Scheduling a Time to leave

Seneca, Moral Epistles 58.32-34

“Frugality can bring about old age which, I suppose, shouldn’t be desired any more than it is refused. There’s pleasure in spending as much time with oneself as possible, when you’ve made yourself worthy of enjoying. The point then on which we should make our judgment is whether we should seek out the final stages and not await the end, or make it happen. Someone who waits for their fate slowly is like one who is afraid, as if a bit of a drunkard who drains a full jar and slurps up the dregs too.

But we should nevertheless still ask about this too: “Is the last part of life the dregs, or is it the clearest and purest of all, provided that the mind is free of injury and the senses give their support to the body and the body is not tired or too close to death?” Oh, there’s a big difference between someone extending their life and putting off their death.

But if the body is not useful for its tasks, why should we free its laboring spirit? Well, maybe we should do this just a bit before we must lest we lose the ability to do it. Since the danger of living poorly is greater than the danger of dying quickly, then someone who refuses to wager a small bit of time for great profit is a fool.”

Potest frugalitas producere senectutem, quam ut non puto concupiscendam, ita ne recusandam quidem. Iucundum est secum esse quam diutissime, cum quis se dignum, quo frueretur, effecit. Itaque de isto feremus sententiam, an oporteat fastidire senectutis extrema et finem non opperiri, sed manu facere. Prope est a timente, qui fatum segnis expectat, sicut ille ultra modum deditus vino est, qui amphoram exiccat et faecem quoque exorbet. De hoc tamen quaeremus, pars summa vitae utrum faex sit an liquidissimum ac purissimum quiddam, si modo mens sine iniuria est et integri sensus animum iuvant nec defectum et praemortuum corpus est.

Plurimum enim refert, vitam aliquis extendat an mortem. At si inutile ministeriis corpus est, quidni oporteat educere animum laborantem? Et fortasse paulo ante quam debet, faciendum est, ne cum fieri debebit, facere non possis. Et cum maius periculum sit male vivendi quam cito moriendi, stultus est, qui non exigua temporis mercede magnae rei aleam redimit.

a screen shot of a doodle poll about scheduling a meeting

The Original Virgin Suicides

Here’s an anecdote that is chilling and a bit upsetting. CW: it contains misogyny as well as reference to suicide clusters. In general, this reminded me of the suicide clusters in Silicon Valley discussed widely a few years ago. But–and I think this is more important–it also points to groups of suicide as an attempt to wrest agency in response to desperation, a lack of agency, and marginalization.

Aulus Gellius, Varia Historia 15.10

“In his first of the books On the Soul, Plutarch included the following tale when he was commenting on maladies which afflict human minds. He said that there were maiden girls of Milesian families who at a certain time suddenly and without almost any clear reason made a plan to die and that many killed themselves by hanging.

When this became more common in following days and there was no treatment to be found for the spirits of those who were dedicated to dying, The Milesians decreed that all maidens who would die by hanging their bodies would be taken out to burial completely naked except for the rope by which they were hanged. After this was decreed, the maidens did not seek suicide only because they were frightened by the thought of so shameful a funeral.”

Plutarchus in librorum quos περὶ ψυχῆς inscripsit primo cum de morbis dissereret in animos hominum incidentibus, virgines dixit Milesii nominis, fere quot tum in ea civitate erant, repente sine ulla evidenti causa voluntatem cepisse obeundae mortis ac deinde plurimas vitam suspendio amississe. id cum accideret in dies crebrius neque animis earum mori perseverantium medicina adhiberi quiret, decrevisse Milesios ut virgines, quae corporibus suspensis demortuae forent, ut hae omnes nudae cum eodem laqueo quo essent praevinctae efferrentur. post id decretum virgines voluntariam mortem non petisse pudore solo deterritas tam inhonesti funeris.

Suicides of public figures cause disbelief because of our cultural misconceptions about depression and about the importance of material wealth and fame to our well-being. While some clusters of suicide can be understood as a reflex of the “threshold problem”, we fail to see the whole picture if we do not also see that human well-being is connected to a sense of agency and belonging. Galen, in writing about depression, notes that melancholy can make us desire that which we fear.

Galen, De Locis Affectis 8.190-191

“But there are ten thousand other fantasies. The melancholic differ from one another, but even though they all exhibit fear, despair, blaming of life and hatred for people, they do not all want to die. For some, fear of death is the principle source of their depression. Some will seem paradoxical to you because they fear death and desire death at the same time.”

