aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 58.1

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Seneca makes the familiar complaint of philosophical Romans that the Latin language just isn’t up to expressing the ideas of Greek philosophers.

quanta verborum nobis paupertas, immo egestas sit, numquam magis quam hodierno die intellexi. mille res inciderunt, cum forte de Platone loqueremur, quae nomina desiderarent nec haberent, quaedam vero <quae> cum habuissent fastidio nostro perdidissent. quis autem ferat in egestate fastidium?

Never have I understood more than today how great is the poverty – or rather destitution! – of our vocabulary. When we happened to be conversing about Plato, a thousand things cropped up which needed names but didn’t have them; indeed there were some which, although they did used to have names, had lost them through our fastidiousness. But who would put up with fastidiousness in destitution?

Written by aleatorclassicus

February 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Seneca the Younger

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