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Opulenti haereditas.

The rich man’s legacy

LXXXIII [=84] .

Patroclum falsis rapiunt hinc Troës in armis,
Hic socii, atque omnis turba Pelasga vetat.
Obtinet exuvias Hector, Graecique cadaver,[1]
Haec fabella agitur, cùm vir opimus obit,
Maxima rixa oritur, tandem sed transigit haeres,
Et corvis aliquid, vulturiisque sinit.[2]

On that side the Trojans are carrying off Patroclus in his deceptive armour, on this, his co-fighters and all the Greek host try to stop them. Hector obtains the spoils, the Greeks the body. This story is played out when a rich man dies. A great quarrelling arises, but eventually the heir brings the argument to an end and leaves something for crows and vultures.

Notes:

1.  For the death of Patroclus, see Homer, Iliad, 16.784ff. He borrowed Achilles’ armour to fight the Trojans when Achilles refused, and was killed by Hector, who took the armour.

2.  ‘Vulture’ was a term used to refer to people who hang round rich persons, hoping for a legacy See Erasmus, Adagia, 614 (Si vultur es, cadaver exspecta).


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    In garrulum & gulosum.

    Against a noisy and gluttonous fellow

    Voce boat torva, praelargo est gutture, rostrum
    Instar habet nasi multiforisque tubae.
    Deformem rabulam, addictum ventrique gulaeque
    Signabit, volucer cum truo pictus erit.

    It screams with a harsh cry, it has an enormous throat, a beak like a spout or a many-holed trumpet. The pelican bird, when painted, will indicate an ugly ranter, enslaved to lust and belly.


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    • Gluttony, Intemperance, 'Gula'; 'Gola', 'Ingordigia', 'Ingordigia overo Avidità', 'Voracità' (Ripa) ~ personification of one of the Seven Deadly Sins [11N35] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • audible means of communication of animal(s): roaring, crying, singing, etc. [25F(+49)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Prolixity, Verbosity, Loquacity; 'Loquacità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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