ἄλλα τε μυρία τοιαῦτα φαντασιοῦνται. διαφέρονται δὲ ἀλλήλων οἱ μελαγχολικοὶ, τὸ μὲν φοβεῖσθαι καὶ δυσθυμεῖν καὶ μέμφεσθαι τῇ ζωῇ καὶ μισεῖν τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἅπαντες ἔχοντες, ἀποθανεῖν δ’ ἐπιθυμοῦντες οὐ πάντες, ἀλλ’ ἔστιν ἐνίοις αὐτῶν αὐτὸ δὴ τοῦτο κεφάλαιον τῆς μελαγχολίας, τὸ περὶ τοῦ θανάτου δέος· ἔνιοι δὲ ἀλλόκοτοί σοι δόξουσιν, ἅμα τε καὶ δεδιέναι τὸν θάνατον καὶ θανατᾷν.

In thinking about the impact of agency and belonging on our sense of well-being and relationship to death, I have been significantly influence by this book:

Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszczynski. The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. London: Allen Lane, 2015.

Related image
Picture found here

If you or someone you know feel alone, uncertain, depressed or for any reason cannot find enough joy and hope to think life is worth it, please reach out to someone. The suicide prevention hotline has a website, a phone number (1-800-273-8255), and a chat line. And if we can help you find some tether to the continuity of human experience through the Classics or a word, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Obligatory Ides of March Post: Caesar Wanted to Go Out With A Bang, Not A Whimper

Suetonius, Divus Julius Caesar 86-7

“Caesar left certain of his friends the impression that he did not want or desire to live longer because  of his worsening health. This is why he ignored what the omens warned and what his friends revealed. Others believe that he dismissed the Spanish guards who accompanied him with swords because he was confident in the Senate’s recent decree and their sworn oath. Others report that he preferred to face the plots that threatened him at once rather than cower before them. There are those who assert that he used to say that his safety should be of more importance to the state than to himself: he had acquired an abundance of power and glory already, but the state, should anything happen to him, would have no rest and would suffer civil war in a worse condition than before.

The following is generally held to be the case, however: his manner of death was scarcely against his desire. For, when he read Xenophon’s account of how in the final days of illness Cyrus gave the plans for his own funeral, Caesar expressed disdain for so slow a death and wished that his own would be sudden and fast. And on the day before he died during dinner conversation at the home of Marcus Lepidus on the topic of the most agreeable end to life, Caesar said he preferred one that was sudden and unexpected.”


Suspicionem Caesar quibusdam suorum reliquit neque uoluisse se diutius uiuere neque curasse quod ualitudine minus prospera uteretur, ideoque et quae religiones monerent et quae renuntiarent amici neglexisse. sunt qui putent, confisum eum nouissimo illo senatus consulto ac iure iurando etiam custodias Hispanorum cum gladiis †adinspectantium se remouisse. [2] alii e diuerso opinantur insidias undique imminentis subire semel quam cauere … solitum ferunt: non tam sua quam rei publicae interesse, uti saluus esset: se iam pridem potentiae gloriaeque abunde adeptum; rem publicam, si quid sibi eueniret, neque quietam fore et aliquanto deteriore condicione ciuilia bella subituram.

illud plane inter omnes fere constitit, talem ei mortem paene ex sententia obtigisse. nam et quondam, cum apud Xenophontem legisset Cyrum ultima ualitudine mandasse quaedam de funere suo, aspernatus tam lentum mortis genus subitam sibi celeremque optauerat; et pridie quam occideretur, in sermone nato super cenam apud Marcum Lepidum, quisnam esset finis uitae commodissimus, repentinum inopinatumque praetulerat.

By Vincenzo Camuccini – Own work, user:Rlbberlin, Public Domain,

The Eternal Rebirth of the Forgetful Mind

Seneca, Moral Epistle 36.10-12

“And Death which we fear so much and deny, interrupts life, it doesn’t take it away from us. There will come a time when we return to the light of day–a fact many would refuse, if they did not return without their memories.

I want to explain to you later and more carefully that everything which appears to decay just transforms. Face it with a calm mind since you are meant to return. Note how the circuit of the universe repeats itself. You will see that nothing in the world is destroyed, but instead rises and sets in turns.

