The Restoration of Peace

Seneca. Hercules. 362-369.

If mortals continually nurse never-ending hate,
And anger once ignited never leaves their hearts,
But instead, the winning side maintains its arms
While the losing side readies its own,
Then wars will leave nothing standing.

The land will be neglected, the fields ravaged.
When the torch has been put to houses,
Deep ash will cover the inhabitants buried within.

It’s advantageous for the victor to wish
For the restoration of peace,
But for the defeated it’s a necessity.

si aeterna semper odia mortales gerant,
nec coeptus umquam cedat ex animis furor,
sed arma felix teneat infelix paret,
nihil relinquent bella; tum vastis ager
squalebit arvis, subdita tectis face
altus sepultas obruet gentes cinis.
pacem reduci velle victori expedit,
victo necesse est.

Yemen has been at war since 2014.
More than 370,000 have died.
Photo credit: Thomas Glass/ICRC.

Larry Benn has a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College, an M.Phil in English Literature from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Making amends for a working life misspent in finance, he’s now a hobbyist in ancient languages and blogs at

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