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


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-

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.


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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Relating to the text:

  • 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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