Pilfered Poetry

Jean Dorat, Poematia:

Orpheus, Musaeus, and even Homer were all thieves; Hesiod was a thief for thieving the shield of Achilles. What is the shield of Hercules was once the shield of Achilles. Both Hesiod and Homer steal from the Sibyls, and each one decks himself out with the Sibylline verses. But don’t think, just because Greece is always deceuitful, that the Greeks are greater thieves than the Latin poets. Father Ennius himself pilfers from Homer, and for that reason he seemed to himself to be a second Homer.

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Orphaeus, Musaeus, fur et Homerus erant:

Fur erat Hesiodus, clypeum furatus Achillis:

Herculis est, olim tegmen Achillis erat.

Ipsas quinetiam furatur uterque Sibyllas,

Seque Sibyllinis ornat uterque modis,

Neve putes, mendax quia semper Graecia, Graecos

Furaces Latiis vatibus esse magis.

Ennius ipse pater magnum furatur Homerum,

Maeonides alter visus et inde sibi est.

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