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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[B8r p31]

Consilio & virtute Chimaeram superari,
hoc est, fortiores & deceptores.

Wisdom and courage defeat Chimaera (i.e. the powerful and deceivers).

EMBLEMA XIIII.

Bellerophon ut fortis eques superare Chimaeram.
Et Lycii potuit sternere monstra soli:[1]
Sic tu Pegaseis vectus petis aethera pennis,
Consilioque animi[2] monstra superba domas.

Bellerophon, that bold horseman, was able to overcome the Chimaera and lay low the monsters of the Lycian land. You likewise, borne on wings of Pegasus, seek the high heavens and, by the counsel of reason, tame proud monsters.

Notes:

1.The King of Lycia imposed on Bellerophon, among other tasks, that of killing the Chimaera, a fire-breathing monster with a lion’s head, serpent’s tail and goat’s body. He achieved this last with the aid of the winged horse Pegasus, which Athena, goddess of wisdom, helped him to catch.

2.‘by the counsel of reason’. The name Bellerophon was interpreted by some as ‘bringer of counsel’. The Chimaera symbolised various uncontrolled passions.


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  • mis-shapen animals; monsters [25F9] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Intellect, Intelligence; 'Intelletto', 'Intelligenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Counsel; 'Consiglio' (Ripa) [52E3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositŗ dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtý del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Virtuousness; 'Amor di Virtý', 'Attione virtuosa', 'Guida sicura de' veri honori', 'Virtý', 'Virtý insuperabile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Cheat, Deceit; 'Fraude', 'Inganno' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA621(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(LYCIA)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[B7r p29]

Non vulganda consilia.

Keep counsels secret

EMBLEMA XII.

Limine quod caeco, obscura & caligine monstrum,[1]
Gnosiacis clausit Daedalus in latebris,
Depictum Romana phalanx in proelia gestat,
Semiviroque nitent signa superba[2] bove:
Nosque monent, debere Ducum secreta[3] latÍre
Consilia. auctori cognita techna nocet.

The monster that Daedalus imprisoned in its Cretan lair, with hidden entrance and obscuring darkness, the Roman phalanx carries painted into battle; the proud standards flash with the half-man bull. These remind us that the secret plans of leaders must stay hid. A ruse once known brings harm to its author.

Notes:

1.‘The monster that Daedalus imprisoned’, i.e. the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster kept in the famous Labyrinth at Knossos, which Daedalus, the Athenian master-craftsman, constructed for King Minos.

2.According to Pliny, Natural History 10.5.16, before the second consulship of Marius (104 BC) Roman standards bore variously eagles, wolves, minotaurs, horses and boars. Marius made the eagle universal.

3.Cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (135 Lindsay): the Minotaur appears among the military standards, because the plans of leaders should be no less concealed than was the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth.


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