[These are tears of things and mortal sufferings touch the mind.]"
Publius Vergilius Maro, Aeneis (29–19 BC), book I, line 462
The term comes from line 462 of Book I of The Aeneid, an epic poem written in Latin by Virgil (one of Rome's most distinguished poets, in the 1st century BC). Aeneas, while crying, says “sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt” as he gazes at one of the murals found in a Carthaginian temple (dedicated to Juno), which depicts battles of the Trojan War and deaths of his friends and countrymen. Translated this says: “These ones are tears of things and mortal things (sufferings) touch the mind.” As he stands there, Aeneas is overcome by the futility of warfare and waste of human life. The burden man has to bear, ever present frailty and suffering, is what would define the essence of human experience.
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