Summer is gone, but another year brings it back; winter recedes, but it comes too in the proper time. Night overshadows the sun, but day forces the night back again. The path of the stars traces whatever journey they took before. Part of heaven is always falling; part is always rising again.

I’ll stop this once I offer a final word: infants, children, and those who have lost their minds do not fear death. It is completely shameful, then, if reason cannot provide us the peace foolishness has gained for them.”

Et mors, quam pertimescimus ac recusamus, intermittit vitam, non eripit; veniet iterum, qui nos in lucem reponat dies, quem multi recusarent, nisi oblitos reduceret.

Sed postea diligentius docebo omnia, quae videntur perire, mutari. Aequo animo debet rediturus exire. Observa orbem rerum in se remeantium; videbis nihil in hoc mundo extingui, sed vicibus descendere ac surgere. Aestas abit, sed alter illam annus adducet; hiemps cecidit, referent illam sui menses; solem nox obruit, sed ipsam statim dies abiget. Stellarum iste discursus quicquid praeterit repetit; pars caeli levatur assidue, pars mergitur. Denique finem faciam, si hoc unum adiecero, nec infantes nec2 pueros nec mente lapsos timere mortem et esse turpissimum, si eam securitatem nobis ratio non praestat, ad quam stultitia perducit. Vale

matthew mcconaughey from True Detective turning  crushed beer can over and over

Alexander’s Earth

“He worked, not like someone who works in order to live, but like someone who wants nothing but to work, and that is because he has no regard for himself as a human being . . .” 

–Thomas Mann, “Tonio Kröger” 

Arrian, The Anabasis of Alexander, VII.1.5-6.

“I commend the wise Indians who, people say, were passing time in the open air of a meadow when Alexander came upon them.  When they saw his face and his army, none of them did anything but stamp his feet on the ground where he stood. 

Alexander asked through interpreters what this gesture meant. They replied with this: 

‘King Alexander, each man occupies as much of the earth as he stands on. You are a man like other men, except you’re hyperactive and brazen. You range much of the earth, away from your own land, doing this and that and making demands of other people. And yet, when you die in a little while, you too will occupy only as much of the earth as suffices to bury your body.’”


. . . ἐπαινῶ τοὺς σοφιστὰς τῶν Ἰνδῶν, ὧν λέγουσιν ἔστιν οὓς καταληφθέντας ὑπ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδρου ὑπαιθρίους ἐν λειμῶνι, ἵναπερ αὐτοῖς διατριβαὶ ἦσαν, ἄλλο μὲν οὐδὲν ποιῆσαι πρὸς τὴν ὄψιν αὐτοῦ τε καὶ τῆς στρατιᾶς, κρούειν δὲ τοῖς ποσὶ τὴν γῆν ἐφ᾽ ἧς βεβηκότες ἦσαν. ὡς δὲ ἤρετο Ἀλέξανδρος δι᾽ ἑρμηνέων τι νοοῖ αὐτοῖς τὸ ἔργον, τοὺς δὲ ὑποκρίνασθαι ὧδε: βασιλεῦ Ἀλέξανδρε, ἄνθρωπος μὲν ἕκαστος τοσόνδε τῆς γῆς κατέχει ὅσονπερ τοῦτό ἐστιν ἐφ᾽ ὅτῳ βεβήκαμεν: σὺ δὲ ἄνθρωπος ὢν παρα πλήσιος τοῖς ἄλλοις, πλήν γε δὴ ὅτι πολυπράγμων καὶ ἀτάσθαλος, ἀπὸ τῆς οἰκείας τοσαύτην γῆν ἐπεξέρχῃ πράγματα ἔχων τε καὶ παρέχων ἄλλοις. καὶ οὖν καὶ ὀλίγον ὕστερον ἀποθανὼν τοσοῦτον καθέξεις τῆς γῆς ὅσον ἐξαρκεῖ ἐντεθάφθαι τῷ σώματι.

Thomas Mann

Er arbeitete nicht wie jemand, der arbeitet, um zu leben, sondern wie einer, der nichts will als arbeiten, weil er sich als lebendiger Mensch für nichts achtet . . .

color photograph of a tombstone in front of an open graveLarry 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

A Philosopher is Done with Doing

Seneca, Moral Epistles 24.25-26

“The brave and wise person shouldn’t flee life, but merely leave. And that affect that plagues many–a lust for death–should be avoided. Just as with other things, Lucilius, the mind has an unconsidered inclination to death that often afflicts the kindest and most serious people as much as the ignorant and dissolute. The former hate life; the latter are annoyed by it.

