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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O2v p212]

In vitam humanam.

On human life


Plus solito humanae nunc defle incommoda vitae,
Heraclite, scatet pluribus illa malis.
Tu rursus, si quando aliās, extolle cachinnum
Democrite, illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
Intereā haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum
Fine fleam, aut tecum quomodō 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  [O3r p213]

Das wesen diser welt.


O Heraclite, mehr dan nye
Bewayn yetz die menschlichen sach,
In den so vil truebsal und mhye:
Democrite du spott und lach
Der narrheyt, so yetz ist zwifach
Bey allen stenden in gemayn:
Die weyl wil ich im sinnen nach,
Ob ich mit ewch lach, oder wayn.


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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