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Herodotus: No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Herodotus
From The Histories
Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt

“Tell me Croesus, who was it who persuaded you to March against my country and be my enemy rather than my friend?”

“My lord,” Croesus replied, “the luck was yours when I did it, and the loss was mine. The god of the Greeks encouraged me to fight you: the blame is his. No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace – in peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons…”

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“You know, my lord, that amongst living creatures it is the great ones that God smites with his thunder, out of envy of their pride. It is always the great buildings and the tall trees which are struck by lightning…”

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“There is danger in insatiable desire, and I could not but remember the fate of Cyrus’ campaign against the Massagetae and Cambyses’ invasion of Ethiopia. Yes, and did I not march with Darius, too, against the Scythians? My memory of those disasters forced me to believe that the world would call you happy only if you lived in peace…”

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. cotto
    June 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    we (usa) are addictd to war. it has wrecked our economy and its going to wreck our society if we don’t come to our senses, which i doubt.this false sense of superiority by attacking these small ,and for all practical purposes, defenseless countries does nothing more than steel the resolve of those with capable milititaries. i understand now how hitler could lead a nation to ruin.

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