Others are moved by being done with doing and seeing, not by a hatred of life but by boredom. We slide into this as philosophy itself pushes. So we say, “How long for the same things? Do I just keep on waking, sleeping, getting hungry, getting bored, growing cold, then warm again? There’s no end to things, but everything is tied up in a circle, fleeing and following.  Night presses upon day, day presses upon night, summer gives way to autumn, winter replaces fall and in turn melts into spring.

I do nothing new; I see nothing new. Eventually you get sick of this too.” There are many who don’t think being alive is a hardship, but that it is empty. Goodbye.”

Vir fortis ac sapiens non fugere debet e vita, sed exire. Et ante omnia ille quoque vitetur affectus, qui multos occupavit, libido moriendi. Est enim, mi Lucili, ut ad alia, sic etiam ad moriendum inconsulta animi inclinatio, quae saepe generosos atque acerrimae indolis viros corripit, saepe ignavos iacentesque; illi contemnunt vitam, hi gravantur.. Everything moves in this way to return.

Quosdam subit eadem faciendi videndique satietas et vitae non odium sed fastidium, in quod prolabimur ipsa inpellente philosophia, dum dicimus: “Quousque eadem? Nempe expergiscar dormiam, esuriam fastidiam, algebo aestuabo. Nullius rei finis est, sed in orbem nexa sunt omnia, fugiunt ac secuntur. Diem nox premit, dies noctem, aestas in autumnum desinit, autumno hiemps instat, quae vere conpescitur; omnia sic transeunt ut revertantur. Nihil novi facio, nihil novi video; fit aliquando et huius rei nausia.” Multi sunt, qui non acerbum iudicent vivere, sed supervacuum. Vale.

Meme of Matthew mcconaughey from True Detective with Latin meaning: there's no end to anything, everything is tied up in a circle

A Life of Circles, Enclosed

Seneca, Moral Epistles 12.6-8

“The whole of our life is made of parts: it has large circles with smaller ones traced inside. There’s one circle that embraces and contains all the rest–it runs from our birth to our final day. There’s another that encloses our adolescence and another that contains all of childhood in its circuit. Then there’s the annual course that contains all the parts of time in its turn, which, when multiplied, contains all of life.  The month is enclosed by a narrower ring while the day has the smallest circle. Yet even the day goes from its beginning to end, from sunrise to sunset.

This is why Heraclitus, who earned that nickname “the obscure” for his rhetorical style, said, “each day is the same as the rest. People explain this in various ways.  One says that a day is equal in is number of hours. This isn’t a lie, if we  think that a day is 24 hours hours. In that case, all days are necessarily equal because the night takes what the day loses.

Another claims that one day is the same as another in its appearance, since even the longest period of time has nothing more than what you can find in a day. It has light and night and the alternation of days into eternity makes these more numerous, not really different by expanding or contracting the count. And so, each day should be organized as if it continues and completes a sequence, and closes the circuit of a life.”

Tota aetas partibus constat et orbes habet circumductos maiores minoribus. Est aliquis, qui omnis conplectatur et cingat; hic pertinet a natali ad diem extremum. Est alter, qui annos adulescentiae cludit. Est qui totam pueritiam ambitu suo adstringit. Est deinde per se annus in se omnia continens tempora, quorum multiplicatione vita conponitur. Mensis artiore praecingitur circulo. Angustissimum habet dies gyrum, sed et hic ab initio ad exitum venit, ab ortu ad occasum.

Ideo Heraclitus, cui cognomen fecit orationis obscuritas, “Unus,” inquit, “dies par omni est.” Hoc alius aliter excepit. Dixit enim parem esse horis, nec mentitur; nam si dies est tempus viginti et quattuor horarum, necesse est omnes inter se dies pares esse, quia nox habet, quod dies perdidit. Alius ait parem esse unum diem omnibus similitudine; nihil enim habet longissimi temporis spatium, quod non et in uno die invenias, lucem et noctem, et in aeternum dies vices plures facit istas, non alias contractior, alias productior. Itaque sic ordinandus est dies omnis, tamquam cogat agmen et consummet atque expleat vitam.

