De Sapientia Veterum ~ The Wisdom of the Ancients

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

The above title connotes a work written in 1609 by Sir Francis Bacon of Verulam, Lord Chancellor (1561-1626).  He was the editor and reviser of the Authorized King James Version of The Bible, a founding-member of The Rosicrucians, as well as the alleged True Author of the complete texts of William Shakespeare.  All of his writings are in the public domain.


I’ve decided to reuse this title for My blog collection of favorite thoughts and essays from Philosophers whom I read often and who I think needs be shared on a consistent basis.  This first installment is a selection from the aforementioned, De Sapientia Veterum of 1609 by Francis Bacon.  All words with an asterisk indicate there being a modern definition, and/or synonym to that word below the essay.


Essay IX. The Sister of The Giants, or Fame

The poets tell us that the Giants* being brought forth by Earth*, made war upon Jupiter* and the gods*, and were routed and vanquished with thunderbolts, whereupon Earth, in rage at the wrath of the gods, to revenge her sons, brought forth Fame*, younger sister of the giants (ref. Homer’s The Iliad).

The meaning of the fable appears to be this: by Earth is meant, the nature of the common people, always swelling with malice towards their rulers*, and hatching revolutions.  This upon occasion given brings forth rebels and seditious persons, who with wicked audacity endeavor the overthrow of princes*.  And when these are suppressed, the same nature of the common people, still leaning to the worse party and impatient of tranquility, gives birth to rumors and malignant whispers, and querulous fames, and defamatory libels, and the like, tending to bring envy upon the authorities of the land: so that seditious fames differ from acts of rebellion, not in race and parentage, but only in sex; seditions being feminine, rebellions masculine.


Giants: titans; lower gods; microcosms.  

Earth: the common people; vulgar, frm. Latin, vulgaris – ‘belonging to the multitude’; w/o high knowledge or advanced learning; status quo; low; ill-bred; belonging to the ordinary class; constituting the ordinary people in a society; inelegant; unrefined; uncultured; the Bible is a.k.a The Vulgate.

Jupiter: Zeus; Macrocosm; The Universe; Highest God; supreme intellect; the greatest personality within a specific environment.      

gods: see def. of rulers.

Fame: rumor; gossip; truthless talk; feeble speaking; fickleness; lies; popularity; celebrityism.

rulers: psychological, energetic, and intellectual superiors; governors of state and nation; the rich & wealthy; a legal or interpersonal judge; astrology: the planet primarily associated with any sign of the zodiac.

princes: see def. of rulers.


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