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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [i6v p140]

Aere quandoque salutem redi-
mendam.

Sometimes money must be spent to purchase safety

LXXXV.

Et pedibus segnis, tumida & propendulus alvo,
Haec tamen insidias effugit arte fiber.
Mordicus ipse sibi medicata virilia vellit
Atque abicit, sese gnarus ob illa peti.
Huius ab exemplo disces non parcere rebus,
Et vitam ut redimas, hostibus aera dare.[1]

Though slow of foot and with swollen belly hanging down, the beaver nonetheless escapes the ambush by this trick: it tears off with its teeth its testicles, which are full of a medicinal substance, and throws them aside, knowing that it is hunted for their sake. - From this creature’s example you will learn not to spare material things, and to give money to the enemy to buy your life.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [i7r p141]

COMMENTARIA.

Fiber aliàs Castor appellatur. animal est
amphibion, quod in terra & aqua vivere po-
test, caudam habet piscis, caetera ferè Canis
sunt, cuius genitalia in medicina plurimum
conducunt, & licet currendo tardus sit ob
ventrem tumidum & ad terram pendentem,
effugit tamen interdum ingeniosè venato-
rum insidias, hoc modo dentibus sibimet ge-
nitalia eripiens eaque ante conspectum prose-
cutoris proiicit, gnarus illum ob ea tantum
venari & ita evadit. Cuius exemplo discimus
aliquando divitiis non esse parcendum, sed
pro salute hostibus etiam pecunias dare, ma-
ximè expedire. Pariter in Aesopicis ha-
betur fabulis, de Castore virilia sibi
amputante, & recitat Plinius lib.
8. cap. 30. probe Aelia-
nus
lib. 13. cap. 47.
histor. Ani-
mal.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Aesop, Fables 153, where the same moral is drawn. For the information about the beaver, see Pliny, Natural History 8.47.109; Isidore, Etymologiae (Origines) 12.2.21.


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Section: LA REPUBLICQUE. View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5r p185]

La Republicque delivrée.[1]

Caesar occis, la liberté vengée
Par le Duc Brut fut monnoie forgée,
Ou une dague, & ung bonnet estoient,
Tel que les serfz affranchiz le portoient.[2]

Brut Capitaine de la republicque Rommaine, pour memoi-
re d’avoir restitué la liberté oppressée par la domination de
Caesar, par luy occis, feit forger monnoie à la marque d’une
dague, denotant l’occision de Caesar, & d’ung bonnet, signifiant
la liberté de la Republicque. Car les libertins. (C’est à dire serfz
affranchiz) quand ilz sortoient de servitude, & entroient en li-
berté: Ilz prenoient le bonnet, Comme encore au jourdhuy font les
Maistres es arts à Paris, passans de scholasticque discipline, à mai-
trise, & laissans la ceincture enseigne de servitude, & subjection.

Notes:

1.  In the 1549 French edition, this emblem has no woodcut.

2.  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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  • republic; 'Governo della republica' (Ripa) [44B03] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • freedom ~ slavery [46A183] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Freedom, Liberty; 'Libertৠ(Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51E11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(BRUTUS, M.)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • death of Caesar, i.e. the murder of Caesar: he is slain in the Senate at the foot of Pompey's statue, exclaiming 'et tu Brute' [98B(CAESAR)68] Search | Browse Iconclass

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