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Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[E2r p67]

In victoriam dolo partam.

On victory won by guile

EMBLEMA XLVIII.

Aiacis tumulum lacrymis ego perluo Virtus,
Heu misera albentes dilacerata comas!
Scilicet hoc restabat adhuc, ut iudice Graeco[1]
Vincerer: & caussa stet potiore dolus.[2]

I, Virtue, bedew with tears the tomb of Ajax, tearing, alas, in my grief my whitening hairs. This was all it needed - that I should be worsted with a Greek as judge, and that guile should appear to have the better cause.

Notes:

1. áThe Greek assembly awarded the arms of the dead Achilles to the cunning and eloquent Ulysses, not the brave and straight-forward Ajax. For Ajax’ subsequent suicide, see [A91a028].

2. áSee Anthologia graeca 7.145.


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Pudicitia.

Chastity

EMBLEMA XLVII.

Porphyrio, domini si incestet in aedibus uxor,
Despondetque animum, praeque dolore perit.
Abdita in arcanis naturae est caussa: sit index
Sincerae haec volucris certa pudicitiae.[1]

If the wife in its master’s house is unfaithful, the moorhen despairs and dies of grief. The reason lies hidden in the secrets of nature. This bird may serve as a sure sign of untarnished chastity.

Notes:

1. áFor this information about the porphyrio (purple gallinule, a kind of moorhen) see Aelian, De Natura animalium, 3.42; Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 9,388C: the purple gallinule ... when it is domesticated, ... keeps a sharp eye on married women and is so affected if the wife commits adultery, that it ends its life by strangling and so gives warning to its master.


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