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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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Ex arduis perpetuum nomen.

Lasting renown won through tribulation

Crediderat platani ramis sua pignora passer,
Et bene, ni saevo visa dracone forent.
Glutiit hic pullos omnes, miseramque parentem
Saxeus, & tali dignus obire nece.
Haec, nisi mentitur Calchas, monumenta laboris
Sunt longi, cuius fama perennis erat.[1]

A sparrow had entrusted her young to the branches of a plane-tree, and all would have been well, if they had not been observed by a merciless snake. This creature devoured all the chicks and the hapless parent too, a stony-hearted beast, turned to stone as it deserved. Unless Calchas speaks falsely, these are the tokens of long toil, the fame of which lasted through all the years.

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Nom perpetuel des choses
difficiles.

Ce qui doit durer a tousjours,
Et par gloire estre pardurable,
Ne peult venir en peu de jours,
Ains fault labeur contollerable.
Calchas en veist loeuvre admirable,
Es oyseaulx dung dragon mengez,
Au temps que par guerre incurable,
Les Troyens furent assiegez.

Notes:

1. See Homer, Iliad 2.299ff. for this portent which occurred at Aulis, where the Greek fleet was waiting to sail for Troy. Calchas the seer interpreted the eating of the eight chicks and their mother, followed by the death of the snake, as foretelling the nine-year battle for Troy, followed by success.


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  • Industriousness, Assiduity; 'Assiduità ', 'Industria', 'Zelo' (Ripa) [54A11] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Difficulty (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54DD4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Punishment; 'Castigo', 'Pena', 'Punitione' (Ripa) [57BB13] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Fame; 'Fama', 'Fama buona', 'Fama chiara' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [59B32(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • sacrifice to Jupiter and Apollo: a snake swallows a nest of eight young birds and their mother; the augur Calchas explains the portent [94D12] Search | Browse Iconclass

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