Saturday 30 September 2023

The Library

Ista beata tibi sola est quae ducitur aetas;
   Cum tot docta vides ora vetusta loqui.

Such a blessed library is your life's sole devotion,
here you see so many wise and ancient faces speaking.

Benedetto Giovio (1471-1545), Disticha, ad Franciscum Iulium Calvum (Basel: apud Io. Frobenium, 1518), p. 50. Benedetto was the brother of the more famous historian and biographer Paolo Giovio. This poem is from a collection  of distichs which was printed along with Ludovico Pittorio's Sacra et satyrica epigrammata. My translation.

'ducitur aetas', cf. 'cui florida ducitur aetas, / Tu quoque pone animos vere monente graves'. Desiderius Erasmus, Poems, trans. by Clarence H. Miller, ed. by Harry Vredeveld, 2 vols (Toronto; London: University of Toronto Press, 1993), I, p. 270 [Poem 106.103-104].   

Félix Vallotton, The Library
Félix Vallotton  (1865–1925), The Library (Musée départemental Maurice Denis "The Priory", Wikicommons)