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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m6r p187]

ἐχθρῶν ἄδωρα δῶρα. In do-
na hostium.[1]

The gifts of enemies are no gifts. On the gifts of enemies.

CXIII.

Bellorum cepisse ferunt monumenta vicissim
Scutiferum Aiacem Hectoraque Iliacum.
Balthea Priamides, rigidum Telamonius ensem,
Instrumenta suae cepit uterque necis.
Ensis enim Aiacem confecit, at Hectora functum
Traxere Aemoniis cingula nexa rotis.
Sic titulo obsequii quae mittunt hostibus hostes
Munera, venturi praescia fata ferunt.[2]

The story tells that shield-bearing Ajax and Hector of Troy exchanged souvenirs of battle. Priam’s son took the sword-belt, Telamon’s descendant the rigid sword, each accepting the instrument of his own death. For the sword destroyed Ajax, and the belt, attached to Thessalian wheels, dragged the dead Hector. So the gifts which enemies give to enemies, seemingly doing honour, knowing what is to come, bring doom.

COMMENTARIA.

Fertur Aiacem (qui inter Graecorum Du-
ces post Achillem omnium fortissimus exti-
tit, de quo etiam plura suprà in Embl. 38.[3] di-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m6v p188]citur autem scutiferus quia scutum seu cly-
peum habuit septem boum coriis tectum, ut
testatur Ovidius lib. 13. Metamorphoseon in principio
inquiens, Surgit ad hos clypei dominus se-
ptemplicis Aiax.) & Hectorem Troianorum
principem praestantissimum, mutuò bellica
dona dedisse, hic ensem egregium, ille verò
cingulum militare ornatissimum exhibuit, &
uterque suae mortis instrumentum accepit.
Aiax enim gladio semetipsum interemit, ut
apud Ovidium in dicto lib. 13. Metamorphoseon Hector
verò ab Achille superatus, cingulo illo ad
currum religatus ac circa urbis moenia tra-
ctus, misereque laceratus fuit. de quo Homerus
& Vergilius lib. 1. Aeneidos. Ter circum Iliacos
raptaverat Hectora muros. & prolixius haec
suprà Emblem. 57.[4] Sic plerunque mune-
ra, quae licet sub specie obsequio-
rum hosti ab hoste missa,
futuras calamita-
tes praesa-
giunt.
FINIS LIBRI PRIMI.

Notes:

1.  The gifts of enemies are no gifts. See Sophocles, Ajax 665, where Ajax so speaks of the ill-fated sword he had received from Hector.

2.  See Homer Iliad 7.299, for the occasion in the Trojan War when Hector (the Trojan hero, son of Priam) and Ajax (Telamon’s descendant, one of the best fighters on the Greek side) met in single combat and afterwards, the honours being even, exchanged gifts. (Ajax was carrying the vast shield for which he was famed). Later, he committed suicide by falling on the sword he received from Hector ([A56a038] notes and [A56a223] notes). Hector was later killed in single combat by Achilles (prince of Thessaly, the Greek champion), who desecrated the body by tying it behind his chariot (it is suggested here that he used the sword-belt Hector had received from Ajax) and dragging it about before the eyes of the Trojans. See [A56a057].

3.  See [A56a038]

4.  See [A56a057]


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A7r f7r]

In fraudulentos.

Deceivers

Parva lacerta, atris stellatus corpora guttis
Stellio,[1] qui latebras, & cava busta colit,
Invidiae parvique doli fert symbola pictus.
Heu nimium nuribus cognita zelotypis.
Nam turpi obtegitur faciem lentigine quisquis,
Sit quibus immersus Stellio, vina bibat.[2]
Hinc vindicta frequens decepta pellice vino,
Quam formae amisso flore relinquit amans.

The little lizard, called the ‘starred’ gecko from the dark star-shaped marks sprinkled all over its body, a creature that lurks in holes and hollow tombs, is pictured here and presents symbols of resentment and wicked deception, known only too well to jealous wives. For anyone who drinks wine in which a spotted gecko has been soaked comes out in ugly spots all over the face. This is often a way of taking revenge - the husband’s fancy woman is tricked with wine, and, when the flower of her beauty is gone, her lover abandons her.

Notes:

1.  stellio, ‘the ‘starred’ gecko’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5.461 for the explanation of the name stellio.

2.  Nam turpi...vina bibat, ‘anyone who drinks wine...all over the face’. See Pliny, Natural History, 29.22.73.


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