Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nusquam Tuta Tyrannis

Here is today's emblem by Joachim Camerarius, 2:99. In this emblem, Camerarius invokes the ichneumon, which was supposedly able to creep into the mouth of the crocodile and down into its bowels; it would then kill the crocodile by chewing its way out from the inside. This little creature does not seem like a formidable enemy, and so the first line of the poem warns that the person whom you might least suspect, quem minime credas, is the one who will bring about the tyrant's doom! I guess it is appropriate to have this be the emblem for December 25 in the Camerarius widget, since in the Physiologus, the ichneumon was considered to be an allegorical representation of Christ.

Nusquam Tuta Tyrannis
Quem minime credas properabit fata tyranno:
Exitio ichneumon sic, crocodile, tibi est.


nusquam - never, nowhere
tutus - safe
tyrannus - tyrant
qui - who, which, that
minime - least of all, not of all
credo - believe, trust
propero - hurry, hasten
fatum - fate
exitium - destruction, death
ichneumon - ichneumon
sic - thus, in this way
crocodilus - crocodile
tu - you
sum - be, exist