Dictes Omer

Transcription by: Geoffrey Edgson & Alyssa Fisher

Unfortunately images of these texts cannot be reproduced.  Please find the original copies of the four versions of the text by following these links: 1477, 1480, 1489, 1528.


Omer’s section from Dictes and Sayeings of the Philosophres.  Collated version tracking the differences between the four editions of this text (1477, 1480, 1489, 1528).


oMer was an anucient vercifier(1)    poet in Grece and of the gretest astate there + he was after moyses / v + c lv(2)    1528: x + yere he made many goode thingis + and alle the vercifiers of grece folowed his discipline + The whiche omer by fortune was taken and emprisoned + and put to be solde as a prysonner or a bondeman(3)    slave + And than one axed hym + whens he was + He sayd of his fadre and of his modre + will thou that I shall beye the And be(4)    1528: he ansuerd why axest thou me counseyle what(5)    1528: whan thou wolt do with thy siluer And they axed him + Wherto he was good He sayd + To be deliuered + And so abode long in pryson And at the last they lete him go + He was A man fayre formed + and of large stature + and lyued + Cviij + yere And here after folowe his seyinges + he is discrete that can refrayne his tonge And said + he that werkith by conseyl yeueth him self rest and labour to other And sayde it is a frendely lyuing to dele withoute fraude and barat(6)    conflict And saide acompanye the with good people + and thou shalt be on of hem + acompany the with badde / and thou shalt be on of thoos And saide he is good and liberal that applieth him to good werkis(7)    1489: werke and clene + and that putteth them in execucion or euer ther come eny occasion of empeschement(8)    hinders, impeded.  Buehler 1941, p. 388. And said the hert shyneth in vertue and is sure whan it is set in sapience And fraude and barat is in(9)    1489, 1528 om. the fruit of euill though tis And said the mouth sheweth ofte / what the hert thinketh And said the looke sheweth somtyme the dis posicion of the hert afore the wordes been spoken And saide it is agrete surete for aman to purueye by tyme in his causis And saide it is(10)       1528: is a merueile of aman / that may be in resemblaunce to god + and enforceth him self to be like to the(11)       1480 om. beestys And said beware thou do ne take no thing that thou ferest to be(12)       1528: be to accused of + for if thou do thou shalt be the accuser of thy selfe And saide payne thy self to winne good condicious(13)       1480, 1528: condicions and vertues + for therby vices and harmes shalle(14)       1528: shall be eschewed(15)       deliberately avoid using, abstain And saide ther was somtyme a wise man skaped out of a broken and lost ship in to an Isle of the see + and so beyng ther alone drewe a figure of geometrie(16)       Written in lower right margin. Sutton 2006. / vpon the sandis + where with he was fonde by certaine shipmen + that brought hym to the kyng of that grounde tellyng hym that cas and auenture + And therfore the kyng sent through alle hys prouynces + and charged them they(17)       1480: thy shulde enforce them self to lerne and haue suche connyngis(18)       knowledge. Buehler 1941, p. 384. as shulde byde with them after theyr ship were lost + that is to sey + science and goode werkys And(19)       1489: and sayde Aman berith with hym + ij(20)       1528: two + vesseles the on be fore and the other be hynde + In that byfore be the errours and vices of other folkis / In(21)       1528: and in that behynde be his owne(22)       1528: owne vyces And said to his sone + Beware that thou be not couetous / for if thou be couetous / thou shalt be poure And sayde If thou be pa cient thou shalt be preysed(23)       1528: preysed aud / If thou be prowde / thou shalt be blamed And sayde / Aman is better than all other bestes of the erthe And sayde / Sapience is as(24)       1480 om. to werke by science And sayde knowlege is better than ignoraunce And sayde this worlde is an(25)       1528: one house of marchanndyse(26)       commerce som wynne therin by theire goode dedis / and somme liese by thai re euyl gonuernaunce And sayde by grete diligence som men atteyne to therr purpose And sayde / he that hath grete myght and gouernaunce in this worlde / ought to ha ue no grete(27)       1528: gretere reioyssyng / and he that hath noon / is dispreised And sayde ther is no wikkedder thing than lyeng / and ther is no goodenesse in alyer

Annotations   [ + ]

1.    poet
2.    1528: x
3.    slave
4.    1528: he
5.    1528: whan
6.    conflict
7.    1489: werke
8.    hinders, impeded.  Buehler 1941, p. 388.
9.    1489, 1528 om.
10.       1528: is a
11.       1480 om.
12.       1528: be to
13.       1480, 1528: condicions
14.       1528: shall be
15.       deliberately avoid using, abstain
16.       Written in lower right margin. Sutton 2006.
17.       1480: thy
18.       knowledge. Buehler 1941, p. 384.
19.       1489: and sayde
20.       1528: two
21.       1528: and in
22.       1528: owne vyces
23.       1528: preysed aud
24.       1480 om.
25.       1528: one
26.       commerce
27.       1528: gretere