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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [f8r p95]

Firmissima convelli non posse.

The firmest things cannot be uprooted

LVI.

Oceanus quamvis fluctus pater excitet omnes,[1]
Danubiumque omnem barbare Turca bibas:[2]
Non tamen irrumpes perfracto limite, Caesar
Dum Carolus 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.

COMMENTARIA.

Authoris exclamatio, etiamsi Oceanus va-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [f8v p96]stum mare, omnes saevos, commoveat fluctus
hoc est licet Mauri, Aphri, seu qualescunque
Occidentalis Oceani infideles & barbarae
gentes Hispaniam praesertim, molestandam
& invadendam insurgant. Atque etiam cru-
delissimus Turca ad Orientem totum exhau-
riat Danubium (fluvius est maximus & cele-
bris Germaniae, qui etiam Ister dicitur, per
Hungariam tandem fluens, quod nobilissi-
mum Regnum ferè totum immanissimus
Turca, iam nuper devastavit). Attamen non
protinus furioso impetu tanquam perfracta
via, pro libitu irrumpet, dum Carolus Caesar
invictissimus Imperator pro nobis bella ge-
ret. Ille nanque sese habet instar quercus,
solidae arboris, cuius sicca folia etsi
ventis conquassata sive denique
ablata fuerint, illa nihilomi-
nus radice forti fir-
maque per-
sistit.

Notes:

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

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

4.  ‘holy oaks’. Oaks were holy because sacred to Zeus, especially at his sanctuary at Dodona in Greece ([A56a232]). 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', 'Tenacit�' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Stability, Firmness; 'Fermezza', 'Stabilimento', 'Stabilit�' (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

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H7v p126]

Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.[1]

Misfortune caused by a bad neighbour

LVIII.

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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H8r p127]

Voisinage peult rendre mal.

LVIII.

La riviere portoit deux potz,
L’ung de terre, l’autre de cuyvre:
Qui dit au foible telz propos:
Viens pres moy ton chemin poursuyvre.
Je ne te veulx (dit l’autre) suyvre,
Ny aulcunement approcher:
Car tost me garderoys de vivre,
Si me laissoys a toy toucher.

Notes:

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


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