Publius Vergilius Maro was born on this day in 70 BCE. He is probably best known for the challenging and unforgettable Aeneid, but his Eclogues and Georgics are eminently quotable. Oh, and a man who writes his own epitaph deserves some respect:
Here are a handful of our favorite lines.
“Perhaps one day it will be a joy to remember also these things”
forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit
“Beginnings are from Jove, oh Muses! Everything is full of Jove”
ab Jove principium, Musae; Jovis omnia plena
“Let me have the right to speak what I have heard”
sit mihi fas audita loqui
“Right and wrong are turned upside down: so many wars throughout the world, so many faces of wickedness, the plow is given no proper respect”
fas versum atque nefas: tot bella per orbem,
tam multae scelerum facies, non ullus aratro
“If I cannot bend the gods, I will move Acheron”.
flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.
“And for you, little boy, the uncultivated earth will scatter its first small gifts, wandering ivy and cyclamens everywhere, beans mixed with laughing acanthus”
at tibi prima puer nullo munuscula cultu / errantis hederas passim cum baccare tellus / mixtaque ridenti colocasia fundet acantho.
“Whither Zeus and cruel Fortune summon, let us go.”
quo deus et quo dura vocat Fortuna sequamur.