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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C8v p48]

Unum nihil, duos pluri-
mům posse.

One can do nothing, two can do much.

Laërtae genitum, genitum quoque Tydeos unŕ[1],
Hac cera expressit Zenalis apta manus.[2]
Viribus hic praestat, hic pollet acumine mentis,
Nec tamen alterius non eget alter ope.
Cům duo coniuncti veniunt, victoria certa est.
Solům mens hominem, dextrave destituit.[3]

The son of Laertes together with him that Tydeus begot, the skilful hand of Zenas expressed in this moulded form. One of them is superior in strength, the powers of the other lie in sharpness of mind, yet neither of them can do without the other’s aid. When the two come united, victory is assured. Mind or strength in isolation has often left man in the lurch.

Notes:

1.  ‘The son of Laertes...him that Tydeus begot’, i.e. (the cunning) Odysseus and (the strong) Diomedes. They collaborated in a successful night raid raid into Troy, for which see Homer, Iliad 10.218ff. See further Erasmus, Adagia 2051, Duobus pariter euntibus. (This title translates Iliad 10.224, a line which appears in Greek in the woodcut)

2.  ‘the hand of Zenas’. Two unidentified busts signed by Zenas are in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. Two sculptors of the second, or third century AD, possibly father and son, are known by this name.

3.  ‘Mind or strength in isolation has often left man in the lurch’. Cf. Horace, Odes 3.4.65: force without counsel is destroyed by its own might.


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  • Intellect, Intelligence; 'Intelletto', 'Intelligenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Counsel; 'Consiglio' (Ripa) [52E3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositŕ dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtů del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Necessity of Mutual Co-operation (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) [98B(ZENAS)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C8v]

CUM LARVIS NON LU-
CTANDUM.[1]

Do not wrestle with the dead

Aeacidae[2] moriens percussu cuspidis Hector[3],
Qui toties hosteis vicerat ante suos.
Comprimere haud potuit vocem insultantibus illis,
Dum curru & pedibus nectere vincla parant.
Distrahite ut libitum est sic cassi luce leonis,
Convellunt barbam vel timidi lepores.[4]

When he was dying from the wound dealt by the spear of Aeacus’ descendant, Hector, who had so often before defeated his own enemies, could not keep silent as they triumphed over him, while preparing to tie the ropes to chariot and feet. Tear me as you will, he said; when the lion is deprived of the light of life, even cowardly hares pluck his beard.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Erasmus, Adagia 153, Cum larvis luctari.

2.  ‘of Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. ‘of Achilles’. Textual variant: Aeacidae.

3.  Hector was the greatest warrior on the Trojan side in the Trojan War, killed in single combat by Achilles, the Greek champion. See Homer, Iliad 22.367ff. and 24.14ff. for Achilles’ desecration of Hector’s body, dragging it, tied by the feet behind his chariot, round the tomb of Patroclus.

4.  The last two lines are a translation of the two-line epigram Anthologia graeca 16.4, where, in Planudes’ text, the words are attributed to Hector in the heading.


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