Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Epitaph of a Happy Man

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 14.636 = Carmina Latina Epigraphica 487 (Ostia, 2nd century A.D.), as translated in Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone, tr. Kathleen Baldwin et al. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), p. 2023, to which I've added a translation of the opening words, before the versified part:
To the departed spirits of Publius Aufidius Epictetus. He lived 77 years, 5 months, 15 days. To the departed spirits of Aufidius.

Here lies one who was once so much more remarkably
Esteemed all over for his reputation and life.
Here he was as prosperous as in heaven, none more prosperous than he
ever was or lived, simple, good and blessed.
He was never sad and gaily he was happy everywhere,
Nor like old men did he desire to go to meet death
But feared death and thought that he could not die.
His wife has placed him in the ground and she weeps for her sad
Wounds, deprived of such a beloved husband

D(is) M(anibus) P(ubli) Aufidi Epicteti. Vixit annis LXXVII, me(n)si(bus) V, diebus XV. D(is) Aufidi M(anibus).

Hic iam nunc situs est quondam praestantius ille
omnib(us) in terris fama vitaque probatus.
hic fuit ad superos felix, quo non felicior alter
aut fuit aut vixit, simplex bonus atque beatus.
numquam tristis erat, laetus gaudebat ubique,
nec senib(us) similis mortem cupiebat obire,
set timuit mortem nec se mori posse putabat.
hunc coniunx posuit terrae et sua tristis flevit
volnera, quae sic sit caro biduata marito.
quo non felicior alter = Vergil, Aeneid 9.772.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?