Satire and Vice’s Eternal Wage

Sidonius, Letters 5.8 .3

“Still, do not tarry at cultivating your work in the vivid wit of satire with courage. For your writing will flourish thanks to the ample vices of our tyrant-ruled citizens. For the people who our esteem ranks as blessed thanks to our twisted times do not swell up so moderately that generations to come will have any difficulty in remembering their names. The crimes of the wicked persist as eternally as the songs of the good. Goodbye.”

tu tamen nihilo segnius operam saltim facetis satirarum coloribus intrepidus impende. nam tua scripta nostrorum vitiis proficientibus tyrannopolitarum locupletabuntur. non enim tam mediocriter intumescunt quos nostra iudicia saeculi culpa fortunatos putant, ut de nominibus ipsorum quandoque reminiscendis sit posteritas laboratura: namque improborum probra aeque ut praeconia bonorum inmortalia manent. vale.

Ordeal of boiling water from a Sachsenspiegel manuscript (1350 – 1375). 

Leave a Reply