Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Erasmus and Petrarch on Homer

Erasmus, letter 131 (to Augustine Vincent; tr. Francis Morgan Nichols):
I am so enamoured of this author, that even when I cannot understand him, I am refreshed and fed by the very sight of his words.
The Latin, from Opus Epistolarum Des. Erasmi Roterodami, ed. P.S. Allen, tom. I: 1484-1514 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1906; rpt. 1992), pp. 305-306:
Ego quidem ita huius autoris ardeo amore, vt cum intelligere nequeam, aspectu tamen ipso recreer ac pascar.
Petrarch, Epistulae Familiares 18.2.10 (to Nicolas Sygeros, thanking him for the gift of a copy of Homer in Greek; tr. Christopher S. Celenza):
Your Homer is mute to me. Or rather, I am deaf to him. Still, I rejoice even to look at him and often, as I embrace him I say, sighing, 'O Great Man, how ardently would I listen to you!'

Homerus tuus apud me mutus, imo vero ego apud illum surdus sum. gaudeo tamen vel aspectu solo et sepe illum amplexus ac suspirans dico: 'O magne vir, quam cupide te audirem!'

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