It's all Latin to us

20th October 2006 at 01:00
Subject knowledge is changing, we hear constantly - as is its ready e-availability. Keir Bloomer, Clackmannanshire Council's boss, was illustrating this recently by showing a photograph of the door to the Old Quad at the Bodleian Library in Oxford University, historic fount of all knowledge.

Above the lintel of the door is a Latin motto, which prompted Bloomer to remark to his audience: "Those of you with good eyesight and good Latin will be able to read it: one way or another, that will probably cut out most of you."

(Those in the two categories Bloomer mentioned might like to know that he was clearly referring to the welcoming inscription from library founder Sir Thomas Bodley: Academici Oxoniensis Bibliothecam Hanc Vobis Reipublicaeque Literatorum TB. Quod Feliciter Vortat.) (In other words: Academicians of Oxford! Thomas Bodley has built this library for you and for the Republic of the Learned. May the gift turn out well).

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