Street Corner Society

Skip to site-wide links.

Home page

Littera occidit,
spiritus vivificat
Cadmus, 10k
The letter kills,
the spirit breathes life

Street Corner Society …

Welcome. These pages explore the common history of groups such as quakers, diggers, rainbow family, christians, taoists, civil libertarians, democrats, republicans, and other divers radicals. We may travel in different circles, and our ordinary interests and concerns may vary, but remember:  We move together in the same spirit.

This site is dedicated to the memory of John Lilburne (1614-1657).

John Lilburne

Is John departed? and is Lilburne gone?
    Farewell to both -- to Lilburne and to John.
Yet, being gone, take this advice from me:
    Let them not both in one grave buried be.
Here lay ye John, lay Lilburne thereabout;
    For if they both should meet, they would fall out.

Lilburne -If no one else were alive, John would quarrel with Lilburne.
John Lilburne was a contentious Leveller in the Commonwealth; so rancorous against rank that he could never satisfy himself that any two persons were exactly on the same level.  (SOURCE: The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.)

[ John responds ]

The emblem above is from Alciato's Book of Emblems, originally published in the mid-1500s, which includes the following emblem poem:

Vipereos Cadmus dentes ut credidit arvis,
  Sevit et Aonio semina dira solo:
Terrigenum clypeata cohors exorta virorum est,
  Hostili inter se qui cecidere manu.
Evasere, quibus monitu Tritonidos armis
  Abiectis data pax, dextraque iuncta fuit.
Primus Agenorides elementa, notasque magistris
  Tradidit, iis suavem iunxit et harmoniam.
Quorum discipulos contraria plurima vexant,
  Non nisi Palladia quae dirimuntur ope.

which translates as:

When Cadmus committed those viper's teeth to the fields, he sowed terrible seeds in Aonian soil: an armed band of men arose, born from the earth, and with murderous hands set to killing one another. Some of these men escaped; heeding Tritonian advice, they threw away their arms, made peace, and joined their right hands.

This son of Agenor was first to pass on to teachers the letters of the alphabet and the first principles of learning, and to these he added sweet harmony. But scholars in these matters are vexed by many, many disputes, except when these are solved by the aid of Pallas.

[Info about the names given above, e.g., Cadmus, can be found at the Greek Mythology Link. The story may speak for itself.]

Search for this:

Where from?
Quaker WebRing
Next 10 Sites