Prepared for both? What both?Culture
What comes into your mind when you listen the words “prepared for both”? Well, being a student at Lund University you should maybe be acquainted with the meaning of its motto. But is it still appropriate today? It is! Just a small change in the symbol of the university is urgently needed!
The motto of Lund University is “prepared for both” (Ad Utrumque, in Latin). This means that students should be prepared both for studying and for defending Sweden in war, since the university was founded in a period of conflict and instability between Sweden and Denmark. “Lund University was established in 1666 as an institution to “Swedify” Scania, a region that before belonged to Denmark”, says Fredrik Tersmeden, the well-known Lund University’s archivist and expert in history of the university and student life.
In the symbol of the university, the lion, an animal that is commonly associated with wisdom and power, is holding a book in one hand and a sword in another, representing readiness for both studying and war. However, Sweden has been neutral for centuries and no student is now in Lund to go to war!
Yet, the motto “prepared for both” is still very suitable for today’s student life. We just need to make a small change in the symbol, so that it fits the motto better and becomes more up-to-date. This is why the sword should be replaced by a glass of wine, while the book should be left in the picture. This means “prepared for both studying and partying”, which is what actually happens today.
Fredrik Tersmeden approves this proposal: “A similar thing was done by a group of students during the carnival of 1998 in Lund. But since I am probably the only person who remembers that – also because I was one of the students in that group – we should propose the symbol to be changed again”.
According to Fredrik, even during the first years of the university, the students were already exempted from military service during the period of studying at the university. So, the sword has never been really appropriate.
As a reader you might think that wine and alcohol are not always linked with peace and friendliness. But what about the sword? What positive and non-violent connotations can it have?
Wine, however, is often a source of inspiration for some students, while writing their essays, theses or reflecting upon their existence. So it also leads to new ideas and helps knowledge be produced!
Moreover, a passage from a famous Swedish drinking song composed by Evert Taube can even be recalled, as Fredrik Tersmeden noted: “More shining arms have never been seen in the army than these glasses, comrades!”. So, some of the military heritage would still be preserved…
The university is right now in the process of changing their graphic profile. When contacted with the suggestion, unfortunately no answer came back.
Text: Vasco Costa
Montage (seal): Rui Costa