Tag Archives: rome

Hercules Invictus

In the third century BC the people of the new Roman republic accepted the view that they were of Trojan lineage, that the god Heracles had founded the city of Rome, and that Aeneas and Achilles had fathered Romulus and Remus. This acceptance of the Greek view of the world, and Rome’s place in that Greek world, put Rome in direct conflict with Carthage, whom the Greeks despised as barbarians. This conflict led to the eventual destruction of Carthage, and the eventual destruction of the Roman republic as well. Yet who would have thought that the Greek myth of Heracles driving the cattle of Geryon south through Italy and thus to Pallanthium, the site of a future Rome, would lead to the world we live in today.



Hercules Invictus

How gods laugh as they inflict us

With the thought that we could understand the world

Though we wonder and we labor

Neither arquebus nor saber

Ever answered questions while the bagpipes skirled

For the stars remain in silence

As they look upon the violence

Of the salted cities midst the women’s cries

Yes we think we are exalted

And we never can be faulted

But the gods know we are smart but seldom wise


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