Sunday, March 22, 2020
Pliny the Elder, Natural History
3.39 (tr. H. Rackham):
I am well aware that I may with justice be considered ungrateful and lazy if I describe in this casual and cursory manner a land which is at once the nursling and the mother of all other lands, chosen by the providence of the gods to make heaven itself more glorious, to unite scattered empires, to make manners gentle, to draw together in converse by community of language the jarring and uncouth tongues of so many nations, to give mankind civilisation, and in a word to become throughout the world the single fatherland of all the races.
nec ignoro ingrati ac segnis animi existimari posse merito, si obiter atque in
transcursu ad hunc modum dicatur terra omnium terrarum alumna eadem et parens, numine deum
electa quae caelum ipsum clarius faceret, sparsa congregaret imperia ritusque molliret et tot populorum discordes ferasque linguas sermonis commercio contraheret ad colloquia et humanitatem
homini daret breviterque una cunctarum gentium in toto orbe patria fieret.