Homunculi quanti sunt

I was asked about the motto "Homunculi quanti sunt ! (Le Président de Brosses)", on the front page of the book "Bébé, le Nain du Roi Stanislas", taken from the Bulletin de la Société philomatique des Vosges of 1883-1884.

I think it litterally means : "there are so many small men". It is a line from a play of the Roman author Plautus : Captivi.

It was later reused as a motto by the French writer and historian Charles de Brosses.

A French translation of the sentence in the play reads : "humanité chétive".

I think the author meant : "pauvre humanité", as a kind of complaint. But in the book about Bébé, it is used litterally and with humour : there are many "small" men, and Bébé is one in particular.

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