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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F8v p96 as 99]

Fortuna virtutem superans.

Fortune triumphant over virtue

XL.

Caesareo postquàm superatus milite vidit
Civili undantem sanguine Pharsaliam:
Iamiam stricturus moribunda in pectora ferrum,
Audaci hos Brutus protulit ore sonos:
Infelix virtus & solis provida verbis,
Fortunam in rebus cur sequeris dominam?[1]

Brutus, defeated by the Caesarean troops, saw Pharsalia flowing with citizen blood. As he was about to plunge the sword into his dying heart, he spoke these words with undaunted voice: ‘Unhappy virtue, prudent only in word - why do you in reality submit to dominating fortune?’

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G1r p97]

Gluck herschend uber frumbkeyt.

XL.

Als Brutus stuend in hoechster not,
Enndlich von Caesar gantz geschlagnn,
Ehe er im selbs zufuegt den tod,
Thet er sich mit den worten klagnn:
O tugent weyß allein mit sagnn,
Und unselig in werck und that,
Was setztu zum gluck deinem schragn,
Und lest den frumen in dem bad.

Notes:

1.  After the assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius became the leaders of the Republican cause. The Caesarean troops, led by Mark Antony and Octavian, Caesar’s heir, defeated them in 42 BC in two battles at Philippi in Macedonia. (Pharsalus in Thessaly was the site of the battle in 48 BC in which Julius Caesar had defeated Pompey in a previous round of the Civil Wars. Pharsalia is here loosely used, as in the Roman poets, to refer to both sites of similar civil conflict.) For Brutus’ suicide after the defeat, see the end of Plutarch’s Life of Brutus.


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  • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Virtuousness; 'Amor di Virtù', 'Attione virtuosa', 'Guida sicura de' veri honori', 'Virtù', 'Virtù insuperabile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(PHARSALIA)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Marcus Junius Brutus death of person from classical history [98B(BRUTUS, M.J.)68] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F6v p92]

Tandem tandem iustitia obtinet.

At long last justice wins the day

XXXVIII.

Aeacidae Hectoreo perfusum sanguine scutum,
Quod Graecorum Ithaco concio iniqua dedit.
Iustior arripuit Neptunus in aequora iactum
Naufragio, ut dominum posset adire suum:
Littoreo Aiacis tumulo namque intulit unda:
Quae boat, & tali voce sepulchra ferit.
Vicisti Telamoniade tu dignior armis,
Affectus fas est cedere iustitiae.[1]

The shield of Aeacus’ descendant, stained with Hector’s blood, the unjust assembly of the Greeks awarded to the Ithacan. Neptune, showing more respect for equity, seized upon it when it was cast into the sea in the shipwreck, so that it could go to its proper master. For the wave carried it to Ajax’s tomb upon the shore, the wave which booms and smites the sepulchre with these words: ‘Son of Telamon, you have conquered. You are more worthy of these arms’. It is right for partiality to yield to justice.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F7r p93]

Gerechtigkeyt sigt doch zu letsten.

XXXVIII.

Die Griechen des Achillis schilt
Dem Ajax namen wider recht,
Neptunus sagt, wie ist das gspilt?
Lont man also dem gueten knecht?
Drumb in des Ajax grab er schlecht
Den schilt durch gwalt des mers, das schreyt,
O Ajax, dier gschach groß unrecht,
Doch finndt sich dwarheyt mit der zeit.

Notes:

1.  This is a version of Anthologia graeca 9.115-6. See Homer, Odyssey 11.541ff. for the contest for ownership of the divine armour of the dead Achilles (i.e. Aeacus’ descendant), who had earlier killed Hector. The Greek assembly awarded the armour to smooth Odysseus (the Ithacan) rather than to brave Ajax (son of Telamon), and, according to later tradition, Ajax became mad with fury and humiliation. Returning to sanity he committed suicide in shame. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.1.ff; and [A50a175]. Ajax was buried on a promontory near Rhoeteion, not far from Troy.


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