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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:
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
No Comment — March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm
On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers
Rolls of toilet paper Chicago’s city government has produced this year from recycled City Hall wastepaper:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
Russia lost, then regained, contact with a satellite carrying five geckos sent to copulate in zero gravity.
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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.”