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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [D2v p52]


Irae malagma philosophia.

The cure for anger is philosophy.

Getulus[1] Leo non sic aliud, qum metuit
Taedam flammivomam, qua rabies saeva cadit.
Sidit trux animus vel facibus luciferis
Caelestis sophiae, aut supplicii terriculis.

The African lion fears nothing so much as A torch belching flames, at the sight of which all its wild raging is weakened. A furious spirit calms down under the influence of the light-giving torches Of heavenly wisdom - or else under the threat of punishment.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [I5r p137]

Carmen est Antispasticum tetrametrum, eius generis
quod Servio Honorato tali exemplo comprobatur.

Maecenas atavis, Lydia quos fert, genite.
Inter cetera, quae leoni saevissimo animali
terrorem incutiunt, enumerat Plinius lib. 8. cap.
16. circumactos rotarum orbes,[2] & cantus gallina-
ceorum, sed omnium maxim ignes. Confirmat
hoc Orus Apollo, nulla re magis domari atque
frangi leonis feritatem, qum accensis facibus.
Irae tumor haud ferme compescitur melis, qum
documentis praeceptisque caelestis philosophiae,
quae facis instar mentem illuminat, & ab indo-
mita praecipitis affectus rabie cogitationem avo-
cat, sanaeque doctrinae suggestione munit, & animi
tranquillitatem conciliat. Praeterea & supplicii
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [I5v p138]metus non iram moderatur mod; sed & ceteros
affectus velut iniecto freno cohibet. Irae significa-
tio taedis non est aliena: nam & definiunt eam
sanguinis circa cor ardorem, unde Lucretius lib. 3.
Est etiam calor ille animo, quem sumit in ira,
Cm fervescit, & ex oculis micat acris ardor.[3]
Quod ad picturam attinet, pingatur fax ardens,
& Leo qui aversetur ignem illum.

The verse-form is antispastic tetrameters, of the kind that is sanctioned by Servius Honoratus with the following example: “Maecenas, born of ancestors to whom Lydia gave birth.” (cf. the Horatian example used for Emblem IIII, [FJUb004]).
Among the other things that strike terror into the lion, the fiercest of animals, Pliny (bk. 8, ch. 16) lists the bent hoop of a wheel and the crowing of cockerels, but above all, fire. Horapollo confirms this, saying that the ferocity of a lion can be tamed and subdued by nothing more effectively than by lighted torches. The flood of a man’s rage can hardly be contained better than by the teachings and precepts of heavenly philosophy, which enlighten the mind like a torch, and summons the thoughts back from the unconquerable madness of headlong passion, furnishes it with guidance of rational philosophy, and produces tranquillity of spirit. The fear of punishment, too, [p.138] not only controls a man’s rage, but restrains the other passions as if they were pulled up with a rein. A burning torch may well be used to signify anger [lit. the meaning of anger is not foreign to a torch]: for it is defined as a burning of blood around the heart, which explains Lucretius, in bk. 3:
“For there is that heat in the soul, which a man takes up in anger,
When he is in a passion, and fire shines brightly from his eyes.”
As far as the picture goes, a burning torch should be depicted, and a lion which shuns the same fire.


1. Getulus: something from Getullum, a town in Tripolitania, on the northern coast of Africa.

2. Natural History,

3. De Rerum Natura, 3.288-9. Modern editions repunctuate ‘quem sumit, in ira cum fervescit’, i.e. ‘which a man takes up, when he is in a passion of anger’.

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