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Ut sensit mugire Forum, movet horrida sancto
The two horns that you see on the next medal are
Apparetque beata pleno
Hor, Carm. Sæc.
Rigidum fera dextera cornu
De Acheloi Corn. Ov. Met. lib. 9.
He spoke; when lo a beauteous nymph appears,
* Fig. 6.
Lac dabat illa deo: sed fregit in arbore cornu:
Truncaque dimidia parte decoris erat.
Et plenum pomis ad Jovis ora tulit.
Sedit, et invicto nil Jove majus erat,
De Cornu Amalth. Ov. de Fast. lib.5.
And grateful in the zodiac fix'd her horn, Betwixt the double cornu-copia you see Mercury's rod.
Cyllenes cælique decus, facunde minister,
Aureu cui torto virga dracone viret. Mart. lib. 7. epig. 74. Descend, Cyllene's tutelary god,
With serpents twining round thy golden rod. It stands on old coins as an emblem of Peace, by reason of its stupifying quality that has gained it the title of virga somnifera. It has wings, for another quality that Virgil mentions in his description of it.
Hac fretus ventos et nubila tranat.
Mr. DRYDEN. The two heads over the two cornu-copiæ are of the emperor's children, who are sometimes called among the poets the Pledges of Peace, as they took away the occasions of war, in cutting off all disputes to the succession.
VIRG. Sen. Octav, act. 5.
-Tu mihi primum
This medal therefore compliments the emperor on his two children, whom it represents as public blessings that promise peace and plenty to the empire.
The two hands that join one another are emblems of Fidelity*. Inde Fides dextræque datæ
Ov. Met. lib. 14.
Sen. Herc. Fur. act. 2.
en dextra fidesque
Mr. DRYDEN. By the inscription we may see that they represent, in this place, the fidelity or loyalty of the public towards their emperor. The Caduceus rising between the hands signifies the peace that arises from such a union with their prince, as the spike of corn, on each side, shadows out the plenty that is the fruit of such a peace.
Pax Cererem nutrit, pacis alumna Ceres. Ov.de Fast. lib. 1.
The giving of a handt, in the reverse of Claudius, is a token of good will, For when, after the death of his nephew Caligula, Claudius was in no small apprehension for his own life, he was, contrary to his expectation, well received among the Prætorian guards, and afterwards declared their emperor. His reception
is here recorded on a medal, in which one of the ensigns presents him in his hand, in the same sense as Anchises gives it in the following verses.
Ipse pater dextram-Anchises haud multa moratus
VIRG. Æn. lib. 3. The old weather-beaten soldier that carries in his hand the Roman eagle, is the same kind of officer that you meet with in Juvenal's fourteenth satire.
Dirue Maurorum attegias, castella Brigantum,
Juv. sat. 14. I remember in one of the poets the Signifer is described with a lion's skin over his head and shoulders, like this we see in the medal, bút at present I cannot recollect the passage. Virgil has given us a noble description of a warrior making his appearance under a lion's skin.
Tegmen torquens immane leonis
VIRG. Æn. lib. 7.
Mr.DRYDEN. Since you have mentioned the dress of bearer, says Cynthio, I cannot forbear remarking that of Claudius, which was the usual Roman habit. One may see in this medal, as well as in any antique statues, that the old Romans had their necks and arms bare, and as much exposed to view as our hands and faces are at present. Before I had made this remark, I have sometimes wondered to see the Roman poets, in their descriptions of a beautiful man, so often mentioning the turn of his neck and arms, that in our modern dresses lie out of sight, and are covered under part of the clothing. Not to trouble you with many quotations, Horace speaks of both these parts of the body in the beginning of an ode, that in my opinion may be reckoned among the finest of his book, for the naturalness of the thought, and the beauty of the expression.
Dum tu Lydia Telephi
Luudas brachia, væ meum
neck and winding arms,
And all the man within me dies. It was probably this particular in the Roman habit that gave Virgil the thought in the following verse, where Romulus, among other reproaches that he makes the Trojans for their softness and effeminacy, upbraids them with the make of their Tunicas that had sleeves to them, and did not leave the arms naked and exposed to the weather like that of the Romans.
Et tunicæ manicas, et habent ridimicula mitræ. Virgil lets us know in another place, that the Italians preserved their old language and habits, notwithstanding the Trojans became their masters, and that the Trojans themselves quitted the dress of their own country for that of Italy. This he tells us was the effect of a prayer that Juno made to Jupiter.
Illud te nulla fati quod lege tenetur,
reges: Sit Romana potens Italâ virtute propayo: Occidit, occideritque siras cum nomine Troja. Æn. lib. 12.