Tuesday, December 29, 2020


At This Very Moment

Orientius, Commonitorium 2.195-196, in Poetae Christiani Minores (Vienna: F. Tempsky, 1888 = Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, XVI.1), p. 235 (my translation):
Every hour little by little brings us closer to death:
even at this moment in which we're speaking, we're dying in advance.

omnis paulatim leto nos applicat hora:
    hoc quoque quo loquimur tempore, praemorimur.
Cf. Horace, Odes 1.11.7-8 (dum loquimur, fugerit invida / aetas).

I don't have access to Mildred Dolores Toobin, Orientii Commonitorium: A Commentary with an Introduction and Translation (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1945 = Patristic Studies, 74), but I think at p. 95 she translates our couplet thus:
Every hour brings us little by little nearer to death. At the very time that we are speaking we are already dying.

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