Nihil

Sedlec Ossuary - skulls

Post mortem nihil est, ipsaque mors nihil,
velocis spatii meta novissima.
spem ponant avidi, solliciti metum:
tempus nos avidum devorat et chaos.
mors individua est, noxia corpori
nec parcens animae. Taenara et aspero
regnum sub domino limen et obsidens
custos non facili Cerberus ostio
rumores vacui verbaque inania
et par sollicito fabula somnio.
quaeris quo iaceas post obitum loco?
quo non nata iacent.

(Seneca, Troades 397-408)

After death is nothing, and death itself is nothing,
the finishing line of a swiftly run circuit.
Let the greedy lay down their hopes, the anxious their fears:
greedy time and Chaos devour us.
Death is indivisible, destructive to the body
and not sparing the soul. Taenarus, and the kingdom
under its harsh lord, and Cerberus guarding
the entrance with its unyielding gate
– hollow rumours, empty words,
a tale akin to a troubled dream.
You ask where you lie after death?
Where unborn things lie.

(tr. John G. Fitch)

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