“And yet as someone will say, did not Rome progress and advance thanks to war? This is a question which would require a long response for some people who reckon progress in terms of money, luxury, and in supremacy rather than in security, kindness, independence from others and justice towards others.”
(Plutarch’s life of Numa, seemingly rather freely quoted by Corrado Augias in The Secrets of Rome, p. 4, trans. A. Lawrence Jenkens.)
“Up on your feet! This is no time to tire!”
my Master cried. “ The man who lies asleep
will never waken fame, and his desire
and all his life drift past him like a dream,
and the traces of his memory fade from time
like smoke in air, or ripples on a stream.
Now, therefore, rise. Control your breath, and call
upon the strength of soul that wins all battles
unless it sink in the gross body’s fall.
There is a longer ladder yet to climb:
this much is not enough. If you understand me,
show that you mean to profit from your time.”
(Dante, Inferno, canto XXIV, trans. John Ciardi.)