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Section: SCIENTIA (Learning). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N2r p195]

Facundia difficilis.

Eloquence is hard

Antidotum Aeaeae medicata in pocula Circes
Mercurium hoc Ithaco fama dedisse fuit.[1]
Moly vocant, id vix radice evellitur atra,
Purpureus: sed flos, lactis & instar habet.
Eloquii candor facundiaque allicit omnes:
Sed multi res est tanta laboris opus.

According to the story, Mercury gave to the man from Ithaca this antidote to the poisoned cup of Aeaean Circe. They call it moly. It is hard to pull up by its black root. The plant is dark, but its flower is white as milk. The brilliance of eloquence and readiness of speech attracts all men, but this mighty thing is a work of much labour.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 76 ([A51a076]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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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  [M8r p191]

Ex bello pax.

Peace succeeding to war

En galea, intrepidus quam miles gesserat: & quae
Saepius hostili sparsa cruore fuit.
Parta pace apibus tenuis concessit in usum
Alveoli: atque favos grataque mella gerit.
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.

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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