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Furor, & rabies.

Fury and madness

XLIX.

Ora gerit clypeus rabiosi picta leonis,
Et scriptum in summo margine carmen habet:
Hic hominum est terror, cuius possessor Atrida.
Talia magnanimus signa Agamemno tulit.[1]

The shield bears the painted face of a raging lion, and inscribed upon the upper margin has a verse: ‘This is the terror of men, and the son of Atreus is its possessor’. Haughty Agamemnon bore this symbolic figure.

Notes:

1.  This poem is based on Pausanias, Periegesis, 5.19.4. For the ‘raging lion’. Cf. Emblem 270,‘Ira’ ([A56a270]). For Agamemnon’s savage temper, see e.g. Homer, Iliad, 1.103-4.


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    Respublica liberata.

    The republic restored to freedom

    XLVII.

    Caesaris exitio ceu libertate recepta.
    Haec ducibus Brutis cusa moneta fuit.
    Ensiculi in primis, queis pileus insuper adstat,
    Qualem missa manu servitia accipiunt.[1]

    When Caesar had been destroyed, as a sign of liberty regained, this coin was struck by the leaders, Brutus and his brother. In chief are daggers, beside which there also stands a cap, such as slaves receive when set free.

    Notes:

    1.  Julius Caesar, who had become in effect the sole ruler of Rome, was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BC by Marcus and Decimus Brutus, Cassius and other conspirators. Alciato describes the well-known coin-type celebrating the restoration of republican government issued by Brutus after the murder. This bears the legend EID.MAR. (The Ides of March) across the lower section; above this, occupying the upper two thirds of the coin face, are two upright daggers with a cap of liberty between. Alciato had presumably seen or owned such a coin. He wrote a short treatise on ancient coins.


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