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Link to an image of this page  Link 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] latêre
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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C1v p34]

Mesme à la Torture ne fault ceder.

Une Lyonne en la grand tour d’Athene
Fut d’Harmody L’amie trescertaine.
Par telle beste est monstré le renom
De son grand cueur. Ou bien tel fut son nom
Pource qu’en Gehaine oncque nul ne revela
Forte, & sans langue, Iphicras la tailla.[1]

Par l’exemple de celle femme commune: fidele,
à ses amans jusque à extreme torture. Nous est
demonstrée l’Image de Constance plusque vi-
rile par le moins au plus.

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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  • torture [44G330] Search | Browse Iconclass
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  • Honour, Glory; 'Ampiezza della Gloria', 'Gloria', 'Gloria de prencipi', 'Gloria & Honore', 'Honore', 'Sublimatà della Gloria' (Ripa) [59B31] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • names of cities and villages (with NAME) [61E(ATHENS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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