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Etiam ferocissimos domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

Romanum postqum eloquium, Cicerone perempto,
Perdiderat[1] patriae pestis acerba suae:
Inscendit currus victor iunxitque leones[2],
Compulit & durum colla subire iugum,
Magnanimos cessisse suis Antonius armis
Ambage hac cupiens significare duces.

After Antony, that grievous bane of his country, had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero, he mounted his chariot in triumph and yoked to it lions, forcing their necks to bow to the harsh yoke, desiring by this symbolic act to indicate that great leaders had given way before his military might.

Notes:

1. ‘had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero’. Cicero was considered Rome’s greatest orator - his name was held by many to be synonymous with eloquence itself; see Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 10.1.112. Mark Antony had Cicero murdered in 43 BC in revenge for his scathing attacks in the fourteen ‘Philippic’ orations. See Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae 6.17.

2. Cf. Pliny, Natural History 8.21.55: Antony was the first to yoke lions to a chariot in Rome...by this unnatural sight giving people to understand that noble spirits were at that time bowing to the yoke.


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  • Eloquence; 'Eloquenza', 'Fermezza & Gravità dell'Oratione' (Ripa) [52D3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Authority, Power; 'Dominio', 'Giurisdittione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53C11(+4):54F2(+2)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Vehemence, Violence, Fierceness; 'Sforza con Inganno', 'Violenza' (Ripa) [54AA4] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • death of Cicero: he is slain by soldiers at the order of the triumvirs [98B(CICERO)68] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Concordia.

Concord

VI.

Cornicum mira inter se concordia vitae est,
Inque vicem nunqum contaminata fides.[1]
Hinc volucres has[2] sceptra gerunt, quod scilicet omnes
Consensu populi stantque caduntque duces:
Quem si de medio tollas, discordia praeceps
Advolat, & secum regia fata trahit.

Marvellous is the unanimity between crows as they live together, and their loyalty to each other, never dishonoured! For this reason the sceptre carries these birds. Assuredly all leaders stand and fall by the consent of the people. If you take away consent, tumultuous discord comes flying in and drags kings down in its wake.

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Einigkeyt.

VI.

Die Krawen halten sonderlich
Under inn frid und Einigkeyt,
Drumb malt man sy nit unbillich
Zu dem scepter der herlichkeyt:
Dan yedes volcks einhelligkeyt
Gibt und nimbt den herren iren gwalt,
Wo die zerbricht, kumbt in gleych leyd,
Drumb furst der deinen lieb erhalt.

Notes:

1. See Aelian, De natura animalium 3.9. on the mutual love and loyalty of crows.

2. Textual variant: haec.


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