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EMBLEMA CXL.

Superbia.

Pride

En statuae statua,[1] & ductum de marmore marmor,
Se conferre deis ausa procax Niobe.[2]
Est vitium muliebre superbia, & arguit oris
Duritiem, ac sensus, qualis inest lapidi.

Behold a statue of a statue, marble carved from marble, insolent Niobe, who dared to set herself up against the gods. Pride is a woman’s vice, and shows hardness of face and feeling, such as exists in a stone.

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Das CXL.

Hoffart.[3]

Schauw an ein Seul beyr andern stan
Und ein Marmel am andern dran
Die freffel Niob hat sich gleich
Achten dörffen den Göttern reich
Hoffart ist ein Weibisch unart
Zeigt an gwiß und bezeugt zur fart
Ein Menschen der mit Hertz und Mund
Ist herter dann ein Stein all stund.

Notes:

1.  According to the best-known story of her fate, Niobe was turned to stone. For the statue of Niobe by Praxiteles, see Ausonius, Epigrams, 63.2 and Anthologia Graeca, 16.130, a much translated epigram, which seems to have been in Alciato’s thoughts here.

2.  Niobe in her pride boasted that having 12 (or 14) children, she was superior to Lato with just two, i.e. Apollo and Diana. These gods in revenge slew all her children and in her grief Niobe hardened into a rock; see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.165ff. See further, Erasmus, Adagia, 2233, ‘Niobes mala’.

3.  This woodcut does not correspond to the context of this emblem. It is designed for Emblem 194 ([A67a193]), where death is brought by Death and Cupid, rather than Apollo and Diana.


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EMBLEMA CXXXIX.

ἐχθρῶν ἄδωρα δῶρα. Hostium dona non
dona. In hostium dona.[1]

The gifts of enemies are no gifts. On the gifts of enemies.

Bellorum coepisse ferunt monumenta vicissim
Scutiferum Aiacem Hectoraque Iliacum.
Balthea Priamides, rigidum Thelamonius ensem,
Instrumenta suae cepit uterque necis.
Ensis enim Aiacem confecit, at Hectora functum
Traxêre Aemoniis cingula nexa rotis.
Sic titulo obsequii quae mittunt hostibus hostes
Munera, venturi praescia fata ferunt.[2]

The story tells that shield-bearing Ajax and Hector of Troy exchanged souvenirs of battle. Priam’s son took the sword-belt, Telamon’s descendant the rigid sword, each accepting the instrument of his own death. For the sword destroyed Ajax, and the belt, attached to Thessalian wheels, dragged the dead Hector. So the gifts which enemies give to enemies, seemingly doing honour, knowing what is to come, bring doom.

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Das CXXXIX.

Feinds geschenck seind unnütze Geschenck.

Wider die Feinds gaben.

Der Schiltträger Ajax wie dsag
Und Hector von Troja on zag
Habn in dem Krieg einandr verehrt
Und einander Denckzeichen beschert
Ajax gab Prians Son ein gürt
Darfür im ein scharpffes Schwert wirt
Sie empfiengend aber all beid
Jeder ein werck zeug zu seim leid
Dann Ajacem das Schwert auffrib
Hector abr an der Gürtel blieb
Darmit ward er herumb gschleifft todt
An deß Achillis Wagen rot
Also die Gaben und Geschenck
Die ein Feind dem andern zusendt
Under dem namen liebs und dienst
Zeigen an fürwar ein böß gspenst.

Notes:

1.  The gifts of enemies are no gifts. See Sophocles, Ajax 665, where Ajax so speaks of the ill-fated sword he had received from Hector.

2.  See Homer Iliad 7.299, for the occasion in the Trojan War when Hector (the Trojan hero, son of Priam) and Ajax (Telamon’s descendant, one of the best fighters on the Greek side) met in single combat and afterwards, the honours being even, exchanged gifts. (Ajax was carrying the vast shield for which he was famed). Later, he committed suicide by falling on the sword he received from Hector (Emblem 66 [A67a066] notes; and Emblem 137 [A67a137] notes). Hector was later killed in single combat by Achilles (prince of Thessaly, the Greek champion), who desecrated the body by tying it behind his chariot (it is suggested here that he used the sword-belt Hector had received from Ajax) and dragging it about before the eyes of the Trojans. See Emblem 196 [A67a196].


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