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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[O6r p219]

Firmissima convelli non posse.

The firmest things cannot be uprooted.

EMBLEMA XLII.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[O6v p220]

Oceanus quamvis fluctus pater excitet omnes,[1]
Danubiumque omnem, barbare Turca, bibas:[2]
Non tamen irrumpes perfracto limite, Caesar
Dum Carolus populis bellica signa dabit.[3]
Sic sacrae quercus[4] firmis radicibus adstant,
Sicca licet venti concutiant folia.

Though Father Ocean rouses all his waves, though, barbarous Turk, you drink the Danube dry, yet you shall not break through the boundary and burst in, while Emperor Charles shall give to his peoples the signal for war. Even so, holy oaks stand firm with tenacious roots, though the winds rattle the dry leaves.

Notes:

1.This poem is based on Anthologia graeca 9.291, which refers to a threat to ancient Rome from invading German tribes.

2.The Turks invaded along the Danube and reached Hungary, winning the battle of Mohacs in 1526. When Alciato was writing, they continued to threaten Vienna and Central Europe.

3. Caesar...Charlus, i.e. Emperor Charles V, led the charge to recover the lost territory.

4.‘holy oaks’. Oaks were holy because sacred to Zeus, especially at his sanctuary at Dodona in Greece. See [A21a200]. The image of the dry leaves is already present in the Greek poem, but see also Vergil, Aeneid 4.441-4.


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  • Asiatic races and peoples: Turks [32B33(TURKS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Constancy, Tenacity; 'Costanza', 'Tenacit√†' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Stability, Firmness; 'Fermezza', 'Stabilimento', 'Stabilit√†' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A22(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Invincibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A71(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(CHARLES V [of Holy Roman Empire])3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(DANUBE)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Oceanus [91B112] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[D1r]

ALIQUID MALI PROPTER
vicinum malum.[1]

Misfortune caused by a bad neighbour

Raptabat torrens ollas quarum una metallo,
Altera erat figuli terrea facta manu.
Hanc igitur rogat illa, velit sibi proxima ferri,
Iuncta ut praecipites utraque sistat aquas.
Cui lutea haud nobis tua sunt comercia curae,
Ne mihi proximitas haec mala multa ferat.
Nam seu te nobis seu nos tibi conferat unda,
Ipsa ego te fragilis sospite sola terar.

A stream was carrying along two pots, one of which was made of metal, the other formed by the potter’s hand of clay. The metal pot asked the clay one whether it would like to float along close beside it, so that each of them, by uniting with the other, could resist the rushing waters. The clay pot replied: The arrangement you propose does not appeal to me. I am afraid that such proximity will bring many misfortunes upon me. For whether the wave washes you against me or me against you, I only, being breakable, will be shattered, while you remain unharmed.

Notes:

1.See Avianus, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 32, Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.


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