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ETIAM FEROCISSIMOS
Domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

Emblema. 29.

Romanum postquam eloquium Cicerone perempto[1]
Perdiderat patriae pestis acerba[2] suae:
Incendit currus victor, iunxîtque leones[3],
Compulit & durum colla subire iugum:
Magnanimos cessisse suis Antonius armis,
Ambage hac cupiens significare ducens.

After Antony, that grievous bane of his country, had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero, he mounted his chariot in triumph and yoked to it lions, forcing their necks to bow to the harsh yoke, desiring by this symbolic act to indicate that great leaders had given way before his military might.

Notes:

1.  ‘had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero’. Cicero was considered Rome’s greatest orator - his name was held by many to be synonymous with eloquence itself; see Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 10.1.112. Mark Antony had Cicero murdered in 43 BC in revenge for his scathing attacks in the fourteen ‘Philippic’ orations. See Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae 6.17.

2.  Corrected from the Errata.

3.  Cf. Pliny, Natural History 8.21.55: Antony was the first to yoke lions to a chariot in Rome...by this unnatural sight giving people to understand that noble spirits were at that time bowing to the yoke.

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Relating to the text:

  • Authority, Power; 'Dominio', 'Giurisdittione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53C11(+4):54F2(+2)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • death of Cicero: he is slain by soldiers at the order of the triumvirs [98B(CICERO)68] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Eloquence; 'Eloquenza', 'Fermezza & Gravità dell'Oratione' (Ripa) [52D3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Vehemence, Violence, Fierceness; 'Sforza con Inganno', 'Violenza' (Ripa) [54AA4] Search | Browse Iconclass

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