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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H5v p122]

Firmissima convelli non posse.

The firmest things cannot be uprooted

LVI.

Oceanus quamvis fluctus pater excitet omnes,[1]
Danubiumque omnem barbare Turca bibas:[2]
Non tamen irrumpes perfracto limite, Caesar
Dum Charlus populis bellica signa dabit.[3]
Sic sacrae quercus[4] firmis radicibus astant,
Sicca licet venti concutiant folia.

Though Father Ocean rouses all his waves, though, barbarous Turk, you drink the Danube dry, yet you shall not break through the boundary and burst in, while Emperor Charles shall give to his peoples the signal for war. Even so, holy oaks stand firm with tenacious roots, though the winds rattle the dry leaves.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H6r p123]

Fermes ne se pevent arracher.

LVI.

Jacoit que en nous venant chercher,
Thurc estranger la Mer suscites:
Et que le Nil faces secher,
En abbreuvant tes exercites:
Si n’auras tu ja noz limites,
Tant que Charles garder les veuille.
Comme le vent ung Chesne excite,
Et n’en remue que la fueille.

Notes:

1. This poem is based on Anthologia graeca 9.291, which refers to a threat to ancient Rome from invading German tribes.

2. The Turks invaded along the Danube and reached Hungary, winning the battle of Mohacs in 1526. When Alciato was writing, they continued to threaten Vienna and Central Europe.

3. Caesar...Charlus, i.e. Emperor Charles V, led the charge to recover the lost territory.

4. ‘holy oaks’. Oaks were holy because sacred to Zeus, especially at his sanctuary at Dodona in Greece ([A50a199]). The image of the dry leaves is already present in the Greek poem, but see also Vergil, Aeneid 4.441-4.


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  • Asiatic races and peoples: Turks [32B33(TURKS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Constancy, Tenacity; 'Costanza', 'Tenacità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Stability, Firmness; 'Fermezza', 'Stabilimento', 'Stabilità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A22(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Invincibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A71(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(CHARLES V [of Holy Roman Empire])3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(DANUBE)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(NILE)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Oceanus [91B112] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H2v p116]

In astrologos.

Against astrologers

LIII.

Icare per superos qui raptus & ara, donec
In mare praecipitem cera liquata daret.[1]
Nunc te cera eadem fervensque resuscitat ignis,[2]
Exemplo ut doceas dogmata certa tuo.
Astrologus caveat quicquam praedicere, praeceps
Nam cadet impostor dum super astra vehit[3].

Icarus, you were carried through the heights of heaven and through the air, until the melted wax cast you headlong into the sea. Now the same wax and the burning fire raise you up again, so that by your example you may provide sure teaching. Let the astrologer beware of prediction. Headlong will the imposter fall, as he flies beyond the stars.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H3r p117]

Contre Astrologues.

LIII.

Icarus cheut dedans la mer
Par trop grande exaltation:
Cil qui veult le ciel entamer,
Est trop plain de presumption:
Donques sur ceste fiction,
Doibvent garder les astrologues,
Que leur haulte discussion,
Les mette ou dieu reduit tous rogues.

Notes:

1. Cf. Anthologia graeca 16.107, a poem on a bronze statue of Icarus, translated by Alciato at Selecta epigrammata (Cornarius, ed.) p.333. Icarus and his father Daedalus ([A42a008] notes) escaped from King Minos of Crete on wings of feathers and wax. Icarus was over-bold and flew too near the sun; when his wings melted, he crashed into the Icarian Sea and was drowned. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.183ff. Icarus, like Phaethon ([A42a064]) was a type of those who do not keep to their proper station.

2. ‘same wax...fire’: a reference to the cire perdue method of casting statues.

3. Textual variant: volat.


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