Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art

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Fictitious and Symbolic Creatures in Art

By John Vinycomb

Chimerical Creatures of the Dragon and Serpent kind - The Scorpion

The reptile of this name, carrying a virulent and deadly sting in its tail, is generally borne erect. When it is borne with the head downwards, it is described as reversed. One branch of the family of Cole bears: argent, a fesse between three scorpions erect sable; and another branch of the same family, argent a chevron gules between three scorpions reversed, sable.

Scorpion.—Luigi di Gonzaga, styled Rodomonte for his great intrepidity and strength, was a favourite general of Emperor 

Charles V. in his army with Bourbon at the sack of Rome. When Charles made his public entry into Mantua, Rodomonte wore a blue surcoat made in squares. Upon one was embroidered a scorpion; upon the other his motto, "Qui vivens lædit morte meditur"("Who living wounds, in death is healed"). It being the property of the scorpion when killed and laid over the wound to cure the poison, so Rodomonte, if any one presumed to offend him, would clear himself of the injury by the death of his enemy.

"If a man be stung with a scorpion, and drink the powder of them in wine, it is thought to be present remedie." *

Footnotes
123:* Pliny, Book xi. ch. 25, from an old translation.

 

 

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