Fell lust of gold! abhorred, accurst!
What will not men to slake such thirst?

[Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
Auri sacra fames?]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 3, l. 56ff (3.56-57) [Aeneas] (29-19 BC) [tr. Conington (1866)]

Regarding the murder of Polydorus. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

O sacred hunger of pernicious gold!
What bands of faith can impious lucre hold?
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Cursed thirst of gold, to what dost thou not drive the hearts of men?
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Cursèd thirst for gold,
What crimes dost thou not prompt in mortal breasts!
[tr. Cranch (1872), ll. 70-71]

Accursed thirst for gold! what dost thou not compel mortals to do?
[Source (1882)]

O accursed hunger of gold, to what dost thou not compel human hearts!
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

O thou gold-hunger cursed, and whither driv'st thou not
The hearts of men?
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Curst greed of gold, what crimes thy tyrant power attest!
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 8, l. 72]

O, whither at thy will,
curst greed of gold, may mortal hearts be driven?
[tr. Williams (1910)]

To what crime do you not drive the hearts of men, O accursed hunger for gold?
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

There is nothing
To which men are not driven by that hunger.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

What lengths is the heart of man driven to
By this cursed craving for gold!
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

To what, accursed lust for gold, do you
not drive the hearts of men?
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), ll. 73-74]

To what extremes
Will you not drive the hearts of men, accurst
Hunger for gold!
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), ll. 79-81]

Greed for gold is a curse. There is nothing to which it does not drive the minds of men.
[tr. West (1990)]

To what extremes won't you compel our hearts,
you accursed lust for gold?
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Unholy lust for gold! Is there nothing men won't do for you?
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

Added on 5-May-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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