And God said: Let there be light. And there was light.
Dixitque Deus: Fiat lux. Et facta est lux.
I record the fact with a special object. Whoever would study the calamities of that period in my pages or those of other authors, is to take it for granted that as often as the emperor directed banishments or executions, so often was there a thanksgiving to the gods, and what formerly commemorated some prosperous event, was then a token of public disaster.
dona ob haec templis decreta que[m] ad finem memorabimus? quicumque casus temporum illorum nobis vel aliis auctoribus noscent, praesumptum habeant, quotiens fugas et caedes iussit princeps, totiens grates deis actas, quaeque rerum secundarum olim, tum publicae cladis insignia fuisse.
"The beginning of the emperor's letter seemed very striking. It opened thus: ""May all the gods and goddesses destroy me more miserably than I feel myself to be daily perishing, if I know at know at this moment what to write to you, Senators, how to write it, or what, in short, not to write."" So completely had his crimes and infamies recoiled, as a penalty, on himself."
Insigne visum est earum Caesaris litterarum initium; nam his verbis exorsus est: 'quid scribam vobis, patres conscripti, aut quo modo scribam aut quid omnino non scribam hoc tempore, di me deaeque peius perdant quam perire me cotidie sentio, si scio.' adeo facinora atque flagitia sua ipsi quoque in supplicium verterant.
In the sight of God, all men are equal.
In oculis Dei, omnes homines aequales sunt.
I killed God.
"Receiving answers which were mostly judicious, though in part somewhat incautious, he read out a note written by Piso, nearly to the following effect:- ""Crushed by a conspiracy of my foes and the odium excited by a lying charge, since my truth and innocence find no place here, I call the immortal gods to witness that towards you Caesar, I have lived loyally, and with like dutiful respect towards your mother."
atque illo pleraque sapienter quaedam inconsultius respondente, recitat codicillos a Pisone in hunc ferme modum compositos: 'conspiratione inimicorum et invidia falsi criminis oppressus, quatenus veritati et innocentiae meae nusquam locus est, deos inmortalis testor vixisse me, Caesar, cum fide adversum te neque alia in matrem tuam pietate; vosque oro liberis meis consulatis, ex quibus Cn.
Subsequently no one has made the attempt, and it has been thought more pious and reverential to believe in the actions of the gods than to inquire.
Mox nemo tentavit; sanctiusque ac reverentius visum, de actis deorum credere, quam scire.
In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth.
In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram.
"Meanwhile, in the beginning of spring, Parthian envoys brought a message from king Vologeses, with a letter to the same effect. ""He did not,"" it was said, ""repeat his former and frequent claims to the holding of Armenia, since the gods who ruled the destinies of the most powerful nations, had handed over its possession to the Parthians, not without disgrace to Rome."
Inter quae veris principio legati Parthorum mandata regis Vologaesis litterasque in eandem formam attulere: se priora et totiens iactata super obtineneda Armenia nunc omittere, quoniam dii, quamvis potentium populorum arbitri, possessionem Parthis non sine ignominia Romana tradidissent.
They have no image of the god nor any temple; the tradition of antiquity recognises only an altar and its sacred association.
nec simulacrum deo aut templum--sic tradidere maiores--: ara tantum et reverentia.
Heedless of men, heedless of gods, they have attained that hardest of results, the not needing so much as a wish.
Sed beatius arbitrantur, quam ingemere agris, illaborare domibus, suas alienasque fortunas spe metuque versare.
Thereupon Nero in an elaborate ode thanked the gods, celebrating the good luck which attended the late downfall, and as he was on his way to cross the sea of Hadria, he rested awhile at Beneventum, where a crowded gladiatorial show was being exhibited by Vatinius.
ergo per compositos cantus grates dis atque ipsam recentis casus fortunam celebrans petiturusque maris Hadriae traiectus apud Beneventum interim consedit, ubi gladiatorium munus a Vatinio celebre edebatur.
All the Gauls assert that they are descended from the god Dis, and say that this tradition has been handed down by the Druids.
Galli se omnes ab Dite patre prognatos praedicant idque ab druidibus proditum dicunt.
Even the gods fell victims to the plunder; for the temples in Rome were despoiled and the gold carried off, which, for a triumph or a vow, the Roman people in every age had consecrated in their prosperity or their alarm.
inque eam praedam etiam dii cessere, spoliatis in urbe templis egestoque auro, quod triumphis, quod votis omnis populi Romani aetas prospere aut in metu sacraverat.
Avitus was impressed by this language and said that people must submit to the rule of their betters; that the gods to whom they appealed, had willed that the decision as to what should be given or taken from them, was to rest with the Romans, who would allow none but themselves to be judges.
Et commotus his Avitus: patienda meliorum imperia; id dis, quos implorarent, placitum, ut arbitrium penes Romanos maneret, quid darent quid adimerent, neque alios iudices quam se ipsos paterentur.
Should the Romans be driven out (which God forbid) what can result but wars between all these nations? By the prosperity and order of eight hundred years has this fabric of empire been consolidated, nor can it be overthrown without destroying those who overthrow it.
nam pulsis, quod di prohibeant, Romanis quid aliud quam bella omnium inter se gentium existent? octingentorum annorum fortuna disciplinaque compages haec coaluit, quae convelli sine exitio convellentium non potest: sed vobis maximum discrimen, penes quos aurum et opes, praecipuae bellorum causae.
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