Behold, a clunky as heck translation of the third book of his work. In which he ramps up to explaining all the reasons why there is no immortal soul, and thus there's no reason to be afraid of death.

(1) O you who was first able to lift up the so clear light from such great shadows, displaying the favorable things of life, I follow you, O glory of the Greek people, and now I place my foot in the fixed prints of your imprints, not desiring certainty so much as for the sake of love because I wish to imitate you; (6) for what swallow contends with a swan, or what young goats with trembling limbs could [run] in a similar race as a horse of strong power?

(9) You are father, inventor of things, you give the fatherly precepts to us freely, and from your charts, glorious [one], as bees sample everything in flower-bearing thickets, we graze in the same way on all the golden words, golden, always the most worthy perpetual life.

(14) For as soon as your reason began to shout out the nature of things, arising from a divine mind, [rational] souls scattered terrors, the walls of the world fell down, I see that things are carried through the empty hole.

(18) A divine will appears, and quiet seats, which winds do not shake and clouds of storm do not spatter and falling white snow firm with frost does not violate, and a cloudless sky always stretches over and smiles widely with a diffuse light.

(23) Nature supplies everything freely from afar, and nothing every weakens the peace of the soul at any time. (25) On the contrary, the deathly precincts never appear and the earth keeps everything from being discerned, whatever is carried through the void down below beneath their feet.

(28) A certain divine pleasure and awe seizes me there with these things; nature, thus displaying [that awe] from every part, was revealed by your power.

(31) And since I displayed the beginning of the whole things of the sort which are and since with various forms the distant things fly of their own volition, stirred up by the eternal motion, and by this means any kind of things can be created by these; next, the nature of the mind and soul appears to be clarified now by my verses, and that fear of [death] being driven harshly out, [the fear] which utterly confuses human life from the depth, suffusing everything with the darkness of death, and [which] relinquishes nothing to be a flowing and pure pleasure.

(41) For although often men proclaim that it is better to fear diseases and a disreputable life than the infernal lands of death, and that they know the nature of the soul to be of blood and even of wind, if the will should bear itself strongly, and they do not lead forward at all from our reason, from the following it is allowed that you turn your soul from being cast entirely for the sake of great praise rather than what the thing itself is proven [to be]:

(48) however, they--exiled from their homeland and fugitives from the sight of men, conspirators in foul crime, affected by all tribulations--yet live and, in whatever sort of misery they have come, nevertheless make sacrifices and immolate black heifers and send sacrifices to the divine spirits, and in harsh matters they more harshly turn their souls toward religion.

(55) How greatly in unpredictable perils a certain sort of man gathers to observe a human and to get knowledge in adverse matters; for true voices at last are drawn out from the deepest heart and the mask is ripped away, the thing remaining.

(59) Therefore, from [all of] this, at last the avarice and blind desire for honors--which compel wretched humans to go beyond the bounds of law and meanwhile to rely on excellent work to raise up toward the highest work nights and days as companions and servants to wickedness--this wound of life is nourished in no small part by the terror of death.

(65) For foul contempt and harsh penury appear to be separated from a sweet and stable life and nearly to linger in front of the gates of death itself; although people bound by a false terror wish to have cast themselves away from that place a long ways and to have removed [themselves] a long ways, they kindle the matter of civil blood and greedily they double their riches, accumulating slaughter with slaughter; the cruel people rejoice in the tearful funeral of a brother, and they hate and fear the tables of their relatives.

(74) For similar reason because of this fear they are envious that some man will be powerful before their eyes, will be gazed upon, who walks with bright honor, and that they themselves will lament themselves as they are rolled in shadows and filth.

(78) Some die for the sake of statues and a name; often hatred of life and of seeing light seizes humans because of the terror of death, even so far that they convince themselves through mourning (having forgotten that the fear of death is the font of cares) to toss aside honor, to break the bonds of friendship and, in short, to utterly overturn duty. For even now people often betray their nation and their dear parents, seeking to live in the deathly precincts.

(87) Just as children tremble and fear everything in blind shadows, so we, already in the light, are frightened by nothing which ought to be feared more than when children tremble in shadows and imagine future things.

(91) Therefore it is necessary that this terror and these shadows of the soul not be shattered by rays of the sun and the bright spears of daylight, but by the phenomena and reason of nature.
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


fadeaccompli: (Default)

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags