Democritus: Strange humor: Men covet war in time of peace

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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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Democritus
As cited by Robert Burton in Anatomy of Melancholy (from putative letters to Hippocrates)

“When men live in peace, they covet war, detesting quietness, deposing kings, and advancing others in their stead, murdering some men to beget children of their wives. How many strange humours are in men!”

“Some seek to destroy, one to build, another to spoil one country to enrich another and himself. In all these things they are like children, in whom there is no judgment or counsel, and resemble beasts, saving that beasts are better than they, as being contented with nature…”