaeque allecta, soni ad legem descendit ab altis
Saltibus, ut nobis garrula ferret opem.
Ergo tuae ut firmus stet honos, sancte, cicadae,
Pro cithara hic fidicen aeneus ipsa sedet.[1]

Phoebus, god of Delphi, Locrian Eunomus set up this cicada in your honour, an appropriate symbol of his victory. He was competing in the lyre contest against his rival Sparthys and the strings resounded as he plucked them with the plectrum. A worn string began to buzz with a hoarse rattle and spoil the true melody of the music. Then a sweet-voiced creature, a cicada, flew chirping onto the lyre to supply with its song the broken string. Recruited to follow the rules of musical sound, it flew down from the high glades to bring us aid with its chirping song. Accordingly, so that the honour due to your cicada, o holy god, may last undiminished, on top of the lyre she sits here herself, a minstrel in bronze.

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REtulit hanc historiam 6. Geographiae Strabo:
carmen ver tralatum Graeco, lib. 4. Antholo-
giae. Eunomus citharoedus in ludis Pythiorum venit
in certamen cum Aristone Rhegino. Aristo fusis
precibus Delphorum cives rogavit, ut sibi a-
dessent. Eunomus ver dixit, Rheginensibus de mu-
sica non esse prorsus certandum, cm apud eos etiam
cicadae mutescerent. Utroque igitur certante, cm
una chorda Eunomo fracta desideraretur, cicada
supervolans adfuit, quae sonum suppleret. Declara-
tur hac historia, Diis esse curae musicam: quoddam
esse numen quod[2] supplicibus adsit in rebus despe-
ratis, eosque qui insolescant Diis saepenumero
destitui.

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Que les Dieux font conte de la Musique.

LE Locrois Eunomus en signe de victoire
Consacra la Cigale en ton bel Oratoire,
O toy Phoebus Delphic: car luy contre Ariston
Ayant prinse sa harpe, & sonnant donnoit ton,
Quand sans y point penser, une chorde va rompre,
Et ce plaisant accord de Musique corrompre:
Une Cigale adonc survient, faisant un sault
Sur la chorde rompue, & fournit le defaut,
Qui attiree au trait de ceste chansonnette,
Saillit des bois fueillus, & bruire s’appreste,
D’un son harmonieux dessus cest instrument,
De la chorde rompue en faisant supplement.
Pour donq’ perpetuer de ce faict la memoire
A la posterit, ton honneur & gloire,
La Cigale harperesse est d’ouvrage de main
Dans ton temple Phoebus, sus instrument d’airain.

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CEste histoire est rapportee par Strabon
au 6. de sa Geographie. le carme de ce-
cy est translat de celuy qui se lit au recueil
des Epigrammes Grecs livre 4. Eunomus
joueur de Lut, estant venu aux jeux Pythiens
entra en dispute contre Ariston Rheginien.
Ariston pria fort instamment les citoyens
de Delphe qu’ils luy portassent ayde & fa-
veur. Au contraire Eunomus dit, qu’il n’ap-
partenoit aucunement aux Rheginiens de se
mesler de la Musique, veu qu’en leurs pays
mesme les cigalles estoient muettes. Mais l’un
& l’autre estant entr en combat qui mieux
mieux, une chorde va rompre en l’instrument
d’Eunomus, & soudain y survint une cigalle,
qui supplea le son qui y manquoit. Ce pro-
pos donne entendre que les Dieux font cas
de la Musique: qu’il y a une puissance d’en-
hault qui preste son ayde quand on ne set
plus l o on en est: & que les insolents sont
le plus souvent laissez de Dieu.

Notes:

1. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 6.54. See Strabo, Geography 6.1.9 for the story of Eunomus and the statue he set up at his home town of Locri commemorating this incident in the song contest at the Pythian Games (celebrated near Delphi, in honour of Apollo, Artemis and their mother Leto); also Erasmus, Adagia 414, Acanthia Cicada.

2. Corrected from the Errata


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