(Horace Epistulae 1.16.40-41
Who is the good man? He is the one who takes care with the advice of
the senate, who serves the law and justice.
pron = weer BOH-noos ehst kwis? kwee kohn-SOOL-tah PAH-troom kwee
LAY-gays yoo-RAH-kweh SEHR-waht.
Comment: Horace defines a good man by describing one who does his job
well according to the traditions and expectations of his society. He,
in this case, is an attorney who pays attention to the leaders of his
land, who does his work according to the law and on behalf of justice
(as the society defines it), and he is a man who has all of his bases
covered. He takes on no trivial suits. He has guarantors and
witnesses to back up his cases.
Two generations ago, we would have called him "Perry Mason" or the like.
And this is one way of defining the good human being: the one who
meets social expectations. This is a definition of goodness from the
Given current events in our own society, we might want to also inquire
about the interior of a person. Does it match the exterior? Is there
It is easy to get caught in jumping through the hoops to meet external
approval without paying attention to the interior of one's life. But
if our attention begins with the inner life, the exterior
tends to follow suit. Often enough, society won't understand, but
this kind of person will be at peace.
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive