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Traictés d’amitié.

II.

Comme au Lut la Muse Italique
Print plaisir, pour les bons accords:
Ainsi toy, Duc, as pris prattique
De rendre tous Princes concords:
Mais si un ou deux sont discors,
La Paix meurt, Guerre prend la place,
Comme l’harmonie en ce corps
Une corde rompue casse.

commentaires.

Pource que le Duc de Milan voulut faire une

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confederation & accord entre plusieurs Seigneurs ou
Republiques, Alciat, pour representer le fruict de la
concorde, se sert du lut, (instrument de musique faict
en façon de bateau,) disant que l’harmonie qui sort
d’un lut bien touché & bien accordé, est merveilleuse-
ment douce & plaisante: mais si une des chordes vient
à se rompre, ou qu’elle ne soit pas tendue comme il
faut, lors l’harmonie, qu sort de ce lut, est du tout
maussade & desaggreable: Ainsi, si les Princes &
estats demeurent unis & en bon mesnage les uns a-
vec les autres, il en sortira un grand fruict: mais si
un ou plusieurs viennent à se desunir, lors ne peut on
rien esperer de bon d’une telle ligne.


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  • 'Lega' (Ripa) [44B450] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • war [45A1] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • the artist and his muse (in general) [48B101] 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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INSIGNIA DUCATUS ME-
DIOLANENSEM.

Insignia of the Duke of Milan.

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Exiliens infans sinuosi è faucibus anguis,
Est gentilitiis nobile stemma tuis.[1]
Talia Pellaeum[2] gesisse nomismata regem,
Vidimus, hisque suum concelebrare genus.
Dum se Ammone satum[3] matrem anguis imagine lusam,
Divini & sobolem seminis esse docet.
Ore exit, tradunt sic quosdam enitier angues,[4]
An quia sic Pallas de capite orta Iovis.[5]

An infant bursting from the maw of a coiling serpent marks the noble lineage of your clan. We have observed that the Pellaean king had coinage with such a device and by it celebrated his own descent, proclaiming that he was begotten of Ammon, that his mother was beguiled by the form of a snake and the child was the offspring of divine seed. The infant emerges from the mouth. They say that some snakes come to birth that way. Or is it because Pallas sprang like this from the head of Jove?

Notes:

1.  The Sforza family had ruled Milan since 1450, having assumed power through marriage (some said fraudulently) to a Visconti heiress, and taken their symbol as their own. They were chased out in 1499 by the French, but restored several times.

2.  Pellaeum...regem: ‘the Pellaean king’, i.e. Alexander the Great, born at Pella in Macedonia

3.  For the superhuman birth of Alexander, see e.g. Plutarch, Life of Alexander, 3 and 27: Jupiter in the form of a serpent mated with Olympias, wife of Philip of Macedon, and begat Alexander. Ammon, a north African deity, was identified with Zeus/Jupiter. When Alexander visited Ammon’s sanctuary, he was hailed as the son of the god.

4.  According to e.g.Pliny, Natural History 10.170, Aelian, De natura animalium 1.24, the viper, alone among snakes, produces not eggs but live young. See also Isidore, Etymologiae 12.4.10.

5.  The story of Pallas Athene springing complete and armed from the head of Jove is found in many sources; see e.g. Homer, Hymns 3.308ff; Hesiod, Theogony 923ff.


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