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EMBLEMA XII.

Strenuorum immortale nomen.[1]

Achievers have an immortal name

Aeacidae tumulum Rhoetaeo in littore cernis,[2]
Quem plerunque pedes visitat alba Thetis,[3]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C6v f9v]Obtegitur semper viridi lapis hic Amarantho,[4]
Quod nunquam Herois sit moriturus honos
Hic Graium Murus.[5] Magni nex Hectoris, haud plus.
Debet Maeonidae, quàm sibi Maeonides.[6]

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.

Das XII.

Der dapffern starcken Helden Nam ist
unzergenglich.

Hie sichstu an dem gstad Rhoetein
Deß Helden Achillis Grabstein
Darzu Thetis sein Mutter walt
Mit iren weissen Füssen galt
Dieser Stein wirt on underlaß
Geziert mit deß taussent schön Graß
Dann keines künen Helden ehr
Verlischt und stirbt ab ewig mehr
Dieser war der Griechen ein Mauwer
Und deß starcken Hectors todt sauwr
Von Homero nit vil mehr preiß
Er hat, als von im der blindt greiß.

Notes:

1.  This woodcut, lacking the nymph Thetis, but including the floating shield, is not designed for this emblem, but for emblem 66 [A67a066], concerning the shield of the dead Achilles.

2.  ‘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).

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

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

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

6.  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 196, [A67a196]). 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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EMBLEMA IX.

Principis clementia.

Clemency in a ruler

Vesparum quod nulla unquam Rex spicula figet:[1]
Quódque aliis duplo corpore maior erit.
Arguet imperium clemens, moderataque regna.
Sanctaque iudicibus credita iura bonis.

The king of the wasps will never implant any sting and will be twice as big as the rest. This will be a sign of mild dominion, a disciplined kingdom, and inviolable law entrusted to good judges.

Das IX.

Fürstliche Gnad.

Das der Wespen König nimmer
Mit seim Angel sticht, und daß er
An seinem Leib zweymal ist groß
Dann die andern Wespen genoß
Zeigt an ein gnedig Regiment
Und stilles Reich darinn man lendt
All Hendel und sachen nach recht
Wie es vertrauwt ist dem Richter schlecht.

Notes:

1.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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