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IN ADULATORES.

Flatterers

De Chameleonte vide Plinium naturalis Historia
libro VIII. Cap. XXXIII.

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Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur aura [=auram] ,
Reciprocat chamaeleon[1].
Et mutat faciem, varios sumitque colores,
Praeter rubrum vel candidum.[2]
Sic & adulator populari vescitur aura,[3]
Hiansque cuncta devorat.
Et solum mores imitatur principis atros.
Albi & pudici nescius.

The Chameleon is always breathing in and out with open mouth the bodiless air on which it feeds; it changes its appearance and takes on various colours, except for red and white. - Even so the flatterer feeds on the wind of popular approval and gulps down all with open mouth. He imitates only the black features of the prince, knowing nothing of the white and pure.

Notes:

1. This creature was supposed to feed only on air, keeping its mouth wide open to suck it in. See Pliny, Natural History 8.51.122. For the chameleon cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.144, 241, 252.

2. ‘except for red and white’. See Pliny, ib.

3. ‘the wind of popular approval’. This is a common metaphor in Latin, e.g. Horace, Odes 3.2.20, ‘at the behest of the wind of popular approval.’


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    Unum nihil, duos plurimm
    posse.

    One can do nothing, two can do much

    CX.

    Lartae genitum, genitum quoque Tydeos un[1]
    Hac cera expressit Zenalis apta manus.[2]
    Viribus hic praestat, hic pollet acumine mentis.
    Nec tamen alterius non eget alter ope.
    Cm duo coniuncti veniunt, victoria certa est,
    Solum mens hominem, dextrave destituit.[3]

    The son of Laertes together with him that Tydeus begot, the skilful hand of Zenas expressed in this moulded form. One of them is superior in strength, the powers of the other lie in sharpness of mind, yet neither of them can do without the other’s aid. When the two come united, victory is assured. Mind or strength in isolation has often left man in the lurch.

    COMMENTARIA.

    Zenalis antiquus pictor, effinxit simul
    Ulyssem Lartis filium & Diomedem Tydaei
    natum, quorum alter ingenio & prudentia
    praestabat, hic ver armis viribusque pollebat,
    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [m4r p183]neuter tamen horum alterius adminiculo ca-
    rere potuit, vix enim solus fortis solusve sa-
    piens vincet, verm illis coniunctis certa est
    victoria. fuit autem Ulysses Graecorum fer
    omnium callidissimus facundissimus & in-
    geniosissimus, ideoque in Troiano bello mul-
    ta prudenter perfecit, de quibus passim apud
    Homerum & lib. 1. Odisseae de eo sic canit,

    Oppida multa adiit, fuit huic sapientia nota,
    Consilium variosque dolos qui novit & artes,

    ut refert Strabo lib. 1. Diomedes autem Rex
    fuit, qui un cum Graecis ad obsidionem Troiae
    profectus, adeo strenu se gessit ut post Achil
    lem
    & Aiacem facile palmam obtinuerit for-
    tissimi, plurimas singulares pugnas adversus
    insignes Troianorum principes habuit, &
    inter alia cum Aenea nobili Troiano con-
    gressus, Venerem Aeneam protegentem per-
    cussit, quapropter illa indignata multas ei
    miserias attulit, uxorem etiam eius adulteram
    fecit, qua re cognita Diomedes domum re-
    dire noluit, ut idem Homerus. Vicerunt de-
    nique Graeci in Troiano bello non tam viri-
    bus & fortitudine qum astutia & calliditate
    atque etiam miris stratagematis ut praeter cae-
    teros peregregi Latinorum Potarum prin-
    ceps
    aperit, lib. 2. Aeneidos.

    Notes:

    1. ‘The son of Laertes...him that Tydeus begot’, i.e. (the cunning) Odysseus and (the strong) Diomedes. They collaborated in a successful night raid raid into Troy, for which see Homer, Iliad 10.218ff. See further Erasmus, Adagia 2051, Duobus pariter euntibus. (This title translates Iliad 10.224, a line which appears in Greek in the woodcut)

    2. ‘the hand of Zenas’. Two unidentified busts signed by Zenas are in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. Two sculptors of the second, or third century AD, possibly father and son, are known by this name.

    3. ‘Mind or strength in isolation has often left man in the lurch’. Cf. Horace, Odes 3.4.65: force without counsel is destroyed by its own might.


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    • Intellect, Intelligence; 'Intelletto', 'Intelligenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Counsel; 'Consiglio' (Ripa) [52E3] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosit� dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virt� del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of conce [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Necessity of Mutual Co-operation (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • male persons from classical history (with NAME) [98B(ZENAS)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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