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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n1v p194]

Strenuorum immortale
nomen.

Achievers have an immortal name

XVII.

Aeacidae tumulum Rhoetaeo in littore cernis,[1]
Quem plerunque pedes visitat alba Thetis.[2]
Obtegitur semper viridi lapis hic amarantho,[3]
Quòd nunquam herois sit moriturus honos.
Hic Graium murus,[4] magni nex Hectoris, aut [=haud] plus
Debet Maeonidae, quam sibi Maeonides.[5]

You see the tomb of Aeacus’ descendant on the Rhoetean shore, which white-footed Thetis often visits. This stone is always covered with green amaranth, because the honour due to heroes shall never die. This man was‘the wall of the Greeks’, and the destruction of great Hector, and he owes no more to the Lydian poet than the poet does to him.

Notes:

1.  ‘Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. Achilles, the greatest warrior on the Greek side in the Trojan War. Rhoeteum was a promontory on the Trojan coast (though normally associated with the tomb of Ajax).

2.  Thetis, a sea-nymph, mother of Achilles, called ‘silver-footed’ by Homer.

3.  amarantho: the name of the plant means ‘never-fading’. See Pliny, Natural History, 21.23.47.

4.  ‘the wall of the Greeks’, translating Homer’s description of Achilles at Iliad, 3.229.

5.  Maeonidae, ‘to the Lydian poet’, i.e. Homer, who told in the Iliad the famous story of Achilles’ wrath and refusal to fight during the Trojan War, and of his eventual slaying of Hector, the chief warrior on the Trojan side. (For which see Emblem 057, [A56a057]). For the sentiment that great deeds need to be sung in order not to be forgotten, see Horace, Odes, 4.8.20ff; and that great literature needs great themes, see Tacitus, Dialogus de oratoribus, 37.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4r p183]

    Les coquus.

    XIX.

    Pourquoy appelle-on les laboureurs coquus?[1]
    Pource que par son chant le coquu tant & plus
    Convainq les laboureurs de leur faineantise,
    Quand la main de bonne heure à leur vigne ils n’ont mise.
    De ce mot de coquu abuse le vulgaire,
    Nommant ainsi celuy dont la femme adultere.

    Commentaires.

    Le coquu commence à chanter au renouveau, &
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4v p184] par son chant fait le proces aux paresseux. Car ceux
    qui se sont rostis les genoux aupres du feu tout le long
    de l’hyver, se treuvent avoir beaucoup de besoigne
    sur les bras, quand le Printemps est arrivé. Notam-
    ment les laboureurs, lors qu’ils n’ont ny poué, ny pro-
    vigné, ny clos, durant l’hyver. Pour ce qui concerne le
    commun usage en ce qu’il applique ce mot de coqus
    à ceux qui souffrent les adulteres venir baiser leurs
    femmes, il en va tout au rebours: car le coquu ne per-
    met pas qu’on vienne pondre en son nid: au contrai-
    re, ou il pond au nid d’autruy, ou bien il y porte ses
    oeufs.

    Notes:

    1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 18.66.249, and Horace, Satires, 1.7.31, for the use of the word ‘cuckoo’ as term of mockery for the idle man who has failed to finish pruning his vines before the cuckoo is heard calling.


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