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NON TIBI SED RELIGIONI

Not for you but for religion

Isidis effigiem tardus gestabat asellus,
Pando verenda dorso habens mysteria.
Obvius ergo deam quisquis reverenter adorat,
Piasque genibus concipit flexis preces.
Ast asinus tantum praestari credit honorem,
Sibi, & intumescit admodum superbiens.
Donec eum flagris compescens dixit agaso,
Non es deus tu aselle, sed deum vehis.[1]

An ass with dragging feet was carrying an image of Isis, bearing reverend mysteries on its sagging back. So all who met him reverently offered worship to the goddess and recited pious prayers on bended knee. The ass however took it that all this honour was offered to himself, and began to swagger along swollen with pride - until his driver, reducing him with blows, said, ‘You are not god, my little ass, you are carrying god’.

Notes:

1.  See Aesop, Fables 266; Erasmus, Adagia 1104, Asinus portans mysteria.


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  • allegorical representations ~ religion; 'Religione', 'Religione de SS. Mauritio e Lazaro', 'Religione vera christiana' (Ripa) [11P12] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Misuse, Misemployment (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54BB11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Arrogance; 'Arroganza' (Ripa) [57AA644] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Honour, Glory; 'Ampiezza della Gloria', 'Gloria', 'Gloria de prencipi', 'Gloria & Honore', 'Honore', 'Sublimatà ¤ella Gloria' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [59B31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D3r p53]

Louer ce qui n’est à louër.

XXXVI.

Les Elephans que sceut bailler
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D3v p54] Antioque en champ conflictoire,[1]
Tant ardamment vont batailler,
Que sur Galates eut victoire.
Lors telle beste pour memoire
Il peind, honteux que peu honneste
Sa victoire est par telle beste:
Mais joyeux d’en avoir la gloire.

commentaires.

Antioque, Roy de Syrie, faisant dessein de sur-
monter les Galates, assembla une grande armee, &
bon nombre d’Elephans. Les Galates, ayans d’abor-
dee veu leurs ennemis, qui n’estoyent qu’à demi ar-
més, ne doutans point de leur victoire, choquerent fu-
rieusement les gents d’Antioque, qui estoyent prests d’e-
stre desfaicts a plate cousture, s’il ne se fust advisé de
faire marcher les elephans: lesquels espouvanterent
de telle façon les chevaux des Galates, qu’ils en prin-
drent la fuite, & furent entierement vaincus. Or
comme, selon la coustume, Antioque vouloit dresser
un trophee, pour marques de sa victoire, il fit peindre
un elephant, baillant plustost l’honneur de la victoire
à ces bestes, que de le prendre pour soy (La premiere
fois que l’Italie vid des elephans, ce fut a la guerre
de Pyrrhus, Roy des Epirotes.) Comme les soldats
d’Antioque se glorifioyent, à cause de la victoire: le
Roy leur dit, Nous estions perdus, si les elephans, be-
stes sales & lourdes, ne nous eussent delivrés. D’au-
tant donc que je me resjoui pour avoir eu la victoire,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D4r p55] autant ay je de vergongne & de honte, pour l’avoir
eu par le moyen que je l’ay eu. Les Galates sont un
peuple d’Asie la mineur. Celle region s’appelloit au-
tresfois Gallograecia, & estoit une colonne des ancien
Gaulois. C’est a eux que S. Paul a escrit une epistre.

Notes:

1.  For this incident, see Lucian, Zeuxis sive Antiochus 8-11. In 276 BC Antiochus I won against fearful odds by directing his sixteen elephants against the Galatian horsemen and scythed chariots. Not only did the horses turn in panic and cause chaos among their own infantry, but the elephants came on behind, tossing, goring and trampling. Although he had won an overwhelming victory, Antiochus did not consider it a matter for congratulation.


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