Old Dudes, Keep on Bragging!

Cicero, de Senectute X:

Do you see how in Homer, Nestor talks about his own virtues all the time? He was looking upon his third generation of people, and he did not need to fear, in speaking the truth about himself, that he would seem either insolent or garrulous. Indeed, as Homer says, from his lips the speech flowed sweeter than honey, for which sweetness he was in need of no bodily strength. That famous king of Greece at no point wished to have ten men similar to Ajax, but he did wish for ten like Nestor; and he did not doubt that if he got them, Troy would fall to ruin in a brief space.


Videtisne, ut apud Homerum saepissime Nestor de virtutibus suis praedicet? Tertiam iam enim aetatem hominum videbat, nec erat ei verendum ne vera praedicans de se nimis videretur aut insolens aut loquax. Etenim, ut ait Homerus, ‘ex eius lingua melle dulcior fluebat oratio,’ quam ad suavitatem nullis egebat corporis viribus. Et tamen dux ille Graeciae nusquam optat, ut Aiacis similes habeat decem, sed ut Nestoris; quod si sibi acciderit, non dubitat, quin brevi sit Troia peritura.

2 thoughts on “Old Dudes, Keep on Bragging!

    1. It’s a quote from Cicero De Senectute, which is as Roman as it gets. Homer was widely used as an example, because any educated Roman would have been familiar with it. Cicero also references Solon in the same essay, as I recall.

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