Saturday, October 16, 2021



Plato, Euthydemus 304b (tr. W.R.M. Lamb):
Water is cheapest.

τὸ δὲ ὕδωρ εὐωνότατον.
Plautus, Asinaria 198 (tr. Paul Nixon):
Daylight, water, sunlight, moonlight, darkness—for these things I have to pay no money.

diem aquam solem lunam noctem, haec argento non emo.
Horace, Satires 1.5.88-89 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough):
Here water, nature's cheapest product, is sold.

                                venit vilissima rerum
hic aqua.
Seneca, Natural Questions 4.13.3-4 (tr. Thomas H. Corcoran):
We have found out how we may compress snow so that it prevails over summer and is protected in a cold place against the season's heat. What have we accomplished by this diligence? Only that we trade in free water. We are sad because we cannot pay for air and sunlight, and because this air comes easily and without cost to the fastidious also and the rich. How unfortunate it is for us that nature has left anything as common property. This water, which nature has allowed to flow for everyone and be available to all, the drinking of which she has made common to life; this water which she has poured forth abundantly and generously for the use of men as well as wild animals, birds, and the laziest creatures; on this water luxury, ingenious against itself, has put a price. So, nothing can please luxury unless it is expensive. Water was the one thing which reduced the wealthy to the level of the mob. In this, the wealthy could not be superior to the poorest man. Someone burdened by riches has thought out how even water might become a luxury.

invenimus quomodo stiparemus nivem, ut ea aestatem evinceret et contra anni fervorem defenderetur loci frigore. quid hac diligentia consecuti sumus? nempe ut gratuitam mercemur aquam. nobis dolet quod spiritum, quod solem emere non possumus, quod hic aer etiam delicatis divitibusque ex facili nec emptus venit. o quam nobis male est quod quicquam a rerum natura in medio relictum est! hoc quod illa fluere et patere omnibus voluit, cuius haustum vitae publicum fecit, hoc quod tam homini quam feris avibusque et inertissimis animalibus in usum large ac beate profudit, contra se ingeniosa luxuria redegit ad pretium, adeo nihil illi potest placere nisi carum. unum hoc erat quod divites in aequum turbae deduceret, quo non possent antecedere pauperrimum; illi cui divitiae molestae sunt excogitatum est quemadmodum etiam caperet aqua luxuriam.
Vitruvius 8.praef.3 (tr. Frank Granger):
Water, moreover, by furnishing not only drink but all our infinite necessities, provides its grateful utility as a gracious gift.

aqua vero non solum potus sed infinitas usu praebendo necessitates, gratas, quod est gratuita, praestat utilitates.
Lactantius, Divine Institutes 3.26.11 (tr. Mary Francis McDonald):
We do not sell water, nor do we hold forth the sun as a reward.

nos aquam non vendimus nec solem mercede praestamus.

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