Monday, April 14, 2014


The Ninth Age

Juvenal 13.23-30 (tr. Susanna Morton Braund):
What day is so auspicious that it doesn't produce cases of theft, betrayal, and fraud, profit gained by every kind of crime, and money acquired by the blade or poison box? Good people are rare. Count them: they are hardly as many as the gates of Thebes or the mouths of the rich Nile. We are living in the ninth age, an era worse than the age of iron. Nature herself can find no name for its wickedness and has no metal to label it.

quae tam fausta dies, ut cesset prodere furtum,
perfidiam, fraudes atque omni ex crimine lucrum
quaesitum et partos gladio vel pyxide nummos?
rari quippe boni: numera, vix sunt totidem quot
Thebarum portae vel divitis ostia Nili.
nona aetas agitur peioraque saecula ferri
temporibus, quorum sceleri non invenit ipsa
nomen et a nullo posuit natura metallo.

23 fausta Markland, festa codd. | furtum Nisbet, furem codd.
See M.J. McGann, "Juvenal's Ninth Age (13, 28ff.)," Hermes 96 (1968) 509-514.

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