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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N12r f132r]

Doctorum agnomina.[1]

Professors’ nicknames

Emblema xcvi.

Moris vetusti est, aliqua professoribus
Super adiici cognomina.
Faciles apertosque explicans tantum locos,
Canon vocatur Curtius.
Revolvitur qui eodem, & iterat[2] nimis
Maeander,[3] ut Parisius.
Obscurus & confusus, ut Picus fuit,
Labyrinthus appellabitur.[4]
Nimis brevis, multa amputans, ut Claudius,
Mucronis agnomen feret.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N12v f132v]Qui vel columnas voce rumpit,[5] Parpalus,
Dictus truo[6] est scholasticis.
Contrà est vocatus, tenuis esset Albius
Quòd voce, vespertilio.[7]
At ultimas mutilans colobotes syllabas,
Hirundo Crassus dicitur.[8]
Qui surdus aliis solus ipse vult loqui,
Ut sturnus in proverbio est.
Hic blaesus, ille raucus, iste garriens:
Hic sibilat ceu vipera.
Tumultuatur ille rictu & naribus.
Huic lingua terebellam facit.
Singultit alius, atque tussit haesitans.
At conspuit alius ut psecas.[9]
Quàm multa rebus vitia in humanis agunt,
Tam 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.

VIdetur id ab Alciato confictum, ex scholarum ju-
ris consuetudine, in eos Doctores, qui pro variis
in docendo vitiis varia sunt agnomina sortiti. Fit
enim sepenumero ut citius vitia quàm virtutes in
iis observemus qui publicè docent, ioculari qua-
dam lascivia, ut est quorundam in conviciando na
tura procax.

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Surnoms [ou soubriquets] des Docteurs.

C’Est une vieille mode, imposer un surnom
Aux professeurs du droict, & hommes de renom.
Curtius est Canon surnommé, qui expose
Les passages plus clers où ne faut point de glose.
Meandre au repeter se dit par soubriquet,
Qui ainsi que Paris n’a que trop de caquet.
Celuy qui trop obscur a doctrine confuse,
Labyrinthe est nommé: de ce Pic on accuse.
On appelle Tranchant un qui trop brief se plait,
Qui couppe ses discours, ainsi que Claude a faict.
On nomme le Butor aussi par moquerie,
Comme Parpal jadis, celuy qui trop haut crie.
Où bien, comme Albius, Chauve-souris on dit
Celuy qui de la voix a l’organe petit.
Et qui coupe ses mots ou tronssonne, on appelle
Ainsi comme Crassus, babillarde Hirondelle.
Qui seul veut jargonner, sans escouter aucun,
On l’appelle Estourneau, par un dire commun.
L’un est begue, & l’autre est enroué: au contraire
L’un est fort grand bavard, l’autre sifle en vipere.
L’un des dents, ou du nez semble bien rechiner,
L’aultre crouller[10] la teste, & quelquefois grongner.
L’un sa langue pourmene ainsi qu’une triquette,
L’un parle par hocquets, ou sanglottant caquette
En doubtant, en songeant: l’autre mousche souvent,
Comme faict la gouttiere à la pluye ou au vent,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O1v f133v]Voilà comme les noms sont forgez d’avanture,
Ou inventez, suivant des hommes la nature:
Et pour en dire vray, telles inventions
Remarquent aisément leurs imperfections.

IL semble que cecy ait esté basti par Alciat,
suivant la coustume des escholes du droit,
contre aucuns Docteurs regents, ausquels
à raison de quelques vices qu’ils commet-
tent en faisans leurs lectures, on impose di-
vers noms, (par maniere de soubriquets.) Car
souvent advient que plustost nous remar-
quons les vices que non pas les vertus, en
ceux qui enseignent publiquement, par une
façon de faire trop gaye, comme le naturel
d’aucuns est enclin à brocarder & reprendre.

Notes:

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

2.  Corrected from the Errata.

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

4.  The Labyrinth: See Emblem 12, n.1 ([FALc012]).

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

6.  Truo, ‘Pelican’. See previous emblem..

7.  Vespertilio, ‘Bat’. See Emblems 61 and 62 ([FALc061], [FALc062]).

8.  Hirundo, ‘the Swallow’. Cf. Emblem 70 ([FALc070]). The Greeks compared the persistent twittering of the swallow to barbarian jabbering.

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

10.  Corrected from the Errata.


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