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Inanis impetus.

Antagonism that achieves nothing

Lunarem noctu, ut speculum,[1] canis inspicit orbem:
Seque videns, alium credit inesse canem,[2]
Et latrat: sed frustra agitur vox irritas ventis,
Et peragit cursus surda Diana suos.[3]

A dog at night is looking into the moon’s disk as into a mirror and seeing himself, thinks there is another dog there; and he barks - but the sound is carried away, ineffectual, on the winds. Diana, unhearing, pursues her course.

Notes:

1.  For the theory of the moon’s disk as a mirror reflecting things on earth, see Plutarch, De facie in orbe lunae, Moralia, 920ff.

2.  Variant reading, altum credit inesse canem, ‘thinks there is a dog up there’.

3.  Diana is of course goddess of the moon.


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  • Inutility, Noxiousness; 'Nocumento', 'Nocumento d'ogni cosa' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54BB3(+4):56E3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Diana as moon-goddess, i.e. Luna (Selene) [92C371] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Nil reliqui.

Nothing left

Scilicet hoc deerat, post tot mala denique nostris
Locustae ut raperent, quidquid inesset, agris.[1]
Vidimus innumeras euro[2] duce tendere turmas,
Qualia non Atylae castrave Xerxis erant.[3]
Hae foenum, milium, corda omnia consumpserunt;
Spes & in angusto est, stant nisi vota super.

This was all it needed - that after so many misfortunes, finally locusts should seize whatever was in our fields. We have seen countless squadrons encamped, led by Eurus, hosts such as Attila and Xerxes never had. These creatures have eaten up all hay, millet and later crops. There is little scope for hope unless our prayers prevail.

Notes:

1.  Referring to a plague of locusts in North Italy in 1541/2 .

2.  Eurus was the wind from the East.

3.  Attila the Hun and Xerxes, King of Persia, were leaders who invaded the Roman Empire and Greece with vast armies in mid fifth century AD and 480 BC respectively. Xerxes’ invasion and Attila’s first invasion both came from the east.


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