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Evil speaking

Archilochi[1] tumulo insculptas de marmore vespas
Esse ferunt,[2] linguae certa sigilla malae.

They say that on the tomb of Archilochus wasps were carved in marble, sure figures of an evil tongue.

Das CLXXVIII [=177] .


Es solln auffs Archilochs Grabstein
Wie man sagt Wespen ghauwen seyn
Sie seind ein gwiß zeichn und urkundt
Eins bösen Mauls und herben Mundt.


1.  Archilochus was an eighth-century BC poet, author of much (now fragmentary) verse, including satire. This last was considered in antiquity to be excessively abusive and violent. See Horace, Ars Poetica, 79; also Erasmus, Adagia, 60 (Irritare crabrones).

2.  ferunt, ‘they say’: words suggested by Anthologia Graeca, 7.71, an epigram concerning the tomb of Archilochus.

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