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Section: HOSTILITAS (Enmity). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4v p184]

Vel post mortem formidolosi.

Terrifying even after death

Caetera mutescent, coriumque silebit ovillum,
Si confecta lupi tympana pelle sonent.
Hanc membrana ovium sic exorescit, ut hostem,
Exanimis quanvis non ferat exanimem,
Sic cute detracta Cischas, in tympana versus,
Boehemos potuit vincere pontifices.[1]

All others will fall mute, the skin of sheep will be silent, if drums made of wolf-hide resound. The vellum of sheep so fears the wolf-skin, that though dead it cannot endure its dead enemy. Even so Cischas, flayed and turned into a drum, was able to triumph over the priests of Bohemia.

Notes:

1.  For the story behind this epigram, see the commentary in the Tozzi edition of Alciato’s emblems (Padua, 1621). ‘Cischas’ is Jan Ziska (c.1370-1425), a Bohemian military leader who supported the Hussites, destroying Catholic churches and attacking the clergy. He waged a long and successful military campaign which compelled the Emperor Sigismund to offer the Hussites religious liberty. Ziska died of plague, and is said to have ordered that his corpse be flayed and the skin made into a drum, the sound of which would put the enemy to flight. (His real name was Jan z Trocnova (‘of Trocnov’), Zizka being Czech for ‘one-eyed’, having lost an eye in a skirmish during the Battle of Grunwald in 1410).


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  • priest (Roman Catholic) [11P3121] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • beasts of prey, predatory animals: wolf (+ skin, fleece, hide, fur, leather) [25F23(WOLF)(+351)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • sheep (+ skin, fleece, hide, fur, leather) [47I213(+9351)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Authority, Power; 'Dominio', 'Giurisdittione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53C11(+4):31E30] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Alarm, Fright; 'Spavento', 'Terrore' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56DD32(+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(ZIZCA, Jan)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(BOHEMIA)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N3v p198]

Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.[1]

Misfortune caused by a bad neighbour

EMBLEMA CLXV.

Raptabat torrens ollas, quarum una metallo,
Altera erat figuli terrea facta manu.
Hanc igitur rogat illa, velit sibi proxima ferri,
Iuncta ut praecipites utraque sistat aquas.
Cui lutea, Haud nobis tua sunt commercia curae,
Ne mihi proximitas haec mala multa ferat.
Nam seu te nobis, seu nos tibi conferat unda;
Ipsa ego te fragilis sospite sola terar.

A stream was carrying along two pots, one of which was made of metal, the other formed by the potter’s hand of clay. The metal pot asked the clay one whether it would like to float along close beside it, so that each of them, by uniting with the other, could resist the rushing waters. The clay pot replied: The arrangement you propose does not appeal to me. I am afraid that such proximity will bring many misfortunes upon me.. For whether the wave washes you against me or me against you, I only, being breakable, will be shattered, while you remain unharmed.

Notes:

1.  See Avianus, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 32, Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.


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