Monday, January 2, 2012

Quam Bene Conveniunt

Here is today's emblem and distich by Joachim Camerarius, 4.1. In the illustration, you can see the whale following its little guide fish! Pliny refers to this fish as a musculus marinus, which you can read about in his Natural History, Book 9: "as the eyebrows of the balaena are very heavy, they sometimes fall over its eyes, and quite close them by their ponderousness, upon which the musculus swims before, and points out the shallow places which are likely to prove inconvenient to its vast bulk, thus serving it in the stead of eyes."

Quam Bene Conveniunt
Hoc balaena suo tuta est ductore per undas;
Principe et est felix plebs vigilante suo.

Here is the vocabulary:

quam - how
bene - well
convenio - fit together, harmonize
hic - this, this one
balaena - whale
suus - reflexive possessive adjective
tutus - safe
sum - be, exist
ductor - leader, conductor
per - through
unda - wave
princeps - prince, leader
et - and, and also, even
felix - happy, prosperous
plebs - people
vigilo - watch, guard, be wakeful

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