Ne time at Scyllam cupiens vitare Caribdim...

JeremyBrown

New Member
Hello,

I do research on historic maps and I've recently come across a Latin motto on an eighteenth-century map of Sicily. I have an OK grasp of Latin but I am not 100% confident in my translation of the motto.

The full motto reads: "Ne time at (/timeat - it's unclear whether there is a space in between the 'e' and the 'a') Scyllam cupiens vitare Caribdim, Victor erit, temnens, semper utrumque metum". I've attached an image so you can decide for yourselves.

Maps K Top 84-21 motto.jpg



I translated this as: "Do not be afraid of Scylla even when desiring to avoid Carybdis, for he will always be the victor who spurns fear of either".

If anyone wants to take a crack at translating this or point out where I have gone wrong that would be great. Thanks.

I also see the motto is playing on Virgil's phrase to include a reference to the king at the time who was Victor Amadeus II of Savoy.
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
Your translation is pretty good I'd say. I'd make it "He should not fear Scylla who seeks to avoid Charybdis / He will be victor who always spurns both horrors (i.e. causes of fear)". Someone else may have a better idea though.

Edit: "who seeks" and "who spurns" could, more literally, be translated as "seeking" and "spurning".
 

JeremyBrown

New Member
Your translation is pretty good I'd say. I'd make it "He should not fear Scylla who seeks to avoid Charybdis / He will be victor who always spurns both horrors (i.e. causes of fear)". Someone else may have a better idea though.



Edit: "who seeks" and "who spurns" could, more literally, be translated as "seeking" and "spurning".


Good to know that I wasn't off the mark. And I really like your translation - it's more poetic. Thanks for your response!
 
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