Color photograph of an oil painting. Geometric abstract art: one large black circle with many colored circles within it. There are think diagonal lines bisecting the main circle: yellow from left to upper right; green-blue from upper left to lower right. Various straight lines are among the circles within
Vassily Kandinsky, “Circles within a Circle” 1923

Personally, I am partial to circles that do not end…

Silly Mortals, Lifetimes Are Plenty Long!

Seneca, De Brevitate Vitae I

“A great number of mortals, Paul, grumble about nature’s cruelty–that we are born to a short life and that this time rushes by so quickly and surprisingly through its granted span that, with the exception of only a few, life’s end comes just when we’re ready to truly live. And it isn’t just a complaint of the public and the uninformed masses: this feeling brings the same quarrel from famous people too–this prompted the shout from the most famous doctors, that “life is short, art is everlasting.”

This also caused Aristotle to express a charge ill fit to a wise person when he was hypothesizing about Nature that when it comes to lifespan she has granted so much to animals that they live five or ten lives when so little has been given to human beings who achieve so much more! We don’t have too little time, but we do waste much of it.

Life is long enough and it has been granted sufficiently for finishing great things as long as the whole time is dedicated to them. Yet when life is wasted in luxury and recklessness or when it is devoted to nothing good, we are forced by the last moment to understand that life has left us before we understood it was going. So it goes–we don’t get a short life, but make it so; and it isn’t limited, we just waste it.”

Maior pars mortalium, Pauline, de naturae malignitate conqueritur, quod in exiguum aevi gignamur, quod haec tam velociter, tam rapide dati nobis temporis spatia decurrant, adeo ut exceptis admodum paucis ceteros in ipso vitae apparatu vita destituat. Nec huic publico, ut opinantur, malo turba tantum et imprudens1 volgus ingemuit; clarorum quoque virorum hic affectus querellas evocavit. Inde illa maximi medicorum exclamatio est: ‘vitam brevem  esse, longam artem’; inde Aristotelis cum rerum natura exigentis minime conveniens sapienti viro lis: ‘aetatis illam animalibus tantum indulsisse, ut quina aut dena saecula educerent, homini in tam multa ac magna genito tanto citeriorem terminum  stare.’ 

Non exiguum temporis habemus, sed multum perdimus. Satis longa vita et in maximarum rerum consummationem large data est, si tota bene collocaretur; sed ubi per luxum ac neglegentiam diffluit, ubi nulli bonae rei impenditur, ultima demum necessitate cogente quam ire non intelleximus  transisse sentimus. Ita est: non accipimus brevem vitam, sed facimus, nec inopes eius sed prodigi sumus.

Tower clock at the south side of the Schwabentor with the painting “Kosmos” by Carl Roesch, Vorstadt 69, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

The Good Deeds of Fantasy

Pindar, Olympian 8.72-3

“A man who has done proper things,
Certainly forgets about Hades.”

Ἀίδα τοι λάθεται
ἄρμενα πράξαις ἀνήρ.

Schol. ad Pin. Ol. 8.72

“He certainly forgets about Hades.” For every man who has accomplished fitting things obtains forgetfulness of Hades by his own choice, and this in fact means death. For, I guess, this is naturally just the thought of those who are troubled: for this sort of thing is the fine action of a fantasy for those who do well.”

 ᾿Αίδα τοι λάθεται: πᾶς γὰρ ἀνὴρ ἁρμόδια πράξας τῇ ἑαυτοῦ προαιρέσει ῞Αιδου, τουτέστι τοῦ θανάτου, λήθην λαμβάνει· ἤ πού γε τῶν ἁπλῶς κατὰ φύσιν ὀχλούντων οἱονεὶ τὸ φρόνημα· τοιαύτη γὰρ ἡ τῆς φαντασίας εὐπραξία τοῖς εὖ πράττουσιν.

Somewhat impressionist Oil painting with a disintegrating figure on the left foreground turning back towards a doorway and garden images in the background the palate is mostly orange and brown

Witold Wojtkiewicz (1879–1909), “Fantasy”. Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie; ;MNK II-b-205;;fot. Pracownia Fotograficzna MNK

The Spirits of Death and the Choice Each Day Brings

For all those surrounded by ghosts each holiday season. CW, suicide

Simonides, fr. 1 = Stobaeus 4.34.15

“Child, Zeus the loud-thunderer maintains the end
Of everything in the world and makes it how he likes.

Humans have no plans, but we just live for each day
Like animals who know nothing about
How the god will bring each thing to pass.

