aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Ausonius, Eclogae 26

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This is Ausonius’ response to that one-line poem about when to cut your nails, beard and hair.

hoc sic refellendum.

Mercurius furtis probat ungues semper acutos
articulisque aciem non sinit imminui.
barba Iovi, crinis Veneri decor. ergo necesse est,
ut nolint demi, quo sibi uterque placent.
Mavors imberbos et calvos, Luna, adamasti:
non prohibent comi tum caput atque genas.
Sol et Saturnus nil obstant unguibus. ergo
non placitum divis tolle monostichium.

This is the way to refute this.

Mercury approves, for thefts, nails which are always sharp, and does not allow fingers’ keenness to be reduced. The beard is Jupiter’s glory, and hair is Venus’s. So it is inevitable that they do not wish for what they each delight in to be taken away. You, Mars, love the beardless; you, Moon, love the bald – these gods do not forbid head and cheeks to be trimmed. The Sun and Saturn have no objection to nails. Therefore do away with the one-liner which the gods do not approve!

Written by aleatorclassicus

February 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Ausonius

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