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TANDEM IUSTICIA
OBTINET.[1]

At long last justice wins the day

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Aeacide Hectoreo perfusum sanguine scutum,
Quod Graecorum Ithaco concio iniqua dedit.
Iustior arripuit Neptunus in aequora iactum,
Naufragio ut dominum posset adire suum,
Littoreo Aiacis tumulo namque intulit unda,
Que boat, & tali voce sepulchra ferit.
Vicisti Thelamoniade tu dignior armis,
Affectus fas est cedere iusticiae.[2]

The shield of Aeacus’ descendant, stained with Hector’s blood, the unjust assembly of the Greeks awarded to the Ithacan. Neptune, showing more respect for equity, seized upon it when it was cast into the sea in the shipwreck, so that it could go to its proper master. For the wave carried it to Ajax’s tomb upon the shore, the wave which booms and smites the sepulchre with these words: ‘Son of Telamon, you have conquered. You are more worthy of these arms’. It is right for partiality to yield to justice.

Notes:

1.  In other editions, the motto is Tandem tandem iustitia obtinet.

2.  This is a version of Anthologia graeca 9.115-6. See Homer, Odyssey 11.541ff. for the contest for ownership of the divine armour of the dead Achilles (i.e. Aeacus’ descendant), who had earlier killed Hector. The Greek assembly awarded the armour to smooth Odysseus (the Ithacan) rather than to brave Ajax (son of Telamon), and, according to later tradition, Ajax became mad with fury and humiliation. Returning to sanity he committed suicide in shame. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.1.ff; and [A50a175]. Ajax was buried on a promontory near Rhoeteion, not far from Troy.


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NON TIBI SED RELIGIONI

Not for you but for religion

Isidis effigiem tardus gestabat asellus,
Pando verenda dorso habens mysteria.
Obvius ergo deam quisquis reverenter adorat,
Piasque genibus concipit flexis preces.
Ast asinus tantum praestari credit honorem,
Sibi, & intumescit admodum superbiens.
Donec eum flagris compescens dixit agaso,
Non es deus tu aselle, sed deum vehis.[1]

An ass with dragging feet was carrying an image of Isis, bearing reverend mysteries on its sagging back. So all who met him reverently offered worship to the goddess and recited pious prayers on bended knee. The ass however took it that all this honour was offered to himself, and began to swagger along swollen with pride - until his driver, reducing him with blows, said, ‘You are not god, my little ass, you are carrying god’.

Notes:

1.  See Aesop, Fables 266; Erasmus, Adagia 1104, Asinus portans mysteria.


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  • allegorical representations ~ religion; 'Religione', 'Religione de SS. Mauritio e Lazaro', 'Religione vera christiana' (Ripa) [11P12] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Misuse, Misemployment (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54BB11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Arrogance; 'Arroganza' (Ripa) [57AA644] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Honour, Glory; 'Ampiezza della Gloria', 'Gloria', 'Gloria de prencipi', 'Gloria & Honore', 'Honore', 'Sublimatà ¤ella Gloria' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [59B31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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