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IN AVAROS.

On the avaricious

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Septitius populos inter ditissimus omnes,
Arva senex nullus quo magis ampla tenet.
Defraudans geniumque suum, mensasque paratas
Nil praeter betas, duraque rapa vorat
Cui similem dicam hunc, inopem quem copia reddit?
An ne asino? sic est instar hic eius habet.
Nanque asinus dorso preciosa obsonia gestat,
Seque rubo aut dura carice pauper alit.[1]

Septitius is the richest man on earth; no old man has wider estates than he. Mean to himself and his dinner table, he chews nothing but beets and stringy turnips. To what shall I liken a man whose very wealth makes him a beggar? Shall it be an ass? That’s it - he is just like an ass. An ass carries a load of rich delicacies on his back, but, poor creature, feeds itself on brambles and tough grass.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Anthologia graeca 11.397, concerning a miser called Artemidorus.


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PAREM DELINQUENTIS ET
suasoris culpam esse.

The one who urges wrongdoing is as guilty as the one who does the wrong

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Praeconem lituo perflantem classica victrix,
Captivum in tetro carcere turma tenet.
Quîs ille excusat, quod nec sit strenuus armis,
Ullius aut saevo leserit ense latus.
Hinc[1] illi quin ipse magis timidissime peccas,
Qui clangore alios aeris in arma cies.[2]

The victorious troop holds captive in a foul dungeon a herald, who sounds military commands on his trumpet. To them he makes his excuses - he is no strong fighting man and has wounded no one’s side with a cruel sword. They reply: You abject coward, you are in fact more guilty, for you with the sound of your trumpet stir up others to fight.

Notes:

1.  Later editions have Huic.

2.  This is a version of Aesop, Fables 325.


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