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Lucan – Why we prefer to not spoil the surprise

December 19, 2014

“It may be that when the primal element of fire receded and the Creatrix first brought order out of Chaos, she established certain universal rules, which she bound herself to observe, and which would guide the world in its passage through the destined cycles of time. Or it may be that no such hard and fast laws have ever been enacted, that every train of events is motivated by the caprices of Fortune, and that mankind must consequently be regarded as the slave of accident. Though I can venture no opinion on the subject, I do heartily wish that Jupiter would not disclose his purpose with warning signs; if doom must come, let it come suddenly, and let us never lose hope!”

(from Pharsalia [65 CE], translated by Robert Graves)

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