Apollodorus: Why do you devote all your thought to injuring one another by making war?

For peace, against war: literary selections

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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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Apollodorus of Carystus
From The Table-Maker
Translated by Charles Burton Gulick

« O world of men! Why do ye give up the happy life, and devote all your thought to injuring one another by making war? Can it be that some boorish fate today presides over our lives – a fate which knows no culture at all, is completely ignorant of what is bad or what is good, and in some random way tosses us about as chance decrees? I think so indeed. For what fate, were she really a Greek, would prefer to see men thrashed by one another and lying prone as corpses, when they might be jolly, playful, just a bit tipsy, enjoying the sound of music as they should?… »

Quoted by Athenaeus in The Deipnosophists

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