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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B7v p30]

Nec quaestioni quidem cedendum.

Do not yield even to torture.

EMBLEMA XIII.

Cecropia effictam quam cernis in arce Leaenam,
Harmodii (an nescis hospes?) amica fuit.
Sic animum placuit monstrare viraginis acrem
More ferae, nomen vel quia tale tulit.
Quòd fidibus contorta, suo non prodidit ullum
Indicio, elinguem reddidit Iphicrates.[1]

This lioness that you see represented on the Athenian citadel was Harmodius’ lover - stranger, you must know the story. This was how they decided to proclaim the brave woman’s fierce spirit, by representing her as a lioness. Besides, her name was Lioness too. Tortured on the rack, she betrayed no-one by her evidence, and so Iphicrates represented the beast without a tongue.

Notes:

1.  Harmodius and Aristogeiton conspired to kill Hipparchus, the brother of the Athenian tyrant Hippias. Harmodius was killed, Aristogeiton arrested and tortured. Also tortured was Leaena (‘Lioness’) a courtesan, beloved of Harmodius, as she too was suspected of being in the conspiracy. She however revealed nothing. After the fall of Hippias, the two men were treated as tyrannicides and bronze statues were erected in their honour (509 BC). To avoid appearing to honour a courtesan, the Athenians had Leaena represented by Iphicrates (or Amphicrates) as a lioness without a tongue, indicating both her name and the reason for remembering her. See Pliny, Natural History 34.19.72; Plutarch, De garrulitate 505E.


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  • tongue [31A22141] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • torture [44G330] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Taciturnity; 'Secretezza', 'Secretezza overo Taciturnità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52DD3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Courage, Bravery, Valiance, Manliness; 'Ardire magnanimo et generoso', 'Gagliardezza', 'Valore', 'Virtù heroica', 'Virtù dell'animo e del corpo' (Ripa) [54A8] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Honour, Glory; 'Ampiezza della Gloria', 'Gloria', 'Gloria de prencipi', 'Gloria & Honore', 'Honore', 'Sublimatà della Gloria' (Ripa) [59B31] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • names of cities and villages (with NAME) [61E(ATHENS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Harmodius and Aristogiton representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(HARMODIUS & ARISTOGITON)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(IPHICRATES)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • female persons from classical history (with NAME) suffering, misfortune of person from classical history [98C(LAENA)6] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A8r p15]

Tenir caché le secret.

VIII.

Romains jadis firent pourtraire
Le Minotaure en leur enseigne:[1]
Dire en ce voulans, qu’on doit taire
Secret de quelque part qu’il vienne:[2]
Et à fin que sur ce on comprenne
De tell’ peinture la raison,
Nul n’est vivant qui entreprenne.
Tirer tel monstre hors sa maison.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A8v p16]

commentaires.

Pasiphaë, fille du Soleil, & femme de Minos Roy
de Crete, se laissa emporter à l’abominable amour
d’un taureau, & en fut tellement embrasee, qu’elle se
fit enfermer dans une vache de bois, à fin que ce tau-
reau la congnust. De ce detestable accouplement nasquit
un horrible monstre, qui estoit demi homme, & demi
taureau, dont il fut appellé Minotaure. Le Roy Mi-
nos
, voulant oster ce monstre hors de la veuë des
hommes, commanda à Dedale, (ingenieux ouvrier
Athenien, qui mesmes avoit fabriqué la vache de bois)
de luy bastir un labyrinthe, enveloppé & construit
avec tant de difficiles destours, que qui y entroit une
fois, à grand’ peine en pouvoit-il jamais sortir: & là
dedans enferma il le Minotaure. Les Romains por-
toyent autresfois ceste peincture en leurs enseignes de
guerre, donnans à entendre, que les conseils secrets des
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B1r p17] Princes, doyvent estre merveilleusement couverts &
cachés: car estant descouverts, ils sont cause de beau-
coup de maux. Partant ceux qui president aux repu-
bliques & aux estats, se doyvent bien garder de des-
couvrir leurs conseils, quand bien ce seroit à leurs plus
grands amis. C’est pourquoy un grand Capitaine
Romain respondit à un de ses plus familiers, qui de-
siroit sçavoir de luy ses desseings, Si je sçavois que ma
chemise les sceust, je la bruslerois tout maintenant.

Notes:

1.  According to Pliny, Natural History 10.5.16, before the second consulship of Marius (104 BC) Roman standards bore variously eagles, wolves, minotaurs, horses and boars. Marius made the eagle universal.

2.  Cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (135 Lindsay): the Minotaur appears among the military standards, because the plans of leaders should be no less concealed than was the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth.


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