Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

– Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost, February, 1887 CE


Be kind

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

– Philo of Alexandria, unknown, 20 BCE – 40 CE  

What then should we do?

When the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” his reply to them was, “Whoever has two tunics must share with him who has none; whoever has food to eat must do likewise.”  Toll-collectors also came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” And to them he would say, “Collect nothing for yourselves-nothing beyond what is authorized.”  When enlisted soldiers asked him, “And what are we to do?” he would say to them, “Avoid extortion and blackmail; be content with your pay.”


Luke 3:10-14

Multiple choice

Life is short, and art long, crisis fleeting, experience perilous, decision difficult.

– Hippocrates, Aphorisms, 400 BCE


L. Scipio Asiagenus. 106 BC. AR Serrate Denarius. Laureate head of Jupiter left, S behind head / Jupiter holding sceptre and thunderbolt in quadriga right. Cr311/1a; Syd 576; Cornelia 24b.

Cuneiform scribal exercise

The life you seek you never will find:

when the gods created mankind,

death they dispensed to mankind,

life they kept for themselves.

But you, Gilgamesh, let your belly be full,

enjoy yourself always by day and by night!

Make merry  each day,

dance and play day and night!

Let your clothes be clean,

your head be washed, may you bathe in water!

Gaze on the child who holds your hand,

let your wife enjoy your repeated embrace!

unknown, Gilgamesh, Sippar fragment, Babylonian, 1800-1700 BC

Without pain

let none presume on his good fortune until he find life at his death a memory without pain

– Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, 429 BCE