Take, for instance, that long and accusing oration concerning The Mirror that followed. Pudens, overcome by the atrocity of it
all, practically burst as he shouted:
Sequitur enim de speculo longa illa et censoria oratio, de quo pro rei atrocitate paene
diruptus est Pudens clamitans:
"The philosopher has a mirror! The philosopher has a mirror!"
'habet speculum philosophus, possidet speculum philosophus'.
Ok. Yes. Absolutely. (If I were to deny it, you might think you'd scored a point against me.)
ut igitur habere concedam -- ne aliquid obiecisse te credas, si negaro --,
But you can't conclude, even from this, that I'm in the habit of primping myself in front of it. Just think! If I owned a stage
wardrobe, then from this you would deduce that I'm also accustomed to wearing a tragic robe, the saffron garb of a pantomime, the multicolored robe of a mime?
non tamen ex eo accipi me necesse est exornari quoque ad speculum solere. quid enim? si choragium thymelicum possiderem, num ex eo argumentarere etiam uti me consuesse tragoedi[i] syrmate, histrionis crocota, %orgia, mimi centunculo?
I don't think so.
On the contrary, there are many things which I don't own but enjoy using. Now, IF owning something isn't proof of using it,
and not owning something isn't proof of never using it, and IF it's not so much owning the mirror as looking into it that's faulted,
this is what should be asked: when and in whose presence I might have peered into the mirror. As it stands, you think that it's
more sinful for a philosopher to stare at a mirror than for someone ignorant to look upon the sacred emblems of Ceres.
nam et contra plurimis rebus possessu careo, usu fruor. quod si neque habere utendi argumentum est neque non utendi non
habere et speculi non tam possessio culpatur quam inspectio, illud etiam doceas necesse est, quando et quibus praesentibus in
speculum inspexerim, quoniam, ut res est, magis piaculum decernis speculum philosopho quam Cereris mundum profano uidere.
 So I yield, and if I confess that I've looked into a mirror, what crime is it to know your own image, when it's not fixed in
one place but toted about handily in a small mirror? Or are you unaware that there's nothing nicer for a man to look upon than
his own image? I know that children who resemble their parents are more beloved, and that a likeness might be set up for
someone at public expense as a favor for his services, and so that he can see himself.
Cedo nunc, si et inspexisse me fateor, quod tandem crimen est imaginem suam nosse eamque non uno loco conditam, sed
quoquo uelis paruo speculo promptam gestare? an tu ignoras nihil esse aspectabilius homini nato quam formam suam? equidem
scio et filiorum cariores esse qui similes uidentur et publicitus simulacrum suum cuique, quod uideat, pro meritis praemio tribui.
Or why else would men want statues and images of themselves formed by artists? Unless it's thought that the results of crafts
are praiseworthy, while what nature produces must be judged faulty, since the mimicry and artistry of the former is marvellous
to more people.
aut quid sibi statuae et imagines uariis artibus effigiatae uolunt? nisi forte quod artificio elaboratum laudabile habetur, hoc natura
oblatum culpabile iudicandum est, cum sit in ea uel magis miranda et facilitas et similitudo.
Of course, the work of creating images by hand takes time, and even so, there's no resemblance to match the mirror's. For
vigor is lacking in those representations made from potter's clay,
color is lacking in stone,
solidity is missing from paintings,
and motion is missing from them all,
and motion is what represents an image most faithfully when an image is seen, reflected marvelously in the mirror, with likeness
and motion responding to each nod of the man it portrays.
quippe in omnibus manu faciundis
imaginibus opera diutina sumitur, neque tamen similitudo aeque ut in speculis comparet; deest enim et luto uigor et saxo color et
picturae rigor et motus omnibus, qui praecipua fide similitudinem repraesentat, cum in eo uisi[te]tur imago mire relata, ut similis,
ita mobilis et ad omnem nutum hominis sui morigera;
And furthermore, the image is always of equal age to the one contemplating it, from the time of early childhood to that of final
old age, so many times of life it takes on, such various conditions of the body it shares, so many expressions of the same man it
copies, whether he's happy or sad. Truly something that has been shaped from clay, cast in bronze, carved in stone, imprinted
in wax, or daubed with pigment, or made similar by any other human craft, will again quickly become dissimilar, and like a
cadaver will have but one immobile face. So greatly does that smart, smooth mirror, that marvelous artisan, outstrip the crafts in
portraying a likeness.
eadem semper contemplantibus aequaeua est ab ineunte pueritia ad
obeuntem senectam, tot aetatis uices induit, tam uarias habitudines corporis participat, tot uultus eiusdem laetantis uel dolentis
imitatur. enimuero quod luto fictum uel aere infusum uel lapide incussum uel cera inustum uel pigmento illitum uel alio quopiam
humano artificio adsimulatum est, non multa intercapedine temporis dissimile redditur et ritu cadaueris unum uultum et
immobilem possidet. tantum praestat imaginis artibus ad similitudinem referundam leuitas illa speculi fabra et splendor opifex.
 Then we either have to follow the sentiment of the Spartan Agesilaus, who never let himself be depicted because he
despised his own appearance, or, if we should retain the custom of everyone else and not distance ourselves from
representations in statues, why would you consider someone's image to be more worth viewing in stone than in silver -- on a
tablet more than in a mirror?
