The Ten Books on Architecture, 6.0.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 6.0.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 6.0.3 ›››

Gwilt translation

2inasmuch as those things are the real supports of life which the chances of fortune, the changes of public affairs, and the devastation of war, cannot injure. Thus, also, Theophrastus, following up the sentiment that the learned ought to be more honoured than the rich, says, “that the learned man is the only person who is not a stranger in foreign countries, nor friendless when he has lost his relations; but that in every state he is a citizen, and that he can look upon a change of fortune without fear. But he who thinks himself secured by the aid of wealth, and not of learning, treads on slippery ground, and leads an unstable and insecure life.”

Morgan translation

2These are indeed the true supports of life, and neither Fortune’s adverse gale, nor political revolution, nor ravages of war can do them any harm. Developing the same idea, Theophrastus, urging men to acquire learning rather than to put their trust in money, states the case thus: “The man of learning is the only person in the world who is neither a stranger when in a foreign land, nor friendless when he has lost his intimates and relatives; on the contrary, he is a citizen of every country, and can fearlessly look down upon the troublesome accidents of fortune. But he who thinks himself entrenched in defences not of learning but of luck, moves in slippery paths, struggling through life unsteadily and insecurely.”