Letale

zwaard aambeeld

Sed iam serpentum maior concordia. parcit
cognatis maculis similis fera. quando leoni
fortior eripuit vitam leo? quo nemore umquam
expiravit aper maioris dentibus apri?
Indica tigris agit rabida cum tigride pacem
perpetuam, saevis inter se convenit ursis.
ast homini ferrum letale incude nefanda
produxisse parum est, cum rastra et sarcula tantum
assueti coquere et marris ac vomere lassi
nescierint primi gladios extendere fabri.
aspicimus populos quorum non sufficit irae
occidisse aliquem, sed pectora, bracchia, vultum
crediderint genus esse cibi. quid diceret ergo
vel quo non fugeret, si nunc haec monstra videret
Pythagoras, cunctis animalibus abstinuit qui
tamquam homine et ventri indulsit non omne legumen?
(Juvenal, Sat. 15.159-174)

But these days, there is more harmony among snakes. The wild beast with similar spots spares its relatives. Have you ever heard of a stronger lion robbing another lion of life? Or of a forest where a boar breathed its last under the tusks of a greater boar? The Indian tigress lives with frenzied tigress in everlasting peace. Savage bears agree among themselves. But for human beings it is not enough to have beaten out lethal steel on the wicked anvil, although the first blacksmiths spent their time and effort on forging rakes and hoes and mattocks and ploughshares only. They didn’t know how to produce swords. We are looking at people whose anger is not satisfied by killing someone but who think his torso, arms, and face are a kind of food. What, then, would Pythagoras say? Wouldn’t he run off, anywhere, if he now saw these horrors? Pythagoras was the one who abstained from eating all living things as if they were human and who didn’t treat his belly to every kind of bean. (tr. Susanna Morton Braund)

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