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Q. Horatius Flaccus (Horace), The Works of Horace (ed. C. Smart, Theodore Alois Buckley), book 2, Damasippus, in a conversation with Horace, proves this paradox of the Stoic philosophy, that most men are actually mad. (search)
ave the liberty to ask questions, and reply in my turn? Ask. Why does Ajax, the second hero after Achilles, rot [above ground], so often renowned for having saved the Grecians; that Priam and Priam's people may exult in his being unburied, by whose means so many youths have been deprived of their country's rites of sepulture. In his madness he killed a thousand sheep, crying out that he was destroying the famous Ulysses and Menelaus, together with me. When you at Aulis substituted your sweet daughter in the place of a heifer before the altar, and, O impious one, sprinkled her head with the salt cake; did you preserve soundness of mind? Why do you ask? What then did the mad Ajax do, when he slew the flock with his sword? He abstained from any violence to his wife and child, though he had imprecated many curses on the sons of Atreus: he neither hurt Teucer, nor even Ulysses himself. But I, out of prudence, appeased the gods with
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 5, line 71 (search)
ut while She hastes from that dread light in which she saw The fates, to common day, lo! on her path The darkness fell. Then by a Stygian draught Of the forgetful river, Phoebus snatched Back from her soul his secrets; and she fell Yet hardly living. Nor did Appius dread Approaching death, but by dark oracles Baffled, while yet the Empire of the world Hung in the balance, sought his promised realm In Chalcis of Euboea. Yet to escape All ills of earth, the crash of war-what god Can give thee such a boon, but death alone? For on the solitary shore a grave Awaits thee, where Carystos' marble cragsAppius was seized with fever as soon as he reached the spot; and there he died and was buried, thus fulfilling the oracle. Draw in the passage of the sea, and where The fane of Rhamnus rises to the godsThat is, Nemesis. Who hate the proud, and where the ocean strait Boils in swift whirlpools, and Euripus draws Deceitful in his tides, a bane to ships, Chalcidian vessels to bleak Aulis' shore.
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