Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Atris Obscura Tenebris

Here is today's emblem by Joachim Camerarius, 2:94. It compares the human race to the proverbially blind mole. Like the mole, we exist in the dark - until we are enlightened with the help of heaven. For a story about the mole's sad situation, take a look at Aesop's fable about the monkey, the donkey and the mole: Talpa, Asinus, et Simia.

Atris Obscura Tenebris
Heu mortale genus, ceu talpae, lumine captum,
Caelesti donec restituatur ope.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are four words in this poem that are not on the DCC list:

ceu - as, like, just as
heu - oh, ah, alas
restituō -stituere -stituī -stitūtum: restore
talpa f. - mole (animal)

caelestis -e: from or of heaven; caelestēs, the gods
capiō capere cēpī captum: seize
dōnec: until
genus generis n.: origin, lineage, kind
lūmen luminis n.: light
mortālis -e: liable to death, mortal
ops opis f.: assistance, resources