Latin reading: Cicero on Friendship
October 24, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Latin text and translation–mostly because I have not been keeping up with my Latin. Now that things have settled down for me, I am beginning to review through some grammars and read a little every day, in order to brush up. Ultimately, however, my inspiration for this post comes from my friend Jacob, who often provides Latin texts on his blog, and who, through regular practice, has become very proficient with Latin.
In this text, which comes from Cicero’s De Amicitia, the value of friendship is praised above money:
Pauci viri veros amicos habent, et pauci sunt digni. Amicitia vera est praeclara, et omnia preclara sunt rara. Multi viri stulti de pecunia semper cogitant, pauci de amicis; sed errant: possumus valere sine multa pecunia, sed sine amicitia non valemus et vita est nihil.
Few men have true friends, and few are worthy of it. True friendship is a remarkable thing, and anything remarkable is always rare. Many ignorant men are always thinking about money; few about friendships. They are mistaken. We are able to get by quite nicely without money, but without friendship we do poorly and life is nothing.