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Quæ quoniam rerum naturam sola gubernas
Nec sine te quicquam dias in luminis oras
Exoritur neque fit lætum neque amabile quicquam,
Te sociam studeo scribendis versibus esse
Quos ego de rerum natura pangere conor
Memmiadæ nostro, quem tu, dea, tempore in omni
Omnibus ornatum voluisti excellere rebus.
Quo magis æternum da dictis, diva, leporem.
Effice ut interea fera moenera militiai
Per maria ac terras omnis sopita quiescent.
Since you alone rule over the nature of things, since without you nothing emerges into the immense radiance of the world, indeed nothing joyous nor beautiful is born, I honor you in crafting these verses, in which I hope to demonstrate the great design, for my good Memmius, whom you, goddess, have enabled to all times to excel, and have endowed with gifts. Goddess, I beseech you to grant my words an ever-lasting appeal. Moreover, let this come to pass: on all the seas and lands of our earth, may the savage works of war be stilled, and let there be peace.
–Titus Lucretius Caro, De rerum natura, invoc, lib i, 21-30 in the Loeb Library ed. of the works of Lucretius, p. 4 (ca. 50 BCE)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”