Saturday, September 20, 2014
Questions for a Rich Man
Why is any worthy man in want, while you are rich? Why are the ancient temples of the gods in ruin? Why, shameless man, do you not measure out something from that great heap for your dear country?The first two definitions of indignus in the Oxford Latin Dictionary (OLD) are:
cur eget indignus quisquam, te divite? quare
templa ruunt antiqua deum? cur, improbe, carae
non aliquid patriae tanto emetiris acervo?
- Not deserving some honour, favour, or sim. specified or implied, unworthy
- Not deserving some misfortune, punishment, or sim. specified or implied, guiltless
On the second question, commentators compare Horace, Odes 3.6.1-4 (tr. Niall Rudd):
Though guiltless, you will continue to pay for the sins of your forefathers, Roman, until you repair the crumbling temples and shrines of the gods, and the statues that are begrimed with black smoke.
Delicta maiorum immeritus lues,
Romane, donec templa refeceris
aedisque labentis deorum et
foeda nigro simulacra fumo.