Showing posts from January, 2015

Nil desperandum

The maxim "Nil desperandum" (Odes, Book I, ode vii, line 27) seems to be in most cultures. "Never despair" is absolutely necessary to overcome problems we all encounter in life.
Horace (65-8 BCE) was a literary critic, a lyric poet, and a great satirist. He was the son of a freed slave and had the opportunity to study in Rome and at the Athens Academy. He met Cicero there. 
Horace may have had many reasons to despair as all his family's belongings were confiscated. Moreover,  most probably he must have had a very hard time after the murder of Julius Caesar, especially when he was exiled. However, his maxim probably helped him face the problems he had. "Nil desperandum" or "Never despair" appears in his famous Odes, where he also uses similar expressions such as "In adversity, remember to keep an even mind" (Book II, ode iii, line 1). 
I think Horace's maxim is very much related to what other authors have written using other words.…