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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K2r p147]

Strenuorum immortale
nomen.

Achievers have an immortal name

Aeacidae tumulum Rhoetaeo in littore cernis,[1]
Quem plerunque pedes visitat alba Thetis.[2]
Obtegitur semper viridi lapis hic amarantho,[3]
Quòd nunquàm herois sit moriturus honos.
Hic Graium murus.[4] magni nex Hectoris. Haud plus
Debet Maeonidae, quàm sibi Maeonides.[5]

You see the tomb of Aeacus’ descendant on the Rhoetean shore, which white-footed Thetis often visits. This stone is always covered with green amaranth, because the honour due to heroes shall never die. This man was‘the wall of the Greeks’, and the destruction of great Hector, and he owes no more to the Lydian poet than the poet does to him.

Notes:

1.  ‘Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. Achilles, the greatest warrior on the Greek side in the Trojan War. Rhoeteum was a promontory on the Trojan coast (though normally associated with the tomb of Ajax).

2.  Thetis, a sea-nymph, mother of Achilles, called ‘silver-footed’ by Homer.

3.  amarantho: the name of the plant means ‘never-fading’. See Pliny, Natural History, 21.23.47.

4.  ‘the wall of the Greeks’, translating Homer’s description of Achilles at Iliad, 3.229.

5.  Maeonidae, ‘to the Lydian poet’, i.e. Homer, who told in the Iliad the famous story of Achilles’ wrath and refusal to fight during the Trojan War, and of his eventual slaying of Hector, the chief warrior on the Trojan side. (For which see Emblem 153, [A51a153]). For the sentiment that great deeds need to be sung in order not to be forgotten, see Horace, Odes, 4.8.20ff; and that great literature needs great themes, see Tacitus, Dialogus de oratoribus, 37.


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  • extinct, 'historical' peoples (with NAME) (+ costume) [32B2(GREEK)(+3)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K1v p146]

Optimus civis.

The best citizen

Dum iustis patriam Thrasybulus[1] vindicat armis,
Dumque simultates ponere quemque iubet,
Concors ordo omnis magni instar muneris, illi
Palladiae sertum frondis[2] habere dedit.
Cinge comam Thrasybule, geras hunc solus honorem,
In magna nemo est aemulus urbe tibi.

Thrasybulus was avenging his country with righteous weapons and bidding every person lay aside his enmities; so every class in harmony granted him by way of great reward the wearing of a crown of Pallas’ leaves. - Wreathe your hair, Thrasybulus; you alone are to wear this honour. There is no rival to you in the great city.

Notes:

1.  Thrasybulus of Steiria, after a distinguished military career, was instrumental in liberating Athens from the tyranny of the Thirty in the political confusion at the end of the fourth century BC. For his own moderation and his resistance to vengeful acts by others in the ensuing settlement, see Cornelius Nepos, Life of Thrasybulus 3.2-3. According to Nepos (ibid. 4.3) Thrasybulus interpreted the olive-wreath freely offered him by the citizens as a sign that he was held in supreme honour by them.

2.  ‘of Pallas’ leaves’, i.e. the leaves of the olive tree, sacred to Pallas Athene, patron goddess of Athens.


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