Aut igitur unius Hagesilai Lacedaemonii sententia nobis sequenda est, qui se neque pingi neque fingi unquam diffidens formae
suae passus est, aut si mos omnium ceterorum hominum retinendus uidetur in statuis et imaginibus non repudiandis, cur existimes
imaginem suam cuique uisendam potius in lapide quam in argento, magis in tabula quam in speculo?
Or do you think it's wrong to constantly examine one's form in a mirror? But isn't it said that the philosopher Socrates actually
recommended to his disciples that they should often contemplate themselves in a mirror? In this way, those who'd attend to
themselves would be quite pleased by their beauty, and wouldn't disgrace the dignity of their bodies with destructive habits.
And those who thought themselves less commendable in appearance could take special care to hide their ugliness with laudable
an turpe arbitraris formam
suam spectaculo assiduo explorare? an non Socrates philosophus ultro etiam suasisse fertur discipulis suis, crebro ut semet in
speculo contemplarentur, ut qui eorum foret pulchritudine sibi complacitus impendio procuraret, ne dignitatem corporis malis
moribus dedecoraret, qui uero minus se commendabilem forma putaret sedulo operam daret, ut uirtutis laude turpitudinem
That's how much the wisest of all men relied on mirrors to teach good character. Furthermore, who doesn't know that
Demosthenes, first among rhetorical artists, always practised his lawsuits in front of a mirror as if he were in front of a teacher?
You see that the most distinguished orator, who derived his eloquence from Plato the philosopher, and learned his
argumentation from Eubulides the dialectician, used the mirror for strictest consistency in declaiming.
adeo uir omnium sapientissimus speculo etiam ad disciplinam morum utebatur. Demost[h]enen uero, primarium dicendi
artificem, quis est qui non sciat semper ante speculum quasi ante magistrum causas meditatum: ita ille summus orator cum a
Platone philosopho facundiam [h]ausisset, ab Eubulide dialectico argumentationes edidicisset, nouissimam pronuntiandi
congruentiam ab speculo petiuit.
So, who do you think is more concerned about dignity when a speech has to be delivered -- the quarreling rhetorician or the
moralizing philosopher? The one who debates for just a short time in front of random jurors, or the one who is always lecturing
before everyone? The one who goes to law over the boundaries of fields or the one who teaches about the boundaries of right
utrum igitur putas maiorem curam decoris in adseueranda oratione suscipiendam rhetori
iurganti an philosopho obiurganti, apud iudices sorte ductos paulisper disceptanti an apud omnis homines semper disserenti, de
finibus agrorum litiganti an de finibus bonorum et malorum docenti?
Why, these aren't the only reasons that a philosopher should look into a mirror; for it's often fitting for him to contemplate not
only his reflection but also the explanation for his reflection:
quid, quod nec ob haec debet tantummodo philosophus
speculum inuisere; nam saepe oportet non modo similitudinem suam, uerum etiam ipsius similitudinis rationem considerare:
Are images, as Epicurus asserts, sent forth by us like a kind of slough which drops from our bodies in a continual
flow? When they hit something smooth and solid, having struck against it, are they bent back? And do they
correspond, formed in the reverse?
ut ait Epicurus, profectae a nobis imagines uelut quaedam exuuiae iugi fluore a corporibus manantes, cum leue aliquid et solidum
offenderunt, illisae reflectantur et retro expressae contrauersim respondeant
Or, as other philosophers reckon, when our rays fall upon any dense, shiny, and smooth body, do they rebound at
angles equal to those at which they'd fallen, bringing them back to their own appearance so that which they view and
touch outside the mirror is depicted in it?
an, ut alii philosophi disputant, radii nostri seu
mediis oculis proliquati et lumini extrario mixti atque ita uniti,
Do those rays flow forth from the middle of our eyes and, joined to an external light source, unite with it, as Plato
concludes? Or do they arise from the eyes without any outside support, as Archytas thinks? Or are they set in motion
by the stretching of the atmosphere, as the Stoics suppose?
ut Plato arbitratur, seu tantum oculis profecti sine ullo foris
amminiculo, ut Archytas putat, seu intentu ae+ris [f]acti, ut Stoici rentur, cum alicui corpori inciderunt spisso et splendido et leui, paribus angulis quibus inciderant resultent ad faciem suam reduces atque ita, quod extra tangant ac uisant, id intra sp
 Don't you thing that philosophy is obligated to trace all these things -- to pry into them -- to look at all kinds of mirrors,
whether wet or dry?
uideturne uobis debere philosophia haec omnia uestigare et inquirere et cuncta specula, uel uda uel suda soli,
About such things, in addition to the ones which I've just mentioned, this should be pondered -- why do the gazer and the
images seem nearly equal in flat mirrors, while in convex and spherical mirrors, everything is diminished, and by contrast,
everything is enlarged in concave mirrors? When and why are things on the left exchanged with things on the right? When does
an image sometimes hide itself deep within but, at other times, thrust itself outside the same mirror? Why do concave mirrors, if
they are held facing the sun, ignite tinder placed nearby? How does it happen that rainbows of different colors or two rivalling
suns are seen in the clouds ?
