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ΤΩΝ ΛΟΓΙΚΩΝ ΔΙΑΦΟΡᾺ.

THE DIFFERENCE OF RATIONAL BEINGS

Iuppiter in medio spectabilis aethere stans est.
Assidet huic superūm caetera turba Deūm.
Hic contemplatur, spectant illi otia agentes.
Οἵ γὲ θεοὶ τὸ θεᾶν ὣσ ὁνομναζόμενοι[1]
Altera turba viam affectat (quae lactea) coeli.
Indigetum[2] sisti concilio properans.
Infra capripedes sublati cornua Panes
Suspiciunt.[3] terris sed tamen usque manent.
Hoc triplex genus est, Hominum, Heroumque, Deumque.
Imparili qui sunt ordine dissimiles.
Summa quies superūm est, & contemplatio. Virtus
Candida, semideos ducit ad astra viros.
At quorum affectus rebus terrestribus haerent:
Hi tantum cernunt sydera: non adeunt.

Jupiter stands handsome in the midst of the sky; around him close by sit the band of the other heavenly gods. Here they contemplate and watch in leisure, the gods thus named from seeing. The other band pursues a highway (a Milky one) in the sky, hurrying to claim a seat in the council of the Indigetes. Below, Pans raising their horns look up, but all the time stay on the ground. This is the triple progeny of Men, Heroes, and Gods, who are different in different ways. The highest peace is the Gods’, that of contemplation. Bright-shining Virtue leads the mortal demigods to the stars.* But those whose senses stick to earthly things, these only see the stars: they never approach them.
* Untranslateable etymological play on vir and virtus.

Notes:

1.  The Greek is ungrammatical.

2.  The Dei Indigetes: heros of various countries who were elevated to deity status (like Aeneas); they were assumed by Classical writers for etymological reasons to be ‘indigenous’.

3.  A play on the old Stoic etymology of anthropos: ‘man’ as ‘up-looker’.



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