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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A6r p11]



Cui iaculum, iaculoque animus praestantior omni,
Atque Leoninum vis erat exuvium:
Cadmus Agenorides praestans facundia, & armis:
Ut iaculum penetrans, ut Leo magnanimus,
Vexit in Europam literas Phoenicibus ortas.
In quibus humanae circulus est Sophiae.
Quarum quinque (aliis se collidentibus ultro.)
Plena vocales integritate manent.
Ac terrestribus has animis insevit: & artes.
Civiles homines fecit & ex rudibus.

He whose dart was swift, whose spirit more excellent than any dart, and whose might was the skin of the Lion, Cadmus son of Agenor, mighty in speech and arms, sharp as a dart and great-souled as the Lion, brought to Europe letters born among the Phoenicians, in whom is the field of human wisdom. Of which five (for the others clashed spontaneously together) remain, speaking* in their full purity. And he did sow them and the arts in earthly souls: he made citizens even of the unlearned.
* vocales is of course Latin for ‘vowels’.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A6v p12]

Fictus ob hoc vigilis dentes sparsisse Draconis:
Exque satis natos dentibus esse viros.
Qui se occîderunt per mutua vulnera. tantùm
Post reliquos caesos, quinque superstitibus.[1]
Ex quibus est hominum post multiplicata propago:
Qui primi Thebas incoluêre novas.
Huius ad archetypum, literas qui spargit in urbe
Quae nomen, vires, stemma Leonis habet:
Quique libris homines sapientes perficit: An non
Iure pari possit dicere Chalcographus?
Semino serpentis dentes in pelle leonis.
Hoc est Lugduni, Qui Leo Gallicus est.

Hence he appears casting the teeth of the guardian dragon, and men are born from the teeth he had sown, who slew one another with wounds given and taken. Only five survived when the others were dead, from whom afterwards a sapling tree of men multiplied, who first settled the new city of Thebes. By THIS paradigm, he who scatters letters in the city that has the name, the strength, and the ancestry of the Lion, and who makes men wise with books: can not one rightly say that this man is the Printer? I SOW THE TEETH OF THE SERPENT IN THE SKIN OF THE LION: that is, in LYON, which is the Lion of Gaul.


1.  The five excepted (called the ‘Spartae’) were Echion, Udaeus, Chthonius, Hyperenor, and Pelor, who, according to the Theban legend, were the ancestors of the Thebans (Apollodorus, 3.4.1).

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