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Prudentes.

The Wise.

problema. xviii.

A problem.

Iane bifrons, qui iam transacta futuráque calles
Quíque retro sannas, sicut & antè, vides:[1]
Te tot[2] cur oculis, cur fingunt[3] vultibus? an quòd
Circumspectum hominem forma fuisse docet?

Two-headed Janus, you know about what has already happened and what is yet to come, you see the jeering faces behind just as you see them in front. Why do they represent you with so many eyes, why with so many faces? Is it because this form tells us that you were a man of circumspection?

IAnum bifrontem finxit antiquitas, quod ferinum
& sylvestrem cultum mutarit in civilem: vel quód
Pater Graecae & Latinae gentis fuerit: aut quòd So-
lem
, seu Ianum coelestis aulae ianitorem crederent.
Quod tamen permulti referunt ad sapientiam pru-
dentiámque optimi principis Iani, qui praeterita
nosset, & futuris multò antè prospiceret.

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LES PRUDENS ET
bien-advisez.

JAnus à double chef, qui tout le temps suyvant
Cognois comme celuy qui est passé devant:
Qui n’es jamais deceu de quelque piperie,
Soit devant ou derriere, exempt de moquerie,
Pourquoy t’ont les anciens ainsi representé?
N’est-ce point qu’en tes faicts fort prudent as esté?

LEs anciens ont feint Janus estre à deux
visages, par ce qu’il changea la vie bru-
talle & sauvage en civile & honneste: ou
parce qu’il a esté pere de la nation Grec-
que
& Latine, ou d’autant qu’ils croyoient
que le Soleil, qu’ils nommoient Janus, e-
stoit le portier du ciel. Ce que toutesfois
plusieurs auteurs rapportent à la sagesse &
prudence du bon prince Janus, lequel avoit
cognoissance des choses passees, & pour-
voyoit à celles à venir long temps au para-
vant.

Notes:

1.  quique retro sannas, sicut et ante, vides, ‘you see the jeering faces behind just as you see them in front’, a line based on Persius, Satirae, 1.58-62.

2.  This is Tot te in the 1550 ed.

3.  This is tot fingant in 1550 ed.


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Prudentes.

The Wise.

Iane bifrons, qui iam transacta futuraque calles,
Quique retro sannas sicut & ante vides, [1]
Tot te cur oculis, tot fingunt vultibus? an quòd
Circunspectum hominem forma fuisse docet?

Two-headed Janus, you know about what has already happened and what is yet to come, you see the jeering faces behind just as you see them in front. Why do they represent you with so many eyes, why with so many faces? Is it because this form tells us that you were a man of circumspection?

Notes:

1.  quique retro sannas, sicut et ante, vides, ‘you see the jeering faces behind just as you see them in front’, a line based on Persius, Satirae, 1.58-62.


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Relating to the image:

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