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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B7v p30]

Nec quaestioni quidem cedendum.

Do not yield even to torture.

EMBLEMA XIII.

Cecropia effictam quam cernis in arce Leaenam,
Harmodii (an nescis hospes?) amica fuit.
Sic animum placuit monstrare viraginis acrem
More ferae, nomen vel quia tale tulit.
Quòd fidibus contorta, suo non prodidit ullum
Indicio, elinguem reddidit Iphicrates.[1]

This lioness that you see represented on the Athenian citadel was Harmodius’ lover - stranger, you must know the story. This was how they decided to proclaim the brave woman’s fierce spirit, by representing her as a lioness. Besides, her name was Lioness too. Tortured on the rack, she betrayed no-one by her evidence, and so Iphicrates represented the beast without a tongue.

Notes:

1.  Harmodius and Aristogeiton conspired to kill Hipparchus, the brother of the Athenian tyrant Hippias. Harmodius was killed, Aristogeiton arrested and tortured. Also tortured was Leaena (‘Lioness’) a courtesan, beloved of Harmodius, as she too was suspected of being in the conspiracy. She however revealed nothing. After the fall of Hippias, the two men were treated as tyrannicides and bronze statues were erected in their honour (509 BC). To avoid appearing to honour a courtesan, the Athenians had Leaena represented by Iphicrates (or Amphicrates) as a lioness without a tongue, indicating both her name and the reason for remembering her. See Pliny, Natural History 34.19.72; Plutarch, De garrulitate 505E.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B5v p26]

Foedera.

Alliances.

Ad Maximilianum Mediolanensem Ducem.

EMBLEMA X.

Hanc citharam, à lembi quae formâ halieutica[1] fertur,
Vendicat & propriam Musa Latina sibi,
Accipe Dux: placat [=placeat] nostrum hoc tibi tempore munus,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B6r p27]Quo nova cum sociis foedera inire paras.
Difficile est, nisi docto homini tot tendere chordas:
Unaque si fuerit non bene tenta fides,
Ruptave (quod facile est) perit omnis gratia conchae,
Illeque praecellens cantus, ineptus erit.
Sic Itali coëunt proceres in foedera: concors
Nil est quod timeas, si tibi constet amor.
At si aliquis desciscat (uti plerumque videmus)
In nihilum illa omnis solvitur harmonia.

This lute, which from its boat shape is called ‘halieutica’, my Latin Muse now claims for her own service. Receive it, O Duke. May this offering of mine be pleasing to you at this moment when you are preparing to enter into fresh agreements with your allies. It is difficult, except for a man of skill, to tune so many strings, and if one string is out of tune or broken, which so easily happens, all the music of the instrument is lost and its lovely song disjointed. In like manner the leaders of Italy are now forming alliances. There is nothing for you to fear if affection lasts for you and stays in concord. But if any one should slide away, which we often see, that harmony is all dissolved into nothing.

Notes:

1.  halieutica, a Greek word meaning ‘fishing’ (boat).


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