quibus praeter ista quae dixi etiam illa ratiocinatio necessaria est, cur in planis quidem speculis ferme pares optutus et
imagines uideantur, [in] tumidis uero et globosis omnia defectiora, at contra in cauis auctiora; ubi et cur laeua cum dexteris
permutentur; quando se imago eodem speculo tum recondat penitus, tum foras exerat; cur caua specula, si exaduersum soli
retineantur, appositum fomitem accendant; qui fiat ut arcus in nubibus uarie, duo[s] soles aemula similitudine uisantur,
Archimedes of Syracuse, a man certainly to be admired much beyond others for his acuteness in geometry, treats many other
things of the same type besides these in a large volume, but I don't rightly know whether he's most worth mentioning on account
of this . . .
praeterea eiusdem modi plurima, quae tractat uolumine ingenti Archimedes Syracusanus, uir in omni quidem geometria multum
ante alios admirabilis subtilitate, sed haud sciam an propter hoc uel maxime memorandus,
. . . or because he looked into a mirror often and conscientiously.
quod inspexerat speculum saepe ac diligenter.
If you knew this book, Aemilianus, and had devoted yourself not only to field and sod but also to abacus and powder, believe
me, although your terribly offensive face ain't so different from the tragic Thyestes, you'd still look into a mirror with a desire for
knowledge. And, sometimes, when you'd leave your plow aside, you'd wonder at the many wrinkles furrowed in your face.
quem tu librum, Aemiliane, si nosses ac non modo campo et glebis, uerum etiam abaco et puluisculo te dedisses, mihi
istud crede, quanquam teterrimum os tuum minimum a Thyesta tragico demutet, tamen profecto discendi cupidine speculum
inuiseres et aliquando relicto aratro mirarere tot in facie tua sulcos rugarum.
But I wouldn't be surprised if you were glad that I'm speaking about your incredibly misshapen countenance but keeping silent
about your character, which is far worse. Here's why: aside from the fact that I don't pick petty fights, it wasn't too long ago
that I quite cheerfully did not know you -- even if only to say whether you were black or white -- and, by Hercules, even now I
don't know enough to say . Thus far, you've been hidden by your country living and I am occupied by my learning. And so a
shadow of obscurity has kept you from anyone putting you to the test, while I've never been eager to learn someone else's
misdeeds. But I've always thought it better to cover my own shortcomings than to root out someone else's.
At ego non mirer, si boni consulis me de isto distortissimo uultu tuo dicere, de moribus tuis multo truculentioribus reticere. ea
res est: praeter quod non sum iurgiosus, etiam libenter te nuper usque albus an ater esses ignoraui et adhuc [h]ercle non satis
noui. id adeo factum, quod et tu rusticando obscurus es et ego discendo occupatus. ita et tibi umbra ignobilitatis a probatore
obstitit, et ego numquam studui male facta cuiusquam cognoscere, sed semper potius duxi mea peccata tegere quam aliena
And therefore, it's turned out rather badly for me. You have the upper hand, because one of us is stuck in the spotlight and the
other guy looks at him from the shade. Certainly, you pass judgment quite easily from the shadows on what I'm doing in an
open and crowded place, while you yourself, because you're hidden and flee the light, aren't striking in the same way to me.
igitur hoc mihi aduersum te usu uenit, quod qui forte constitit in loco lumine conlustrato atque eum alter e tenebris
prospectat. nam ad eundem modum tu quidem, quid ego in propatulo et celebri agam, facile e tenebris tuis arbitraris, cum ipse
humilitate abdita et lucifuga non sis mihi mutuo conspicuus.
 For example, I don't know (nor do I want to know) whether you have slaves to till your field or if you yourself trade
services with your neighbors. But you know that I freed three slaves on one day at Oea, and your lawyer has hurled that
against me (among other things you divulged to him), even though he'd said not long ago that I came to Oea accompanied by
one servant. Maybe you could tell me how I was able to free three slaves from a single one?
Ego adeo seruosne tu habeas ad agrum colendum an ipse mutuarias operas cum uicinis tuis cambies, neque scio neque laboro.
at tu me scis eadem die tris Oeae manu misisse, idque mihi patronus tuus inter cetera a te sibi edita obiecit, quanquam modico
prius dixerat me uno seruo comite Oeam uenisse. quod quidem uelim mihi respondeas, qui potuerim ex uno tris manu mittere,
(Unless, of course, this too is magic.)
nisi si et hoc magicum est.
Should I mention how great your blindness and habit of lying is? "Apuleius came to Oea with one slave"; then you babble (with
a few words between), "Apuleius set free three in one day." Not exactly believable, that I came with three and freed all of
them, you know?
tantamne esse mentiendi caecitatem dicam an consuetudinem? 'uenit Apuleius Oeam cum uno seruo';
dein pauculis uerbis intergarritis: 'Apuleius Oeae una die tris manu misit'. ne illud quidem credibile fuisset, cum tribus uenisse,
And even if I had done that , why would you rather consider three slaves as a sign of poverty than three freed slaves as a sign
of opulence? Obviously, you don't know -- you really don't know -- how to accuse a philosopher, Aemilianus. You reproach
my lack of attendants. But that's something which I even would have faked for the sake of my reputation. I know that not only
philosophers, among whom I number myself, but also Roman generals have prided themselves on a small number of slaves.
