Monday 18 March 2019

the virtuous wolf of Wells

Lupus virtuus ego sum
Caput Edmundi veni cum
Quis puer bonum est, dice?
Meum! Meum, mehercule!

Here's another Somerset wolf to go with the Roman she-wolf on the top of the Mendips. This time, it's the virtuous wolf that led the searchers to King (presently Saint) Edmund, after he'd been shot full of arrows and decapitated by the Danes. The wolf guarded the head and called out in latin, "Over here! Come on, blimey!" 

These figures are on capitals in the north porch at Wells Cathedral. My latin is v dodgy of course, but if yours is even worse and you want a translation, then here it is;

I'm the virtuous wolf
Come with Edmund's head
Who's a good boy, say?
Me! Me, by Hercules!
In our latin text book at school it appears that the Ancient R's had no stronger language than the occasional 'By Hercules!" but I suspect that the rougher elements of the proles or the Legions might possibly have had a few choicer words to use too.

Edmund is shot full of arows

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