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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N7v p206]

In vitam humanam.

On human life

XCVI.

Plus solito humanae nunc defle incommoda vitae,
Heraclite, scatet pluribus illa malis.
Tu rursus, si quando aliàs, extolle cachinnum
Democrite, illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
Intereà haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum
Fine fleam, aut tecum quomodò splene iocer.[1]

Weep now, Heraclitus, even more than you did, for the ills of human life. It teems with far more woes. And you, Democritus, if ever you laughed before, raise your cackle now. Life has become more of a joke. Meanwhile, seeing all this, I consider just how far I can weep with you, how laugh bitterly with you.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N8r p207]

De la vie humaine.

XCVI.

Plores plus que onques tu ne feis
Heraclite, il en est saison.
Les gens sont en tous maulx confis,
Vertus n’ont ca bas plus maison.
Democrite ris, tu as raison.
Car chascun veult fol demourer:
Tandis penseray la choison,
Si je debvray rire, ou plorer.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. [A50a016]. For the contrast between the despairing tears of Heraclitus (who withdrew from human society) and the sardonic laughter of Democritus when faced with the folly of men, see, among many sources, e.g. Juvenal, Satires 10, 28ff.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F1v]

MULIERIS FAMAM NON
formam vulgatam esse
oportere.

A woman’s reputation, not her beauty, should be known to the world.

Alma Venus quae nam haec facies quid denotat illa,
Testudo molli quam pede diva premis?
Me sic effinxit phidias,[1] sexumque referri,
Foemineum nostra iussit ab effigie,
Quodque manere domi & tacitas decet esse puellas,
Supposuit pedibus talia signa meis.

Kindly Venus, what form is this, what does that tortoise mean, on which, o goddess, your soft feet rest? Phidias fashioned me like this. He intended the female sex to be represented by this image of me. Girls should stay at home and keep silence, and so he put such symbols under my feet.

Notes:

1.  Phidias’ statue of Aphrodite with one foot on a tortoise, set up at Elis, is mentioned by Pausanias, Periegesis 6.25.1. The tortoise is a symbol of ideal female domesticity, as it keeps silent and never leaves its house see Plutarch Coniugalia praecepta 32 (Mor. 142).


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