Forward | Back | Latin | Commentary | Welcome Page

Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 97

On the nicknames of professors

It's a long-standing custom to apply certain names to professors.

Curtius, who explains only easy and obvious texts, is called "The Canon."

The one who wanders about in the same place - as does Parisius - and who repeats himself excessively, is named "Meander."

He who is obscure and confused, as was Picus, will be named "The Labyrinth."

The one who's too brief, who cuts too much, as does Claudius, he will bear the name "The Sword."

Parpalus, who breaks apart even columns with his voice, is by his students named "The Pelican."

Albius is rather differently named. Because he's weak of voice, he's called "The Bat."

But Crassus, who mutilates his syllables by gobbling them, he is called "The Swallow."

The one who's deaf to others, who wishes to be the only one to speak, he's like the starling in the proverb.

This one stammers, that one's hoarse, and that other one's a chatterbox; and this one hisses like a viper.

That one roars with wide-stretched mouth and nostrils; this one's tongue's an auger.

One gasps and, hesitating, coughs. But another spits - just like a hairdresser.

As many faults as are in the human condition, so many names spring up.