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Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[D1r p49]

Firmissima convelli
non posse.

The firmest things cannot be uprooted.

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.

Notes:

1. áThis poem is based on Anthologia graeca 9.291, which refers to a threat to ancient Rome from invading German tribes.

2. áThe 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. á Caesar...Charlus, i.e. Emperor Charles V, led the charge to recover the lost territory.

4. á‘holy oaks’. Oaks were holy because sacred to Zeus, especially at his sanctuary at Dodona in Greece. See [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', 'TenacitÓ' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Stability, Firmness; 'Fermezza', 'Stabilimento', 'StabilitÓ' (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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Single Emblem View

Section: CONCORDIA (Concord). View all emblems in this section.

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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