Nam pauperes habent mores corvinos

Found in Iris Origo’s Tribune of Rome: A Biography of Cola di Rienzo (pg 59-60) but lifted From Ch 10 of Ludovico Antonio Muratorio’s Historiae Romanae Fragmenta.  I don’t back the sentiment but it felt apt when both my and the opposing metro trains were held today for ten minutes as a single officer wrangled down eight or so teenagers for assault and robbery – most of whom had stamped through my car a moment before discussing the crime and their chances of being caught (plus the knives they were all carrying).  But then it is an insult to crows to call them corvine.

So wretched and insatiable were the poor that when the Queen of Hungary … came on a pilgrimage to Rome, her generosity was soon exhausted.  The first man to beg of her … persuaded her to supply the funds required for rebuilding the Milvian bridge.  But, as soon as this became known, “so great was the importunity of the beggars that they turned the Queen out, and she was obliged to leave.  For the poor,” adds the chronicler sententiously, “have the mannners of crows.”

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