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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B7r p29]

Non vulganda consilia.

Keep counsels secret

EMBLEMA XII.

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

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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B6v p28]

Contra la victoria ganada por engaño.

Ottava rhima.

Sobre la tumba triste y desdichada
De Aiax llorando rasgo mis cabellos
Yo misera Virtud, ya desterrada
D’entre los hombres, que ya soy entr’ellos
(Aun siendo el Griego juez)[1] abandonada
Del engañoso engaño, que sobrellos
Dominio tiene atanto, que mi nombre
Apenas es oído de algun hombre.

Notes:

1.  The Greek assembly awarded the arms of the dead Achilles to the cunning and eloquent Ulysses, not the brave and straight-forward Ajax. For Ajax’ subsequent suicide, see [A49a038].


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