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CUM LARVIS NON LUCTAN-
DUM.[1]

Do not wrestle with the dead

Aeacide[2] moriens percussu cuspidis Hector[3],
Qui toties hosteis vicerat antč 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’. Textual variant: Aeacidae.

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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MATURANDUM.

Making good speed

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Maturare iubent propere & cunctarier omnes
Ne nimium praeceps neu mora longa nimis
Hoc tibi declaret connexum echneide[1] telum
Haec tarda est, volitant spicula missa manu.

Everyone tells us to deal with things quickly, but they also tell us to hold back - not to be impetuous, nor yet to wait too long. A missile linked with a sucking-fish can demonstrate this for you: the fish is slow, but arrows fly fast when they leave the shooter’s hand.

Notes:

1.  ‘linked with a sucking fish’. The sucking-fish (echeneis or remora) was a creature believed by the ancients to have the power of slowing the course of ships to which it attached itself. See Pliny, Natural History 32.1.2-6. He describes it as about six inches long and like a slug. See also [A31a050].


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  • Maturity (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51FF511(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Swiftness, Speed; 'Agilitą', 'Celeritą', 'Velocitą' (Ripa) (+ symbolical representation of concept) [51M11(+3)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Swiftness, Speed; 'Agilitą', 'Celeritą', 'Velocitą' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51M11(+4):51MM11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Slowness, Tardiness; 'Tarditą' (Ripa) (+ symbolical representation of concept) [51MM11(+3)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Carefulness, Diligence; 'Diligenza' (Ripa) [54A2] Search | Browse Iconclass

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