16 Nov 2015

“Wave-Tossed, But Not Sunk!”

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Fluctuat1

Claire Berlinski reports that graffitists in Paris have responded to the attacks by painting on walls the city’s medieval Latin motto.

This phrase is the motto of Paris. It means, roughly, “tossed by the waves, but not sunk.” You can see it in the city’s coat of arms. It derives from theCoat of Arms 5 Seine boatsman’s corporation, the Marchands de l’eau. They were a Middle Ages hanse, an organization of merchants (as in the Hanseatic League), organized in 1170 to control all trade conducted on the Seine River. Its jurisdiction was — in principle — limited to commerce, but you know how these things go; they became powerful enough to organize a whole city government outside the reach of the French crown. An uprising in 1383 forced them to disband, and they never regrouped. But Paris has been well and truly fluctuat since then, nec mergitur.

I like the slogan for a few reasons, but among them is the message: We’ve been around since the Romans. You’ve been a caliphate since June 29, 2014, we believe?

Read the whole thing.

Fluctuat2

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