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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m7v p190]

In pudoris statuam.

A statue of Modesty

III.

Penelope desponsa sequi cupiebat Ulyssem,
Ni secum Icarius mallet habere pater.[1]
Ille Ithacam, hic offert Spartem manet anxia virgo,
Hinc pater, inde viri mutuus urget amor.
Ergo sedens velat vultus, obnubit ocellos:
Ista verecundi signa pudoris erant.
Queis sibi praelatum Icarius cognovit Ulyssem,
Hocque pudori aram schemate constituit.[2]

When Penelope was betrothed, she wished to go with Ulysses, except that her father Icarius would have preferred to keep her with him. Ulysses offers Ithaca, her father Sparta. The girl is distressed: on opposite sides her father and the mutual love between her and her man make their claims on her. So she sits and covers her face, veils her eyes - those were the signs of seemly modesty. By them Icarius knew that Ulysses was preferred to himself, and he set up an altar to Modesty in this form.

Notes:

1.  Some editions give a variant reading, Ni secus Icarius ..., ‘except that ... Icarius would have preferred to have it otherwise’.

2.  See Pausanias, Periegesis, 3.20.10, for this statue and the story behind it.


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    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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