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Etiam ferocissimos domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

IIII.

Romanum postqum eloquium, Cicerone perempto,
Perdiderat[1] patriae pestis acerba suae:
Inscendit currus victor, iunxitque leones[2],
Compulit & durum colla subire iugum:
Magnanimos cessisse suis Antonius armis,
Ambage hac cupiens significare duces.

After Antony, that grievous bane of his country, had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero, he mounted his chariot in triumph and yoked to it lions, forcing their necks to bow to the harsh yoke, desiring by this symbolic act to indicate that great leaders had given way before his military might.

COMMENTARIA.

Popilius Lenas executor Marci Antonii eius
iussu Ciceronem proscriptum & ad mare fu-
gientem, ut minas & crudelitatem Triumvi-
rorum evitaret, insecutus est & interfecit,
apud Formias Oppidum. Caput autem Ci-
ceronis ad Marcum Antonium pertulit, Au-
thor est Appianus lib. 4. Civilium bellorum. Qui
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [a7v p14]tanquam victor currum ascendit triumpha-
lem, coniunctis duobus Leonibus illum ve-
hentibus, ut ex Plinio refert Crinitus lib. 16. ca. 10.
de honesta disciplina significare volens,[3] uti fe-
rocissimos Leones, sic etiam plurimos ma-
gnanimos & potentes principes sibi obedi-
re, seque victos esse. Notatur hc insolentia
& superbia quae semper & natura victoriae
inest, ut exclamat Cicero, in Orationibus pro
Marco Marcello. Quemadmodum autem in ab-
scissum Ciceronis caput ignominios saevie-
rint Marcus Antonius & uxor eius, recitat idem
Crinitus lib. 1. cap. 8.

Notes:

1. ‘had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero’. Cicero was considered Rome’s greatest orator - his name was held by many to be synonymous with eloquence itself; see Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 10.1.112. Mark Antony had Cicero murdered in 43 BC in revenge for his scathing attacks in the fourteen ‘Philippic’ orations. See Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae 6.17.

2. Cf. Pliny, Natural History 8.21.55: Antony was the first to yoke lions to a chariot in Rome...by this unnatural sight giving people to understand that noble spirits were at that time bowing to the yoke.

3. Petrus Crinitus (Pietro Riccio), Commentarii de honesta disciplina. Crinitus was a Florentine humanist (d. 1507) whose Latin nickname derived from the Latin for ‘curly’ in Italian (riccio).


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Νῆφε, καὶ μέμνησ’ἀπιστεῖν. ἄρθρα ταῦτα τῶν φρενῶν.

Live soberly; do not believe readily. These are the sinews of the mind.

EMBLEMA XVI.

Ne credas, ne (Epicharmus ait[1]) non sobrius esto:
Hi nervi humanae membraque mentis erunt.
Ecce oculata manus[2] credens id quod videt: ecce
Pulegium antiquae sobrietatis olus:
Quo turbam ostenso sedaverit Heraclitus,[3]
Mulxerit & tumida seditione gravem.

Don’t give easy credence; don’t be intemperate. So said Epicharmus, and these maxims will prove the sinews and limbs of man’s mind. See here a hand with an eye, believing what it can see. See the pennyroyal, the plant of ancient soberness. By showing it, Heraclitus calmed the mob and milked it when heavy with bursting sedition

Notes:

1. Epicharmus ait, ‘So said Epicharmus’. The saying is quoted in Polybius, The Histories, 18.40.

2. oculata manus, ‘a hand with an eye’. See Plautus, Asinaria, 202: ‘our hands always have eyes - seeing is believing for them’; Erasmus, Adagia, 73 (Oculatae manus).

3. turbam...sedaverit Heraclitus, ‘Heraclitus calmed the mob’. For this incident concerning the sixth-century BC philosopher Heraclitus, see Plutarch, De garrulitate, 511C: when faced with a discordant mob, Heraclitus said nothing but took a cup of cold water, sprinkled on barley-meal and stirred it with a sprig of pennyroyal. Pennyroyal represents modest fare, contentment and control. Cf. Emblem 185 ([A91a185]), line 8. Heraclitus lived on a diet of herbs. For his pessimistic view of life see Emblem 150 ([A91a150]).


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  • Folly, Foolishness; 'Pazzia', 'Sciocchezza', 'Stoltitia' (Ripa) [52AA51] Search | Browse Iconclass
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