Thursday, February 21, 2013


Pecunia Donat Omnia

Otto van Veen (1556-1629), aka Otto Vaenius, Quinti Horatii Flacci Emblemata (Antwerp: Philip Lisaert, 1612), p. 129 (click on image to enlarge):

Classical quotations on the facing page (128) of Vaenius' emblem book are from the following sources:

Horace, Epistles 1.6.36-38 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough):
Of course a wife and dowry, credit and friends, birth and beauty, are the gift of Queen Cash, and the goddesses Persuasion and Venus grace the man who is well-to-do.

scilicet uxorem cum dote fidemque et amicos
et genus et formam regina Pecunia donat,
ac bene nummatum decorat Suadela Venusque.
Euripides, fragment 249 (not from Bellerophon, as Vaenius indicates, with the Latin translation "ingens vis est divitiarum: / quas qui nactus est, nobilis statim evadit," i.e. "great is the power of riches; the man who has obtained them immediately becomes high-born," but from Archelaus, tr. Christopher Collard and Martin Cropp):
Don't make him rich; if he's poor he'll be submissive—but wealth with a well-born man in possession of it is a very powerful thing.

μὴ πλούσιον θῇς· ἐνδεέστερος γὰρ ὢν
ταπεινὸς ἔσται· κεῖνο δ' ἰσχύει μέγα,
πλοῦτος λαβών τε τοῦτον εὐγενὴς ἀνήρ.
Juvenal 3.137-142 (tr. Susanna Morton Braund):
At Rome, produce a witness as saintly as the man who welcomed the Idaean goddess, let Numa step forward, or the man who rescued a trembling Minerva from the blazing temple—it's straight to his wealth; his character will be the last enquiry. 'How many slaves does he keep? How many acres of farmland does he own? How many and how lavish are his courses at dinner?'

da testem Romae tam sanctum, quam fuit hospes
numinis Idaei; procedat vel Numa vel qui
servavit trepidam flagranti ex aede Minervam:
protinus ad censum, de moribus ultima fiet
quaestio: quot pascit servos? quot possidet agri
iugera? quam multa magnaque paropside cenat?
Juvenal 14.207 (tr. Susanna Morton Braund):
No one asks where you got it from—but have it you must.

unde habeas quaerit nemo, sed oportet habere.
For more parallels see Renzo Tosi, Dictionnaire des sentences latines et grecques, tr. Rebecca Lenoir (Grenoble: Jérôme Millon, 2010), #1784 = Dat census honores (pp. 1304-1305).

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