Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 10 years ago

What does cedo nulli mean?

I want it to mean "I yield to no one", but think it means "I yield to no thing" can someone tell me which is right and if it's not the one I want what the correct one is? Please and thank you.

1 Answer

  • 10 years ago
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    In 1509, while travelling in Italy, Erasmus received from his pupil, Alexander Stewart, the present of an ancient gem which an Italian antiquary identified as a figure of Terminus. Erasmus had it copied on his seal, adding the name " Terminus " ** [The Roman god] and the legend " cedo nulli," i.e. "I yield to none' (P1. 7d). From that time the figure of Terminus, the bust of a youth with flying hair, appeared on Erasmus' medals and portraits. When he visited Froben in Bale, his host placed a large representation of Terminus over the chimney piece. Pirkheimer sent him a cup on which the emblem was engraved, and Bonifacius Amerbach, the executor of his will, had the figure carved on Erasmus' tombstone. We know from Erasmus' correspondence that his enemies took the choice of this emblem as a sign of his " intolerable arrogance."

    ** When Tarquin the Proud desired to build a temple to Jupiter upon the Tarpeian rock, he begged all the inferior divinities to give up the altars they had upon the rock in favour of the master of them all. All the goods cheerfully consented except Terminus. This Terminus, therefore who refused to yielf to Jupiter, was chosen by Erasmus for his haughty device, with the motto Cedo nulli. (Mr. Palliser, Historic Devices, &c.)

    Source(s): If you consider the context whence Erasmus derived this motto from, cedo nulli means "I yield to none," or "I yield to no one". ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Historic devices, badges, and war-cries; Mrs. Bury Palliser Journal of the Warburg Institute; Vol. 1, No. 1, Jul., 1937; Ænigma Termini
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