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Doctorum agnominia [=agnomina] .[1]

Professors’ nicknames

Moris vetusti est, aliqua professoribus
Super adiici cognomina.
Faciles apertosque explicans tantum locos
Canon vocatur Curtius.
Revolvitur qui eodem, & iteratque nimis
Meander[2] ut Parisius.
Obscurus & confusus, ut Picus fuit,
Labyrinthus appellabitur.[3]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G3r f38r] Nimis brevis, multa amputans, ut Claudius,
Mucronis agnomen feret,
Qui vel columnas voce rumpit,[4] Parpalus
Dictus Truo[5] est scolasticis.
Contra est vocatus Tenuis esset albius
Quod voce, Vespertilio.[6]
Ac ultimas mutilans[7] colobotes syllabas
Hirundo crassus dicitur.[8]
Qui surdus aliis, solus ipse vult loqui
Ut Sturnus in proverbio est.
Hic blesus, ille raucus, iste garriens
Hic sibilat ceu vipera.
Tumultuatur ille victu [=rictu] , & naribus
Huic linguae terebellam facit.
Singultit alius, atque tussit haesitans
Conspuit alius ut phecas [=psecas] .[9]
Quàm multa rebus vitia in humanis agunt,
Tàm multa surgunt nomina.

It’s an old custom for professors to be given nicknames. Curtius, the one who lectures only on easy and obvious passages, is called Straight and Narrow. The one who keeps going back to the same point and repeats everything too often is called Maeander, like Parisius. If he’s difficult to follow and muddled, like Picus, he’ll be called the Labyrinth. The one who is too concise, chops a lot off, like Claudius, will get the name of Clippers. Parpalus, who even cracks the pillars with his voice, gets the name of Pelican from the students. On the other hand, Albius who had a squeaky voice was called the Bat. Crassus, the mutilator, who mangles the ends of all his words is called the Swallow. The one who won’t listen and insists on talking himself is like the starling in the proverb. This one stammers, that one is hoarse, the third talks too fast, the other hisses like a snake. One grimaces with mouth and nostrils running riot, another has a tongue like a drill. One breaks off to cough and clear his throat, another sputters all over you like a dripping gutter. For every fault displayed in human behaviour a name arises to match.

Das LV.

Der Gelehrten Leut Nachnamen.[10]

Es ist ein alt herkommen und brauch
Das man die Glehrten nachnennt auch
Curtius wirt genannt Canon
Das er allein was leicht lehrt schon
Paris Meander heissen soll
Das er alle ding widerholl
Der verwirrt dunckel wirt genennt
Wie Herr Picus ein Labyrinth
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G3v f38v] Der gar zu kurtz und vil abschneidt
Wie Claudius schwerts namen treit
Der schreit das erhalt in dem Saal
Ein on Vogel wirt genannt Parpal
Albius aber hergegen heiß
Fledermauß dieweil er ist leiß
Weil Crassus die letst silb abbricht
Ein Schwalben mann zu nennen gschicht
Der allein wil reden und das
Die andern solln schweigen ein star was
Der noltzs herauß, jener heisser ist
Der waschts, jenr pfeist wie ein Schlangpfist
Jener reuspelt sich und schnupfft auch
Der lispelt mit der Zungen auch
Einer hichts und hustet darbey
Der ander spürtzt auß wie ein Wey
So vil nachnam entstanden thon
Als die Menschen geberd anhon.


1.  For the giving of nicknames to teachers cf. Lucian, Symposium, 6.

2.  Maeander, a river in Asia Minor famous for its meanderings.

3.  The Labyrinth: See Emblem 12, n.1 ([A67a029]).

4.  columnas voce rumpit, ‘even cracks the pillars with his voice’. Cf. Juvenal, Satires, 1.13: ‘the pillars cracked with continual recitations’.

5.  Truo, ‘Pelican’. See Emblem 166 ([A67a166]).

6.  Vespertilio, ‘Bat’. See Emblems 178 and 179 ([A67a178], [A67a179]).

7.  Corrected from the errata.

8.  Hirundo, ‘the Swallow’. Cf. Emblem 176 ([A67a176]). The Greeks compared the persistent twittering of the swallow to barbarian jabbering.

9.  psecas, ‘a dripping gutter’, a word explained in the Suda.

10.  The German in certain parts of this emblem is particularly puzzling.

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