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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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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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  • torture [44G330] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Taciturnity; 'Secretezza', 'Secretezza overo Taciturnità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52DD3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Courage, Bravery, Valiance, Manliness; 'Ardire magnanimo et generoso', 'Gagliardezza', 'Valore', 'Virtù heroica', 'Virtù dell'animo e del corpo' (Ripa) [54A8] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 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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  • female persons from classical history (with NAME) suffering, misfortune of person from classical history [98C(LAENA)6] Search | Browse Iconclass

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