Haven't your lawyers even read these things: that, as consul, M. Antonius had only eight slaves at home, and Carbo, in fact, a
man who acquired political power, had one less, but Manius Curius -- the one who's famous for so many victory prizes, who in
fact conducted a triple triumph at a single gate -- indeed, Manius Curius had only two army-servants in camp? That man, then,
a victor over the Sabines, the Samnitii, and Pyrrhus, had fewer servants than victory celebrations.
quod tamen si ita fecissem, cur potius tris seruos inopiae signum putares quam tris libertos opulentiae? nescis
profecto, nescis, Aemiliane, philosophum accusare, qui famulitii paucitatem obprobraris, quam ego gloriae causa ementiri
debuissem, quippe qui scirem non modo philosophos, quorum me sectatorem fero, uerum etiam imperatores populi Romani
paucitate seruorum gloriatos. itane tandem ne haec quidem legere patroni tui: M. Antonium consularem solos octo seruos domi
habuisse, Carbonem uero illum, qui rebus potitus est, uno minus, at enim Manio Curio tot adoreis longe incluto, quippe qui ter
triumphum una porta egerit, ei igitur Manio Curio duos solos in castris calones fuisse? ita ille uir de Sabinis deque Samnitibus
deque Pyrro triumphator paucioris seruos habuit quam triumphos.
M. Cato, though, didn't wait for others to speak about him. He himself left it written in his own oration that when he set out as
consul for Spain, he had brought along only three slaves from the city. Once he arrived at a public villa, though, this seemed too
few and he ordered two slave boys to be purchased in the forum for table-service, and he brought those five into Spain. If
Pudens had read these things, I imagine, he would either have refrained altogether from this abuse or he would have preferred
to criticize the three slaves as a great number of servants for a philosopher, not a small number.
M. autem Cato nihil oppertus, ut alii de se praedicarent, ipse
in o[pe]ratione sua scriptum reliquit, cum in Hispania[m] consul proficisceretur, tris seruos solos ex urbe duxisse; quoniam ad
uillam publicam uenerat, parum uisum qui uteretur, iussisse duos pueros in foro de mensa emi, eos quinque in Hispaniam
duxisse. haec Pudens si legisset, ut mea opinio est, aut omnino huic maledicto supersedisset aut in tribus seruis multitudinem
comitum philosophi quam paucitatem reprehendere maluisset.
 And he even reproached me for poverty, which is a welcome charge to a philosopher and, moreover, something that ought to be declared openly. For poverty is ever the handmaiden of philosophy,
useful, temperate, strong with little help, striving after praise,
held against wealth, untroubled in character, simple in refinement, well-advising in counsel, it has never puffed anyone up with arrogance, it has perverted no one by violence, it has made no one savage by tyranny, it does not want and cannot want the de
lights of food and sex.
Idem mihi etiam paupertatem obprobrauit, acceptum philosopho crimen et ultro profitendum. enim paupertas olim philosophiae
uernacula est, frugi, sobria, paruo potens, aemula laudis, aduersum diuitias possessa, habitu secura, cultu simplex, consilio
benesuada, neminem umquam superbia inflauit, neminem inpotentia deprauauit, neminem tyrannide efferauit, delicias uentris et
inguinum neque uult ullas neque potest.
Of course, children raised by wealth are used to these delights and other disgraceful things. If you were to count up the greatest
crimes in human memory, you wouldn't find a single poor man involved in them, just as the rich wouldn't be visible among
distinguished men. No, whoever we admire and praise, that person has been raised by poverty from infancy.
quippe haec et alia flagitia diuitiarum alumni solent; maxima quaeque scelera si ex omni
memoria hominum percenseas, nullum in illis pauperem reperies, ut contra haut temere inter inlustris uiros diuites comparent, sed
quemcunque in aliqua laude miramur, eum paupertas ab incunabulis nutricata est.
I say that poverty in ancient times was the founder of all cities, the uncoverer of all skills, free of all faults, bountiful in all glory,
the object of all praise among all nations. Indeed, the same poverty among the Greeks was just in Aristides,
kind in Phocio,
vigorous in Epaminondas,
wise in Socrates,
eloquent in Homer.
paupertas, inquam, prisca aput saecula
omnium ciuitatium conditrix, omnium artium repertrix, omnium peccatorum inops, omnis gloriae munifica, cunctis laudibus apud
omnis nationes perfuncta. eadem est enim paupertas apud Graecos in Aristide iusta, in Phocione benigna, in Epaminonda
strenua, in Socrate sapiens, in Homero diserta.
Yes, that same poverty laid the foundation of the Roman empire from its beginning and makes sacrifices for its sake even today
to the immortal gods with a little ladle and a clay bowl. And therefore if the presiding judges in this sorry case were C.
