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Saturnalia

Macrobii Ambrosii Theodosii Viri Clarissimi et Illvstris

Conviviorvm Primi Diei Satvrnaliorvm1

1. Multas variasque res in hac vita nobis, Eustathi fili, natura conciliavit; sed nulla nos magis quam eorum qui e nobis essent procreati caritate devinxit eamque nostram in his educandis atque erudiendis curam esse voluit, ut parentes neque—si id quod cuperent ex sententia cederet—tantum ulla alia ex re voluptatis neque—si contra eveniret—tantum maeroris capere possint.

2. hinc est quod mihi quoque institutione tua nihil antiquius aestimatur, ad cuius perfectionem compendia longis anfractibus anteponenda ducens moraeque omnis impatiens non opperior ut per haec sola promoveas quibus ediscendis naviter ipse invigilas, sed ago ut ego quoque tibi legerim, et quicquid mihi—vel te iam in lucem edito vel antequam nascereris—in diversis seu Graecae seu Romanae linguae voluminibus elaboratum est, id totum sit tibi scientiae supellex et quasi de quodam

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Preface

The Right Honorable And Illustrious Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius

The Festivities of The First Day of The Saturnalia

1. Nature has formed many different attachments for us in this life, Eustathius my child, but she has forged no bond of affection stronger than the one that binds us to our offspring: so intent has she wished us to be on their upbringing and instruction that parents can neither find a greater source of pleasure, if all goes according to plan, nor experience greater grief, should things turn out otherwise.

2. For this reason I judge nothing dearer than your education,1 and in making it complete I prefer shortcuts to long roundabouts: being impatient of delay, I am not waiting for you to make progress only in the subjects you are learning through your own wakeful efforts, but I have made a point of reading on your behalf, so that all that I have toiled through—in various books of Greek or Latin, both before and since you were born—might be available to you as a

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.macrobius-saturnalia.2011