History, Stranger than Fiction

Pseudo-Cicero, Letter to Octavian 7

“What a pitiful overthrow of the state–so fast and twisted, so rushed! Who will have the ability to entrust these events to words in a way that they seem facts instead of fiction? Who will have the ease of mind to read them as something other than fantastic, even when they have been faithfully recorded in time?”

o miseram et in brevi tam celerem et tam variam rei publicae commutationem! quisnam tali futurus ingenio est, qui possit haec ita mandare litteris ut facta, non ficta videantur [esse]? quis erit tanta animi facilitate qui quae verissime memoria propagata fuerint non fabulae similia sit existimaturus?

A Pensioner of the Revolution, by John Neagle, The American Revolution Institute collection Note: The portrait depicts Joseph Winter, a homeless veteran living on the street in Philadelphia.

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