Saturday, July 19, 2014


Avoid the Uninitiated Mob

Conrad Celtis, Odes 1.11 ("Ad Sigismundum Fusilium Vratislaviensem" = "To Sigismund Fusilius of Breslau"), lines 21-32, tr. Leonard Forster, Selections from Conrad Celtis, 1459-1508 (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1948), pp. 29, 31:
Disregard the angry clamour of the lying masses; avoid the uninitiated mob, and you will know happiness and the truth that is revealed to few.

Take the great mastiff as an example: beset by the loud yapping of curs, he despises the noise of lesser breeds and goes his way in silence.

On then! Learn the three sacred languages, which will bring you much honour; along with the Hebrew and the Latin tongues the writings of the famous Athenians.
The Latin, id., pp. 28, 30, with apparatus:
Sperne mendacis rabiosa vulgi
Murmura indoctam fugiens catervam
Et datum paucis poteris beatus
        Noscere verum.

Magnus exemplo tibi sit Molossus.        25
Quem premunt vasto fremitu catelli,
Ille sed serpit tacitus minorum
        Murmura temnens.

Perge tres sacras modo nosse linguas,
Quae tibi magnum tribuent honorem,        30
Cum Palestina Latioque claro
        Cecrope scriptam.

28 ridens Pindter
29 ff, Perge tres...stanza lacking Or.
31 Latiamque all texts
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.

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