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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7v p78]

MULTITUDINI CEDENDUM.

GIVE IN TO THE CROWD

Pluribus armatis obsistat ut unus: inermis
Quantumvis praestans robore. Quis potis est?
Ergo manus dat captivus quasi sponte ligandas.
Liberi & ex hominis conditione cadit.
Semihomoque caput fit libertate minutum.[1]
An non hoc satius quām malč malle mori?
Sic cųm stultorum numero sententia vincit
Cedatur. solum nec iuvet esse Sophon.
Αλλὰ κὲν ἰσχυρὸς αὐτου ἀείκεα ποτμὸν ἔπισποι
Ἒιη ἀντίμαχος εἰ πλεόνεσσι μόνος
Ἂνδρασι καὶ πλεόνεσσι μαχήσασθαι περὶ γνωμαίς,
Ὣς περὶ τοῖς πολεμοῖς ἐστὶ γὰρ ἀργαλέον.

When many armed men surround a single man he is unarmed, even if he is much the stronger. What can he do? So he gives his hands for binding, a captive, as if he were willing and falls below a free man’s state. He becomes a half-man, a head diminished in its liberty: is not this better than to wish oneself a bad death? So, when the opinion of the stupid conquers by numbers, it is wise to withdraw. Solitary wisdom never did anyone any good. But he would seek his own ugly death if he were to fight against the many on his own,* and to fight outnumbered over opinions, is, as in wars, a hard matter.
* The second line of the Greek is metrically faulty and ungrammatical: a connective word is missing, or a verb.

Notes:

1.  A reference to the Roman legal process of capitis deminutio.



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