Monday, April 21, 2014

Poster: Dragon

A serpent, unless it devours a serpent, will not become a dragon. This is an English translation of one of the Latin sayings Erasmus included in his Adagia, and it inspired the Neo-Latin poet Desbillons to write this fable in verse:
Serpens monebat filium, ut adesset sibi,
Serpentem in alium dum rueret, ac mordicus
Corriperet et glutiret. Tam nefarium
Tune, inquit ille, ut perpetres facinus, pater?
De gente nostra is unus est . . . Tace, tace,
Inepte: sic agere expedit; serpens enim,
Serpentem si non devoret, non fit draco.
Hos ad potentes fabula nostra pertinet,
Qui crescere solent ex alienis cladibus.
A snake told his son to attend while he attacked another serpent, grabbed it with his teeth and swallowed it. The son asked, "Are you so wicked, father, that you would commit such a crime? That snake is a member of our species." "Be quiet, be quiet, foolish boy: it is useful to do this, for a snake, unless it devours another snake, does not become a dragon." Our fable pertains to those powerful people who increase their power by the destruction of others.

A serpent, unless it devours a serpent, will not become a dragon.
Serpens, ni edat serpentem, draco non fiet.

The poster is made with AutoMotivator. The image is by Zoe52 at Flickr.

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