Fabricius, Gn. Scipio, and Manius Curius, whose daughters were given away with dowries from the public treasury because of
their poverty and went to their husbands carrying the fame of their family and public funds, or if Publicola who expelled of kings
and Agrippa who reconciled the people, whose funeral rites were prepared by the Roman people because of their scant
resources, if Atilius Regulus, whose little field, was harvested with public money for the same reason, if, at last, all those ancient
families of consular, censorial and triumphal dignity were brought back to life for this ridiculous trial and were here listening,
would you dare reproach the philosopher for poverty before so many poor consuls?
eadem paupertas etiam populo Romano imperium a primordio fundauit, proque
eo in [h]odiernum diis immortalibus simpulo et catino fictili sacrificat. quod si modo iudices de causa ista sederent C. Fabricius,
Gn. Scipio, Manius Curius, quorum filiae ob paupertatem de publico dotibus donatae ad maritos ierunt portantes gloriam
domesticam, pecuniam publicam, si Publicola regum exactor et Agrippa populi reconciliator, quorum funus ob tenuis opes a
populo Romano collatis [s]extantibus adornatum est, si Atilius Regulus, cuius agellus ob similem penuriam publica pecunia cultus
est, si denique omnes illae ueteres prosapiae consulares et censoriae et triumphales breui usura lucis ad iudicium istud remissae
audirent, auderesne paupertatem philosopho exprobrare apud tot consules pauperes?
 But maybe you figure that Claudius Maximus is an appropriate audience for this mocking of poverty, because he himself has been allotted a rich and far-reaching estate? You're wrong, Aemilianus, if you measure him by the kin
dness of fortune and
not by his philosophical criticism, if you don't think that a man with such a severe manner and with such long military service is
friendlier to restrained moderation than to pampered opulence. He looks at fortune as if it were a tunic -- better neat than long.
If it's not worn but dragged, hanging down, fortune hinders and trips up a person just as much as a garment. See, in all things
used for the tasks of life, whatever exceeds fitting moderation yields burdens rather than usefulness.
an tibi Claudius Maximus idoneus auditor
uidetur ad irridendam paupertatem, quod ipse uberem et prolixam rem familiarem sortitus est? erras, Aemiliane, et longe huius
animi frustra es, si eum ex fortunae indulgentia, non ex philosophiae censura metiris, si uirum tam austerae sectae tamque
diutinae militiae non putas amiciorem esse cohercitae mediocritati quam delicatae opulentiae, fortunam uelut tunicam magis
concinnam quam longam probare; quippe etiam ea si non gestetur et trahatur, nihil minus quam lacinia praependens impedit et
praecipitat. etenim [in] omnibus ad uitae munia utendis quicquid aptam moderationem supergreditur, [h]oneri potius quam usui
Thus, just like huge and unwieldly rudders, excessive wealth can sink a boat more easily than guide it, because its abundance is
useless, its excess is harmful. Instead, I can tell you that those from the wealthier classes who live modestly with no fuss deserve
the most praise. They don't display their possessions and they manage their wealth without show or excessive pride. They're
like poor people in their moderate appearances. And so, if rich people aim at some appearance of poverty as evidence of their
modesty, why it should it cause shame for someone poorer, who doesn't experience an imitation of poverty but the real thing?
igitur et inmodicae diuitiae uelut ingentia et enormia gubernacula facilius mergunt quam regunt, quod habent irritam
copiam, noxiam nimietatem. quin ex ipsis opulentioribus eos potissimum uideo laudari, qui nullo strepitu, modico cultu,
dissimulatis facultatibus agunt et diuitias magnas administrant sine ostentatione, sine superbia, specie mediocritatis pauperum
similes. quod si etiam ditibus ad argumentum modestiae quaeritur imago quaepiam et color paupertatis, cur eius pudeat
tenuioris, qui eam non simulata[m], sed uere fungimur?
 I can even make an argument about the title "poor." No one is poor if he has the few needful things but doesn't want
unnecessary extras. The person who will have the most is the one who desires the least -- because he who wants very little will
have as much as he wants. And for this reason, it's wiser to appraise riches not in terms of estates and profit, but in terms of a
person's very soul. See, if he feels destitute because he's greedy and never satisfied by profit, mountains of gold won't make
him happy. No, he'll always beg for something, so that he can add to the stuff he acquired previously. Now, this is the true
acknowledgement of poverty, since wanting to acquire stems from a notion of need. It doesn't matter how much you gain
because it's still too little for you:
Possum equidem tibi et ipsius nominis controuersiam facere, neminem nostrum pauperem esse qui superuacanea nolit, possit
necessaria, quae natura oppido pauca sunt. namque is plurimum habebit, qui minimum desiderabit; habebit enim quantum uolet
qui uolet minimum. et idcirco diuitiae non melius in fundis et in fenore quam in ipso hominis animo aestimantur, qui si est auaritia
egenus et ad omne lucrum inexplebilis, nec montibus auri satiabitur, sed semper aliquid, ante parta ut augeat, mendicabit. quae
quidem uera confessio est paupertatis; omnis enim cupido acquirendi ex opinione inopiae uenit, nec refert, quam magnum sit
quod tibi minus est.
Philus didn't have as great an estate as Laelius,
non habuit tantam rem familiarem Philus quantam Laelius,
Laelius's was less than Scipio's,
nec Laelius quantam Scipio,
Scipio's couldn't hold a candle to that of Crassus the
nec Scipio quantam Crassus Diues,
-- but then, even Crassus did not have one as great as he wanted!
at enim nec Crassus Diues quantam uolebat;
Thus, even though he surpassed everyone, he himself was surpassed by his own greed. He seemed rich to everyone else, rather
than to himself.
ita cum omnis superaret, a suamet auaritia superatus est
omnibusque potius diues uisus est quam sibi.
