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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n6r p203]

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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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n6v p204]

    Consiliarii Principum.

    Counsellors of princes

    LI.

    Heroum genitos, & magnum fertur Achillem
    In stabulis Chiron erudiisse suis.[1]
    Semiferum doctorem, & semivirum centaurum,
    Assideat quisquis regibus, esse decet.
    Est fera, dum violat socios, dum proterit hostes:
    Estque homo, dum simulat se populo esse pium.

    It is said that Chiron brought up in his stables the sons of heroes and the great Achilles. He shows us that anyone who sits in counsel with kings is a teacher who is half a beast, a centaur who is half a man. He is the beast when he attacks supporters and tramples on enemies. He is the man when he feigns compassion for the people.

    Notes:

    1.  Chiron, the wise centaur entrusted with the education of Achilles, Aesculapius, and other noble figures. Centaurs were creatures combining the physical and mental characteristics of a man with those of a horse. They were wild and uncontrolled, and came to symbolise humanity descending to savagery. Even the civilised Chiron, the educator, retained violent potential.


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