Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Advice of Flavius Agricola

An epitaph, 2nd century AD;

My home was Tivoli; I was called Flavius Agricola. I am the one you can see lying there, just as I used to lie at dinner, carefully looking after myself for all the years Fate allowed me. I never spared the wine. My darling wife, Flavia Primitiva, died before me, chaste and attentive worshipper of Isis, with whom I spent thirty years of happiness. For consolation, she left me her body's fruit — Aurelius Primitivus, who will tend my grave with piety and will preserve for ever my resting-place. Friends, who read this, heed what I say: mix the wine, bind the flowered garland round your brow, and drink deep. Do not shun the pleasures of love with beautiful women. When death comes, earth and fire devour all.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

It always saddens me a little when people are insightful enough to realize we only get the one life to live, but then decide in the face of that realization that they should just be nihilistic hedonists.

To be fair, the guy lived in the second century in Central Italy, so I can't really blame him for his nihilistic hedonism, but still...