Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fama, Error

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 4.243. Here Owen plays with the famous words of Vergil about Fama: Extemplo Libyae magnas it Fama per urbes, / Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius ullum: / mobilitate viget virisque adquirit eundo, / parva metu primo, mox sese attollit in auras / ingrediturque solo et caput inter nubila condit. Owen, however, has introduced a new metaphor: a snowball that gets bigger and bigger as it rolls.

Fama, Error
Rumor rumores, errores partuit error,
Ut nivis exiguus crescit eundo globus.

Rumours and Errors further going, grow
Greater and greater like a Ball of Snow.


fama - report, rumor
error - wandering, mistake, error
rumor - rumor
parturio - give birth to, give rise to
ut - as, like
nix - snow
exiguus - meager, slight
cresco - grow
eo - go
globus - ball