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Section: PAX (Peace). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M8v p192]

Ex pace ubertas.

Prosperity as the result of peace

Grandibus ex spicis tenues contexe corollas,
Quas circum alterno palmite vitis eat.
His comptae Halcionet[1] tranquilli in marmoris unda
Nidificant, pullos involucresque fovent.
Laetus erit Cereri, Baccho quoque[2] fertilis annus,
Aequorei si rex alitis instar[3] erit.

From fat ears of corn weave supple garlands, and let the vine encircle them with alternating stems. Decked out with these the halcyon birds build their nests on the wave of the glassy sea, and cherish their unfledged chicks. - The year will be rich for Ceres and fertile for Bacchus too, if the king is the image of the bird of the sea.

Notes:

1.  ‘halcyon birds’. For these see Aelian, De natura animalium 1.36; 9.17; Pliny, Natural History. 10.47.89-91; and for the legend of their transformation, Ovid, Metamorphoses 11, 410ff, esp. 728ff. Halcyons were supposed to build a nest and launch it on the sea at a time of calm peaceful weather provided for them about the time of the winter solstice. See Erasmus, Adagia 1552, Halcedonia sunt apud forum.

2.  ‘for Ceres...and for Bacchus too’, i.e. rich with crops of corn and wine.

3.  ‘is the image of the bird of the sea’, i.e. diffusing peace, love and concord. Before their metamorphosis into seabirds, Alcyone and her husband were a deeply loving royal couple ruling a peaceful country. This love persisted after the change, symbolised by the calm weather associated with their nesting.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [e8r p79]

Ex bello pax.

Peace succeeding to war

XLV.

En galea intrepidus quam miles egesserat, & quae
Saepius hostili sparsa cruore fuit.
Parta pace apibus tenuis concessit in usum,
Alveoli atque favos grataque mella gerit.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [e8v p80]Arma procul iaceant, fas sit tunc sumere bellum.
Quando aliter pacis non potes arte frui.[1]

See here a helmet which a fearless soldier previously wore and which was often spattered with enemy blood. After peace was won, it retired to be used as a narrow hive for bees; it holds honey-combs and nice honey. - Let weapons lie far off; let it be right to embark on war only when you cannot in any other way enjoy the art of peace.

COMMENTARIA.

Adstat galea, quae olim in bello feroci ser-
viebat militi, atque hostili saepe sanguine ma-
culata fuerat, eadem nunc pacis tempore, ef-
fecta est habitaculum sive alveolus apum, fa-
vis & melle repleta (ut mihi videtur ex Ger-
mania
ad Lusitaniam translata, ibi nanque fre-
quentia bella, hîc veṛ pacifica & tranquilla
omnia). Similiter etiam ex rugienti voracissi-
moque leone, quem postquam Samson discer-
pserat, suavissimus mellis cibus exivit, unde
ipse conveniens aenigma proposuit, de co-
medente exivit cibus & de forti egressa est
dulcedo, in lib. Iudicum cap. 14. Abiicienda
igitur, quiniṃ abominanda, damni-
fera & crudelia bella, nec nisi
tunc demum assumenda ar
ma, quando in pace
nullo modo vi-
vere conce-
ditur.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Anthologia graeca, 6.236, where bees nest in what were once the beaks (projections at the prow) of war-galleys.


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