Hope and belief feed everyone who is eager
For the impossible. Some wait for the day to come,
But others look for the next season;
There’s no mortal alive who doesn’t think
That the new year will make them a friend to wealth and good living.

But old age beats us to it and takes one person
Before they’re done and terrible diseases that
Torture mortals overtake others. In the meantime,
Hades sends others subdued by war under the dark earth.

Even more die tossed about on the sea by winds
And on the rising waves of purple brine,
Whenever they fail to make a living on land.
And some leave the life of the sun by choice,
Tying a noose in a loop for an awful end.

So nothing is free of troubles, and thousands
Of death spirits and unpredictable pains stand waiting for us.
If we listen to my advice, though, we won’t long for grief,
Nor will we give ourselves more, by feasting our hearts on pain.”

ὦ παῖ, τέλος μὲν Ζεὺς ἔχει βαρύκτυπος
πάντων ὅσ᾿ ἐστὶ καὶ τίθησ᾿ ὅκῃ θέλει,
νοῦς δ᾿ οὐκ ἐπ᾿ ἀνθρώποισιν, ἀλλ᾿ ἐπήμεροι
ἃ δὴ βοτὰ ζώομεν, οὐδὲν εἰδότες
5ὅκως ἕκαστον ἐκτελευτήσει θεός.
ἐλπὶς δὲ πάντας κἀπιπειθείη τρέφει
ἄπρηκτον ὁρμαίνοντας· οἱ μὲν ἡμέρην
μένουσιν ἐλθεῖν, οἱ δ᾿ ἐτέων περιτροπάς·
νέωτα δ᾿ οὐδεὶς ὅστις οὐ δοκεῖ βροτῶν
πλούτῳ τε κἀγαθοῖσιν ἵξεσθαι φίλος.
φθάνει δὲ τὸν μὲν γῆρας ἄζηλον λαβὸν
πρὶν τέρμ᾿ ἵκηται, τοὺς δὲ δύστηνοι βροτῶν
φθείρουσι νοῦσοι, τοὺς δ᾿ Ἄρει δεδμημένους
πέμπει μελαίνης Ἀΐδης ὑπὸ χθονός·
οἱ δ᾿ ἐν θαλάσσῃ λαίλαπι κλονεόμενοι
καὶ κύμασιν πολλοῖσι πορφυρῆς ἁλὸς
θνήσκουσιν, εὖτ᾿ ἂν μὴ δυνήσωνται ζόειν·
οἱ δ᾿ ἀγχόνην ἅψαντο δυστήνῳ μόρῳ
καὐτάγρετοι λείπουσιν ἡλίου φάος.
οὕτω κακῶν ἄπ᾿ οὐδέν, ἀλλὰ μυρίαι
βροτοῖσι κῆρες κἀνεπίφραστοι δύαι
καὶ πήματ᾿ ἐστίν. εἰ δ᾿ ἐμοὶ πιθοίατο,
οὐκ ἂν κακῶν ἐρῷμεν, οὐδ᾿ ἐπ᾿ ἄλγεσιν
κακοῖς ἔχοντες θυμὸν αἰκιζοίμεθα.

Mimnermus, 2 [=Stobaeus 4.34.12]5-8

“The dark spirits of death are standing beside us.
One holds eventual old age, in pain,
The other has death. The fruit of youth is brief,
As long as the sun’s light stretches across the earth.”

…Κῆρες δὲ παρεστήκασι μέλαιναι,
ἡ μὲν ἔχουσα τέλος γήραος ἀργαλέου,
ἡ δ᾿ ἑτέρη θανάτοιο· μίνυνθα δὲ γίνεται ἥβης
καρπός, ὅσον τ᾿ ἐπὶ γῆν κίδναται ἠέλιος.

Homer, Iliad 12.326-8

“But now, since the spirts of death stand fast around us
By the thousands, and there is no way any mortal can escape them,
Let us go and offer a reason to boast to someone else, or take it for ourselves”

νῦν δ’ ἔμπης γὰρ κῆρες ἐφεστᾶσιν θανάτοιο
μυρίαι, ἃς οὐκ ἔστι φυγεῖν βροτὸν οὐδ’ ὑπαλύξαι,
ἴομεν ἠέ τῳ εὖχος ὀρέξομεν ἠέ τις ἡμῖν.

Draweing of a main on a bed with one figure floating above him and another standing above him weeping while his spirit flees through a window