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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[A7v p14]

Reverentiam in matrimonio
requiri.

Respect is required in marriage

Cým furit in Venerem pelagi se in littore sistit
Vipera, & ab stomacho dira venena vomit:
Muraenamque ciens, ingentia sibila tollit,
At subitÚ amplexus appetit illa viri.[1]
Maxima debetur thalamo reverentia, coniunx
Alternum debet coniugi & obsequium.

When the viper is sexually aroused, it stations itself on the seashore and ejects the dread poisons from its gut. To summon the moray eel, it raises a loud hissing, and suddenly she comes to the embrace of her mate. - Great reverence is owed to the marriage bed, and the partners owe each other mutual respect.

Notes:

1.For the mating of the viper with the moray eel, see Pliny, Natural History 9.39.76; Aelian, De natura animalium 1.50; 9.66. The viper spits out the poison in order to be gentle and safe for the union.


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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 †[B1v p18]

Non vulganda consilia.

Keep counsels secret

Limine quod caeco, obscura & caligine monstrum[1]
Gnosiacis clausit Daedalus in latÍbris:
Depictum Romana Phalanx in praelia gestat,
Semiviroque nitent signa superba[2] bove.
Nosque monent, debere ducum secreta[3] latÍre
Consilia. autori cognita techna nocet.

The monster that Daedalus imprisoned in its Cretan lair, with hidden entrance and obscuring darkness, the Roman phalanx carries painted into battle; the proud standards flash with the half-man bull. These remind us that the secret plans of leaders must stay hid. A ruse once known brings harm to its author.

Notes:

1.‘The monster that Daedalus imprisoned’, i.e. the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster kept in the famous Labyrinth at Knossos, which Daedalus, the Athenian master-craftsman, constructed for King Minos.

2.According to Pliny, Natural History 10.5.16, before the second consulship of Marius (104 BC) Roman standards bore variously eagles, wolves, minotaurs, horses and boars. Marius made the eagle universal.

3.Cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (135 Lindsay): the Minotaur appears among the military standards, because the plans of leaders should be no less concealed than was the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth.


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