Latin Proverb # 21 – Refricare cicatricem

Latin Proverb: Refricare cicatricem – Cicero, Agr. 3.4.2

English equivalent: To open old wounds.

Translation: To rub open a scar again.

Meaning: To metaphorically re-open a newly healed wound, to tear open a scar again. For instance: to make someone remember something unpleasant that happened in the past – an old break-up, a death, a deceit, a fight or argument etc.


Bonus Latin: Erasmus comments on this proverb in his Adagia: 

Cum dolor, temporum spatio iam mitior, renouatur, refricari cicatrix dicitur. Notum unde ducta metaphora. Nempe a corporali vulnere, quod iam coiit cicatrice obductum. Quae si frictu denuo aperiatur, recrudescit vulneris pristini dolor. Cicero ad Atticum: "Appii vulnera non refrico." Idem in Rullum. "Ne aut refricare obductam reipublicae cicatricem viderer."


Refricare cicatricem in other languages? 

Vlaams-Nederlands: Oude wonden openrijten.

What would you say in your language(s)? Or do you have some fun new versions of this proverb? Let us know in the comments below!

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