Wealth does not buy happiness

Odi profanum volgus et arceo, omne capax movet urna nomen, post equitem sedet atra cura – “I despise the profane crowd, I banish them”; “(Destiny’s) capacious urn shakes every name together”; “behind the rider sits black Care”. These, among Horace’s most famous phrases, all occur in the first poem in his third book of Odes. It is “carpe diem” with a difference: the more you have, the more there is for you to worry about, and the answer is to be content with modest comforts and avoid the temptations of greed and excess. It is no coincidence that, at the time, the Emperor Augustus was championing a return to simpler, ancestral, Roman values. Hear Horace’s Latin and follow in English here.