Thursday, December 8, 2011

Transfundit Pasta Venenum

Here is today's emblem by Joachim Camerarius, 4:94. This emblem is based on a legend reported in Pliny; supposedly the sting of a wasp was far worse if the wasp had previously stung a viper, the idea being that after having fed (pasta) on the viper, the wasp would absorb the viper's poison and then pass that along (transfundit). You can see the wasps feeding on the viper below. So, the emblem warns, you also need to avoid anything that might be passing along a dangerous poison, even if you might not expect it (you expect viper's poison from a viper, after all, but not from a wasp).

Transfundit Pasta Venenum
Vipereum exsugit vesparum turba venenum;
Tu fuge, ne noceant hausta venena tibi.


Vocabulary:

transfundo - decant, pour from one to another
pasco - feed, raze
venenum - poison
vipereus - viper (adj.)
exsugo - suck out
vespa - wasp
turba - crowd
venenum - poison
tu - you
fugio - run away, flee
ne - so that not, lest
noceo - hurt, harm, injure
haurio - drain, drink

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