Home > Uncategorized > Rutilius Namatianus: Races of demigods who knew not iron-harnessed Mars

Rutilius Namatianus: Races of demigods who knew not iron-harnessed Mars

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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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Rutilius Namatianus
From A Voyage Home to Gaul
Translated by J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff

More good is done to the world by teeming earth which gives birth to iron than by the golden gravel washed down by the Tagus in the distant West; for deadly gold is the substance that makes vice: blind lust of gold leads into every crime: golden gifts carry by storm the troth of wedded brides: a golden shower can buy the maid’s embraces: loyalty sapped by gold betrays the well-walled town: scandalous misuse of gold ambition itself pursues its wild career. But not so iron: it is with iron that neglected fields are tilled; by iron was the first way of living found. Races of demigods, who knew not iron-harnessed Mars, by iron faced the charge of savage beasts.

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