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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6r]

ELOQUENTIA FORTITU-
dine praestantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

Arcum leva tenet, rigidam fert dextera clavam,
Contegit & Nemees corpora nuda leo.
Herculis haec igitur facies? non convenit illud,
Quod vetus & senio tempora cana gerit.
Quid quod lingua illi levibus traiecta cathenis,
Queîs fissa facileîs allicit aure viros.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6v]An ne quod Alciden lingua non robore Galli,
Praestantem populis iura dedisse ferunt.
Cedunt arma togae,[2] & quamvis durissima corda,
Eloquio pollens ad sua vota trahit.

His left hand holds a bow, his right hand a stout club, the lion of Nemea clothes his bare body. So this is a figure of Hercules. But he is old and his temples grizzled with age - that does not fit. What of the fact that his tongue has light chains passing through it, which are attached to men’s pierced ears, and by them he draws them unresisting along? The reason is surely that the Gauls say that Alceus’ descendant excelled in eloquence rather than might and gave laws to the nations. - Weapons yield to the arts of peace, and even the hardest of hearts the skilled speaker can lead where he will.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is closely based on Lucian’s essay, The Gallic Hercules.

2.  Cf. Cicero’s notorious line, Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea linguae, ‘Let weapons yield to the arts of peace, let laurels yield to eloquence’ (quoted in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 11.1.24).


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  • ears [31A2213] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Europeans (with NAME) [32B311(FRENCHMEN)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'litterae', symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ literature; 'Lettere' (Ripa) [48C90] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Power of Eloquence; 'Forza sottoposta all'Eloquenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D31(+4)] 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) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m6r p187]

ἐχθρῶν ἄδωρα δῶρα. In do-
na hostium.[1]

The gifts of enemies are no gifts. On the gifts of enemies.

CXIII.

Bellorum cepisse ferunt monumenta vicissim
Scutiferum Aiacem Hectoraque Iliacum.
Balthea Priamides, rigidum Telamonius ensem,
Instrumenta suae cepit uterque necis.
Ensis enim Aiacem confecit, at Hectora functum
Traxere Aemoniis cingula nexa rotis.
Sic titulo obsequii quae mittunt hostibus hostes
Munera, venturi praescia fata ferunt.[2]

The story tells that shield-bearing Ajax and Hector of Troy exchanged souvenirs of battle. Priam’s son took the sword-belt, Telamon’s descendant the rigid sword, each accepting the instrument of his own death. For the sword destroyed Ajax, and the belt, attached to Thessalian wheels, dragged the dead Hector. So the gifts which enemies give to enemies, seemingly doing honour, knowing what is to come, bring doom.

COMMENTARIA.

Fertur Aiacem (qui inter Graecorum Du-
ces post Achillem omnium fortissimus exti-
tit, de quo etiam plura suprà in Embl. 38.[3] di-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m6v p188]citur autem scutiferus quia scutum seu cly-
peum habuit septem boum coriis tectum, ut
testatur Ovidius lib. 13. Metamorphoseon in principio
inquiens, Surgit ad hos clypei dominus se-
ptemplicis Aiax.) & Hectorem Troianorum
principem praestantissimum, mutuò bellica
dona dedisse, hic ensem egregium, ille verò
cingulum militare ornatissimum exhibuit, &
uterque suae mortis instrumentum accepit.
Aiax enim gladio semetipsum interemit, ut
apud Ovidium in dicto lib. 13. Metamorphoseon Hector
verò ab Achille superatus, cingulo illo ad
currum religatus ac circa urbis moenia tra-
ctus, misereque laceratus fuit. de quo Homerus
& Vergilius lib. 1. Aeneidos. Ter circum Iliacos
raptaverat Hectora muros. & prolixius haec
suprà Emblem. 57.[4] Sic plerunque mune-
ra, quae licet sub specie obsequio-
rum hosti ab hoste missa,
futuras calamita-
tes praesa-
giunt.
FINIS LIBRI PRIMI.

Notes:

1.  The gifts of enemies are no gifts. See Sophocles, Ajax 665, where Ajax so speaks of the ill-fated sword he had received from Hector.

2.  See Homer Iliad 7.299, for the occasion in the Trojan War when Hector (the Trojan hero, son of Priam) and Ajax (Telamon’s descendant, one of the best fighters on the Greek side) met in single combat and afterwards, the honours being even, exchanged gifts. (Ajax was carrying the vast shield for which he was famed). Later, he committed suicide by falling on the sword he received from Hector ([A56a038] notes and [A56a223] notes). Hector was later killed in single combat by Achilles (prince of Thessaly, the Greek champion), who desecrated the body by tying it behind his chariot (it is suggested here that he used the sword-belt Hector had received from Ajax) and dragging it about before the eyes of the Trojans. See [A56a057].

3.  See [A56a038]

4.  See [A56a057]


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