Thursday, November 26, 2015

Fluctuat nec mergitur

Fluctuat nec mergitur has been the motto of the city of Paris for more than six hundred years. The Latin is far more concise than English. The heraldic device that accompanies the slogan is a ship riding waves. A translation is "tossed about and not sunk". After the recent massacres, this was painted at Place de la République, the sight of recent demonstrations of solidarity. This is a twitter foto by Karimagicien, and has been picked up by Wikipedia.

Now, this metaphor of the ship is also used in the Faith. We are carried about in that ship and the world sends a tempest and troubles the waters. This has long been part of Christian iconography. The nave is the main part of the church, it is where the congregation meets, sits, stands, and prays. 'Navis' is Latin for ship, 'naus' is the Greek.

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