Different Strokes for Different etc. etc.

Giovanni Boccaccio, Genealogia Deorum Gentilium 1.3:

“Just as all people do not have the same appearance, so too are their judgments dissimilar. Achilles preferred war to peace, Aegisthus preferred idleness to war, and Plato pursued philosophy while neglecting everything else; Phidias sculpted statues with his chisel, and Apelles painted pictures with his brush. So, let me make no mention of other pursuits, a poet is delighted to veil the truth with fabrications. Macrobius, writing in his Dream of Scipio, seems to demonstrate the reason for the delight of the poetic art when he says,

I have already spoken about the other gods and about the spirit. Poets turn themselves to the fabulous not in vain and not so that they might offer delight, but because they know that an open exposition of everything everywhere is opposed to nature, which withdraws understanding of itself away from the vulgar senses of humans with a varied covering; so too she wished that her secrets should be handled by the knowledgeable through fables. Thus are the very mysteries of the fables are hidden away as in mines, but the nature of such things does not simply reveal herself naked to people who have attained even to this level; she reserves herself for the highest scholars who work with wisdom as a guide, who are conscious of the real secrets; everyone else must simply be content with less.

Thus writes Macrobius. Though much more could easily be said on the topic, it seems to me that this is a sufficient response.”

Image result for giovanni boccaccio

uti non equa facies omnibus, sic nec animorum iudicia. Achilles arma preposuit ocio, Egisthus desidiam armis, Plato phylosophiam omissis ceteris secutus est, statuas celte sculpere Phydias, Apelles pinnaculo ymagines pingere. Sic ut reliqua hominum studia sinam, poeta delectatus est tegere fabulis veritatem, cuius delectionis Macrobius super Somnio Scipionis scribens satis apte causam videtur ostendere dum dicit: De diis autem dixi ceteris, et de anima non frustra se, nec ut oblectent ad fabulosa convertunt, sed quia sciunt inimicam esse nature apertam undique expositionem sui, que sicut vulgaribus hominum sensibus intellectum sui vario rerum tegmine operimento subtraxit, ita a prudentibus arcana sua voluit per fabulosa tractari. Sic ipsa misteria fabularum cuniculis operiuntur, ne vel hoc adeptis nudam rerum talium natura se prebeat, sed summatibus tantum viris sapientia interprete, veri archani consciis contenti sunt reliqui. Hec Macrobius, quibus etsi multo plura dici possent, satis responsum arbitror exquirentibus.

2 responses

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: