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QUERCUS.

The Oak

Emblema. 198.

Greca [=Grata] Iovi est quercus, qui nos servatque, fovetque:
Servanti civem querna corona datur.[1]
Glande aluit[2] veteres,[3] sola nunc proficit umbra:
Sic quoque sic arbos officiosa Iovi [=Iovis] .

The oak is pleasing to Jove who preserves and cherishes us. A crown of oak is given to one who preserves a fellow-citizen. The oak fed men of old with its acorns. Now it benefits us only with its shade. In this way too the tree of Jove does us service.

Notes:

1. ‘a crown of oak’, awarded for saving the life of a fellow-soldier; see Pliny, Natural History, 16.3.7.

2. Corrected from the Errata.

3. For the ancient belief that early man fed on acorns see e.g. Lucretius, De Rerum natura, 5.939; Vergil, Georgics, 1.7; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.106.



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