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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C8v]

CUM LARVIS NON LU-
CTANDUM.[1]

Do not wrestle with the dead

Aeacidae[2] moriens percussu cuspidis Hector[3],
Qui toties hosteis vicerat ante suos.
Comprimere haud potuit vocem insultantibus illis,
Dum curru & pedibus nectere vincla parant.
Distrahite ut libitum est sic cassi luce leonis,
Convellunt barbam vel timidi lepores.[4]

When he was dying from the wound dealt by the spear of Aeacus’ descendant, Hector, who had so often before defeated his own enemies, could not keep silent as they triumphed over him, while preparing to tie the ropes to chariot and feet. Tear me as you will, he said; when the lion is deprived of the light of life, even cowardly hares pluck his beard.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Erasmus, Adagia 153, Cum larvis luctari.

2.  ‘of Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. ‘of Achilles’. Textual variant: Aeacidae.

3.  Hector was the greatest warrior on the Trojan side in the Trojan War, killed in single combat by Achilles, the Greek champion. See Homer, Iliad 22.367ff. and 24.14ff. for Achilles’ desecration of Hector’s body, dragging it, tied by the feet behind his chariot, round the tomb of Patroclus.

4.  The last two lines are a translation of the two-line epigram Anthologia graeca 16.4, where, in Planudes’ text, the words are attributed to Hector in the heading.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C1v f4v]

EMBLEMA V.

Albutii ad Alciatum, suadentis ut de tumul-
tibus Italicis se subducat, & in Gallia
profiteatur.[1]

Sent by Albutius to Alciato urging him to withdraw from the Italian troubles and take up a teaching post in France

Quae dedit hos fructus arbor,[2] coelo advena nostro,
Venit ab Eoo persidis axe prius.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C2r f5r]Translatu facta est melior: quae noxia quondam
In patria, hîc nobis dulcia poma gerit.
Fert folium linguae, fert poma simillima cordi,
Alciate hinc vitam degere disce tuam.
Tu procul à patria[3] in praecio es maiore futurus:
Multum corde sapis, nec minus ore vales.

The tree that gave us these fruits, a stranger to our skies, came formerly from the eastern climes of Persia. By the transplanting it was made better. The tree that once bore harmful fruits in its native land, here bears sweet ones for us. It carries leaves like a tongue, fruits like a heart. Alciato, learn from it how to spend your life. Far from your own country, you will be held in greater esteem. You are wise in heart, and no less effective in speech.

Das V.

Deß Albutii an Herrn Alciatum, darinn es
Albutius im Alciato räht, das er sich wölle auß den
Italienischen embörungen thun und entziehen,
und in Franckreich sich ver-
fügen.

Der Baum so tragen thut diß Frucht
Ist in unserm Land ein frembd zucht
Dann von auffgang der Sonnen er
Auß Persen Land ist kommen her
Vergiffte Frucht in seinem Landt
Er tragen thet bald er zu handt
Versetzet ward in ander erdt
Gar süsse Frucht er uns beschert
Sein Frucht ist gleich eim Hertzen gstalt
Sein Blat gformiert wie ein Zung galt
Dabey liebr Alciate lehrn
Dein leben also anzukehrn
Dann dir von dem Vatterland weit
Man grösser ehr und wirdin geit
Dieweil du bist von Hertzen weiß
Darzu mit reden hast den preiß.

Notes:

1.  This person has been identified as Aurelius Albutius, lawyer, scholar and poet, like Alciato originally from Milan. On the question of the genuineness of this ascription and a suggested date for the epigram preceding Alciato’s first removal to France in 1518, see J. Köhler, Der ‘Emblematum liber’ von Andreas Alciatus (1492-1550) (Hildesheim: August Lax, 1986).

2.  ‘The tree that gave us these fruits’, i.e. the peach, with its heart-shaped fruit and tongue-shaped leaves.

3.  ‘Far from your own country’. Alciato had two periods in France. He was lecturing on Civil Law in Avignon from 1518-1522, then returned to Milan. He again took up his teaching post in Avignon in 1527, and then removed to Bourges, where he remained until his return to Italy (Pavia) in 1533. The ‘troubles’ mentioned could be political (there was much fighting and tumult in N. Italy), or could refer to the wrangling between rival schools of academic lawyers during Alciato’s youth.


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