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VIRI CLA
RISSIMI D. AN-
dreae Alciati
Iuris consultissimi
Mediolanensis ad D. Chonra-
dum Peutingerum
Augu-
stanum
, Iurisconsul-
tum Emblema-
tum liber.
M.D. XXXI. Page icon Link to an image of this page [A1v]
CANDIDO LECTORI SALUTEM PLURIMAM

HAud merito candide lector, nostram
desyderabis diligentiam, in hiis tabel
lis quae huic operi adiectae sunt, ele-
gantiores nanque picturas, & autho
ris gravissimi authoritas, & libelli
dignitas merebantur, quod quidem nos fatemur, cupi-
ebamusque inventiones has illustriores tibi tradere ita,
si eas qum artificiosissime depictas, nate oculos ponere
mus, nihilque (quod sciam) ad eam rem nobis defuit.
Verum cum hoc non tantum magni laboris fuerit,
(quem certe non subterfugimus) sed & maximi sum
ptus, intelligis quicquid huiuscemodi erat, id omne
tibi denuo persolvendum fuisse. Utilissimum itaque nobis
visum est, si notulis quibusdam obiter, rudioribus,
gravissimi authoris intentionem significaremus, quod
docti haec per se colligent, hocque ipso tibi grati
ficari voluimus, si magnas delitias
parvo tibi compararemus,
bene vale, nostramque
operam boni
consule.

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CLARISSIMI VIRI D. ANDREAE
Alciati
in libellum Emblematum praefatio ad
D. Chonradum Peutingerum
Augustanum

Dum pueros iuglans, iuvenes dum tessera fallit,
Detinet & segnes chartula picta viros,
Haec nos festivis emblemata cudimus horis,
Artificum illustri signaque facta manu.
Vestibus ut torulos, petasis ut figere parmas,
Et valeat tacitis scribere quisque notis.
At tibi supremus pretiosa nomismata Caesar,
Et veterum eximias donet habere manus.
Ipse dabo vati chartacea munera vates,
Quae Chonrade mei pignus amoris habe.

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Non vulganda consilia.

Keep counsels secret.

VIII.

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

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Tenir encloz secret.

VIII.

Jadiz Romains firent portraire
Minotaurus en leur enseigne:
Dire en ce voulans, qu’on doibt taire
Secret de quelque part qu’il viegne:
Et affin que surce on compreigne
De telle paincture la raison,
Nul n’est vivant qui entrepreigne,
Tirer tel monstre hors sa maison.

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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