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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6r]

ELOQUENTIA FORTITU-
dine praestantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

Arcum leva tenet, rigidam fert dextera clavam,
Contegit & Nemees corpora nuda leo.
Herculis haec igitur facies? non convenit illud,
Quod vetus & senio tempora cana gerit.
Quid quod lingua illi levibus traiecta cathenis,
Queîs fissa facileîs allicit aure viros.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6v]An ne quod Alciden lingua non robore Galli,
Praestantem populis iura dedisse ferunt.
Cedunt arma togae,[2] & quamvis durissima corda,
Eloquio pollens ad sua vota trahit.

His left hand holds a bow, his right hand a stout club, the lion of Nemea clothes his bare body. So this is a figure of Hercules. But he is old and his temples grizzled with age - that does not fit. What of the fact that his tongue has light chains passing through it, which are attached to men’s pierced ears, and by them he draws them unresisting along? The reason is surely that the Gauls say that Alceus’ descendant excelled in eloquence rather than might and gave laws to the nations. - Weapons yield to the arts of peace, and even the hardest of hearts the skilled speaker can lead where he will.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is closely based on Lucian’s essay, The Gallic Hercules.

2.  Cf. Cicero’s notorious line, Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea linguae, ‘Let weapons yield to the arts of peace, let laurels yield to eloquence’ (quoted in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 11.1.24).


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  • ears [31A2213] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Europeans (with NAME) [32B311(FRENCHMEN)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'litterae', symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ literature; 'Lettere' (Ripa) [48C90] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Power of Eloquence; 'Forza sottoposta all'Eloquenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L8v f75v]

EMBLEMA CXV.

In victoriam dolo partam.

On victory won by guile.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M1r f76r]

Aiacis tumulum lachrymis ego perluo virtus,
Heu misera albentes dilacerata comas.
Scilicet hoc restabat adhuc, ut iudice Graeco[1]
Vincerer: & causa stet potiore dolus.[2]

I, Virtue, bedew with tears the tomb of Ajax, tearing, alas, in my grief my whitening hairs. This was all it needed - that I should be worsted with a Greek as judge, and that guile should appear to have the better cause.

Das CXV.

Von Sig durch betrug bekommen.

Ich die Tugend mit zehern naß
Wasch deß Helden Ajacis Graß,[3]
Allda er dann begraben ligt
Und rauff auß mein schönes Har dick
Dann das allein noch ubrig war
Das ich beym Griechischen Richter zwar
Das Recht gewesn, aber es gilt
Mehr dann das recht der betrug milt.

Notes:

1.  The Greek assembly awarded the arms of the dead Achilles to the cunning and eloquent Ulysses, not the brave and straight-forward Ajax. For Ajax’s subsequent suicide, see Emblem 66 [A67a066].

2.  See Anthologia graeca 7.145.

3.  While ‘Gras’ (Engl.: grass) is a possible reading, ‘Grab’ (Engl.: grave), although it disturbs the rhyme, is more likely: an interesting confusion between ‘b’ and the German ‘ß’.


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