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Opulentia tyranni, paupertas
subiectorum.

A wealthy ruler means poor subjects

EMBLEMA CXLVI.

Humani quod splen est corporis, in populi re
Hoc Caesar[1] fiscum dixerat esse suum.
Splene aucto reliqui tabescunt corporis artus.
Fisco aucto arguitur civica pauperies.

It was a saying of Caesar that the imperial treasury has the same relation to the people as the spleen has to the human body: if the spleen is enlarged, all the other members of the body waste away. A swollen treasury is proof of poverty among the citizens.

Notes:

1. The Emperor Trajan, one of the five ‘Good Emperors’. See Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus, 42.21; Erasmus, Apophthegmata, 8.


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  • official acts of rulers, e.g. royal acts (ruler giving audience, granting mercy, etc.; ruler and his subjects) [44B12] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • bad government [44B620] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Wealth, Opulence; 'Opulenza', 'Richezza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55B1(+4):44B119] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Poverty; 'Povertà', 'Povertà del doni', 'Povertà in uno ch'habbia bell'ingegno' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55BB1(+4):44C1] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • the story of the justice of Trajan [98B(TRAJAN)51] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Consiliarii Principum.

Counsellors of princes

EMBLEMA CXLV.

Heroum genitos, & magnum fertur Achillem
In stabulis Chiron erudiisse suis.[1]
Semiferum doctorem, & semivirum Centaurum,
Assideat quisquis Regibus, esse decet [=docet] .
Est fera, dum violat socios, dum proterit hostes:
Estque homo, dum simulat se populo esse pium.

It is said that Chiron brought up in his stables the sons of heroes and the great Achilles. He shows us that anyone who sits in counsel with kings is a teacher who is half a beast, a centaur who is half a man. He is the beast when he attacks supporters and tramples on enemies. He is the man when he feigns compassion for the people.

Notes:

1. Chiron, the wise centaur entrusted with the education of Achilles, Aesculapius, and other noble figures. Centaurs were creatures combining the physical and mental characteristics of a man with those of a horse. They were wild and uncontrolled, and came to symbolise humanity descending to savagery. Even the civilised Chiron, the educator, retained violent potential.


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