Below, first words (an epigraph) and last paragraph of Carpe diem(Horace’s Latin words), chapter 12 of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical Worldby Catherine Nixey:
Let the girl with a pretty face lie supine, Let the lady who boasts a good back be viewed from behind…
The petite should ride horse…
– the Roman poet Ovid advises on
positions for lovemaking, Ars Amatoria, 3
Christian preachers expressed none of Horace’s uncertainty about what tomorrow might bring. On the contrary, they knew precisely what was coming: death and judgement. Followed by Heaven for the fortunate few—and Hell for everyone else. One should therefore be perpetually mindful of the dangers threatened by the next life—and constantly watchful of one’s behaviour in this one.
Eating, drinking and making love were, they warned, the last things that one must do. Merrymaking in this life would not win eternal bliss in the next. ‘You are too greedy of enjoyment, my brother,’ warned the Christian scholar Jerome, ‘if you wish to rejoice with the world here, and to reign with Christ hereafter.’