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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Ss7v p654]

Cum larvis non luctandum.[1]

Do not wrestle with the dead

EMBLEMA CLIIII.

AEacidae[2] moriens percussu cuspidis Hector[3],
Qui toties hostes vicerat ante suos;
Comprimere haud potuit vocem, insultantibus illis,
Dum curru & pedibus nectere vincla parant.
Distrahite ut libitum est: sic cassi luce leonis
Convellunt barbam vel timidi lepores.[4]

When he was dying from the wound dealt by the spear of Aeacus’ descendant, Hector, who had so often before defeated his own enemies, could not keep silent as they triumphed over him, while preparing to tie the ropes to chariot and feet. Tear me as you will, he said; when the lion is deprived of the light of life, even cowardly hares pluck his beard.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Erasmus, Adagia 153, Cum larvis luctari.

2.  ‘of Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. ‘of Achilles’.

3.  Hector was the greatest warrior on the Trojan side in the Trojan War, killed in single combat by Achilles, the Greek champion. See Homer, Iliad 22.367ff. and 24.14ff. for Achilles’ desecration of Hector’s body, dragging it, tied by the feet behind his chariot, round the tomb of Patroclus.

4.  The last two lines are a translation of the two-line epigram Anthologia graeca 16.4, where, in Planudes’ text, the words are attributed to Hector in the heading.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Tt1r p657]

De Morte & Amore.[1]

Death and Love

EMBLEMA CLV.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Tt1v p658]

Errabat socio Mors iuncta Cupidine: secum
Mors pharetras, parvus tela gerebat Amor.
Divertere simul, simul una & nocte cubarunt:
Caecus Amor, Mors hoc tempore caeca fuit.
Alter enim alterius malè provida spicula sumpsit,
Mors aurata, tenet ossea tela puer.
Debuit inde senex qui nunc Acheronticus[2] esse,
Ecce amat, & capiti florea serta parat.
At ego mutato quia Amor me perculit arcu,
Deficio, iniiciunt & mihi fata manum.
Parce puer, Mors signa tenens victricia parce:
Fac ego amem, subeat fac Acheronta senex.

Death was travelling in company with Cupid. Death was carrying the quivers, little Love the arrows. They turned aside together, and slept beside each other that night. Love was blind, and Death too was blind at this time, for each took the other’s heedless arrows. Death has the golden ones, the boy the ones of bone. As a result, an old man who ought by now to be in the grave is - lo and behold - in love, and gets garlands of flowers for his head. But I, since Love struck me with his substitute bow, I am failing - the Fates lay their hand on me. Boy, show mercy. Death, holding the symbols of your triumph, do you show mercy. Cause me to love; cause the old man to go down to Hades.

Notes:

1.  The iconography of the emblems ‘De morte et amore’ and ‘In formosam fato praereptam’ (next emblem) is confused in many editions.

2.  Acheron was considered to be a river in Hades, but is used to mean the Underworld or the dead in general. Homer described it as a river of Hades, where Odysseus consulted spirits of Underworld (Odyssey 10.513). Vergil (Aeneid 6.297, with the note of Servius) describes it as the principal river of Tartarus, from which the Styx and Cocytus sprang.


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