Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Decline and Fall

Emil Cioran (1911-1995), De l'inconvénient d'être né, part VIII (tr. ‎Richard Howard):
Alaric claimed that a "demon" drove him against Rome. Every exhausted civilization awaits its barbarian, and every barbarian awaits his demon.

Alaric disait qu'un «démon» le poussait contre Rome. Toute civilisation exténuée attend son barbare, et tout barbare attend son démon.
Socrates, Ecclesiastical History 7.10 (tr. A.C. Zenos):
It is said that as he was advancing towards Rome, a pious monk exhorted him not to delight in the perpetuation of such atrocities, and no longer to rejoice in slaughter and blood. To whom Alaric replied, "I am not going on in this course of my own will; but there is a something that irresistibly impels me daily, saying, 'Proceed to Rome, and desolate that city.'"

λέγεται δὲ ὡς ἀπιόντι αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν Ῥώμην εὐλαβής τις ἀνὴρ, μοναχὸς τὸν βίον, παρῄνει, "μὴ ἐπιχαίρειν ἐν τηλικούτοις κακοῖς, μηδὲ χαίρειν φόνοις καὶ αἵμασιν." ὁ δὲ, "οὐκ ἐγὼ," ἔφη, "ἐθελοντὴς ἐπὶ τὰ ἐκεῖ πορεύομαι· ἀλλά τις καθ' ἑκάστην ὀχλεῖ μοι βασανίζων, καὶ λέγων, ἄπιθι, τὴν Ῥωμαίων πόρθησον πόλιν."

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