Pugna Porcorum

Anonymous, Germany, 16th-19th cent.

  • Anonymous - Pugna Porcorum
  • Pugna Porcorum

  • (c. 1831), woodcut
  • approx. 2.5 x 4.4 in. (6.3 x 11.2 cm.)
  • Section illustration from:
    Placentius, Johannes. “Pugna Porcorum per Publius Porcium Poëtam” in Nugae venales sive thesaurus ridendi et jocandi : ad gravissimos severissimosque viros, patres Melancholicorum conscriptos. Braunschweig: Waisenhaus, 1831.
  • University of Michigan Library

  • Anonymous - Publius Porcium, Poet
  • Publius Porcium, Poet

  • (c. 1831), woodcut
  • approx. 2.5 x 4.0 in. (6.3 x 10.1 cm.)
  • Title page from:
    Placentius, Johannes. “Pugna Porcorum per Publius Porcium Poëtam” in Nugae venales sive thesaurus ridendi et jocandi : ad gravissimos severissimosque viros, patres Melancholicorum conscriptos. Braunschweig: Waisenhaus, 1831.

  • Anonymous - Pugna Porcorum
  • Pugna Porcorum

  • (c. 1530), woodcut
  • 4.3 x 6.7 in. (11 x 17 cm.)
  • Title page from:
    Placentius, Jean-Leo. Pugna porcorum per P. Porcium poëtam. Ausgabe Augsburg: Heinrich Steiner, 1530.
  • University of Basel Library, Switzerland

About the Artist

Anonymous, Germany, 16th and 19th centuries. These are illustrations from various editions of “Pugna Porcorum”, an unusual poem written by ‘Publius Porcius, Poet,’ a pseudonym for Johannes Placentius. It has been published alone as early as 1530 and can be found in many compilations after c. 1632.

Placentius (d. c. 1548/1550), also refered to as ‘Jean-Léon Plaisant’ or ‘Johannes Leo Placentius’ was a Dominican Friar. Besides writing Latin and Greek poetry, he wrote on biblical matters and produced a history of the territories of Tongres, Maastricht and Liége.

The poem is in Latin hexameters. It is 253 lines long and every word begins with the letter “p”. This poem is in a style called ‘grotesque’ or ‘Macaronic’ verse, a burlesque form in which two or more languages are mingled together in bizarre or fanciful combinations. In “Pugna Porcorum”, vernacular words are introduced into a Latin context with Latin terminations and in Latin constructions.

The compilation Nugae venales… was a popular collection of risqué and bawdy tales, macaronic verse, student drama, and nonsense writings on the subjects of sex, food, wine, women, history, religion, science and the medical and legal professions. Many editions of Nugae venales… were printed with varying contents and “Pugna Porcorum” is not always present.

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A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.