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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[A4v p8]

Etiam ferocissimos domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

Romanum postquŗm 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 & Gravit√ɬ 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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Section: FIDES (Good faith). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[A8v p16]

Foedera.

Alliances.

Hanc citharam, ŗ lembi quae forma halieutžca[1] fertur,
Vendicat & propriam Musa Latina sibi,
Accipe Dux: placeat nostrum hoc tibi tempore munus,
Quo nova cum sociis foedera inire paras.
Difficile est, nisi docto homini, tot tendere chordas:
Unaque si fuerit non bene tenta fides,
Ruptave (quod facile est) perit omnis gratia conchae,
Illeque praecellens cantus, ineptus erit.
Sic Itali coŽunt proceres in foedera, concors
Nil est quod timeas, si tibi constet amor.
At si aliquis desciscat (uti plerunque videmus)
In nihilum illa omnis solvitur harmonia.

This lute, which from its boat shape is called ‘halieutica’, my Latin Muse now claims for her own service. Receive it, O Duke. May this offering of mine be pleasing to you at this moment when you are preparing to enter into fresh agreements with your allies. It is difficult, except for a man of skill, to tune so many strings, and if one string is out of tune or broken, which so easily happens, all the music of the instrument is lost and its lovely song disjointed. In like manner the leaders of Italy are now forming alliances. There is nothing for you to fear if affection lasts for you and stays in concord. But if any one should slide away, which we often see, that harmony is all dissolved into nothing.

Notes:

1.halieutica, a Greek word meaning ‘fishing’ (boat).


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  • 'Lega' (Ripa) [44B450] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • the artist and his muse (in general) [48B101] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • inspiration of the painter [48C75110] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Harmony, Regularity (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51D2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Agreement, Unity; 'Concordia', 'Concordia insuperabile', 'Concordia militare', 'Concordia di Pace', 'Unione civile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E31(+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(SFORZA, Massimiliano)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
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