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RESPUBLICA LIBERATA.

The republic restored to freedom

Emblema 149.

Caesaris exitio, ceu libertate recepta,
Haec ducibus Brutis causa [=cusa] moneta fuit
Ensiculi in primis, queģs pileus insuper astat,
Qualem missa manu servitia accipiunt.[1]

When Caesar had been destroyed, as a sign of liberty regained, this coin was struck by the leaders, Brutus and his brother. In chief are daggers, beside which there also stands a cap, such as slaves receive when set free.

Notes:

1.  Julius Caesar, who had become in effect the sole ruler of Rome, was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BC by Marcus and Decimus Brutus, Cassius and other conspirators. Alciato describes the well-known coin-type celebrating the restoration of republican government issued by Brutus after the murder. This bears the legend EID.MAR. (The Ides of March) across the lower section; above this, occupying the upper two thirds of the coin face, are two upright daggers with a cap of liberty between. Alciato had presumably seen or owned such a coin. He wrote a short treatise on ancient coins.


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  • republic; 'Governo della republica' (Ripa) [44B03] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • freedom ~ slavery [46A183] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Freedom, Liberty; 'Libertą' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51E11(+4)] 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(BRUTUS, M.)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • death of Caesar, i.e. the murder of Caesar: he is slain in the Senate at the foot of Pompey's statue, exclaiming 'et tu Brute' [98B(CAESAR)68] Search | Browse Iconclass

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IN VITAM HUMANAM.

On human life

Emblema 150.

Plus solito humanae nunc defle incommoda vitae
Heraclite: scatet pluribus illa malis.
Tu rursus, si quando aliąs, extolle cachinum,
Democrite: illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
Interea haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum
Fine fleam, aut tecum quo modo splene iocer.[1]

Weep now, Heraclitus, even more than you did, for the ills of human life. It teems with far more woes. And you, Democritus, if ever you laughed before, raise your cackle now. Life has become more of a joke. Meanwhile, seeing all this, I consider just how far I can weep with you, how laugh bitterly with you.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. [A15a016]. For the contrast between the despairing tears of Heraclitus (who withdrew from human society) and the sardonic laughter of Democritus when faced with the folly of men, see, among many sources, e.g. Juvenal, Satires 10, 28ff.


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