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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H8v p128]

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  [I1r p129]

Starcke bevestigung.

LVI.

Ob gleich der grewlich Turck das meer
Mit schiffen bedeck uberal,
Und sauff die Danow mit seimm heer,
Mag er unß doch thuen kainn eynfal,
Die weyl den Cristenlichen stal
Der edlest Kayser Carl huett,
Kayn Aych falt nit von windes hal,
Wie fast er in den bleternn wuet.

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', 'Tenacitą' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Stability, Firmness; 'Fermezza', 'Stabilimento', 'Stabilitą' (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
  • (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  [C1r f4r]

EMBLEMA IIII.

Nunquam procrastinandum.

Never procrastinate.

Alciatae gentis insignia sustinet Alce[1]
Unguibus & μηδὲν fert ἀναβαλλόμενος.
Constat Alexandrum sic respondisse roganti
Quī tot obivisset tempore gesta brevi?
Nunquam (inquit) differre volens:[2] quod & indicat Alce
Fortior haec dubites, ocyor anne siet.[3]

An elk bears the insignia of the family Alciato - between its hooves it carries (the motto) “Postponing nothing”. Alexander, as is well known, thus answered one who asked him how he had performed so many exploits in a short time: “By never wanting”, he said, “to postpone”. ‘Elk’ in fact indicates this - you may well ask whether it is strong or fast.

Das IIII.

One auffschub und verzug.

Das Alciatisch Gschlecht Wappn ziert
Ein Elend der in klauwen fiert
Diesen Verß und diß Reymen bloß
Midčn Anafallómenos
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C1v f4v] Also soll geantwortet han
Der groß Alexander eim Man
Der in fragt wier in kurtzer zeit
So viel außgricht hett grosse streit
Sprach er ich hab verzogen nie
Mit willen nichts, das anzeigt hie
Der Elend an welchem man schwandt
Ob er sterckr odr schneller sey zhandt.

Notes:

1.  An elk, representing the family name, is carved on Alciato’s tomb in Pavia.

2.  nunquam...differre volens, ‘By never wanting...to postpone’. The Latin words translate Alexander’s Greek motto, quoted in line 2. See Erasmus, Adagia, 3400 (Nunc tuum ferrum in igne est, ‘Strike while the iron is hot’), where Alexander’s saying is quoted.

3.  Alce, ‘Elk’. The Greek word ἀλκή means not only ‘elk’ but ‘strength’. The animal ‘elk’ was famed for its speed: see Pliny, Natural History, 8.16.39.


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