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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m2v p180]

In oblivionem patriae.

Forgetting one’s country


Iamdudum missa patria, oblitusque tuorum,
Quos tibi seu sanguis sive paravit amor,
Romam habitas, nec cura domum subit ulla reverti,
Aeterne tantům te capit urbis honos.
Sic Ithacum praemissa manus[1] dulcedine loti
Liquerat & patriam, liquerat atque ducem.

You have long since given up your country and, forgetful of your own people given you by blood or love, you dwell in Rome, and no thought of returning home ever occurs to you. Only the glory of the eternal city possesses you. Even so the advance party of Ithacans, through the sweetness of the lotus, had abandoned homeland and abandoned leader too.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m3r p181]


Corripit quendam iandudum peregrč de-
gentem, Romae scilicet qui urbis eius excel-
lentia & magnificentia tantům allectus, ut
patriae suae propriae penitus oblitus, nec ulla
amplius agnatorum recordatio, nec amico-
rum familiarium memoria, neque aliquod re-
vertendi desiderium, non secus ac olim socii
Ulyssis, loto gustato, & patriam & Ducem
derelinquentes. Est enim lotos arbor quae-
dam in Aphrica fructus ferens adeň dulces
& suaves, ut nomen etiam genti terraeque de-
derit, de quo Plinius lib. 13. cap. 17. quos cům gu
stassent socii Ulyssis noluerunt inde discede-
re, vix tandem & difficulter, verberibus etiam
ab Ulysse repulsi & ad navigium adacti fuere,
scribit Homerus Odysseae lib. 9. & Erasmus in
Proverbio Lotum gustavit. Roma verň (omis-
sis infinitis laudibus) communis patria est, ut
inquit Modestus[2] in l. Roma. ff. ad municip.
& omissis innumeris laudibus eadem
etiam caput orbis terrarum ap-
pellatur. Iustinianus Impe-
rator. in l.i.§. sed & si.
Codicis de vet. iur.


1.  Ithacum...manus, ‘party of Ithacans’. See Homer, Odyssey 9.83ff. for the story of Ulysses’ crew (men from the island of Ithaca) in the land of the Lotus Eaters, where those who ate the lotus had no more thought of returning home. See Erasmus, Adagia 1662 Lotum gustavit.

2.  Herennius Modestinus was a Roman jurist who flourished around 250. He is frequently cited in the Digest, here abbreviated as ‘ff’. The Digest (usually D) is part of Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis. The Emperor (also Saint) Justinian I (482/483-565) was responsible for a recodification of Roman Law. For more information on methods of referencing see O. F. Robinson, Sources of Roman Law (London: Routledge, 1997), esp. pp. 56-60. As can be observed, earlier practice was to cite according to abbreviated forms of the first sentence of each fragment, whereas now numbers are used.

3.  The Codex or Code (usually CJ) is part of Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis. See Robinson above.

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