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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N4v p200]

Eloquentia fortitudine praestantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

Arcum laeva tenet, rigidam fert dextera clavam,
Contegit & Nemees corpora nuda leo.
Herculis haec igitur facies? non convenit illud,
Quòd vetus & senio tempora cana gerit.
Quid quòd lingua illi levibus traiecta cathenis?
Queis fissa facili allicit aure viros?
An ne quòd Alciden lingua non robore Galli
Praestantem populis iura dedisse ferunt?
Cedunt arma togae,[2] & quamvis durissima corda
Eloquio pollens ad sua vota trahit.

His left hand holds a bow, his right hand a stout club, the lion of Nemea clothes his bare body. So this is a figure of Hercules. But he is old and his temples grizzled with age - that does not fit. What of the fact that his tongue has light chains passing through it, by which he draws men along with ready ears pierced? The reason is surely that the Gauls say that Alceus’ descendant excelled in eloquence rather than might and gave laws to the nations. - Weapons yield to the arts of peace, and even the hardest of hearts the skilled speaker can lead where he will.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5r p201]

Eloquence vault mieulx que force.

Larc en la main, en lautre la massue,
Peau de lyon estant cy aperceue,
Pour Hercules me faict ce vieillart croire.
Mais ce quil a marque de si grand gloire:
Que mener gens enchainez a sa langue.
Entendre veult, quil feist tant bien harengue,
Que les Francois pour ses dits de merveilles,
Furent ainsi que pris par les oreilles.
Si donc il a par loix & ordonnances
Range les gens, plustost que par vaillances,
Dira lon pas (comme est verite)
Que lespee a lieu aux livres quicte?
Et que ung dur cueur par saiges mieulx se range,
Que gros effort son asprete ne change?
Pource Hercules ne fait pas grandes forces:
Et si sont gens apres luy grandes courses.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is closely based on Lucian’s essay, The Gallic Hercules.

2.  Cf. Cicero’s notorious line, Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea linguae, ‘Let weapons yield to the arts of peace, let laurels yield to eloquence’ (quoted in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 11.1.24).


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  • Europeans (with NAME) [32B311(FRENCHMEN)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'litterae', symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ literature; 'Lettere' (Ripa) [48C90] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Power of Eloquence; 'Forza sottoposta all'Eloquenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M6r f81r]

Das [=EMBLEMA] CXXIIII.

Etiam ferocissimos domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

Romanum postquàm eloquium, Cicerone perempto,
Perdiderat[1] patriae pestis acerba suae:
Incendit [=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.

Das CXXIIII.

Man kan auch die aller frechsten zemen
und baschgen .[3]

Nach dem jetz hett verloren Rom
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M6v f81v] Den Edlen wolberedten Mann
Ciceronem, so war umbbracht
Dem Vatterland zu grosser schmach
Satzt sich auff einen Wagen stoltz
Antonius der volle Boltz
Den zogen zwen wild Löwen groß
Als werens darzu gwente Roß
Damit gab er ja zuverstehn
Das nach seinem willen thet gehn
Dann er also seim Feind obsigt
Die grossen Fürsten undertrückt.

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.

3.  The German in certain parts of this emblem is particularly puzzling.


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  • Eloquence; 'Eloquenza', 'Fermezza & Gravità 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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