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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n5v p202]

Litera occidit, spiritus
vivificat.[1]

The letter kills but the spirit gives life

XLV.

Vipereos Cadmus dentes ut credidit arvis,
Sevit & Aonio semina dira solo,
Terrigenum clypeata cohors extorta virorum est,
Hostili inter se qui cecidere manu.
Evasere quibus monitu Tritonidos armis
Abiectis data pax, dextraque iuncta fuit.[2]
Primus Agenorides[3] elementa notasque magistris
Tradidit, iis suavem iunxit & harmoniam.[4]
Quorum discipulos contraria plurima vexant,
Non nisi Palladia quae dirimuntur ope.

When Cadmus entrusted the dragon’s teeth to the furrows and sowed the dread seed in Aonian [Theban] soil, there sprang up a shield-bearing band of earth-born men, who fell by fighting among themselves. Those escaped who at Tritonia’s [Athena’s] command threw down their arms, granted peace and joined right hands. Agenor’s son first gave to teachers letters and symbols and also put together for them sweet musical concord. Many adversities assail those who follow these disciplines, adversities which are resolved only by Pallas Athena’s aid.

Notes:

1.  II Corinthians 3:6.

2.  For the story of Cadmus, founder of Thebes (in Aonia, or less correctly in the French, in Thessaly), and the dragon’s teeth, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.99ff. Athena, goddess of wisdom - here called Tritonia, from the place of her birth in North Africa - brought the internecine struggle between the earth-born warriors to an end.

3.  Agenorides, ‘Agenor’s son’, i.e. Cadmus, who supposedly introduced writing to Greece. The scattering of the dragon’s teeth was interpreted as the invention of the alphabet.

4.  harmoniam, ‘musical concord’. Cadmus’ wife was called Harmonia.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [S5v f128v]

    EMBLEMA CXII [=207] .

    Morus.

    The mulberry

    Serior at Morus nunquam nisi frigore lapso
    Germinat:[1] & sapiens nomina falsa[2] gerit.

    On the other hand, the mulberry is late, and never until the frost is past does it shoot; though wise, it bears a false name.

    Das CCXII [=207] .

    Maulberbaum.

    Der Maulberbaum aber nit ehe
    Sein prossen stost es sey nitmehe
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [S6r f129r] Ein kelt vorhanden, billich er klug
    Genannt wirt und Morus on fug.

    Notes:

    1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 16.25.102: “the mulberry is the last of domesticated trees to shoot, and only does so when the frosts are over; for that reason it is called the wisest of trees”.

    2.  nomina falsa, ‘a false name’, reference to a supposed ‘etymology by opposites’: Latin morus ‘mulberry’ was equated with Greek μῶρος ‘fool’, but the tree was considered wise: see note 1.


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