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Respublica liberata.

The republic restored to freedom

XLVII.

Caesaris exitio ceu libertate recepta.
Haec ducibus Brutis cusa moneta fuit.
Ensiculi in primis, queis pileus insuper adstat,
Qualem missa manu servitia accipiunt.[1]

When Caesar had been destroyed, as a sign of liberty regained, this coin was struck by the leaders, Brutus and his brother. In chief are daggers, beside which there also stands a cap, such as slaves receive when set free.

Notes:

1. Julius Caesar, who had become in effect the sole ruler of Rome, was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BC by Marcus and Decimus Brutus, Cassius and other conspirators. Alciato describes the well-known coin-type celebrating the restoration of republican government issued by Brutus after the murder. This bears the legend EID.MAR. (The Ides of March) across the lower section; above this, occupying the upper two thirds of the coin face, are two upright daggers with a cap of liberty between. Alciato had presumably seen or owned such a coin. He wrote a short treatise on ancient coins.


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    Hedera.

    Ivy

    EMBLEMA CCV.

    Haudquaquam arescens Hederae est arbuscula, Cisso[1]
    Quae puero Bacchum dona dedisse ferunt:
    Errabunda, procax, auratis fulva corymbis,
    Exterius viridis, caetera pallor habet.
    Hinc aptis vates cingunt sua tempora sertis:[2]
    Pallescunt studiis, laus diuturna viret.

    There is a bushy plant which never withers, the ivy which Bacchus, they say, gave as a gift to the boy Cissos. It goes where it will, uncontrollable; tawny where the golden berry-clusters hang; green on the outside but pale everywhere else. Poets use it to wreathe their brows with garlands that fit them well - poets are pale with study, but their praise remains green for ever.

    Notes:

    1. Κισσός is the Greek word for ‘ivy’. For the story of Cissos, beloved of Bacchus, and his transformation into the ivy, see Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 12.188ff.

    2. vates cingunt sua tempora, ‘Poets use it to wreathe their brows’. See Pliny, Natural History, 16.62.147: poets use the species with yellow berries for garlands.


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