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Section: ARBORES (Trees). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O4v p216]

Abies.

The fir tree

Apta fretis abies in montibus editur altis:
Est & in adversis maxima commoditas.[1]

The fir tree that is fit to sail the sea grows high up on the hills. Even in hard circumstances, there is great advantage to be found.

Notes:

1.  This is because it grows strong by withstanding the gales and harsh weather. Contrast Anthologia Graeca, 9.30ff, 105, and the much-translated 376 for an opposing view of the fir tree: “how can the fir, storm-tossed while growing on land, resist the gales at sea?” 9.31 was translated by Alciato (Selecta epigrammata, p. 98).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Mmm2v f458v as 461]

QUERCUS.

The Oak

Emblema. 198.

Greca [=Grata] Iovi est quercus, qui nos servatque, fovetque:
Servanti civem querna corona datur.[1]
Glande aluit[2] veteres,[3] sola nunc proficit umbra:
Sic quoque sic arbos officiosa Iovi [=Iovis] .

The oak is pleasing to Jove who preserves and cherishes us. A crown of oak is given to one who preserves a fellow-citizen. The oak fed men of old with its acorns. Now it benefits us only with its shade. In this way too the tree of Jove does us service.

Notes:

1.  ‘a crown of oak’, awarded for saving the life of a fellow-soldier; see Pliny, Natural History, 16.3.7.

2.  Corrected from the Errata.

3.  For the ancient belief that early man fed on acorns see e.g. Lucretius, De Rerum natura, 5.939; Vergil, Georgics, 1.7; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.106.


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