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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 1

On the shield of the Duke of Milan

To the most illustrious Massimiliano, Duke of Milan

An infant springing from the jaws of a curling snake is your family's noble device. We saw the Pellaean king had made such coins, and had celebrated with them his own descent. It teaches that while he was sown from the seed of Ammon, his mother was fooled by the image of a snake and that he was the offspring of divine seed. He comes forth from the mouth. Is it because in this way, some claim, certain snakes bear their young, or because Pallas sprang that way from the head of Jupiter?