Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ad Zoilum

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 2.104. The title of the poem is ironic: Zoilus was an ill-tempered ancient Greek grammarian, a Cynic philosopher notorious for his harsh criticism. He became known as the "Homeromastix," "The Scourge of Homer," because of his stinging criticisms of Homer's poetry. By addressing his poem to a "Zoilus," Owen is addressing someone who praises no one, and therefore is praised by no one, and who loves no one, and therefore is loved by no one - that "Zoilus" needs to take the lessons of the epigram to heart!

Ad Zoilum
Laudatur merito laudator, amatur amator.
Ergo ut lauderis lauda, ut ameris ama.

The Praiser Praise, the Lover Love doth merit:
Praise then if Praise; Love, if thou’t Love inherit.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are three words which are not on the DCC list:

laudātor, laudatōris, m. - praiser, eulogizer
amātor, amātōris m. - lover, friend
Zoilus - Zoilus, proverbial for envy and criticism
ad: to, up to, towards (+acc.)
amo -āre: to love
ergo: therefore
laudo -āre: praise
mereo -ēre meruī meritum: deserve, merit; serve as a soldier