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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O7v p222]

Buxus.

The box-tree

Perpetuņ viridis, crispoque cacumine buxus,
Unde est disparibus fistula fasta [=facta] modis,[1]
Delitiis apta est teneris, & amantibus arbor.
Pallor inest illi, pallet & omnis amans.[2]

The box-tree is evergreen, with crinkly shoots. From it was made the pipe with its variously pitched notes. It is a tree appropriate to tender delights and to lovers. Box-wood is pale and so is every lover.

Notes:

1.  For pipes of boxwood, see e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.30.

2.  pallet et omnis amans, ‘pale...is every lover’. The lover should affect pallor and emaciation, as these will soften the lady’s heart; see Ovid, Ars Amatoria, 1.729ff.


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  • lovers; courting, flirting [33C2] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • panpipes [48C7353] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Pleasure, Enjoyment, Joy; 'Allegrezza', 'Allegrezza da le medaglie', 'Allegrezza, letitia e giubilo', 'Diletto', 'Piacere', 'Piacere honesto' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56B1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n5v p202]

Litera occidit, spiritus
vivificat.[1]

The letter kills but the spirit gives life

XLV.

Vipereos Cadmus dentes ut credidit arvis,
Sevit & Aonio semina dira solo,
Terrigenum clypeata cohors extorta virorum est,
Hostili inter se qui cecidere manu.
Evasere quibus monitu Tritonidos armis
Abiectis data pax, dextraque iuncta fuit.[2]
Primus Agenorides[3] elementa notasque magistris
Tradidit, iis suavem iunxit & harmoniam.[4]
Quorum discipulos contraria plurima vexant,
Non nisi Palladia quae dirimuntur ope.

When Cadmus entrusted the dragon’s teeth to the furrows and sowed the dread seed in Aonian [Theban] soil, there sprang up a shield-bearing band of earth-born men, who fell by fighting among themselves. Those escaped who at Tritonia’s [Athena’s] command threw down their arms, granted peace and joined right hands. Agenor’s son first gave to teachers letters and symbols and also put together for them sweet musical concord. Many adversities assail those who follow these disciplines, adversities which are resolved only by Pallas Athena’s aid.

Notes:

1.  II Corinthians 3:6.

2.  For the story of Cadmus, founder of Thebes (in Aonia, or less correctly in the French, in Thessaly), and the dragon’s teeth, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.99ff. Athena, goddess of wisdom - here called Tritonia, from the place of her birth in North Africa - brought the internecine struggle between the earth-born warriors to an end.

3.  Agenorides, ‘Agenor’s son’, i.e. Cadmus, who supposedly introduced writing to Greece. The scattering of the dragon’s teeth was interpreted as the invention of the alphabet.

4.  harmoniam, ‘musical concord’. Cadmus’ wife was called Harmonia.


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