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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q2r p243]

Gramen.

LXXXVII.

Pour Annibal matté, le Senat Rommain donne
Au prudent Fabius de gramen la couronne.[1]
Ses petits l’alouëtte avec le gramen cache,
Les en entoure, & puis les couver elle tasche.
A Saturne & à Mars le gramen est sacré:
Glauque en ayant mangé devint Dieu consacré.[2]
Ceste herbe pour plusieurs vertus est fort insigne,[3]
Et pource de tutele & salut elle est signe.

Commentaires.

La couronne graminee, qu’on appelle aussi obsi-
dionale, estoit donnee à celuy qui avoit delivré ceux
qui estoyent assiegés: & se faisoit avec le gramen qui
estoit creu dans l’enclos des assiegés.Ceste couronne,
la plus noble de toutes, fut baillee au grand Fabius,
pource que par sa patience & bon conseil, il avoit
rompu tout les desseings d’Annibal. Glauque, pe-
scheur, & excellent nageur, ayant pris grande quan-
tité de poissons, qui luy pesoyent beaucoup, les des-
chargea sur le rivage, desquels l’un, qui se mouroit,
ayant gousté d’une herbe qu’il fouloit, revint soudain
en vie & en vigueur, & saillit dans l’eau: ce
qu’ayant apperceu Glauque, en voulut aussi manger
& ceste viande luy apporta immortalité. Saturne
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q2v p244] sema cest [=ceste] herbe, & l’appella, le gramen des Dieux:
Il croissoit en quantité au champ de Mars. Le gra-
men est distingué par plusieurs noeuds, & ce qui est
entre deux noeuds, s’appelle doigt: tellement qu’on
appelle ceste herbe digitale: nom qu’on baille aussi à
l’aristolochie.

Notes:

1.  Quintus Fabius Maximus was nicknamed Cunctator, ‘the Delayer’, for his strategy of avoiding pitched battles with Hannibal’s triumphant army in the Second Punic War. This contributed to Hannibal’s eventual withdrawal from Italy. Cf. Ennius’ famous line, Annals, 370: unus homo nobis cunctando restituit rem: ‘one man by his delaying tactics saved the day for us’. A crown of fresh grass plucked from the spot was given to its general by a whole army if delivered from a state of siege. Fabius was awarded such a crown by general consent for saving all Italy from the threat of Hannibal. See Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 5.6.10; Pliny, Natural History, 22.4.6ff.

2.  Some of the divine herb sown by Cronos (a Greek divinity equated with the Roman Saturn) was eaten by Glaucus the fisherman, who then became a sea-god; see Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 7.296e; 15.679a; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 13.917ff.

3.  See Pliny, Natural History, 24.118.178-83 for the medicinal uses of grass. The finger-grass (ib.183) is common in Mediterranean areas.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C5r f8r]

    EMBLEMA X.

    In Senatum boni principis.

    On the senate of a good prince

    DIALOGISMUS

    A Dialogue.

    Effigies manibus truncae ante altaria divûm
    Hic resident, quarum lumine capta prior.
    Signa potestatis summae, sanctique Senatus
    Thebanis fuerant ista reperta viris.[1]
    Cur resident? Quia mente graves decet esse quieta
    Iuridicos, animo nec variare levi
    Cur sine sunt manibus? Capiant ne xenia, nec se
    Pollicitis flecti muneribusque sinant.
    Caecus at est princeps, quòd solis auribus absque
    Affectu, constans iussa senatus agit.

    Figures without hands sit here before the altars of the gods. The chief of them is deprived of sight. These symbols of the supreme power and of the reverend senate were discovered by men of Thebes. - Why do they sit? - Because lawgivers should be serious, of a calm mind, and not change with inconstant thoughts. - Why have they no hands? - So that they may not take gifts, nor let themselves be influenced by promises or bribes. But the president is blind, because the Senate, by hearing alone, uninfluenced by feeling, impartially discharges what it is bidden to do.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C5v f8v]

    Das X.

    Beschreibung eines Fürsten löbliche
    Räht.

    Hie sitzn vor der Götter altar
    Bilder die haben kein Hand zwar
    Der öberst aber under in
    Der ist beraubt der augen sin
    Diß haben von Theb die weisse Mann
    Erdacht, damit zu zeigen an
    Deß öbersten Rahts höchst gewalt
    Und Herrschafft wie die seyn soll gstalt
    Warumb sitzen sie aber all
    Darumb das jeder Richter sal
    Tapffer seyn und von Hertzen deicht
    Und sich nicht lassen bewegen leicht
    Warumb haben sie dann kein Handt?
    Das sie nit nemmen gab und Pfandt
    Und das sie mit geschenck und miet
    Sich ließn biegen und wenden nit
    Der öberst aber der ist blindt
    Das er allein soll hören gschwindt
    Und unansehung der Person
    Das urtheil thu vollstrecken schon.

    Notes:

    1.  This is Thebes in Egypt. See Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride 10; also Erasmus, Adagia 2601, Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit.


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