Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 1.1 
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INCIPIT AUREA GEMMA

HERE BEGINS THE AUREA GEMMA
[1.1] Gloria, que ex preclare gestis rebus nascitur, animos hominum ad virtutis gymnasium exhortatur. Ipsa enim virtus in se marcesceret, si nullam sui memoriam posteris relinqueret. Letatur quippe mens a natura instituta multis prodesse multorumque gratiam inire. Beautudo est summorum virorum vestigia factis vel dictis imitari. Ea est enim virtutis efficatia, ut suis sequacibus eternam pariat memoriam.1 Rerum siquidem expectabilium virtus iureobtinet principatum. Tantum autem quemque eniti decet, ne inter infimos collocetur. Unum super omnia censeo expetendum, scilicet honestatem, quam summum bonum assero. Summis enim viris idem placuit, qui honestum rebus omnibus anteponunt.2 Nos itaque rei quam maxime utilis compensiosum aggrediamur tractatum.3 INCIPIT AUREA GEMMA om. B        loria B (rubricator om. litteram magnam G)        gimnasium B        mens] bene add. B       inire] Eos autem qui nil dicunt vel faciunt memorabile fama obscurat ne emineant add. B        iure] persone B scilicet honestatem tr. B post assero        enim] autem B        quam] que B        maxime] est add. B        compendiosum B

1cf. Sallust Bellum Catalinae 1.1-4.5, 8.2-5; Bellum Iugurthinum 1.1-4.9. On memory, see also below: Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 1.6, 2.3, 42, 2.5, 2.10, 2.312, 2.413,2.42, 2.45, 3a.132,3a.33, 3a.35, 3a.49.
2Section I of the Aurea Gemma <Gallica> continues to accent glory, see below 1.3,95,23,582,65,70,77 and also 2.5; the verb 'to glory': 3a.422. For fama, see below 2.42, 3a.52. For some classical parallels, cf. Cicero Tusc. 1.2.4: Honos alit artes omnesque incenduntur ad studia gloria, iacentque ea semper, quae apud quosque inprobantur; 45.109: ... gloria...virtutem tamquam umbra sequitur.; Seneca, Ep. 79.13: Gloria umbra virtutis est, etiam invitam comitabitur. Glory is one of only two words (among 109) treated twice in the <Definitiones dictionum ad ethicam pertinentium> found on Admont, Stiftsbibliothek cod. 759, fols. 184v-187r.
3For the self-designation 'treatise', see also below, Aurea Gemma <Gallica> 1.52, 1.782.

[1.1] Glory, which is born from noble deeds, exhorts the minds of men to the exercise of virtue. Virtue would inwardly wither away if it should leave no memorial of itself to posterity. Indeed the mind established by nature rejoices to be useful to many and to obtain the favor of many. It is a blessing to imitate by deeds or words the traces of the greatest men. For there is this efficacy of virtue, that it prepares an eternal memorial1 for its followers. Virtue rightfully obtains the preeminence of excellent things. For it only befits each to ascend, lest he be placed among the lowly. I consider one thing should be sought above all others, namely honor, which I assert to be the highest good. For it pleases great men, who put honor before all other matters.2 And so we undertake a compendious treatise3 on a subject of the greatest possible utility.

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© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998
Scrineum© Università di Pavia 1999