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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H1v p114]

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 cům stridere bombo,
Legitimum 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, ň 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  [H2v p116]

Unum nihil, duos plurimum posse.

One can do nothing, two can do much

Laertae genitum, genitum quoque Tydeos unŕ[1]
Hac cera expressit Zenalis apta manus.[2]
Viribus hic praestat, hic pollet acumine mentis,
Nec tamen alterius non eget alter ope.
Cům duo coniuncti veniunt, victoria certa est,
Solům mens hominem, dextrave destituit.[3]

The son of Laertes together with him that Tydeus begot, the skilful hand of Zenas expressed in this moulded form. One of them is superior in strength, the powers of the other lie in sharpness of mind, yet neither of them can do without the other’s aid. When the two come united, victory is assured. Mind or strength in isolation has often left man in the lurch.

Notes:

1.  ‘The son of Laertes...him that Tydeus begot’, i.e. (the cunning) Odysseus and (the strong) Diomedes. They collaborated in a successful night raid raid into Troy, for which see Homer, Iliad 10.218ff. See further Erasmus, Adagia 2051, Duobus pariter euntibus. (This title translates Iliad 10.224, a line which appears in Greek in the woodcut)

2.  ‘the hand of Zenas’. Two unidentified busts signed by Zenas are in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. Two sculptors of the second, or third century AD, possibly father and son, are known by this name.

3.  ‘Mind or strength in isolation has often left man in the lurch’. Cf. Horace, Odes 3.4.65: force without counsel is destroyed by its own might.


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  • Intellect, Intelligence; 'Intelletto', 'Intelligenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Counsel; 'Consiglio' (Ripa) [52E3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositŕ dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtů del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Necessity of Mutual Co-operation (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) [98B(ZENAS)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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