Warriors and Builders


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Claude Paradin
French, ca. 1510–1573
Devises héroïques, Lyon, 1551
Second edition of 1557
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library

Claude Paradin spent his adult life as canon of Beaujeu, near Lyon. In addition to the book of emblems on display here, his literary output comprises two other works, also printed in Lyons by Jean de Tournes: the Quadrins historiques de la Bible (1553) and Alliances généalogiques des rois et princes de Gaule (1561).
The 1551 version of the Devises contained 118 woodcuts probably designed by Bernard Salomon, associated with a motto in Latin, French, or Spanish. Six years later, in order to address a larger audience, the 182 devices were accompanied by short commentaries in French, explaining the significance of each device, and identifying the person who actually used it or, in the case of the unattributed devices, the universally applicable lesson which could be derived from them.


In this case, one hand holds a sword, the other a trowel; the motto is In Utrumque Paratus, meaning “Ready for both.” In emulation of the Kings of Israel in the Bible, modern Kings must be both warriors destroying enemies of their nation, as well as builders who regenerate and embellish their realm.