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IN OBLIVIONEM PATRIAE.

Forgetting one’s country

Emblema 113.

Iam dudum missa patria, oblitusque tuorum,
Quos tibi seu sanguis, sive paravit amor.
Romam habitas, nec cura domum subit ulla reverti,
AEternae tantum te capit urbis honos:
Sic Ithacům praemissa manus[1] dulcedine loti
Liquerat & patriam, liquerat atque ducem.

You have long since given up your country and, forgetful of your own people given you by blood or love, you dwell in Rome, and no thought of returning home ever occurs to you. Only the glory of the eternal city possesses you. Even so the advance party of Ithacans, through the sweetness of the lotus, had abandoned homeland and abandoned leader too.

Notes:

1.  Ithacum...manus, ‘party of Ithacans’. See Homer, Odyssey 9.83ff. for the story of Ulysses’ crew (men from the island of Ithaca) in the land of the Lotus Eaters, where those who ate the lotus had no more thought of returning home. See Erasmus, Adagia 1662 Lotum gustavit.

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