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POTENTIA AMORIS.

The power of Love

Nudus amor viden ut ridet placidumque tuetur?
Nec faculas nec quae cornua flectat habet.[1]
Altera sed manuum flores gerit altera piscem,
Scilicet & terrae iura dat atque mari.[2]

Do you see how Love, all naked, smiles, do you see his gentle glance? He has no torches, nor a bow to bend, but in one of his hands he holds flowers, in the other a fish, and he imposes his rule, of course, on land and sea.

Notes:

1. These were traditional attributes of Cupid (Love). See [A31a080] and [A31a096]. The blindfold, although a traditional attribute of Cupid, is inappropriate here.

2. Later editions read Scilicet ut terrae iura det atque mari.


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  • 'Terra', 'Carro della terra' (Ripa) [21B0] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'Acqua', 'Carro dell'acqua' (Ripa) [21D0] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4):56F2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'Forza d'amore, Forza d'amore si nell'acqua come in terra' (Ripa) [56F2515] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Section: FORTUNA (Fortune, good or bad). View all emblems in this section.

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Fortuna, Virtutem superans.

Fortune triumphant over virtue

Caesareo postqum superatus milite, vidit
Civili undantem sanguine Pharsaliam:
Iamiam stricturus moribunda in pectora ferrum,
Audaci hos Brutus protulit ore sonos.
Infelix Virtus & solis provida verbis,
Fortunam in rebus cur sequeris dominam?[1]

Brutus, defeated by the Caesarean troops, saw Pharsalia flowing with citizen blood. As he was about to plunge the sword into his dying heart, he spoke these words with undaunted voice: ‘Unhappy virtue, prudent only in word - why do you in reality submit to dominating fortune?’

Notes:

1. After the assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius became the leaders of the Republican cause. The Caesarean troops, led by Mark Antony and Octavian, Caesar’s heir, defeated them in 42 BC in two battles at Philippi in Macedonia. (Pharsalus in Thessaly was the site of the battle in 48 BC in which Julius Caesar had defeated Pompey in a previous round of the Civil Wars. Pharsalia is here loosely used, as in the Roman poets, to refer to both sites of similar civil conflict.) For Brutus’ suicide after the defeat, see the end of Plutarch’s Life of Brutus.


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  • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Virtuousness; 'Amor di Virtù', 'Attione virtuosa', 'Guida sicura de' veri honori', 'Virtù', 'Virtù insuperabile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(PHARSALIA)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Marcus Junius Brutus death of person from classical history [98B(BRUTUS, M.J.)68] Search | Browse Iconclass

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