But now, these philosophers I've mentioned didn't want anything more than they had. Their desires were suited to their means
and they were deservedly rich and blessed. For the need to lay hold of things makes you poor, and the satisfaction of not
needing anything makes you rich, since poverty is marked by appetite, and wealth by disdain. And so, Aemilianus, if you want
me to be considered poor, first you'll have to show that I'm greedy. Because if there's nothing lacking in my mind, I don't care
how much is lacking in external things, which indicate neither honor in abundance nor fault in lack.
at contra hi philosophi quos commemoraui non ultra uolentes quam poterant, sed
congruentibus desideriis et facultatibus iure meritoque dites et beati fuerunt. pauper enim fis appetendi egestate, diues non
egendi satietate, quippe qui inopia desiderio, opulentia fastidio cernuntur. igitur, Aemiliane, si pauperem me haberi uis, prius
auarum esse doceas necesse est. quod si nihil in animo deest, de rebus extrariis quantum desit non laboro, quarum neque laus in
copia neque culpa in penuria consistit.
 But pretend that things are different and that I'm poor because fortune begrudged me riches and, as it usually happens,
either a guardian diminished them or an enemy stole them or my father did not leave them; are you reproaching a man for this,
for his humble means, which is not considered a fault in any animal, not eagle, bull, or lion? If a horse has appropriate strengths,
so that it's steady to ride and quick to race, no one complains about the poor quality of its fodder. So do you find fault with me,
not because of any depravity of word or deed,
but because the god of my house is too skinny,
because I own fewer slaves,
because I eat more sparingly,
because my dress is humbler,
because I feast less?
And yet however scanty these things seem to you, I consider them excessive, and want to restrict myself to even less. The
more restrictions I put on myself, the happier I am. For the health of the mind is just like that of the body: trim, while weakness
is decked out. In short, life is like a long swim: the fewer burdens you have, the better off you are. For in this sea storm of
human life the light things act as buoys, the heavy as a weight that drags one under. I've learned well that the gods are most
superior to men in this: they require nothing to assist them. And so it is with us: he who needs the least is most like the gods.
sed finge haec aliter esse ac me ideo pauperem, quia mihi fortuna diuitias inuidit easque,
ut ferme euenit, aut tutor imminuit aut inimicus eripuit aut pater non reliquit: hocine homini opprobrari, pauperiem, quod nulli ex
animalibus uitio datur, non aquilae, non tauro, non leoni? equus si uirtutibus suis polleat, ut sit aequabilis uector et cursor pernix,
nemo ei penuriam pabuli exprobrat: tu mihi uitio dabis non facti uel dicti alicuius prauitatem, sed quod uiuo gracili lare, quod
paucioris habeo, parcius pasco, leuius uestio, minus obsono? atqui ego contra, quantulacumque tibi haec uidentur, multa etiam
et nimia arbitror et cupio ad pauciora me coercere, tanto beatior futurus quanto collectior. namque animi ita ut corporis sanitas
expedita, imbecillitas laciniosa est, certumque signum est infirmitatis pluribus indigere. prorsus ad uiuendum uelut ad natandum is
melior, qui onere liberior; sunt enim similiter etiam in ista uitae humanae tempestate[s] leuia sustentui, grauia demersui. equidem
didici ea re praecedere maxime deos hominibus, quod nulla re ad usum sui indigeant, igitur ex nobis cui quam minimis opus sit,
eum esse deo similiorem.
 So I welcomed it, when you said --as an insult-- that the pouch and beggar's staff were my usual get-up. I wish I were a
man of such spirit that I needed no other equipment, but wore with dignity the outfit that Crates chose after he cast away his
riches. Believe me, Aemelianus, Crates was a rich and noble man at home among the elite of Thebes, but for the love of the
very habit of dress that you scorn,
he donated his household belongings to the people,
chose solitude far from his many slaves,
spurned his many fruit trees in favor of a single walking stick,
and exchanged the fanciest vacation homes for one small pouch.
After he discovered its usefulness, he even praised it with a song, by adapting some verses which Homer had previously used
to exalt Crete. Let me recite its beginning, so you don't think I made this up for my defense:
Proinde gratum habui, cum ad contumeliam diceretis rem familiarem mihi peram et baculum fuisse. quod utinam tantus animi
forem, ut praeter eam supellectilem nihil quicquam requirerem, sed eundem ornatum digne gestarem, quem [so]Crates ultro
diuitiis abiectis appetiuit. [so]Crates, inquam, si quid credis, Aemiliane, uir domi inter Thebanos proceres diues et nobilis amore
huius habitus, quem mihi obiectas, rem familiarem largam et uberem populo donauit, multis seruis a sese remotis solitatem
delegit, arbores plurimas et frugiferas prae uno baculo spreuit, uillas ornatissimas una perula mutauit, quam postea comperta
utilitate etiam carmine laudauit flexis ad hoc Homericis uersibus, quibus ille Cretam insulam nobilitat. principium dicam, ne me
haec ad defensionem putes confinxisse:
There is a city named 'pouch' in the middle of the wine-dark mist.
[KRH/TH] TIS PO/LIS E)STI\ ME/SW| E)NI\ OI)/NOPI TU/FW| [PO/NTW|],
And then more things follow, so marvelous, that if you had read them, you would envy me more for my pouch than for my
marriage to Pudentilla.
iam cetera tam mirifica, quae si tu legisses, magis mihi peram quam nuptias Pudentillae inuidisses.
