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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [f8r p95]

Firmissima convelli non posse.

The firmest things cannot be uprooted

LVI.

Oceanus quamvis fluctus pater excitet omnes,[1]
Danubiumque omnem barbare Turca bibas:[2]
Non tamen irrumpes perfracto limite, Caesar
Dum Carolus populis bellica signa dabit.[3]
Sic sacrae quercus[4] firmis radicibus astant,
Sicca licet venti concutiant folia.

Though Father Ocean rouses all his waves, though, barbarous Turk, you drink the Danube dry, yet you shall not break through the boundary and burst in, while Emperor Charles shall give to his peoples the signal for war. Even so, holy oaks stand firm with tenacious roots, though the winds rattle the dry leaves.

COMMENTARIA.

Authoris exclamatio, etiamsi Oceanus va-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [f8v p96]stum mare, omnes saevos, commoveat fluctus
hoc est licet Mauri, Aphri, seu qualescunque
Occidentalis Oceani infideles & barbarae
gentes Hispaniam praesertim, molestandam
& invadendam insurgant. Atque etiam cru-
delissimus Turca ad Orientem totum exhau-
riat Danubium (fluvius est maximus & cele-
bris Germaniae, qui etiam Ister dicitur, per
Hungariam tandem fluens, quod nobilissi-
mum Regnum ferè totum immanissimus
Turca, iam nuper devastavit). Attamen non
protinus furioso impetu tanquam perfracta
via, pro libitu irrumpet, dum Carolus Caesar
invictissimus Imperator pro nobis bella ge-
ret. Ille nanque sese habet instar quercus,
solidae arboris, cuius sicca folia etsi
ventis conquassata sive denique
ablata fuerint, illa nihilomi-
nus radice forti fir-
maque per-
sistit.

Notes:

1.  This poem is based on Anthologia graeca 9.291, which refers to a threat to ancient Rome from invading German tribes.

2.  The Turks invaded along the Danube and reached Hungary, winning the battle of Mohacs in 1526. When Alciato was writing, they continued to threaten Vienna and Central Europe.

3.   Caesar...Charlus, i.e. Emperor Charles V, led the charge to recover the lost territory.

4.  ‘holy oaks’. Oaks were holy because sacred to Zeus, especially at his sanctuary at Dodona in Greece ([A56a232]). The image of the dry leaves is already present in the Greek poem, but see also Vergil, Aeneid 4.441-4.


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  • Asiatic races and peoples: Turks [32B33(TURKS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Constancy, Tenacity; 'Costanza', 'Tenacit�' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Stability, Firmness; 'Fermezza', 'Stabilimento', 'Stabilit�' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A22(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Invincibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A71(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(CHARLES V [of Holy Roman Empire])3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(DANUBE)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Oceanus [91B112] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [f7v p94]

Parem delinquentis & suasoris cul-
pam esse.

The one who urges wrongdoing is as guilty as the one who does the wrong

LV.

Praeconem lituo perflantem classica victrix
Captivum in tetro carcere turma tenet.
Queis ille excusat, quòd nec sit strenuus armis.
Ullius aut saevo laeserit ense latus.
Huic illi, Quin ipse magis timidissime peccas,
Qui clangore alios aeris in arma cies.[1]

The victorious troop holds captive in a foul dungeon a herald, who sounds military commands on his trumpet. To them he makes his excuses - he is no strong fighting man and has wounded no one’s side with a cruel sword. They reply: You abject coward, you are in fact more guilty, for you with the sound of your trumpet stir up others to fight.

COMMENTARIA.

Victores in bello tubicinem adversae partis
ceperant, quem cùm vinctum uti hostem tene
rent & fortè plecterent ille se excusationibus
defendere conabatur, dicens neminem laesisse
nec contra quenquam pugnasse, nec etiam
unquam aliis armis praeter solam tubam usum
fuisse. Cui illi vicissim dixerunt, O timide, hoc
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [f8r p95]magis peccasti, caeteros nanque milites tuhae [=tubae] so-
no ad arma incitasti. Pariter apud Aesopum
in fabula de Buccinatore. Ostenditur non mi-
nus eos qui ad delicta alios instigant & per-
suadent, quàm ipsosmet delinquentes punien
dos esse. Hoc ipsum etiam iure cavetur, & in
Lege Si quis servo. Codex de furtis.[2]

Notes:

1.  This is a version of Aesop, Fables 325.

2.  The Codex or Code (usually CJ) is part of Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis. See O. F. Robinson, Sources of Roman Law (London: Routledge, 1997).


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