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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H2r p115]

MILITIA EST VITA HOMINIS
SUPER TERRAM. IOB VII.[1]

IS NOT MAN’S LIFE UPON THIS EARTH A SOLDIER’S SERVICE? (Job, 7:1)

Concurrunt Equites Cataphracti utrinque duello.
Ἒν δὲ πύλῃ πλέμου [=πολέμου] ἔνγραφος ἐστὶ νόμος.
Gloria proposita est victori, infamia victo.
Ἒκ σκοπιᾶς δὲ ὁρᾷ ἀρχὸς ἀγωνοθέτης
Militia est haec, vita hominis, dum vivit in orbe.
Ὂυρανόθεν θεάτης ἐστὶ θεὸς βασιλὲυς
Scripta paląm lex est in Mose Evangelióque
Πάντες ἴασι. μόνος ἀλλὰ βραβεῖον ἔχει.[2]

The armoured horsemen crash together. It is inscribed on the gates of War: “GLORY TO THE VICTOR; SHAME TO THE CONQUERED.” From a high tower the lord and master of the contests watches. This human life, our life on earth, is a soldier’s life: and the one who watches from the sky is God the King. It is clearly written in Moses and the Gospel: “all run, but only one takes the prize”.

Notes:

1.  The King James Version, more faithful to the Hebrew, reads (like the Septuagint): “Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?” The idea that this service to an appointed time has a military character seems to be Jerome’s.

2.  The last line seems to allude to 1 Corinthians 9:24: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”



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