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Concordia.

Concord

In bellum civile duces cm Roma pararet,
Viribus & caderet Martia terra[1] suis,[2]
Mox [=Mos] fuit in partes turmis countibus hasdem,
Coniunctas dextras[3] mutua dona dari.
Foederis haec species, id habet Concordia signum,
Ut quos iungit amor, iungat & ipsa manus.

When Rome was marshalling her generals to fight in civil war and that martial land was being destroyed by her own might, it was the custom for squadrons coming together on the same side to exchange joined right hands as gifts. This is a token of alliance; concord has this for a sign - those whom affection joins the hand joins also.

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Concorde.

Pour la paix faire & casser guerre,
Les anciens touchoient aux mains:
Et navoient pour serment aultre arre,
Les capitaines des Romains.
Ce signe feist les cueurs humains,
Et joignoit la main les concordes:
Ores tel signe nest ferme, ains,
Lon rompt bien du serment les cordes.

Notes:

1. ‘Martial land’, a reference not only to Rome’s bellicose history but to the legend that Rome’s founder Romulus was the son of Mars, the god of war.

2. Cf. Horace, Epodes 16.2, ‘Rome is being destroyed by her own might’ (written during the civil conflicts of 41 BC).

3. These were fashioned in some kind of metal for use as tokens of friendship; see e.g. Tacitus, The Histories 1.54 and 2.8, (referring to another time of civil conflict, 69 - 70 AD). Alciato worked on the text of Tacitus and wrote some annotations.


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Mutuum auxilium.

Mutual help

Loripedem sublatum humeris fert lumine captus,
Et socii haec oculis munera retribuit.
Quo caret alteruter, concors sic praestat uterque:
Mutuat hic oculos, mutuat ille pedes.[1]

A man deprived of sight carries on his shoulders one with deformed feet and offers this service in return for the use of his companion’s eyes. So each of them by mutual consent supplies what the other lacks. One borrows eyes, the other feet.

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Confort mutuel.

Fortune a ung lalleure osta,
Et a ung aultre les deux yeulx:
Mais leur mal elle conforta,
Par bon moyen & gratieux:
Car celluy qui fut chassieux,
Le boiteux pour guyde portoit:
Ainsi le deffault vitieux
Lung envers laultre supportoit.
Aultrement[2]
Ung paovre impotent & goutteux,
Neust sceu dung lieu se transporter:
Et laveugle nest point boiteux,
Mais il ne scait quel part troter:
Lors se feist le boiteux porter,
Qui laveugle en chemin mectoit:
Laultre qui scait ses dictz notter,
Ses deux piedz pour les yeulx prestoit.

Notes:

1. This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.12.

2. In the 1536 edition, the two verses are run together as one.


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