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IUSTA ULTIO.

Just revenge

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

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.  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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IN EUM QUI TRUCULENTIA
suorum perierit.

On one who perished through the savagery of his own people.

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Delphinum invitum me in littora compulit aestus,
Exemplum infido quanta pericla mari.
Nam si nec propriis Neptunus parcit alumnis,
Quis tutos homines, navibus esse putet?[1]

I am a dolphin whom the tide drove ashore against my will, an example showing what great dangers there are in the treacherous sea. For if Neptune does not spare even his own nurslings, who can think that men are safe in ships?

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 7.216 (two lines omitted).


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