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Friday, March 23, 2018

Turin-Paris: Social mobility

Miseria e nobiltà (1954)

G. B. Marino clarifies some basic terms belonging to the concept of aristocracy. The numbers in red have been added to stress the logical progression. No. 2, "dignity," renders the Italian word decoro, from Latin decorum. Immediately afterward, "dignity" translates its direct equivalent, dignità.

Dicerie sacre, III. Il cielo, 41
To be born in a great family is (1) luck, to preserve the degree of one's nobility with honor is (2) dignity, but to add something of one's own virtues to one's family's dignity is (3) incomparable glory. In fact, as much as an unworthy, depraved progeny contradicts the praises of its ancestors, so does a worthy, decent one excellently confirm what is told of them. It is better to become illustrious from a despised family than to become despisable from an illustrious ancestry. . . .