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

Unum nihil, duos pluri-
m¨m posse.

One can do nothing, two can do much.

LaŰrtae genitum, genitum quoque Tydeos unÓ[1],
Hac cera expressit Zenalis apta manus.[2]
Viribus hic praestat, hic pollet acumine mentis,
Nec tamen alterius non eget alter ope.
C¨m duo coniuncti veniunt, victoria certa est.
Sol¨m 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. á‘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. á‘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. á‘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 generositÓ dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virt¨ 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 pageá Link to an image of this page á[C1r f4r]

EMBLEMA IIII.

Nunquam procrastinandum.

Never procrastinate.

Alciatae gentis insignia sustinet Alce[1]
Unguibus & μηδὲν fert ἀναβαλλόμενος.
Constat Alexandrum sic respondisse roganti
Quţ 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 Ver▀ und di▀ Reymen blo▀
MidŔn Anafallˇmenos
Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[C1v f4v] Also soll geantwortet han
Der gro▀ Alexander eim Man
Der in fragt wier in kurtzer zeit
So viel au▀gricht 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. áAn elk, representing the family name, is carved on Alciato’s tomb in Pavia.

2. ánunquam...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. áAlce, ‘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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