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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D5v f16v]

EMBLEMA XXIII.

Foedera.

Alliances.

Hanc citharam, à Lembi quae forma halieutica[1] fertur
Vendicat & propriam Musa latina sibi.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D6r f17r] Accipe Dux, placeat nostrum hoc tibi tempore munus
Quo nova cum sociis foedera inire paras.
Difficile est, nisi docto homini, tot tendere chordas:
Unaque si fuerit non benè tenta[2] fides:
Ruptave (quod facilè est) perit omnis gratia conchae
Illeque praecellens cantus ineptus erit.
Sic Itali coeunt proceres in foedera, concors
Nil est quod timeas, si tibi constet amor.
At si aliquis desciscat (ut plerunque videmus)
In nihilum illa omnis solvitur Harmonia.

This lute, which from its boat shape is called “halieutica”, my Latin Muse now claims for her own service. Receive it, O Duke. May this offering of mine be pleasing to you at this moment when you are preparing to enter into fresh agreements with your allies. It is difficult, except for a man of skill, to tune so many strings, and if one string is out of tune or broken, which so easily happens, all the music of the instrument is lost and its lovely song disjointed. In like manner the leaders of Italy are now forming alliances. There is nothing for you to fear if affection lasts for you and stays in concord. But if any one should slide away, which we often see, that harmony is all dissolved into nothing.

Das XXIII.

Verbündtnuß.

Diß Laut so hat eins Schiffleins gstalt
Das dFischer brauchen manigfalt
Welche die Studenten so glehrt
Für eigen halten on gewehrt
Schick euwr Fürstlich gnad ich zum gschenck
Dieweil die ein neuwen bundt anfengt
Mit andern Fürsten Welsches Lands
Bitt wolt solchs zgnaden annemmen zhand
Gleich wie vil Seiten recht richten zwar
Braucht grosse kunst klugheit für war
Dann so eine nit zogen recht
Oder abspringend glat auß schlecht
Wie es sich dann leichtlich zutregt
So ist alsdann all freudt erschreckt
Und endt sich die süß Melodey
In ein mißlautend unlieblich geschrey
Also die Welschen Fürsten zmal
Machen ein Bundt jetzund mit schal
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D6v f17v] So einigkeit, lieb, glaub und treuw
Gehalten wirt bringt es kein reuw
So aber einer abfelt und weicht
(Wie dann leyder daselb gschicht leicht)
So nimpt ein end solch einigkeit
Und wirt auß aller freud ein leidt.

Notes:

1.  A Greek word meaning ‘fishing’ (boat).

2.  The errata suggest ‘tensa’, but this is not supported from readings elsewhere.


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  • 'Lega' (Ripa) [44B450] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • the artist and his muse (in general) [48B101] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • inspiration of the painter [48C75110] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Harmony, Regularity (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51D2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Agreement, Unity; 'Concordia', 'Concordia insuperabile', 'Concordia militare', 'Concordia di Pace', 'Unione civile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(SFORZA, Massimiliano)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(ITALY)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F3r]

TUMULUS IOANNIS GA-
leacii Vicecomitis
primi Ducis
Mediolani.[1]

The tomb of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, first Duke of Milan

Pro tumulo pone Italiam, pone arma ducesque,[2]
Et mare quod geminos mugit adusque sinus.
Adde his barbariem[3] conantem irrumpere frustra
Gallus uti, & Teuton alpe & hyberus aquis.[4]
Anguiger autem[5] summo sistens in culmine dicat,
Quîs parvis magnum me super imposuit?

Instead of the tomb, put Italy, put weapons and leaders, and the sea which roars right up to the twin curving coasts. Add to these the barbarian host, trying in vain to burst in, like the French, the German over the Alps and the Spanish by sea. But the one holding a snake, standing on the roof of the tomb, may well say: Who has put me, great as I am, on top of little things?

Notes:

1.  Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1351-1402), created first Duke of Milan in 1395. Noted for his ruthlessness, he united most of the Po valley under the rule of Milan for the first time, defeated Bologna, and set his sights on Florence until his death saved that city.

2.  This epigram is based on Anthologia graeca 7.73 (by Geminos, but wrongly attributed to Germanicus in the sixteenth century). The Greek epigram is concerned with what would be a worthy tomb for the Greek hero Themistocles, who was buried in a very simple grave. It suggests one with representations of Salamis and the Persians, recalling the hero’s most famous exploit, the victory over the Persians at the battle of Salamis. Likewise, memorials of Visconti’s achievements are proposed here.

3.  ‘the barbarian host’, i.e. the ‘barbarian’ French, who were induced to become involved in the Milan/Florence conflict and were defeated by Visconti. The French are mentioned specifically in the version of this poem found in Selecta epigrammata p.254, where 1.4 reads: Gallus ut et Theuton Alpe et Hyberus aquis, ‘like the Gaul and the Teuton via the Alps and the Spaniard via the sea’. In Alciato’s day, the French continued to overrun the Italian peninsula and attempt to dictate its internal affairs.

4.  This line is completely changed in later editions.

5.  This is presumably a figure of the Duke of Milan, whose arms included a snake; see [A31a001]. In the accompanying woodcut, we have written on a snaking ribbon held by a figure the Greek version (taken from the original Greek epigram) of the Latin words quoted in l.6.


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