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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C7v p46]

Tandem, tandem iustitia obtinet.

At long last, justice wins the day.

EMBLEMA XXVIII.

AEacidae Hectoreo perfusum sanguine scutum,
Quod GraecorumIthaco concio iniqua dedit,
Iustior arripuit Neptunus in aequora iactum
Naufragio, ut dominum posset adire suum:
Littoreo Aiacis tumulo namque intulit unda,
Quae boat, & tali voce sepulchra ferit:
Vicisti Telamoniade tu dignior armis.
Affectus fas est cedere iustitiae.[1]

The shield of Aeacus’ descendant, stained with Hector’s blood, the unjust assembly of the Greeks awarded to the Ithacan. Neptune, showing more respect for equity, seized upon it when it was cast into the sea in the shipwreck, so that it could go to its proper master. For the wave carried it to Ajax’ tomb upon the shore, the wave which booms and smites the sepulchre with these words: ‘Son of Telamon, you have conquered. You are more worthy of these arms’. It is right for partiality to yield to justice.

Notes:

1.  This is a version of Anthologia graeca 9.115-6. See Homer, Odyssey 11.541ff. for the contest for ownership of the divine armour of the dead Achilles (i.e. Aeacus’ descendant), who had earlier killed Hector. The Greek assembly awarded the armour to smooth Odysseus (the Ithacan) rather than to brave Ajax (son of Telamon), and, according to later tradition, Ajax became mad with fury and humiliation. Returning to sanity he committed suicide in shame. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.1.ff; and [A91a175]. Ajax was buried on a promontory near Rhoeteion, not far from Troy.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [g5v p106]

Nec questioni quidem ce-
dendum.

Do not yield even to torture

LXIII.

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’s 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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [g6r p107]

COMMENTARIA.

Harmodius & Aristogiton iuvenes fortis-
simi, cives Athenienses de Reipublica [=Republica] optimè
meriti: nam libertatis recuperandae ac Rei-
publicae conservandae gratia de Tyranno interfi-
ciendo coniurare atque id aggredi ausi fuere,
ideoque in eorum honorem à Civibus publi-
co decreto sancitum fuit ut nemo unquam
ipsorum nomine vocaretur, refert Gellius lib. 9.
cap. 2. Hi scortum eius lyrae cantu & benevo-
lentiae officio maximè coniunctum & fami-
liare habebant, nomine Leaena, quae à Tyran-
no capta, torta & ad mortem usque excruciata,
eorum tamen de Tyrannicidio consilia &
conspirationem prodere nec revelare voluit,
quin potius (ut acris animi) praecisam denti-
bus linguam in Hippiae Tyranni faciem ex-
puit. Idcirco Athenienses ei quoque quid ho-
noris tribuere volentes, nec tamen ut scor-
tum celebrare, sed animal eius nominis in
arce Cecropia (arx Athenis à Cecrope Rege
conditore appellata, ut Plinius lib. 7. cap. 56.) per
Iphicratem eximium sculptorem, efficere, utque
clarius honoris causa intelligeretur, in opere
Leaenae linguam non addidere. Meminere Pli
nius lib. 7. cap. 23. idemque prolixius libro 34.
cap. 8. & eleganter Crinitus lib. 9. cap. 8. de ho-
nesta disciplina.

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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  • Courage, Bravery, Valiance, Manliness; 'Ardire magnanimo et generoso', 'Gagliardezza', 'Valore', 'Virtù heroica', 'Virtù dell'animo e del corpo' (Ripa) [54A8] Search | Browse Iconclass
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