Saturday, May 07, 2022


An Abominable and Detestable Time

Lactantius, Divine Institutes 7.16.5-8 (tr. Mary Francis McDonald):
[5] That, in truth, will be an abominable and detestable time, when life will be pleasant for no man. Cities shall be torn up from their foundations, and men will perish, not only by fire and sword, but also by the constant earthquakes and floods, frequent sicknesses, and prevailing hunger.

[6] The air will be vitiated and become corrupt and pestilential; now from unseasonable rains, again from unusual dryness. At one time it will be too hot, at another too cold. Nor will the earth give any profit to man: no plant, no tree, no vine will bear anything, and although they will have given very great hope in flower, they will deceive in fruit.

[7] The springs also, along with rivers, will grow dry, so that there will not even be a supply of drinking water on hand, and the waters will be changed into blood or bitterness.

[8] On account of this, the animals on the land will fail and so will the birds in the air and the fish in the sea.

[5] tum vero detestabile atque abominandum tempus existet, quo nulli hominum sit vita iucunda. eruentur funditus civitates atque interibunt non modo ferro atque igni, verum etiam terrae motibus adsiduis et eluvie aquarum et morbis frequentibus et fame crebra.

[6] aer enim vitiabitur et corruptus ac pestilens fiet modo importunis imbribus modo inutili siccitate, nunc frigoribus nunc aestibus nimiis, nec terra homini dabit fructum; non seges quidquam, non arbor, non vitis feret, sed cum in flore spem maximam dederint, in fruge decipient.

[7] fontes quoque cum fluminibus arescent, ut ne potus quidem suppetat, et aquae in sanguinem aut amaritudinem mutabuntur.

[8] propter haec deficient et in terra quadrupedes et in aere volucres et in mari pisces.

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