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EMBLEMA IX.

Principis clementia.

Clemency in a ruler

Vesparum quod nulla unquam Rex spicula figet:[1]
Quódque aliis duplo corpore maior erit.
Arguet imperium clemens, moderataque regna.
Sanctaque iudicibus credita iura bonis.

The king of the wasps will never implant any sting and will be twice as big as the rest. This will be a sign of mild dominion, a disciplined kingdom, and inviolable law entrusted to good judges.

Das IX.

Fürstliche Gnad.

Das der Wespen König nimmer
Mit seim Angel sticht, und daß er
An seinem Leib zweymal ist groß
Dann die andern Wespen genoß
Zeigt an ein gnedig Regiment
Und stilles Reich darinn man lendt
All Hendel und sachen nach recht
Wie es vertrauwt ist dem Richter schlecht.

Notes:

1.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C2v f5v]

EMBLEMA VI.

Firmissima convelli non posse.

The firmest things cannot be uprooted

Oceanus quamvis fluctus pater excitet omnes,[1]
Danubiumque omnem Barbare Turca bibas,[2]
Non tamen irrumpes perfracto limite, Caesar
Dum Charolus populis bellica signa dabit:[3]
Sic sacrae quercus[4] firmis radicibus astant
Sicca licent venti concutiant folia.

Though Father Ocean rouses all his waves, though, barbarous Turk, you drink the Danube dry, yet you shall not break through the boundary and burst in, while Emperor Charles shall give to his peoples the signal for war. Even so, holy oaks stand firm with tenacious roots, though the winds rattle the dry leaves.

Das VI.

Was sehr fest ist kan nit bewegt wer-
den.

Ob schon von West das ungstümm Meer
Mit seinen Wellen brausset her
Und du wütrich Türck von auffgang
Den an der Donaw wohnt machst bang
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C3r f6r] So wirstu doch vermögen nicht
Ein schaden zuthun, dieweil verficht
Keyser Carle mit gewaltiger Hand
Und mit Heeresmacht Leut und Land
Gleich also wie ein Eychbaum bleibt
Fest unbewegt stehn, ob schon treibt
Hinweg die leichte Bletter dürr
Der grosse starcke Wind unghürr.

Notes:

1.  This poem is based on Anthologia graeca 9.291, which refers to a threat to ancient Rome from invading German tribes.

2.  The Turks invaded along the Danube and reached Hungary, winning the battle of Mohacs in 1526. When Alciato was writing, they continued to threaten Vienna and Central Europe.

3.   Caesar...Charlus, i.e. Emperor Charles V, led the charge to recover the lost territory.

4.  ‘holy oaks’. Oaks were holy because sacred to Zeus, especially at his sanctuary at Dodona in Greece ([A67a201]). The image of the dry leaves is already present in the Greek poem, but see also Vergil, Aeneid 4.441-4.


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  • Asiatic races and peoples: Turks [32B33(TURKS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Constancy, Tenacity; 'Costanza', 'Tenacità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Stability, Firmness; 'Fermezza', 'Stabilimento', 'Stabilità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A22(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Invincibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A71(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(CHARLES V [of Holy Roman Empire])3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(DANUBE)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Oceanus [91B112] Search | Browse Iconclass

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