Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marcus Tullius Cicero on Gardens

Since mom threw a quote from Cicero in that last newsletter and I just happen to be a Latin teacher, allow me to expound.

Here's what Cicero said (Letters to Friends, Book 9 Letter 4): "si hortum in bibliotheca habes, deerit nihil.”

While often loosely translated into English as "If you have a garden and library, you have everything you need", what that quote really says is, "If you have a garden IN your library, nothing will fail".

I will be the first to admit that I haven't the foggiest notion what Tully (as he was known among friends) was talking about. A cursory google search provided a reliable source who thinks Cicero is referring to an ornamental garden, such as the ones philosophers sat in and discussed age old questions about chickens and eggs and what-not, and probably not a vegetable garden, which wouldn't be in any ordinary sort of library.

Comment away if you have any thoughts.

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