Tua res agitur paries cum proximus ardet, Epistulae 1.18.84 It's your business when a neighbor's (lit., the nearest) wall is on fire.
Most people in Rome and other Italian cities lived in adjoining buildings with a common wall (see Ovid Metamorphoses 4.57, page 146, and 4.66, page 147). Consequently, when a neighbors house caught on fire, as frequently happened, it was a matter for serious concern. (See also Publilius Syrus Sententiae 670, page 50.)
For more Horatiana, see pages 28, 86, 89, 97, and 100.
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