Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ranarum viscera numquam inspexi

After reading Juvenal's third satire, I have created a coat of arms for myself, with an appropriate sounding Latin motto true to the ancient dictum that quidquid Latine dicitur, altum videtur. I hope you like it. The motto comes from a passage in which Juvenal's friend explains that he is leaving Rome because he feels that Rome has been taken over by foreigners and those of lesser class and sophistication than himself, with no respect for the ancient history, customs and traditions of Rome. The relevant passage is below:

Quid Romae faciam? mentiri nescio; librum,
si malus est, nequeo laudare et poscere; motus
astrorum ignoro; funus promittere patris
nec volo nec possum; ranarum viscera numquam
inspexi.


What am I to do at Rome? I don't know how to lie. If a book is bad, I am unable to praise it and demand a copy for myself. I am ignorant of the motions of the stars. I neither want nor am able to promise the death of a father. I have never examined frogs' intestines.


(Juvenal Satire III.41-45)

3 comments:

katharos said...

I'm impressed with the accompanying logo :D

kl.

Hieronymus Coquus said...

I was Googling to check on the meaning of 'numquam' and came across the line "audio video disco: ranarum viscera numquam inspexi". "To a biologist who knows about the genus Rana", thought I, "that looks as though it ought to mean 'I have never studied the guts of a frog'. But it can't possibly mean that, so I wonder what it does mean?" Well, you know the answer.

Thanks for enlivening my day and introducing me to Juvenal. We never discovered him at O-level.

jm said...

my pleasure!