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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [k4r p151]

Eloquentia fortitudine prae-
stantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

XCIII.

Arcum laeva tenet, rigidam fert dextera clavam,
Contegit & Nemees corpora nuda leo.
Herculis haec igitur facies? non convenit illud
Quòd vetus & senio tempora cana gerit.
Quid quòd lingua illi levibus traiecta catenis.
Queis fissa facileis allicit aure viros?
Anne quòd Alciden lingua, non robore Galli
Praestantem populis iura dedisse ferunt?
Cedunt arma togae,[2] & quamvis durissima corda
Eloquio pollens ad sua vota trahit.

His left hand holds a bow, his right hand a stout club, the lion of Nemea clothes his bare body. So this is a figure of Hercules. But he is old and his temples grizzled with age - that does not fit. What of the fact that his tongue has light chains passing through it, which are attached to men’s pierced ears, and by them he draws them unresisting along? The reason is surely that the Gauls say that Alceus’ descendant excelled in eloquence rather than might and gave laws to the nations. - Weapons yield to the arts of peace, and even the hardest of hearts the skilled speaker can lead where he will.

COMMENTARIA.

Describit pictam hîc imaginem, quae arcum
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [k4v p152]sinistra, dextra verò ferream Clavam tenet,
indutaque pelle Leonis ex Nemea (regio est
Arcadiae, in cuius quadam sylva Hercules in-
gentem occidit Leonem, eius deinde pelle
vestiebatur, ut apud Theocritum lib. 21.) Hercu-
lis igitur est figura, sed non convenit cani-
cies, nec cathena illa: quae sibi lingua haeret:
leviter autem auriculas plurium virorum te-
net. Hoc autem significatur fortissimum Alcidem
(id est, Herculem sic dictum à Graeco nomi-
ne ἀλκὴ quod est robur) iura dedisse & sub-
egisse feroces populos, non ut iuvenis forti-
tudine seu armis, sed instar senis prudentis,
eloquentia sua singulari. Cedunt arma togae,
id est, bella interdum aspera eloquentiae vi &
persuasione docta faciliùs dirimuntur & se-
dantur, toga enim pro pace accipitur, nam
huiusmodi habitu utebantur prisci Romani
praesertim pacis tempore. Disertus denique
poterit vel durissimos etiam homines & fe-
rocissimos eloquentia citius quàm ro-
bore & violentia, in suam senten-
tiam trahere ut de Her-
cule habetur apud
Xenophon-
tem
.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is closely based on Lucian’s essay, The Gallic Hercules.

2.  Cf. Cicero’s notorious line, Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea linguae, ‘Let weapons yield to the arts of peace, let laurels yield to eloquence’ (quoted in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 11.1.24).


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  • extinct, 'historical' peoples (with NAME) [32B2(GAULS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'litterae', symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ literature; 'Lettere' (Ripa) [48C90] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Power of Eloquence; 'Forza sottoposta all'Eloquenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosit� dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virt� del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I2v p132]

Maux viennent promptement, &
biens à difficulté.

XCII.

Até de Jupiter chassee
Pour nuire vola sur la terre.[1]
Et n’y fait pas une passee,
Sans rendre feu, faim, peste, ou guerre.
Lites apres vont,[2] non grand erre,
Car vieilles sont, & mal trotans:
Dont lon ne peut leur bien acquerre,
Fors par longue espace de temps.

commentaires.

Até est dite Deesse de ruïne, d’inimitiés, & de
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I3r p133] toute desolation. Elle est legere, & a des aisles. Estant
chassee & jectee hors du ciel, elle vint incontinent à
suborner les esprits des hommes, les enveloppant en
une infinité de maux: elle court d’un vol tresviste,
souillant & troublant tous les lieux par où elle passe.
Les Lites, filles de Jupiter, luy sont opposees, & la
suyvent de pres. Ces Lites sont prieuses & reconcilia-
trices des amitiés descousues. Ce que Até trouble en-
tre les humains, les Lites taschent de le radouber.
Mais pource qu’elles ont les yeux bigles & louches,
les pieds boiteux, & qu’elles sont lassees & travail-
lees par grand’vieillesse, elles cheminent fort lente-
ment, & à grand’ peine peuvent elles atteindre la
legere Até. Partant ce n’est pas promptement qu’el-
les remedient au mal, mais c’est apres quelque espace
de temps. Homere, qui ingenieusement a inventé ceste
fable, a voulu dire, que les offenses & inimitiés nais-
sent bien promptement, mais les reconciliations arri-
vent à cloche pied.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Iliad 19. 125ff.

2.  See Homer, Iliad 9.502ff. Ate means ‘Mischief’, Litae, ‘Prayers’. Ate was cast out of Olympus to bring harm to mankind, a personification of humans being led astray. The Litae were a personification of prayers offered in repentance.


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  • Slow Motion (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51MM1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Viciousness, Naughtiness (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6(+4):54D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA741(+4):54DD4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Jupiter seizes Ate by her hair and hurls her down from Olympus, possibly because of the delayed birth of Hercules (+ variant) [92B143(+0)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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