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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C8r p47]

Etiam ferocissimos domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

EMBLEMA XXIX.

Romanum postquàm eloquium, Cicerone perempto, [1]
Perdiderat patriae pestis acerba suae:
Inscendit currus victor, iunxitque leones[2],
Compulit & durum colla subire iugum:
Magnanimos cessisse suis Antonius armis,
Ambage hac cupiens significare duces.

After Antony, that grievous bane of his country, had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero, he mounted his chariot in triumph and yoked to it lions, forcing their necks to bow to the harsh yoke, desiring by this symbolic act to indicate that great leaders had given way before his military might.

Notes:

1.  ‘had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero’. Cicero was considered Rome’s greatest orator - his name was held by many to be synonymous with eloquence itself; see Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 10.1.112. Mark Antony had Cicero murdered in 43 BC in revenge for his scathing attacks in the fourteen ‘Philippic’ orations. See Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae 6.17.

2.  Cf. Pliny, Natural History 8.21.55: Antony was the first to yoke lions to a chariot in Rome...by this unnatural sight giving people to understand that noble spirits were at that time bowing to the yoke.


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  • Eloquence; 'Eloquenza', 'Fermezza & Gravità dell'Oratione' (Ripa) [52D3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Authority, Power; 'Dominio', 'Giurisdittione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53C11(+4):54F2(+2)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Vehemence, Violence, Fierceness; 'Sforza con Inganno', 'Violenza' (Ripa) [54AA4] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • adeath of Cicero: he is slain by soldiers at the order of the triumvirs [98B(CICERO)68] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [g6v p108]

In temerarios.

The reckless

LXIIII.

Aspicis aurigam currus Phaëtonta[1] paterni
Ignivomos ausum flectere Solis equos:
Maxima qui postquàm terris incendia sparsit,
Est temerè insesso lapsus ab axe miser.
Sic plerique rotis Fortunae ad sydera Reges
Evecti, ambitio quos iuvenilis agit.
Post magnam humani generis clademque suamque,
Cunctorum poenas denique dant scelerum.

You see here Phaethon, driving his father’s chariot, and daring to guide the fire-breathing steeds of the Sun. After spreading great conflagrations over the earth, the wretched boy fell from the car he had so rashly mounted. - Even so, the majority of kings are borne up to heaven on the wheels of Fortune, driven by youth’s ambition. After they have brought great disaster on the human race and themselves, they finally pay the penalty for all their crimes.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [g7r p109]

COMMENTARIA.

Phaton filius Solis & Clymenes Nym-
phae, maximè temerarius, qui instanter ac im-
portunè à patre efflagitans, ut currum et Equos
quibus Sol vehitur uno die gubernare per-
mitteretur, impetravit, sed difficilimo oneri
impar. Equi etenim ignoto rectore perterriti
in contrariam partem inclinaverunt, quos ipse
extra viam currentes retinere amplius non
potuit, inde magnum in terris incendium exor-
tum, adeoque ut Iupiter etiam Coelo timens
illum fulminis ictu de curru praecipitavit.
hinc Ovidius lib. 1. de tristibus.

Vitaret Coelum Phaëton si viveret, & quos
Optavit stultè tangere nollet Equos.

Totam autem Phaëtontis fabulam & praeci-
pitem casum describit pulchrè Ovidius lib. 2.
Metamorphoseon Similiter Reges quamplurimi, ob
dexteram fortunam ad sydera usque evecti,
sed ambitione nimia atque audacia iuvenili,
imò dominandi libidine agitati, post ma-
gnam denique iacturam, totius
etiam Reipublicae detrimento ipsi
quoque scelerum suo-
rum omnium poe-
nas luunt.

Notes:

1.  Phaethon, the son of Apollo, the sun-god. The myth referred to here is told in Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.748 - 2.349. Both Phaethon and Icarus ([A56a053]) are types of those who aim too high and do not recognise their proper sphere.


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