“After that, I left Thebes, where they dine all night
And all day long and each person has a toilet
Next to his door—and there’s nothing better
For a person who’s full. Someone who is walking far
And needs to shit after eating a lot,
He’s hilarious to see as he bites down on his lips.”
μετὰ ταῦτα Θήβας ἦλθον, οὗ τὴν νύχθ᾿ ὅλην
“A poppy is boiled and consumed for insomnia. The same water is used for the face. Poppies grow best in dry conditions where it does not often rain. When the heads themselves are boiled with the leaves, the juice is called meconium and is a lot less potent than opium.”
decoquitur et bibitur contra vigilias, eademque aqua fovent ora. optimum in siccis et ubi raro pluat. cum capita ipsa et folia decocuntur, sucus meconium vocatur multum opio ignavior.
Aristotle, Historia Animalium 587a 31
“[Newborns] also discharge excrement right away, pretty soon, or at least within the same day. This material is greater than one might expect from the size of the infant and the women call it “poppy-juice” [mêkonion]. Its color is similar to blood but very dark and like pitch. Later on, it is milk-like once the baby immediately eats from the breast. Before it comes out, the newborn does not cry, even if the birth is difficult and the head sticks out while the whole body is inside.”
“Thus one thing never ceases to arise from another,
and life is given to no one for ownership, but to all for rent.”
sic aliud ex alio numquam desistet oriri
vitaque mancipio nulli datur, omnibus usu.
Velleius Paterculus, History of Rome 2.16.4
“Gradually, then, by granting citizenship to those who had not carried arms or had put them down rather late, the population was rebuilt as Pompeius, Sulla and Marius restored the flagging and sputtering power of the Roman people.”
Paulatim deinde recipiendo in civitatem, qui arma aut non ceperant aut deposuerant maturius, vires refectae sunt, Pompeio Sullaque et Mano fluentem procumbentemque rem populi Romani restituentibus.
Any student of Roman history understands that Rome’s expansion and strength relied in part on its ability to absorb and assimilate hostile populations. Today we often forget that the Italian peninsula was far from a uniform culture. (And a tour through modern Italy will confirm the persistence of many differences). The process, of course, was not without pain and hard compromises, as Vergil echoes in Aeneid 6 during Anchises’ prophecy to Aeneas (851-3):
tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
(hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,
parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.
“Roman, remember that your arts are to rule
The nations with your empire, to enforce the custom of peace,
To spare the conquered and to subjugate the proud.”
Plutarch, De Exilio 600e7-601b5
“This is the character of your current exile from your customary country. For we have no country by nature, just as we have neither home, nor field, nor blacksmith’s, nor doctor’s office, as Aristôn said. But each of these things develops or, rather, is named and called so by the man inhabiting or using it. For a human being, as Plato says, “is not earthly born and immovable but comes from heaven” just as if the head raises the body up straight from its root stretching towards the sky. So Herakles said well “Am I Argive or Theban? I do not claim / one—every citadel in Greece is my homeland”. But Socrates put it better saying “I am neither Athenian nor Greek, but a citizen of the world,” as someone might claim to be Rhodian or Korinthian, because he did not lock himself within Sounion, Tainaros, or the Keraunian mountains.
As [Euripides] puts it: “Do you see the boundless light above / and the earth opening below with damp embrace?” These are the boundaries of our countries and no man is an exile, foreigner or stranger where there is fire, water, air; where we find the same rulers, overseers, and presidents: the same sun, moon, and star at day’s break; where the same laws exist for all under one order and single government: the summer and winter solstices, the Pleiades and Arcturus, the seasons of planting and harvesting that rise and set for us all; and where there is one king and ruler, god, who knows the beginning, middle and end of everything; who travels through all, guiding it with a straight force. Justice is his attendant as an avenger for those who transgress divine law. We all by nature follow this law in treating all people as our fellow citizens.”
Diogenes Laertius, 6.63, on Diogenes the Cynic (4th Century BCE)
“When asked where he was from, he said “I am a world-citizen.”
ἐρωτηθεὶς πόθεν εἴη, “κοσμοπολίτης,” ἔφη.
Cicero is one of the earliest sources attributing the sentiment to Socrates.
Cicero, Tusculan Disputations 5.108
“Socrates, when he was asked what state was his, used to say “the world”. For he judged himself an inhabitant and citizen of the whole world.”
Socrates cum rogaretur, cujatem se esse diceret, Mundanum, inquit. Totius enim mundi se incolam et civem arbitrabatur.”
Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius articulate different versions of what becomes a central part of Stoic philosophy.
Seneca, De vita beata, 20.5
“I know that my country is the world and that the gods are guardians, those judges of my deeds and words above and beyond me.”
Patriam meam esse mundum sciam et praesides deos, hos supra circaque me stare factorum dictorumque censores.
Seneca, De Otio, 4.1
“We encounter two republics with our mind–one is great and truly public, by which gods and men are contained and in which we may not gaze upon this corner or that one, but we measure the boundaries of our state with the sun; the other we enter by the fact of being born. This will be the state of Athens or Carthage or of any other city at all. It does not extend to all people but to certain ones. Some people serve the good of both republics at the same time, the greater and the lesser, some serve only the lesser or only the greater.”
Duas res publicas animo complectamur, alteram magnam et vere publicam, qua dii atque homines continentur, in qua non ad hunc angulum respicimus aut ad illum, sed terminos civitatis nostrae cum sole metimur; alteram, cui nos adscripsit condicio nascendi. Haec aut Atheniensium erit aut Carthaginiensium,aut alterius alicuius urbis, quae non ad omnis pertineat homines sed ad certos. Quidam eodem tempore utrique rei publicae dant operam, maiori minorique, quidam tantum minori, quidam tantum maiori.
Epictetus, Dissertationes 1.9.1
“If what is said about the kinship of humans and god by the philosopher is true, what is left for all people other than that advice of Socrates never to say when someone asks where you are from that you are Athenian or Corinthian but that you are a citizen of the world?”