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OPTIMUS CIVIS.

The best citizen

Dum iustis patriam Thrasybulus[1] vindicat armis,
Dumque simultates ponere quemque iubet.
Concors ordo omnis magni instar muneris, illi
Palladiae sertum frondis[2] habere dedit.
Cinge comam Thrasybule geras hunc solus honorem,
In nostra[3] nemo est aemulus urbe tibi.

Thrasybulus was avenging his country with righteous weapons and bidding every person lay aside his enmities; so every class in harmony granted him by way of great reward the wearing of a crown of Pallas’ leaves. - Wreathe your hair, Thrasybulus; you alone are to wear this honour. There is no rival to you in our city.

Notes:

1.  Thrasybulus of Steiria, after a distinguished military career, was instrumental in liberating Athens from the tyranny of the Thirty in the political confusion at the end of the fourth century BC. For his own moderation and his resistance to vengeful acts by others in the ensuing settlement, see Cornelius Nepos, Life of Thrasybulus 3.2-3. According to Nepos (ibid. 4.3) Thrasybulus interpreted the olive-wreath freely offered him by the citizens as a sign that he was held in supreme honour by them.

2.  ‘of Pallas’ leaves’, i.e. the leaves of the olive tree, sacred to Pallas Athene, patron goddess of Athens.

3.  Later editions read magna.


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    IN ADULARI INSCI-
    entem.

    Unable to flatter

    Scire cupis toties dominos cur in subris ora[1],
    Mutet & ut regi serviat utque duci?[2]
    Nescit adulari, cuiquamve obtrudere palpum[3]
    Regiaque morem principis omnis habet,
    Sed velut ingenuus sonipes dorso excutit omnem,
    Qui moderandi nesciat [4]hypocomum.[5][6]

    Do you want to know why the land of the Insubres changes its overlords so often and how it serves its king and leader. It does not know how to flatter, or how to stroke anyone the right way, the behaviour every prince’s court displays. Like a noble stallion, it throws from its back every horseman who does not know how to control it.

    Notes:

    1.  Insubris ora, ‘land of the Insubres’, i.e. the plain of Milan, Alciato’s home area. Various Gallic tribes, including the Insubres, inhabited this region in the Classical period. Cf. [A50a002], and see Alciato, Historia Mediolanensis col.6.

    2.  This rather puzzling line is completely rewritten in later editions.

    3.  ‘stroke...the right way’. See Erasmus, Adagia 2527, Obtrudere palpum.

    4.  ipsum is added in later editions to regularise the scansion.

    5.  ‘horseman, groom’. See Plato, Politicus 261d for the image of the ruler as supervisor of a stud of horses.

    6.  Two further lines in later editions.


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      • virtues of the ruler [44B10] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • family of a ruler, and court [44B15] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • riding a horse, ass, or mule; rider, horseman [46C131] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositą dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtł del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • Sincerity; 'Puritą et Sinceritą d'animo', 'Sinceritą' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A612(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • Flattery; 'Adulatione' (Ripa) [57AA6121] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) [57AA741] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • Praise, Approbation, Approval; 'Lode' (Ripa) [57B1] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(THESSALY)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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