The CAU is named after its founder, Duke Christian Albrecht von Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf, who established the university for his dukedom in 1665 - only seventeen years after the end of the Thirty Years' War. The university’s seal also reminds us of this time: it shows a female figure holding a palm branch and cornucopia full of corn, which symbolises peace.
The seal bears the motto:
Pax optima rerum
(Peace is the best thing).
Only a few years after the Thirty Years' War, there was great desire to live in peace. This was probably the reason that founder Duke Christian Albrecht brought the university members together under this motto. The phrase "Pax optima rerum" originally comes from the work "Caji Silii Italici Punica" by the Italian poet Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius Italicus (26 AD to 101 AD). "Punica" is the longest poem in Latin, with more than 12,000 verses. It is an epic poem about the Second Punic War.(1)
The full text is:
„Pax optima rerum,
quas homini novisse datum est:
pax una triumphis innumeris potior:
pax, custodire salutem et cives aequare potens.“(2)
“Peace is the best thing
that man may know;
peace alone is better than a thousand triumphs;
peace has power to guard our lives and secure equality among fellow-citizens.”
1: “Punica”, Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University press; London: W. Heinemann, 1961.
2: “Caji Silii Italici Punica”, Londini, MDCCXCII. . 272 pp. vol. Volume 2 of 2