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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [k5r p153]

In receptatores sicariorum.

Those who harbour cut-throats

XCIIII.

Latronum furumque manus tibi Scaeva[1] per urbem
It comes, & diris cincta cohors gladiis.
Atque ita te mentis generosum prodige censes,
Qud tua complureis allicit olla malos.
En novus Actaeon, qui postqum cornua sumpsit
In praedam canibus se dedit ipse suis.[2]

An evil-minded band of ruffians and thieves accompanies you about the city, a gang of supporters armed with lethal swords. And so, you wastrel, you consider yourself a fine lordly fellow because your cooking pot draws in crowds of scoundrels. - Here’s a fresh Actaeon - he, after he grew his horns, became the prey of his own hunting dogs.

COMMENTARIA.

Actaeon filius Aristei, venationibus pluri-
mum delectabatur, ideoque canes quamplures
domi suae alebat. Cm ver semel post vena-
tionem defatigatus ad fluvium quendam secre-
tum lavandi recreandique gratia sese contulisset,
ibi fortuitu vidit Dianam (venationis deam
castitatis & solitudinis amicam,) nudam se
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [k5v p154] lavantem, quae ob illud indignata statim illum
in cervum transmutavit, cumque domum redi-
re vellet Canibus suis propriis laniatus &
discerptus fuit, ut elegantissim Ovidius lib. 3.
Metamorphoseon. Idemque breviter. lib. 2. de tristibus.

Inscus Actaeon vidit sine veste Dianam:
Praeda suis canibus non minus ille fuit.

Sic etiam nonnulli vel ideo se generosos, li-
berales, & magnanimos putant, qud latro-
nes homicidas, proditores & huius farinae ho
mines fovent, nutriunt, eisque comitibus superb
incedunt: cum hi prodigi potius sint nihilque
aliud qum novum Actaeonem repraesentent.

Notes:

1. Scaeva, ‘evil-minded’. The capital letter suggests that the Latin word could be taken as a proper name in the vocative case, i.e addressing one Scaeva.

2. For the story of Actaeon turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds, see Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138ff. Similarly, the hangers-on will destroy the one who has fed them.


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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 [N1v p194]

Eloquentia Fortitudine prae-
stantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

Arcum laeva tenet: rigidam fert dextera clavam,
Contegit & Nemees corpora nuda leo.
Herculis haec igitur facies. non convenit illud
Qud vetus & senio tempora cana gerit.
Quid quod lingua illi levibus traiecta cathenis,
Queis fissa facileis allicit aure viros?
Ann qud 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.

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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