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Hendrik Laurensz Spiegel – An Epigram About ‘Plato’s Cave’

Engraving of ‘Plato’s Cave’ by Hendrik Laurensz Spiegel himself in 1604.


Another sharing for the day from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, ‘An Epigram About Plato’s Cave’, from the collected works of Hendrik Laurensz, published by Hendrik Wetstein in Amsterdam in 1694. More to come soon 🙂


English translation by Via-HYGEIA

Most men are dwelling in blind darkness, without cease only care and rejoice about vain studies. Look how their eyes are drawn to the shadows appearing in front of them! Look how all observe and like these shams of Truth! Look how they foolishly entertain themselves with the vain illusion of reality! Fewer are those who, standing in a much purer light above the pit and separated from the stupid crowd, discriminate these illusions, shadows of things, and weight all in the just balance! For having cast away the cloud of error, they are able to distinguish the real goods. They are eager to pull up towards the light the others from the blind night that hides them. Alas! Those do not feel any love for the light: So great is their lack of reason!


French translation from the original Latin by Athanaze Lynxe.

La plupart des hommes, plongés dans d’aveugles ténèbres, s’occupent et se réjouissent sans cesse de vaines études. Vois comme leurs yeux s’attachent aux ombres qui leur sont opposées ! Comme tous observent et aiment les simulacres de la Vérité ! Comme ils s’amusent sottement avec l’image vaine de la réalité ! Bien peu nombreux sont ceux qui, situés dans une lumière pure, supérieure au bourbier, et séparés de la foule stupide, discernent ces illusions, ombres des choses, et pèsent tout dans la juste balance ! Pour s’être débarrassés du nuage de l’erreur, ces derniers sont capables de distinguer les biens véritables. Ils s’efforcent de tirer les autres de la nuit aveugle qui les cache, vers la clarté de la lumière. Hélas ! ceux-là n’éprouvent aucun amour pour la lumière : si grand est leur manque de raison !


Original Latin


More about Hendrik Laurensz Spiegel:
Hendrik Laurensz Spiegel – An Epigram About ‘Plato’s Cave’

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