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degerit aliena credi non

Others’ property should not be entrusted to a person who has once squandered his own

Cholchidos in gremio nidum quid congeris? heu
Nescia cur pullos tam male credis avis.
Dira parens Medaea suos saevissima natos,
Perdidit, & speras parcat ut illa tuis.[1]

Why do you build your nest in the bosom of the woman from Colchis? Alas, ignorant bird, why do you entrust your nestlings so mistakenly? That frightful mother, Medea, in her savagery slew her own children. Do you expect her to spare yours?


1. This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.346, a much-translated epigram, on the subject of a swallow that built her nest on a representation of Medea. Colchidos, ‘of the woman from Colchis’, refers to Medea, from Colchis on the Black Sea, who slew her children by Jason, leader of the Argonauts, to avenge his unfaithfulness. See further [A31b034].

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