Eyes, Pre-existing Vision

Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 4.830-842

“Other accounts and those like it circulate,
all contingent on twisted logic,
When nothing develops in our body for us to use–
instead, each developing thing finds the purpose we make.

There was no seeing before the light of eyes arose;
There was nothing said before the tongue began
No, the tongue’s story far preceded speech
And the ears seeded before hearing that first sound.
All these human instruments developed before a function.
There’s no way they’d have evolved for use alone.”

cetera de genere hoc inter quaecumque pretantur,
omnia perversa praepostera sunt ratione,
nil ideo quoniam natumst in corpore ut uti
possemus, sed quod natumst id procreat usum.
nec fuit ante videre oculorum lumina nata,
nec dictis orare prius quam lingua creatast,
sed potius longe linguae praecessit origo
sermonem, multoque creatae sunt prius aures
quam sonus est auditus, et omnia denique membra
ante fuere, ut opinor, eorum quam foret usus;
haud igitur potuere utendi crescere causa.

Votivbild von 1871 (Motiv: Augen) „Es wurde mit Dank geholfen 1871“
Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Berlin

Leave a Reply