This Is Marvellous

The mainstream appropriation of Leonardo Da Vinci continues unabated. I've avoided countless television programmes examining whether The Da Vinci Code, a work of fiction, holds up as fact. More books have been written about it than Dan Brown has ever read and they were all finished in a fraction of the time. And now Marvel Comics is getting in on the act.

The promo art for a new comic "event" storyline called The Other spoofs a very famous Da Vinci drawing. In the context of Spider-Man, an eight-legged man doesn't seem quite so odd: note how the insignia on his chest has two limbs pointing up and two down, just like Leonardo's Vitruvian Man. The original has mysterious mirror-image Latin text describing the proportions of the human body. Marvel's version has backwards text too though it's tongue-in-cheek, as the following excerpts demonstrate:

Obesa cantavit
In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes
Nonne de novo eboraco venis?
Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

Cunning linguists can have a crack at deciphering these phrases before reading their translations in the comments section.


Blogger thisismarcus said...

The fat lady has sung
You have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth
You're from New York, aren't you?
Anything said in Latin sounds profound

Blogger Candace said...

OK that is VERY weird, because those lines are straight out of Henry Beard's book "Latin For All Occasions" about which I was blogging only last week. And how on Earth did you get that out of the picture you linked? I can't read a thing. Hey, wait a minute. . .

I have to admit that since finding that book, Latine loqui coactus su. (I have this compulsion to speak Latin.)

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Latin rocks because a) Romans are cool and b) what other language can you learn in school and never have to take an oral exam?

I agree the scribblings are intelligible and confess that I got those phrases from this article at Marvel.com. Apparently Joe Quesada read the same book as you!

Blogger Candace said...

PS "cunning linguist" ark ark!

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Hey, who doesn't like cunning linguists!



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