Friday, September 23, 2011

"Pro patria non timidus mori"

Evidence that the officers and men who paid for the construction of the Tripoli Monument - now at Annapolis - always intended for the remains of these men to be returned home and buried under the monument is referred to by Gregory Guderian, who writes about Somers and the Intrepid in the name of the New Jersey Latin Inscriptions Project.

Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum quae in civitate Nova Caesarea exstant
A project of the New Jersey Classical Association

His article can be found here:

But he also translates and writes that:

"Pro patria non timidus mori" may be understood to describe Somers as "unafraid to die for his country."

Another, related Latin inscription is said to have been carved on the Tripoli, or Naval, Monument, formerly in Washington and now in Annapolis, honoring Somers, Decatur and others:

"Hic decorae functorum in bello virorum cineres," or "Here are the noble remains (or ashes) of men who did their duty (died?) in war."

I have not seen the monument in person, and it is reported that the Latin has either disappeared or been damaged to the point of illegibility. Some sources state that the monument included an urn on which these words were inscribed, while others say that the inscription appeared on its base. Given that Somers and the others were buried elsewhere, one cannot read too much into it.

Best wishes for your ongoing research.

Gregory Guderian
Phone: (973) 650-1190

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