Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ancient Wisdom

This term I have been translating quite a bit of Latin. Through this process, there are times when I feel like I am being injected with regular doses of poison (I have no idea what disease the chemo is for, maybe notenoughlatinus) and times when I am totally undone by the poetry's beauty. At other times, I am struck by how appropriate the subject matter is for today. I could easily satirize our nation in the same way as Horace (1.1.61-64):

At bona pars hominum, decepta cupidine falso,
'Nil satis est,' inquit, 'quia tanti quantum habeas sis.'
Quid facias illi? Iubeas miserum esse, libenter
quatenus is facit;

But the good part of mankind, deceived by false desire,
'Nothing is enough,' they would say, 'because you are of such worth as you have'
What do you do for such a man? You order him to be wretched, since
he does it willingly.


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