Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Death of Pliny

From Pompeii by Robert Harris

Men mistook measurement for understanding. And they always put themselves at the centre on everything. That was their greatest conceit. The earth is becoming warmer - it must be our fault. The mountain is destroying us - we have not propitiated the gods. It rains too much, it rains too little - a comfort to think that these things are somehow connected to our behaviour, that if only we lived a little better, a little more frugally, our virtue would be rewarded. But here was Nature sweeping towards him - unknowable, all-conquering, indifferent - and he saw in her fires the futility of human pretensions.

Face it, don't give in.
Face it, like a Roman.

And he did.

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