Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saevit In Omnes

Here is today's emblem by Joachim Camerarius, 2:95. This epigram makes a comparison between the greedy and deadly otter, who kills more fish than he can even stuff into his stomach, and the human tyrant who is swollen not with fish but with madness which makes him conduct savage acts. Although there are many Latin stories and fables about the otter's cousins, the weasels, this the only Latin literary otter that I know of. You can also see the Latin lutra included here in Comenius's Orbis Sensualium Pictus. Just looking at the emblem, of course, you might think that the otter is actually a cat!

Saevit In Omnes
Plures lutra necat pisces, quam condat in alvum:
Sic rabie tumidus saeva tyrannus agit.


saevio - rage, be angry
in - in, into, against
omnis - all, every
plus - more
lutra - otter
piscis - fish
quam - than
condo - store, put away, hide
alvus - belly, stomach
sic - thus, in this way
rabies - madness
tumidus - swollen
saevus - fierce, savage
tyrannus - tyrant
ago - lead, act, do