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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K1r p145]

Fortuna virtutem superans.

Fortune triumphant over virtue

EMBLEMA CXIX.

Caesareo postquàm superatus milite, vidit
Civili undantem sanguine Pharsaliam;
Iam iam stricturus moribunda in pectora ferrum,
Audaci hos Brutus protulit ore sonos:
Infelix Virtus; & solis provida verbis,
Fortunam in rebus cur sequeris dominam?[1]

Brutus, defeated by the Caesarean troops, saw Pharsalia flowing with citizen blood. As he was about to plunge the sword into his dying heart, he spoke these words with undaunted voice: ‘Unhappy virtue, prudent only in word - why do you in reality submit to dominating fortune?’

Notes:

1.  After the assassination of Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius became the leaders of the Republican cause. The Caesarean troops, led by Mark Antony and Octavian, Caesar’s heir, defeated them in 42 BC in two battles at Philippi in Macedonia. (Pharsalus in Thessaly was the site of the battle in 48 BC in which Julius Caesar had defeated Pompey in a previous round of the Civil Wars. Pharsalia is here loosely used, as in the Roman poets, to refer to both sites of similar civil conflict.) For Brutus’ suicide after the defeat, see the end of Plutarch’s Life of Brutus.


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  • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Virtuousness; 'Amor di Virtù', 'Attione virtuosa', 'Guida sicura de' veri honori', 'Virtù', 'Virtù insuperabile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(PHARSALIA)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Marcus Junius Brutus death of person from classical history [98B(BRUTUS, M.J.)68] Search | Browse Iconclass

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EMBLEMA LXIII.

Omnia mea mecum porto.[1]

All that is mine I carry with me.

Hunnus inops, Scythicique miserrimus accola ponti,[2]
Ustus perpetuò livida membra gelu.
Qui Cereris non novit opes, nec dona Lyaei,[3]
Et praeciosa tamen, stragula semper habet.
Nam Murrinae illum perstringunt undique pelles,
Lumina sola patent, caetera opertus agit.
Sic furem haud metuit, sic ventos temnit & imbres,
Tutus apudque viros, tutus apudque Deos.

The impoverished Hun, wretched dweller beside the Scythian Sea, whose limbs are always blue and burnt by frost, has no knowledge of Ceres’ bounty or of the gifts of Lyaeus, yet he always has luxurious wraps. Ermine furs hug him round on every side; only his eyes are visible, he spends his life covered everywhere else. So he has no fear of the thief, he pays no attention to wind and rain, safe in the presence of men and in the presence of gods.

Das LXIII.

All mein Gut trag ich mit mir.

Der dürfftig Hunn so sein sitz hat
An dem Scytischen Meeres gstat
Und allzeit wirt geplaget sehr
Mit uberlestiger kelt schwer
Der nicht weiß umb Cereris hab
Noch umb des Bacchi Schenck und gab
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G8r f43r] Ist er jedoch nit on ein beut
Dann er hat vil der köstlichen Heut
An allen orten umb und umb
Ist er bedeckt in einer sumb
Mit Zobeln und Mardern gefülln
Die Augen im allein hrauß schülln
Also förcht er kein Dieb noch Wind
Verachtet auch die Regen gschwind
Ist also vor Menschen verwart
Und vor den Göttern ungespart.

Notes:

1.  These words, (according to Cicero, Paradoxa Stoicorum, 1.8, and Seneca, Epistulae morales, 9.19), were used by the philosophers Bias and Stilbo, when they had apparently lost everything; also by the poet Simonides when shipwrecked (Phaedrus, 4.22.14).

2.  The Pontus Scythicus was one Classical name for the Black Sea (a.k.a. Pontus Euxinus), on the northern shores of which dwelt various barbarian tribes, from Scythians to Goths to Huns.

3.  Cereris...opes,...dona Lyaei, ‘Ceres’ bounty...gifts of Lyaeus’, i.e. corn and wine, given to mankind by Ceres and Bacchus (Lyaeus, the relaxer, or deliverer from care).


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