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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [l3v p166]

Bonis divitibus nihil ti-
mendum.

The good have nothing to fear from the rich

CI.

Iunctus contiguo Marius mihi pariete, nec non
Subbardus[1] nostri nomina nota fori.[2]
Aedificant bene nummati, sataguntque vel ultr
Obstruere heu nostris undique luminibus.
Me miserum, geminae quem tanquam Phinea raptant
Harpyiae,[3] ut propriis sedibus eiiciant.
Integritas nostra, atque animus quaesitor honesti,[4]
His nisi sint Zetes, his nisi sint Calais.

Marius is joined to me by a connecting wall, and so is Subbardus, names well-known in our little community. Having plenty of cash, they are building, and what’s more, busily doing their best, without any provocation on my part, to block my windows, alas, on every side. What a plight I am in - I am like Phineus, attacked by two Harpies, trying to throw me out of my own home, unless my integrity, my mind that is a seeker of the right, act as my Zetes and my Calais against them.

COMMENTARIA.

Conqueritur de duobus suis vicinis Ma-
rio
& Subbardo, qud hi quia divites mul-
tum inquieti, & aedificando admodum sibi
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [l4r p167]molesti sint, adeoque ut omni fer ex parte lu-
men domus suae abstulerint, seque miserum
non secus ab eis affligi & vexari qum olim
Phyneum molestarint Harpiae. Ex propriis
denique aedibus eiicerent, nisi sua integritas,
honestique animi felicitas sibi essent protecto-
res, quemadmodum Phyneo fuerunt Zetus
& Calais. Phineus Rex Arcadiae cm filios
suos primae uxoris, impulsu & persuasione
secundae ductae, obcaecasset, Dii irati ipsum
etiam caecaverunt, & subinde Harpias (aves
rapaces & foedas capitibus humanis, de qui-
bus Virgilius libro 3. Aeneidos) immiserunt quae
eum vexarent, cibos enim eius continu aut
rapuerunt aut foedaverunt. Tandem cm
forte eo venisset Iason, magnanimus ille Prin
ceps, cum Argonautis, & Phineo humani-
ter admodum excepti, in remunerationem
miserunt Zethum & Calaim filios Boreae,
alatos & optimos sagittarios, ut Har-
pias ex regno Phinei fugarent,
quod factum fuit ut legitur
apud Valerium Flaccum
in Argonauticorum li-
bro 4.

Notes:

1. Marius, the typical self-made man (referring to humble origins of Gaius Marius, the consul and general). Subbardus, possibly ‘Mr. Thick’.

2. nostri...fori, ‘in our little community’, probably a reference to the forum in any Roman town as a centre of commercial and legal activities. So these are businessmen or lawyers, possibly the second, as they are acting illegally on several counts.

3. The Harpies, symbols of injustice, were carrying off or soiling Phineus’ food so that he could not eat. He was delivered by Zetes and Calais, the winged sons of the North Wind and Oreithyia. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.711-7.4.

4. Integritas...quaesitor. These words (‘integrity’, ‘seeker’) are probably a punning reference to supposed etymologies of Calais and Zetes as if derived from Greek kalos ‘beautiful, good’ and zetein ‘to seek’. For the sentiment of lines 7 - 8, cf. Horace, Odes 1.22.1-2: he whose life is blameless and who knows no sin has no need of Moorish weapons.


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