Saturday, December 24, 2011

His Ornari Aut Mori

Here is today's emblem by Joachim Camerarius, 1:99. Here Camerarius wishes for himself a crown, a small one anyway (corolla is a diminutive of corona), woven of olive, laurel and oak leaves - without this, his life would be so sad as to not be worth living. You can see the three types of leaves depicted in the emblem! All of these trees had special symbolic value in the ancient world; in the essay accompanying the emblem, Camerarius briefly summarizes the three leaves as representing sapientia, doctrina ac rei militaris peritia, "wisdom, learning and military expertise."

His Ornari Aut Mori
Fronde oleae, lauri, quercus contexta corolla
Me decoret, sine qua vivere triste mihi.


hic - this, this one
orno - decorate, adorn
aut - or
morior - die
frons - leaves, branch, bough
olea - olive
laurus - laurel
quercus - oak
contextus - interwoven, connected
corolla - small garland, little crown
ego - I, me
decoro - adorn, grace, honor
sine - without
qui - who, which, that
vivo - live
tristis - sad

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