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

Eloquentia fortitudine prae-
stantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

XCIII.

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 quod 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.

XCIII.

L’arc en la main, en l’autre la massue,
Peau de lyon estant cy apperceue,
Pour Hercules me faict ce vieillart croire
Mais ce qu’il a marque de si grand gloire,
Que mener gens enchainez a sa langue.
Entendre veult, qu’il feist tant bien harengue,
Que les Francois pour ses ditz de merveilles,
Furent ainsi que pris par les oreilles.
Si doncq’ il a par loix & ordonnances
Rangé les gens, plustost que par vaillances,
Dira l’on pas (comme ce est verité)
Que l’espée a lieu aux livres quicté?
Et que ung dur cueur par saiges mieulx se range,
Que gros effort son aspreté ne change?
Pource Hercules ne faict 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  [F3r]

OPTIMUS CIVIS.

The best citizen

Dum iustis patriam Thrasybulus[1] vindicat armis,
Dumque simultates ponere quemque iubet.
Concors ordo omnis magni instar muneris, illi
Palladiae sertum frondis[2] habere dedit.
Cinge comam Thrasybule geras hunc solus honorem,
In nostra[3] nemo est aemulus urbe tibi.

Thrasybulus was avenging his country with righteous weapons and bidding every person lay aside his enmities; so every class in harmony granted him by way of great reward the wearing of a crown of Pallas’ leaves. - Wreathe your hair, Thrasybulus; you alone are to wear this honour. There is no rival to you in our city.

Notes:

1.  Thrasybulus of Steiria, after a distinguished military career, was instrumental in liberating Athens from the tyranny of the Thirty in the political confusion at the end of the fourth century BC. For his own moderation and his resistance to vengeful acts by others in the ensuing settlement, see Cornelius Nepos, Life of Thrasybulus 3.2-3. According to Nepos (ibid. 4.3) Thrasybulus interpreted the olive-wreath freely offered him by the citizens as a sign that he was held in supreme honour by them.

2.  ‘of Pallas’ leaves’, i.e. the leaves of the olive tree, sacred to Pallas Athene, patron goddess of Athens.

3.  Later editions read magna.


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