Old words, still true

Above all, innocence alone

Commands a kingdom of its own.

This kingdom needs no armed defense,

No horseman, nor that vain pretence

Of Parthian archers who, in flight,

Shoot arrows to prolong the fight.

It has no need of cannon balls

And guns to batter city walls.

To have no fear of anything,

To want not, is to be a king.

This is the kingdom every man

Gives to himself, as each man can.

Let others scale dominion’s slippery peak;

Peace and obscurity are all I seek. . .

Death’s terrors are for him who, too well known,

Will die a stranger to himself alone.

— Seneca, Thyestes (1st century A.D.) – translation by E.F. Watling

2 thoughts on “Old words, still true

  1. Pat Fuller

    Wonderful, Chuck. Especially the last 2 lines. There’s a lesson there. If you truly “know thyself,” maybe death’s terrors won’t be so great. I’ve tried, but I’m definitely not there yet.


    1. chuckredman Post author

      Yeah, I thought you would appreciate those thoughts, with your interest in death as a part of psychology. Seneca lived during a period filled with royal coups and murders left and right, sons killing fathers and mothers, husbands killing wives. No wonder he was so disgusted with power. He was a mostly-innocent victim, himself, of those fatal power-grabs.


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