Go Sniff Your Own Farts!

Erasmus, Adagia 3.4.2:

Everyone enjoys the smell of their own farts.’ Suus cuique crepitus bene olet

Ἕχαστος αὑτοῦ τὸ βδέμα μήλου γλύκιον ἡγεἶται ‘Each person thinks that the smell of his own fart is sweeter than honey,’ This is to say: there is no one who doesn’t consider his own faults to be something more like virtues. Aristotle, in the ninth book of his Nichomachean Ethics, writes, ‘In many cases, those who have a thing and those who simply wish to have a thing do not value it equally. One’s own possessions, and those which he gives to others, appear to be far more valuable.’ This passage corresponds well to the famous proverb, ‘One’s own thing is beautiful to him,’ but that page has escaped my hands. I actually suspect that Apostolius drew this proverb about farting from the shit you hear among the common crowd, because I have never met anyone who enjoyed the smell of his own farts. Yet, it is true that people tend to feel more violently repulsed by someone else’s shit and farts than by the smell of their own.”

Image result for medieval manuscript fart

Suus cuique crepitus bene olet

Ἕχαστος αὑτοῦ τὸ βδέμα μήλου γλύκιον ἡγεἶται, id est Unusquisque suum ipsius crepitum malo suaviorem existimat. Hoc est: Nemo est, cui sua mala non videantur vel optima. Aristoteles Moralium Nicomachiorum nono: Σὰ πολλὰ γὰρ οὐ τὸ ἴσον τιμῶσιν οἱ ἔχοντες καὶ οἱ βουλόμενοι λαβεἶν. Σὰ γὰρ οἰκεἶα καὶ ἃ διδόασιν ἑκάστοις φαίνεται πολλοῦ ἄξια, id est Pleraque enim non eodem pretio aestimantur ab his qui habent et ab his qui cupiunt accipere. Nam sua cuique et quae dat videntur esse multi pretii. Hic locus magis congruebat proverbio Suum cuique pulchrum, sed ea pagina jam exierat manus meas. Proverbium de crepitu suspicor ab Apostolio e vulgi fece haustum ; nondum enim quemquam reperi, cui suus crepitus bene oleret. Illud verum est homines vehementius abhorrere ab alienis excrementis et crepitu quam a suis.

2 responses

    • Yeah, I don’t know how Medieval scribes were able to so perfectly anticipate my needs in this post, but it all came together nicely!

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