Tired of Life? Join the Essenes!

Pliny, Natural History 5.15:

“To the west lie the Essenes, who escape the noxious effects of the shores. They are a solitary race, and marvelous beyond others in the whole world: living without a woman, having given up venereal pleasure, and lacking money – they are the companions of the palm trees. Every day, their number is increased by the masses of people flocking to them, whom Fortune has driven them, tired of life, upon her waves to the society of the Essenes. And so through thousands of ages – marvelous to say! – has their race in which no one is born continued. So fruitful for them is the fatigue which people feel with life!”


Ab occidente litora Esseni fugiunt usque qua nocent, gens sola et in toto orbe praeter ceteras mira, sine ulla femina, omni venere abdicata, sine pecunia, socia palmarum. in diem ex aequo convenarum turba renascitur, large frequentantibus quos vita fessos ad mores eorum fortuna fluctibus agit. ita per saeculorum milia — incredibile dictu — gens aeterna est, in qua nemo nascitur. tam fecunda illis aliorum vitae paenitentia est!

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