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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H2v p116]



Carolus occiduae Princeps Austrasius orae
Divisum imperium cum Iove Caesar habet.
Iuppiter in coelo, terrarum Caesar in orbe,
Inter hic humanos imperat: ille Deos.
Nec mirum. Mars fortis enim, sapiensque Minerva
Dant manibus praesens talibus auxilium.
Parva foris sunt arma, domi nisi consilium sit,[1]
Magnanimus, prudens, Caesar utroque viget.
Ut nunquam (his velut Herculeis firmata columnis[2])
Gloria Caesarei corruat imperii.
Nec dum finis hic est. Duce sed virtute, sequentem
Fortunam eventis proferet ulterius.
Impediat nisi qui donec totum impleat orbem.[3]
Crescit, & hunc cogat citerius regredi.

Charles Prince of Austria bears divided sway with Jove, as Emperor on the western shores. Jupiter in the sky, and Caesar on the earth; this one commands to men, and he to Gods. No wonder. Brave Mars and wise Minerva give effective help with mighty hand. ARMS ARE WORTH LITTLE ABROAD, IF THERE IS NO GOOD COUNSEL AT HOME; magnanimous, prudent Caesar has abundance of both; so the glory of Caesar’s empire (secured as it were by Pillars of Hercules ) should never fail; nor will it end here. But, with manly virtue leading, fortune following, he’ll press his advantage EVER FURTHER FORWARD, unless someone prevents him BEFORE HE FILLS THE WHOLE EARTH, and forces him to pull back and retreat.


1.  This is from Cicero, De officiis, 22.76. The House of Austria was already known for its prudence regarding when to wage war and when to stay at home and tend the family, as stated in a motto of Charles’ grandfather, Emperor Maximilan: “Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube” (while others wage war, you, Happy Austria, marry). By this policy, Maximilian’s two grandsons inherited by marriage, not conquest, the Netherlands and Burgundy, Spain and America, and Hungary and Bohemia.

2.  The point about the Pillars of Hercules is that you can’t pass them if you want to remain a mortal man (see e.g. Pindar, Olympian Odes, 3.43ff): Charles is doing his best, as King of Spain (‘the western shores’), and master of the Americas. Charles’ Latin motto is included on the engraving: PLUS ULTRA: ‘further forward’.

3.  The motto of King Henry II of France, Charles’ rival: an adaptation of Ovid, Metamorphoses, 12.617. It is usually translated ‘Until he fills the whole world’, and indicates not the rivalry with the Habsburgs per se, but the committment to the creation of a universal Christian world (which, of course, was also Charles’ goal, but under the leadership of the Habsburgs, not the Valois). See both of these mottos in Paradin ([FPAb010] and [FPAb014]).

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  • (story of) Minerva (Pallas, Athena) [92C2] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) [61B2(CHARLES V)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Honour, Glory; 'Ampiezza della Gloria', 'Gloria', 'Gloria de prencipi', 'Gloria & Honore', 'Honore', 'Sublimatà della Gloria' (Ripa) [59B31] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) [54F12] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Rome (one of the four world empires) [23S14] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosit… dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virt— del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Wisdom; 'Sapienza', 'Sapienza humana', 'Sapienza vera' (Ripa) [52A51] Search | Browse Iconclass

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