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IN AVAROS, VEL QUIBUS ME-
lior conditio ab extraneis offertur.

On the avaricious; or being treated better by strangers.

Delphini insidens vada[1] cerula sulcat Arion[2],
Hocque aures mulcet frenat & ora sono.
Quam sit avari hominis, non tam mens dira ferarum est,
Quique viris rapimur, piscibus eripimur.

Astride a dolphin, Arion cleaves the dark blue waves, and with this song charms the creature’s ears and muzzles its mouth: “The mind of wild beasts is not so savage as that of greedy man. We who are savaged by men are saved by fish”.

Notes:

1.  The earlier Augsburg editions read unda.

2.  The crew of the ship on which the celebrated musician Arion was travelling, after robbing him, prepared to throw him overboard. He persuaded them to allow him to play his lyre for the last time. Then, after invoking the gods, he jumped into the sea, whereupon a music-loving dolphin conveyed him to land. See Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 16.19.


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NON VULGANDA CON
SILIA.

Keep counsels secret.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A5r]

Limine quod caeco obscura & caligine monstrum[1],
Gnosiacis clausit Daedalus in latebris.
Depictum Romana phalanx in praelia gestat,
Semiviroque nitent signa superba[2] Iove.
Nosque monent debere ducum secreta[3] latere,
Consilia auctori cognita techna nocet.

The monster that Daedalus imprisoned in its Cretan lair, with hidden entrance and obscuring darkness, the Roman phalanx carries painted into battle; the proud standards flash with the half-man bull. These remind us that the secret plans of leaders must stay hid. A ruse once known brings harm to its author.

Notes:

1.  ‘The monster that Daedalus imprisoned’, i.e. the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster kept in the famous Labyrinth at Knossos, which Daedalus, the Athenian master-craftsman, constructed for King Minos.

2.  According to Pliny, Natural History 10.5.16, before the second consulship of Marius (104 BC) Roman standards bore variously eagles, wolves, minotaurs, horses and boars. Marius made the eagle universal.

3.  Cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (135 Lindsay): the Minotaur appears among the military standards, because the plans of leaders should be no less concealed than was the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth.


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