Featured Stein: December 2012
|~ Gaudeamus Igitur ~
Steinologist Roy De Selms
| The verse on this
porcelain character stein by Ernst Bohne & Söhne presents the first
two lines of a very famous student song often used at graduation
commencements and at beer drinking events.
The lyrics represent the lighter side of student life and the shortness
of life in general. The language is Latin and the full song,
shown below, dates to the early 18th Century which in turn was
based on a Latin manuscript from 1287.
The anatomically correct skull is resting on a Commersbuch
(students' song book). Note that many song books had four hobnails on
the front and the
back as seen in the pictures below. Students would take these books to
parties and sing the songs inside the book while drinking beer, etc.
When the parties were in full swing and beer got spilled on the tables,
these eight Biernägel (beer nails) would keep the book,
opened or closed, from
getting soaked when set on the tables.
|The three sides of the stein's base are displayed
|Shown below is a copy of a Commersbuch
with its title page
and a close up of the Biernägel . This book is the "Allgemeines
Kommersbuch", first published in 1858 with its 162nd edition
published in 2004.
Note that Commersbuch can be spelled with either a "C" or a
"K". The "C" spelling came from Latin long before the "K" or
Juvenes dum sumus;
Post icundum juventutem,
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus.
| Let us therefore rejoice,
While we are young;
After our youth,
After a troublesome old age
The ground will hold us.
||Vita nostra brevis est,
Venit mors velociter,
Rapit nos atrociter;
| Our life is brief,
It will shortly end;
Death comes quickly,
Cruelly snatches us;
No-one is spared.
||Ubi sint qui ante nos
In mundo fuere?
Vadite ad superos,
Transite in inferos
Hos si vis videre.
| Where are those who before us
Existed in the world?
You may go up to the gods,
You may cross into the underworld
If you wish to see them.
Vivat membrum quodlibet,
Vivat membra quaelibet;
Semper sint in flore!
| Long live the university,
Long live the teachers,
Long live each male student,
Long live each female student;
May they always flourish!
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