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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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Obdurandum adversus urgentia.

Stand firm against pressure

Nititur in pondus palma, & consurgit in arcum,
Qu magis & premitur, hc mage tollit onus.[1]
Fert & odoratas bellaria dulcia glandes,[2]
Queis mensas inter primos [=primus] habetur honos.
I puer, & reptans ramis has collige, mentis
Qui constantis erit, praemia digna feret.

The wood of the palm-tree counteracts a weight and rises up into an arch. The heavier the burden pressing it down, the more it lifts it up. The palm-tree also bears fragrant dates, sweet dainties much valued when served at table. Go, boy, edge your way along the branches and gather them. The man who shows a resolute spirit will receive an appropriate reward.

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Sendurcir a ce qui resiste.

Le palme chasse sa voicture,
Et resiste au poix quil supporte:
Enfant donc de bonne nature
Pense quel signe ce rapporte:
Pends toy aux raimes & fruict quil porte:
Cest que soys constant a la letre,
Car qui plus charge & rompt sa porte,
En plus hault estat se voit estre.

Notes:

1. The reaction of palm to a heavy weight is mentioned in various ancient sources, e.g. Pliny, Natural History 16.81.223; Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 3.6. See also Erasmus, Parabolae p.263. It probably refers to a plank of palm-wood, rather than a branch of the living tree. A similar image is used in La Perriere, Morosophie, no. 83 ([FLPb083]).

2. See Erasmus, Parabolae p.241: ‘the palm-tree, having bark with knife-sharp edges, is difficult to climb, but it bears delicious fruit’.


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