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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N3v p198]

Musicam Diis curae esse.

The gods care for music

Locrensis posuit tibi Delphice Phoebe cicadam
Eunomus hanc, palmae signa decora suae.
Certabat plectro Sparthyn commissus in hostem,
Et percussa sonum pollice fila dabant.
Trita fides rauco coepit cłm stridere bombo,
Legitimum harmonies [=harmonias] & vitiare melos,
Tum Citharae argutans suavis sese intulit ales,
Quae fractam impleret voce cicada fidem.
Quaeque allecta, soni ad legem descendit ab altis
Saltibus, ut nobis garrula ferret opem.
Ergo tuae ut firmus stet honos (ó sancte) cicadae,
Pro cithara hic fidicen aeneus ipsa sedet.[1]

Phoebus, god of Delphi, Locrian Eunomus set up this cicada in your honour, an appropriate symbol of his victory. He was competing in the lyre contest against his rival Sparthys and the strings resounded as he plucked them with the plectrum. A worn string began to buzz with a hoarse rattle and spoil the true melody of the music. Then a sweet-voiced creature, a cicada, flew chirping onto the lyre to supply with its song the broken string. Recruited to follow the rules of musical sound, it flew down from the high glades to bring us aid with its chirping song. Accordingly, so that the honour due to your cicada, o holy god, may last undiminished, on top of the lyre she sits here herself, a minstrel in bronze.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 6.54. See Strabo, Geography 6.1.9 for the story of Eunomus and the statue he set up at his home town of Locri commemorating this incident in the song contest at the Pythian Games (celebrated near Delphi, in honour of Apollo, Artemis and their mother Leto); also Erasmus, Adagia 414, Acanthia Cicada.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E8v]

DOCTOS DOCTIS OB-
loqui nefas esse.

It is wicked for scholars to wrangle with other scholars

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F1r]

Quid rapis heu progne vocalem saeva cicadam,
Pignoribusque tuis fercula dira paras?[1]
Ac stridula stridulam[2], vernam verna hospita laedis,
Hospitam, & aligeram penniger ales avem?
Ergo abiice hanc praedam, nam musica pectora summum est,
Alterum ab alterius dente perire nefas.

Alas, Procne, why, cruel bird, do you sieze on the melodious cicada and prepare a dreadful banquet for your young? A whistler yourself, you harm the shrill singer; a summer visitor, you hurt another fine-weather caller; a guest, you harm a guest; a feathered bird, you hurt another winged creature. So let this prize go. It is the greatest sin for hearts devoted to the Muses to perish by one another’s tooth.

Notes:

1.  The reference is to the legend of Procne’s metamorphosis into a swallow. See [A50a070]. For swallows catching cicadas, see Aelian, De natura animalium 8.6.

2.  Textual variant: Stridula stridentem.


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