SteveM wrote: SteveM wrote:
I think the inscription reads something like "Pacis in germanicum Martem venia: per Sebastianum Brand defleta".
Ah, peace unto Germanicii (is brant making a reference to Ovid?) ~ that makes more sense! Paris (duh!)
There are allusions to Ovid in Brant's Ship of Fools
, so it is possible he is making an oblique reference to Ovid here too: without looking it up I can't remember the exact details, but in Ovid's Fasti
Janus addresses Germanicus Caesar (who was honoured with a Triumph on January 1), from what I recall Germanicus is refered to as a bringer of peace, and (somewhat confusedly) told to unbolt the temple doors.
The Janus text I was thinking of from Ovid's Fasti:
"See Janus comes, Germanicus, the herald of a lucky year to thee, and in my song takes precedence. Two-headed Janus, opener of the softly gliding year, thou who alone of the celestials dost behold thy back, O come propitious to the chiefs whose toil ensures peace to the fruitful earth, peace to the sea. And come propitious to thy senators and to the people of Quirinus, and by thy nod unbar the temples white. A happy morning dawns. Fair speech, fair thoughts I crave! Now must good words be spoken on a good day. Let ears be rid of suits, and banish mad disputes forthwith! Thou rancorous tongue, adjourn thy wagging! Dost mark how the sky sparkles with fragrant fires, and how Cilician saffron crackles on the kindled hearths? The flame with its own splendour beats upon the temples’ gold roof. In spotless garments the procession wends to the Tarpeian towers1; the people wear the colour of festal day; and now new rods of office lead the way, new purple gleams, and a new weight is felt by the far-sewn ivory chair. Heifers, unbroken to the yoke, offer their necks to the axe, heifers that cropped the sward on the true Faliscan plains. When from his citadel Jupiter looks abroad on the whole globe, naught but the Roman empire meets his eye. Hail, happy day! and evermore return still happier, day worthy to be kept holy by a people the masters of the world."
'...unbar the temples white.' That is, open the gates of war and peace at the temple(s) of Janus.
If there is a reference here to Germanicus Caesar, perhaps Brant is making some satirical allusion upon the relationship between Germany and Rome...
Or rather, between Germany and the Holy Roman Empire...
“The Swiss Confederation, just one of several groups formed during the 13th century, had arose as the farmers and mountain people fought against the efforts of Hapsburg-Austria to enlarge its territory in Switzerland. The Swiss were nominal subjects of the Holy Roman Empire. They did however acknowledge the emperor as their formal head and sought sanction on claims and confirmation of the rights such as approval of their charters. But the emperor’s real power to influence the daily lives and political activity was mostly non-existent. By the end of the 15th century Swiss Allegiance was merely a lip service. When the Hapsburg gained the imperial position, the Swiss became nervous and distrustful. They had had long dealing with the Hapsburgs.
... When a Hapsburg, already and Archduke of Austria, became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the end of the 15th century, he sought to restore imperial authority throughout all of the German area. The usually amicable relations between the Swiss and the emperor deteriorated.”
See Janus comes, Germanicus, the herald of a lucky year to thee, and in my song takes precedence.
If Brant in 1499 was hoping for a 'lucky' year for Germany and the Holy Roman Empire* then in the context of the Swabian War he was to be sore disappointed:
"Many battles were fought from January to July 1499, and in all but a few minor skirmishes, the experienced Swiss soldiers defeated the Swabian and Habsburg armies.... When his military high commander fell in the battle of Dornach, where the Swiss won a final decisive victory, king Maximilian I had no choice but to agree to a peace treaty signed on September 22, 1499 in Basel. The treaty granted the Confederacy far-reaching independence from the empire. Although the Eidgenossenschaft officially remained a part of the empire until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the peace of Basel exempted it from the imperial jurisdiction and imperial taxes and thus de facto acknowledged it as a separate political entity."
* "Brant was a loyalist to the Holy Roman Empire, and when Basel joined the Swiss Confederation in 1499, Brant (gave up his post at the University of Basel and later) returned to imperial Strasbourg. There he worked for the city in various administrative capacities until his death in 1521... was both a devout Catholic and a supporter of Maximilian I, the German king who became Holy Roman Emperor in 1491. Brant believed that the Holy Roman Empire had come into German hands because Germany was divinely ordained to lead the temporal Christian world..."
http://info.lib.uh.edu/sca/digital/ship ... ction.html