Since you rebuke philosophers for their pouch and their beggar's staff, would you also rebuke horsemen for their cavalry
armor, infantry men for their shields, standard bearers for their banners, and even triumphant generals for their white horses and
their toga palmata? These are not, as a matter of fact, things worn among Platonists, but rather the marks of the Cynics. What
is true, however, is that the pouch and the walking stick were to Diogenes and Antisthenes
what the crown is to kings,
the military cloak to generals,
the high cap to priests,
and the staff to the auger.
Diogenes the Cynic, when interrogated by Alexander the Great about the truth regarding his kingdom, praised his walking stick
over and above the scepter. And last but not least, invincible Hercules himself (since you despise these others as if they were
tramps), Hercules, the world traveler, the beast-slayer, the race-conqueror, he, though he was a god, when he was roaming
far-away lands shortly before he was swept into the sky in reward for his many virtues, was wearing no more than a pelt, nor
did he have more than a single beggar's staff.
peram et baculum tu
philosophis, exprobrares igitur et equitibus faleras et peditibus clipeos et signiferis uexilla ac denique triumphantibus quadrigas
albas et togam palmatam? non sunt quidem ista Platonicae sectae gestamina, sed Cynicae familiae insignia. uerum tamen hoc
Diogeni et Antist[h]eni pera et baculum, quod regibus diadema, quod imperatoribus paludamentum, quod pontificibus galerum,
quod lituus auguribus. Diogenes quidem Cynicus cum Alexandro magno de ueritate regni certabundus baculo uice sceptri
gloriabatur. ipse denique Hercules inuictus -- quoniam haec tibi ut quaedam mendicabula [a]nimis sordent -- , ipse inquam
Hercules lustrator orbis, purgator ferarum, gentium domitor, is tamen deus, cum terras peragraret, paulo prius quam in caelum
ob uirtutes as[s]citus est, neque una pelli uestitior fuit neque uno baculo comitatior.
 But if you make nothing of these examples, and you called me here not to argue a case, but for an audit of my finances, I
confess that my father left to me and my brother around 2,000,000 sesterces, just so that you won't be unaware of any of my
business, if you really are unaware. This amount is now slightly less, due to my wide travels and frequent acts of generosity. For
I've helped the great majority of my friends and I showed my gratitude to a great many teachers, and even added to their
daughters' dowries. And I wouldn't have hesitated to pay out my entire patrimony, in order to acquire something greater than a
patrimony, which is a just trifle to me. But you, Aemelianus, and the kind of men as unrefined and coarse as you are, if the truth
be told, you are worth only as much as you own --like a tree that is sterile, unproductive, and bears no fruit, worth only as
much as the value of the wood in its trunk.
Quod si haec exempla nihili putas ac me non ad causam agundam, uerum ad censum dis[s]erundum uocasti, ne quid tu rerum
mearum nescias, si tamen nescis, profiteor mihi ac fratri meo relictum a patre paulo secus, idque a me longa peregrinatione et
diutinis studiis et crebris liberalitatibus modice imminutum. nam et amicorum plerisque opem tuli et magistris plurimis gratiam
retuli, quorundam etiam filias dote auxi; neque enim dubitassem equidem uel uniuersum patrimonium impendere, ut acquirerem
mihi quod maius est contemptu patrimonii. tu uero, Aemiliane, et id genus homines uti tu es inculti et agrestes, tanti re uera estis
quantum habetis, ut arbor infecunda et infelix, quae nullum fructum ex sese gignit, tanti est in pretio, quanti lignum eius in trunco.
So give up your accusations of poverty, Aemelianus! you who recently for three straight days during the rainy season were
plowing your Zarat field (the only one your father left you)--alone with your ox. And it hasn't been long now, since the rapid
succession of deaths among your relations propped you up with undeserved inheritance. It's because of this, not your disgusting
face, that your name is Charon.
at tamen parce postea, Aemiliane, paupertatem cuipiam obiectare, qui nuper usque agellum Zarathensem, quem tibi unicum
pater tuus reliquerat, solus uno asello ad tempestiuum imbrem triduo exarabas. neque enim diu est, cum te crebrae mortes
propinquorum immeritis hereditatibus fulserunt, unde tibi potius quam ob istam teterrimam faciem Charon nomen est.
 About my homeland: it's situated on the border of Numidia and Gaetulia. You proved that on the evidence of my writings,
in which I testified that I would state publicly, in the presence of the honorable Lollianus Avitus, that I am both part Numidian
and part Gaetulian -- I don't see why I should be ashamed of this. For it was no different for Cyrus, a man of mixed blood, part
Mede and part Persian.
De patria mea uero, quod eam sitam Numidiae et Gaetuliae in ipso confinio mei[s] scriptis ostendistis, quibus memet professus
sum, cum Lolliano Auito c. u. praesente publice dissererem, Seminumidam et Semigaetulum, non uideo quid mihi sit in ea re
pudendum, haud minus quam Cyro maiori, quod genere mixto fuit Semimedus ac Semipersa.
