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Concordia insuperabilis.

Concord is insuperable

XVIII.

Tergeminos inter fuerat concordia fratres,
Tanta simul pietas mutua, & unus amor:
Invicti humanis ut viribus ampla tenerent
Regna, uno dicti nomine Geryonis.[1]

There was concord between triplet brothers, such mutual care, one love between them all; and so, unconquerable by human force, they held wide realms and were called by the one name of Geryones.

Notes:

1. This is a rationalisation of Geryones, the unconquerable giant with three heads or three bodies, who dwelt on the island Erytheia of the mythic Hesperides, eventually vanquished and killed by Hercules during his abduction of Geryones’ famous cattle. See Emblem 225 ([A56a225]).


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    Cavendum meretricibus.

    Beware of whores

    XVI.

    Sole satae Circes tam magna potentia fertur,
    Verterit ut multos in nova monstra viros.
    Testis equus domitor Picus,[1] tum Scylla biformis,[2]
    Atque Ithaci postquam vina bibere sues.[3]
    Indicat illustri meretricem nomine Circe, [4]
    Et rationem animi perdere, quisquis amat.

    So great, we are told, was the power of Circe, daughter of the Sun, that she turned many persons into new monstrous shapes. A witness to this is Picus, tamer of horses, and Scylla with her double form, and the Ithacans who became pigs after drinking the wine. Circe with her famous name indicates a whore and shows that any man who loves such a one loses his reason.

    Notes:

    1. Picus, an Italian king, a breeder of horses, turned into a woodpecker by Circe. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.320ff.

    2. Scylla was transformed into a figure that was half girl, half barking dogs. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.51ff. Cf. Emblem 68 ([A50a068]).

    3. Ithacans: See Homer, Odyssey, 10.229ff. for the story of Ulysses’ sailors (from the island of Ithaca), who were turned into pigs by Circe with a magic potion of wine.

    4. Indicat...meretricem: ‘indicates a whore’. See Anthologia Graeca, 10.50 for this rationalisation of the Circe story.


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