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IUSTA ULTIO.

Just revenge

Emblema 171

Raptabat volucres captum pede corvus in auras
Scorpion, audaci praemia parta gulae.
Ast ille infuso sensim[1] per membra veneno
Raptorem in stygias compulit ultor aquas.
O risu res digna. aliis qui fata parabat,
Ipse perit, propriis subcubuitque dolis.[2]

A raven was carrying off into the flying winds a scorpion gripped in its talons, a prize won for its audacious gullet. But the scorpion, injecting its poison drop by drop through the raven’s limbs, despatched the predator to the waters of the Styx and so took its revenge. - What a laughable thing! The one who was preparing death for others himself perishes and has succumbed to his own wiles.

Notes:

1.Corrected by hand in the Glasgow copy.

2.This is a fairly free translation of Anthologia graeca 9.339. See Erasmus, Adagia 58, Cornix scorpium, where the Greek epigram is again translated.

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