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upper center in light blue ink: Acuerunt linguam suam sicut Serpentes / venenum ASPIDVM sub labiis (“They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips.” Psalms 139:4) (Latin Vulgate Bible); center right in (gold?): LIX.; animals in image numbered .1., .2., .3., .4., .5., .6., and .7., in red ink; lower center in (gold?): Estote prudentes sicut serpentes: Et simplices sicut Columbae.; lower center in red ink: STELLIO manibus nititur et morat[ur] in aedib[us] regu[m].pro.30. (“A spotted lizard takes hold with it hands and lingers in kings’ palaces.” Proverbs 30:28) (Latin Vulgate Bible)
Facing page: upper center in red ink: Spiritus eius creavit Coelos: Et obstetricante manu eius / productus est serpens Tortuosus: Job.26. (“By his spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand has formed the crooked serpent.” Job 26:13) (Latin Vulgate Bible); lower center in brown ink: Ipsa caloris egens, gelidum non transit in orbem / Sponte sua, Niloq[ue] tenus metitur arenas. / Sed quis erit nobis lucri pudor? Indepetuntur / Huc lybici montes, et fecimus ASPIDA merces.


Emperor Rudolph of Austria; Lessing J. Rosenwald, Alverthorpe, PA; gift to NGA, 1987.

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