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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H8v p128]

Firmissima convelli non posse.

The firmest things cannot be uprooted


Oceanus quamvis fluctus pater excitet omnes,[1]
Danubiumque omnem barbare Turca bibas:[2]
Non tamen irrumpes perfracto limite, Caesar
Dum Charlus populis bellica signa dabit.[3]
Sic sacrae quercus[4] firmis radicibus astant,
Sicca licet venti concutiant folia.

Though Father Ocean rouses all his waves, though, barbarous Turk, you drink the Danube dry, yet you shall not break through the boundary and burst in, while Emperor Charles shall give to his peoples the signal for war. Even so, holy oaks stand firm with tenacious roots, though the winds rattle the dry leaves.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I1r p129]

Starcke bevestigung.


Ob gleich der grewlich Turck das meer
Mit schiffen bedeck uberal,
Und sauff die Danow mit seimm heer,
Mag er unß doch thuen kainn eynfal,
Die weyl den Cristenlichen stal
Der edlest Kayser Carl huett,
Kayn Aych falt nit von windes hal,
Wie fast er in den bleternn wuet.


1.  This poem is based on Anthologia graeca 9.291, which refers to a threat to ancient Rome from invading German tribes.

2.  The Turks invaded along the Danube and reached Hungary, winning the battle of Mohacs in 1526. When Alciato was writing, they continued to threaten Vienna and Central Europe.

3.   Caesar...Charlus, i.e. Emperor Charles V, led the charge to recover the lost territory.

4.  ‘holy oaks’. Oaks were holy because sacred to Zeus, especially at his sanctuary at Dodona in Greece ([A50a199]). The image of the dry leaves is already present in the Greek poem, but see also Vergil, Aeneid 4.441-4.

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  • Asiatic races and peoples: Turks [32B33(TURKS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Constancy, Tenacity; 'Costanza', 'Tenacità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Stability, Firmness; 'Fermezza', 'Stabilimento', 'Stabilità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A22(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Invincibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A71(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(CHARLES V [of Holy Roman Empire])3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(DANUBE)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Oceanus [91B112] Search | Browse Iconclass

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