After all, it's not a man's origins but his habits that ought to be inspected, not in what region but in what fashion he chooses to
live his life. It's the habit of the vegetable-grower and the inn-keeper to praise vegetables and wine on the basis of the
excellence of their native soil -- hence 'Thasian' wine and the 'Phliasian' vegetables. The flavor of this fruit of the earth is much
improved by the fertility of the region, the rainy sky, the gentle wind, the warm sun and moist soil.
non enim ubi prognatus, sed ut
moratus quisque sit spectandum, nec qua regione, sed qua ratione uitam uiuere inierit, considerandum est. holitori et cauponi
merito est concessum holus et uinum ex nobilitate soli commendare, uinum Thasium, holus Phliasium; quippe illa terrae alumna
multum ad meliorem saporem iuuerit et regio fecunda et caelum pluuium et uentus clemens et sol apricus et solum sucidum.
And yet, since the mind moves into the home of the body from without, how can one of these earthly aspects enhance or
diminish malice or virtue? Don't you find differing dispositions among all peoples, though some may have a reputation for
dullness or cleverness? Wise Anacharsis was born among the idiot Scythians, the shrewd Athenians produced the block-head
Meletides. And I don't say this out of shame for my country. For even though we were once a city belonging to the king
Scyfax, when he was overthrown we were given as a gift of the Roman people to the king Masinissa, and now, with the recent
arrival of resettled veteran soldiers, we have become a magnificent colony. In this colony my father was duumvir, the equivalent
of a princeps, who held every office of honor. Now I uphold his rank in that republic with an honor and a respect, I hope, in no
way inferior, and have done so since I began to take part in public affairs. Why did I offer this information? So that from now
on, Aemelianus, you may be less offended by me, and so that you may extend your good will and forgiveness, if by some
negligence I didn't select your Attic Zarat as my birthplace.
enimuero animo hominis extrinsecus in hospitium corporis immigranti quid ex istis addi uel minui ad uirtutem uel malitiam potest?
quando non in omnibus gentibus uaria ingenia prouenere, quanquam uideantur quaedam stultitia uel sollertia insigniores? apud
socordissimos Scythas Anacharsis sapiens natus est, apud Athenienses catos Meletides fatuus. nec hoc eo dixi, quo me patriae
meae paeniteret, etsi adhuc Syfacis oppidum essemus. quo tamen uicto ad Masinissam regem munere populi R. concessimus ac
deinceps ueteranorum militum nouo conditu[s] splendidissima colonia sumus, in qua colonia patrem habui loco principis
IIuiralem cunctis honoribus perfunctum; cuius ego locum in illa re p., exinde ut participare curiam coepi, nequaquam degener
pari, spero, honore et existimatione tueor. cur ergo illa protuli? ut mihi tu, Aemiliane, minus posthac suscenseas, potiusque ut
ueniam inpertias, si per neglegentiam forte non elegi illud tuum Atticum Zarat, ut in eo nascerer.
 Aren't you ashamed, in the presence of such a man, to plead these charges so vehemently, making frivolous and mutually
contradictory accusations and then prosecuting them both simultaneously? Aren't you making contradictory claims, faulting the
pouch and the beggar's staff for their austerity, but poems and a mirror for their frivolity? One slave as evidence of poverty, but
three as evidence of opulence? and again Greek grandiloquence but barbarian birthplace? Wake up and consider the fact that
you speak before Claudius Maximus, before a stern man occupied with the business of the entire Province.
Nonne uos puditum est haec crimina tali uiro audiente tam adseuerate obiectare, friuola et inter se repugnantia simul promere et
utraque tamen reprehendere? at non contraria accusastis? peram et baculum ob auctoritatem, carmina et speculum ob
hilaritatem, unum seruum ut deparci, tris libertos ut profusi, praeterea eloquentiam Graecam, patriam barbaram? quin igitur
tandem expergiscimini ac uos cogitatis apud Claudium Maximum dicere, apud uirum seuerum et totius prouinciae negotiis
Why don't you withdraw these empty abuses?
Why don't you prove your charge, the extreme crimes and forbidden evils and unspeakable arts?
(Why does your oration fail in substance while it thrives on racket?)
quin, inquam, uana haec conuicia aufertis? quin ostenditis quod insimulauistis, scelera immania et inconcessa
maleficia et artis nefandas? cur uestra oratio rebus flaccet, strepitu uiget?
I proceed, then, to the actual charge of magic, which blazed forth with a great uproar of hatred against me, only to peter out, to
the disappointment of all, ending up as just a bunch of old-wives' tales. Maximus, have you ever seen a flame rise in a sharp
crackle, in a tall blaze, spreading swiftly but with no real fuel, the fire from straw that burns itself out, leaving nothing behind?
There's your accusation, risen out of quarrels and increased with words but devoid of reasoned argument, an accusation whose
slander won't outlive your verdict.
Aggredior enim iam ad ipsum crimen magiae, quod ingenti tumultu ad inuidiam mei accensum frustrata expectatione omnium per
nescio quas anilis fabulas defraglauit. ecquandone uidisti, Maxime, flammam stipula exortam claro crepitu, largo fulgore, cito
incremento, sed enim materia leui, caduco incendio, nullis reliquiis? em tibi illa accusatio iurgiis inita, uerbis aucta, argumentis
defecta, nullis post sententiam tuam reliquiis calumniae permansura.