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Ancient Languages/Possible source of a latim motto

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Question
Dear Maria,
I read all I could about Christopher Marlowe's motto: "quod me nutrit me destruit" and I'm pretty sure it was not created by him.
Do you know the latin origin or could you indicate where I can find some sources to discover the original document?
Thank you very much.

Answer
Dear Celina,

The sentence "Quod me nutrit me destruit” (literally, “What nourishes me destroys me”), which appears in capital letters on a portrait of a young man, that was discovered at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, UK, in 1952, is NOT found in ANY classic Latin text and thus  has NO classical Latin source.

The man, that a Latin lettering ((ANNO DNI AETATIS SVAE 21 1585)above the motto  describes as being aged 21 in 1585, is thought to be Christopher Marlowe who in fact obtained his BA at the college in that year and at that age.

A similar phrase we can  read in Shakespeare, "Pericles, Prince of Tyre", Act 2, Scene 2, line 34,a play written some years later, i.e. in 1607-1608, where the female character Thaisa says "Quod me alit, me extinguit"', which is a variant of “Quod me nutrit me destruit”, as they both mean “What nourishes me destroys me” as well as “What  feeds me extinguishes me”.


To sum up, there is NO classical Latin source for both “Quod me nutrit me destruit” and “Quod me alit me extinguit” that can have been coined first by Marlowe and later by Shakespeare who both knew Latin which  was commonly used at that time by learned persons all over Europe.

Hope this can be helpful to you.

Best regards,

Maria
_______________________________________________________________________________________________  
Note that:

-QUOD  = what
-ME = me
-NUTRIT  / ALIT = feeds/ nourishes
-DESTRUIT / EXTINGUIT = destroys /extinguishes

For  the probable portrait of Marlowe see  at:
http://www.marlowe-society.org/marlowe/view/portrait.html

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Maria

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I am an expert in Latin & Ancient Greek Language and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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