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Los bastardos.[1]


Bastardos, los honores de contino
De Hercules celebrad, que el fue el primero
De vuestra classe, que gran honor vino.[2]
No pudo ser llamado verdedero [=verdadero]
Heroa,[3] hasta mamar de aquel divino
Pecho de Juno aquel xugo postrero.[4]


1. This emblem, unillustrated in the 1549 French editions, uses the same woodcut of Hercules attacking the Hydra as the previous emblem ([A49a139]), while a different, more appropriate cut is used in the 1550 Latin edition ([A50a138]).

2. Hercules was fathered by Jupiter on Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon of Thebes, and became his father’s favourite. Juno, wife of Jupiter, in jealousy pursued Hercules with implacable hatred.

3. After all his Labours (see previous emblem) and other exploits, Hercules, by the will of Jupiter, was received among the gods. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.156ff; Cicero, De officiis, 3.25.

4. For the story of Juno tricked by Jupiter into suckling the loathed Hercules see Pausanias, 9.25.2. This divine milk apparently counteracted Hercules’ illegitimate birth which otherwise disqualified him for heaven. See Erasmus, Adagia, 2070 (Ad Cynosarges).

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