Friday, January 31, 2020



Juvenal 15.70-71 (tr. Peter Green):
Today the earth breeds a race of degenerate
weaklings, who stir high heaven to laughter and loathing.

terra malos homines nunc educat atque pusillos;
ergo deus, quicumque aspexit, ridet et odit.
Edward Courtney ad loc.:
70 MALOS The view of progressive degeneration put forward in Six init. after Hesiod; cf. e.g. Hor. Odes 3.6.45–8, Sen. De Ben. 1.10; hence DEUS ODIT.

PUSILLOS Cf. Pliny NH 7.73–4 (cf. on 65), Gellius 3.10; Empedocles fr. 77 Diels–Kranz, and, perhaps influenced by him, the Epicureans (Lucr. 5.925 sqq. with Bailey p. 976), who attributed it to the exhaustion of the earth (Lucr. 2.1150 sqq.; so also Sen. Ep. 90.44; opposed by Pliny Ep. 6.21.1, where see Sherwin-White); that is probably the point of infantibus magnis 6.9. Their smallness is why DEUS RIDET, cf. 13.170–3. Many instances are recorded of the exhumation of large bones, probably in fact mammoth bones, supposed to be of the heroes (F. Pfister Reliquienkult (1912) 507, Frazer on Paus. 1.35.7).

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