Thursday, April 07, 2022


Source of a Latin Quotation

Jon R. Stone, The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations: The Illiterati's Guide to Latin Maxims, Mottoes, Proverbs, and Sayings (New York: Routledge, 2005), p. 7:
aliud legunt pueri, aliud viri, aliud senes: boys read books one way, men another, old men another (Terence)
The attribution to Terence sets off my bullshit detector. I don't have access to Patrick McGlynn, Lexicon Terentianum, 2 vols. (London: Blackie and Son, 1963-1967), but I've read Terence several times, and this doesn't seem at all like the kind of thing he would say. A more plausible attribution appears in Hubertus Kudla, Lexikon der lateinischen Zitate: 3500 Originale mit Übersetzungen und Belegstellen, 3. Aufl. (München: Beck, 2007), p. 245 (#1598):
Aliud legunt pueri, aliud viri, aliud senes.

Hugo Grotius, holländischer Gelehrter 1583-1645. Zitiert von K. J. Weber, Demokritos 1,20, 1832/40

Anderes lesen Knaben, anderes Männer und wiederum anderes die Alten.
The very next quotation in Kudla suggests a possible reason for the mistaken attribution to Terence:
Aliter pueri Terentium legunt, aliter Hugo Grotius.

Knaben lesen den Terenz1 anders als Hugo Grotius.

1 Publius Terentius Afer war neben Plautus der bedeutendste Komödiendichter Roms.
Apparently it (Aliud legunt pueri, aliud viri, aliud senes) appears in  Hans Walther's Proverbia sententiaeque Latinitatis Medii Aevi, but this reference work also isn't available to me.


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