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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [P7v p238]

Musicam Diis curae esse.

The gods care for music

CVIII.

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 cm stridere bombo,
Legitimum harmonias & vitiare melos:
Tum Citharae argutans suavis sese intulit ales,
Quae fractam impleret voce cicada fidem.
Quaeque allecta, soni ad legem descendat [=descendit] ab altis
Saltibus, ut nobis garrula ferret opem.
Ergo tuae ut firmus stet honos, 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.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [P8r p239]

Saytenspil ist Got gefellig.

CVIII.

Als Eunomus die harpffen schlug
Mit Aristo, ein sayt im schnelt,
Kumbt gleich ein Hewschreck eylends flug,
Und fullt mit irem gsang was felt
So wol, das Eunomus das veld
Erhielt, und sigt, darumb hat er
Sy zu lob, prei, und danck gestelt
Au ertz dem Got Apollo her.

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 [P6v p236]

Insignia Potarum.

Insignia of poets

CVII.

Gentiles clypeos sunt qui in Iovis alite gestant,
Sunt quibus aut Serpens aut Leo signa ferunt.
Dira sed haec Vatum fugiant animalia ceras,
Doctaque sustineat stemmata pulcher Olor.
Hic Phoebo sacer,[1] & nostrae regionis alumnus,
Rex olim,[2] veteres servat adhuc titulos.

Some have a family crest distinguished by the bird of Jove, for others the serpent or the lion provides the sign. But let these dread beasts flee from poets’ images; let the lovely swan support their learned clan. This bird is sacred to Phoebus and is a nursling of my homeland. A king once, it still preserves its ancient titles.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [P7r p237]

Der Poeten wappen.

CVII.

Mit ruem fueren manch grosse hern
Einn Adler, Lewen in irmm schilt,
Etlich ein schlang, oder ein Bern,
Oder sunst was grewlich und wild:
Vil pas ziert die Poeten mild
Der Schwan, in unnserm land gemayn,
Vor jarn ein kung, und noch ein bild
Lieblichs gesang, und sitten rayn.

Notes:

1. ‘sacred to Phoebus’, i.e. to the god of music and poetry (Apollo).

2. ‘a king once’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.367ff. for the story of Cycnus, king of Liguria, turned into a swan and inhabiting the marshes and lakes of the plain of the Po (Alciato’s homeland).


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